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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Pro: Proctorio

Proctorio, a software program designed to help instructors proctor online tests, is making the world of online education a much more honest and proactive place.

If you are a student who frequently takes online courses with Pierce, you are most likely going to run into Proctorio sooner rather than later.  If that’s something that makes you uncomfortable, maybe online learning isn’t the best option for you.

Using tools such as webcam and desktop monitoring, Proctorio alerts instructors if their students are engaging in academic dishonesty. For example, checking notes and looking up answers would alert professors of the suspicious behavior.

While the main concern regarding Proctorio’s methods has been claims of privacy invasion, students don’t have to take online classes.

I know, I know – as a Pierce student myself, I understand that getting into classes can be difficult. You can always crash a class, take it another semester or just pay closer attention to registration dates. There are always options.

In addition, online courses have a syllabus, all of which will be forthcoming about the use of Proctorio. It will never be used against your knowledge or by anyone who isn’t a trusted instructor.

Your instructor is the only person who would be given access to this footage and it’s not as though there’s a huge underground market for footage of students sitting in front of their computer screens, puzzling over statistics problems.

This whole paranoid notion that Proctorio footage is going to be used for ulterior motives is just a little bit ridiculous. The only thing students should be worried about is whether or not they need to break cheating habits, which brings me to my point about creating an honest AND proactive learning environment.

Students cheat because they want to do well; they may still care about their grades, but are just too lazy to study. And, as a rule, cheating habits are almost always caught and it’s better to break bad habits with a slap on the wrist rather than with a punishment of much greater magnitude. Proctorio will not only help instructors crack down on cheating, but also help students break bad habits.

Proctorio is a great tool that benefits both nosy teachers and paranoid students. That was a joke. But seriously, Proctorio here to stay and students are either going to have to put up with it or find another way to take courses.

Regardless, Proctorio is changing the world of online test-taking and changing it for the better at that.

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