Using AI to Improve DEI in Higher Education

Learn how AI tools can improve DEI in higher ed as well as practical steps to start the change process.

As we integrate AI into more parts of our lives, it’s also becoming indispensable in higher education, especially when it comes to improving accessibility for the 1 in 5 college students with disabilities.

The benefits extend far beyond just meeting accessibility compliance standards. When used the right way, AI can help create genuinely meaningful and engaging learning experiences—in some pretty surprising ways—for everyone involved.

But with so many AI tools available now, where do you start? Join this webinar to learn how AI tools—from Emotion AI and ITS to AI for accent recognition and content localization—can improve DEI in higher education and practical steps to start the change process.

Webinar takeaways:

  • How existing and emerging AI can be integrated and used to boost DEI in various areas of higher education.
  • The problems AI can solve in higher education, ranging from creating truly inclusive and accessible classes to building equitable admissions processes and improving the entire student experience.
  • Practical steps to start the change process at your institution

Register here.

Coastal Alabama Community College Raises the Bar for Effective, Accessible, Live Proctoring with Honorlock

Coastal Alabama College students
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Coastal Alabama needed an accessible proctoring solution to strengthen academic integrity and provide actionable insights to mediate academic disputes.


Coastal Alabama chose an Honorlock full institution license for live proctoring, enhanced by AI, to meet all their needs.


Honorlock strengthened academic integrity, greatly improved accessibility, and streamlined both attendance and identity verification at Coastal Alabama.

Coastal Alabama At-A-Glance

Challenge: Previous Proctoring Solution Failed to Meet Integrity Threshold, Lacked Accessibility and Actionable Analytics

With nine campuses spanning southern Alabama, Coastal Alabama Community College* needed a proctoring solution that would better meet their needs. Their previous proctoring solution lacked support for students using Chromebooks, and it was unreliable for those who depended on low bandwidth or hotspots, particularly in rural areas. It also didn’t meet their high academic integrity standards, as it was ineffective in preventing and deterring the use of secondary devices like cell phones and lacked robust support for academic disputes. Furthermore, it provided inadequate support for students with disabilities and created an excessive number of stressful and confusing false flags.

Solution: Honorlock Live Proctoring, Enhanced by AI, Full FTE License

To better support all students, catalyze a high degree of academic integrity, and benefit from actionable insights, Coastal Alabama selected a stronger proctoring solution, Honorlock.

“We needed a solution that would be able to handle all of our needs from high school students to our fully online students and students who had been on campus, including those with low bandwidth and using Chromebooks. That is why we chose Honorlock.”

– Ann Strickland, Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning

“Students are becoming very savvy and we felt we needed some extra reinforcements. Honorlock gave us those reinforcements through integrity features such as multi-device detection.”

– Mary Beth Lancaster, Dean of Academic Instruction

For Coastal Alabama, Honorlock’s live proctors made the difference and provided a critical added layer of protection and accuracy. They’ve raised the standard for academic integrity across all nine campuses and minimized student disruptions, especially for those with disabilities and accommodations.

In short, “Honorlock met all of our needs,” said Strickland.

Results: Improved Accessibility, Heightened Accountability, and Streamlined Attendance & Identity Verification

Flexibility for All Students With Proctoring For All Course Modalities

Coastal Alabama, with an institutional Honorlock license integrated within their LMS, Canvas, has expanded proctoring to include not just online classes, but also traditional face-to-face classes, hybrid, and HyFlex offerings, across all nine campuses in southern Alabama. Additionally, Coastal Alabama leverages Honorlock across all areas of study—academic transfer, nursing, allied health, and career technology. Honorlock offers more flexibility and support for the diverse needs of Coastal Alabama’s students, whether they face extenuating circumstances, work commitments, dual enrollment responsibilities, or varsity athletics, ensuring success for all at Coastal Alabama.

Flexibility for All Students With Proctoring For All Course Modalities

Coastal Alabama, with an institutional Honorlock license integrated within their LMS, Canvas, has expanded proctoring to include not just online classes, but also traditional face-to-face classes, hybrid, and HyFlex offerings, across all nine campuses in southern Alabama. Additionally, Coastal Alabama leverages Honorlock across all areas of study—academic transfer, nursing, allied health, and career technology. Honorlock offers more flexibility and support for the diverse needs of Coastal Alabama’s students, whether they face extenuating circumstances, work commitments, dual enrollment responsibilities, or varsity athletics, ensuring success for all at Coastal Alabama.

Streamlined Identity and Attendance Verification for Accreditation & Federal Funding Requirements

Unlimited use of Honorlock opened the door to a creative solution to streamline attendance and identity verification to meet state, federal, and accreditation requirements. Lancaster explained, “Through trial and error, we determined that we would use Honorlock for a single syllabus quiz for attendance and identify verification, driven primarily by Department of Education requirements for identity verification in distance education courses. To ensure we were prepared for all possible audits, we extended the syllabus quiz to hybrid and seated courses because the process worked so well.“ She added,

“Honorlock helps us adhere to state and federal requirements, in addition to accreditation requirements, because it provides the opportunity to capture identity verification and attendance verification at the same time.”

Lee Conerly, Director of Academic Instruction, added,

“Through Honorlock and Canvas, we were able to verify identity, the time and date stamp, and provide that documentation to the auditor easily”.

Strictland reinforced,

“Using Honorlock, we were easily able to meet financial aid standards for R2T4 (Return of Title IV).”

Honorlock has given Coastal Alabama leverage to better meet the needs of external agencies. Lancaster concluded,

“Since we began utilizing Honorlock for attendance and identity verification, we have had zero issues with our audits. We have been able to produce exactly what the auditor needs with no problems.”

Live Proctoring Strengthened Academic Integrity

Live proctors raised the bar for academic integrity at Coastal Alabama. Conerly simply put,

“Live proctors heighten the accountability for students. I like Honorlock’s live proctoring and transparency. I can see where the proctor has popped in and can review the exchanges.”

Academic Transfer Math and Engineering, Math Division Chair, Dana Einfeld, agrees,

“Live proctors with Honorlock provide education professionals with the assurance that the assessments are secure and provide students with a layer of deterrence from potentially damaging behaviors.”

Actionable Insights Provides a Foundation for Accountability

Honorlock provided a foundation of accountability for academic disputes. Lancaster asserts that Honorlock plays a critical role in grade appeals and academic disputes. She adds,

“Honorlock is so easy to access and the flagging system is perfect. It allows us to go back in and check for possible instances of academic dishonesty during grade appeals and student complaints.”

Conerly agrees, “Honorlock provides a foundation of security for me when I need to do investigations regarding attendance, financial aid, or grievances for behavior. With Honorlock, I can review the flags, look at the history, download the video, and share it with the student. We can identify the behaviors that are causing the student to stumble from success.” Conerly concludes,

“Honorlock empowers students and instructors to retain the dignity of the assignment and academic integrity.”

Honorlock has provided invaluable teachable moments in terms of grade appeals and academic disputes. Conerly reveals,

“I love Honorlock’s reliability and the archive of information. I can go to the same place, expect the same results, and the same quality whenever I need it.”

Additionally, Coastal Alabama appreciates the role Honorlock’s live proctors play in getting students back on track and stopping concerning behaviors, long before it becomes a problem that an instructor must address. Strickland reflects,

“Honorlock’s Analytics Hub blew our minds! It’s amazing to see the number of issues that Honorlock captures before it ever reaches a faculty member such as a student attempting to open a new tab, a new browser window, or attempting to use an AI tool. Honorlock truly eliminates so many problems before they ever get to true issues for an instructor to address.”

In addition to de-escalating behaviors and getting students back on track, Conerly notes that Honorlock plays an important role in identifying behavioral trends,

“Honorlock’s Analytics Hub is a game changer. It allows us to look at a student’s record and identify possible patterns of academic dishonesty. Faculty can be empowered with this data to understand assessment trends.”

The Human Touch Improved Accessibility and Accommodations

Honorlock’s live proctors minimize false flags for students with disabilities and provide better support for students requiring accommodations.

“I had a student who was wheelchair-bound and had a high number of flags, thirty plus, with our previous solution because he would drop his head during the exam. With Honorlock’s live proctors, they review in real-time and can determine that no violation is occurring,” shared Conerly.

Unexpectedly, Honorlock helps Coastal Alabama identify ADA accommodation needs for individual students and related professional development needs for faculty. Recently, Coastal Alabama identified an additional accommodation need for a student with a significant blood sugar issue. Because her blood sugar monitor was not presented in her ADA accommodations, her instructor did not realize she was managing her blood sugar during her exam. Academic leadership worked with the ADA coordinator to put additional accommodations in place for the student through a discussion of the exam video from Honorlock. Honorlock has played a similar role for many students at Coastal Alabama. Lancaster reported,

“Honorlock has been beneficial for us and for our students in identifying ADA accommodation needs. By utilizing Honorlock’s recorded sessions, we are able to go back and make the appropriate determination to help our students be successful.”

As a division chair and instructor, Einfeld believes that Honorlock helps instructors meet students’ individual assessment needs. She explained,

“Honorlock helps instructors ensure that students’ individual needs are met through the accommodations in the setup process. An instructor can specify individual student’s institution-approved accommodations and then the live proctor will ensure that those accommodations are afforded and that the student restricts their behavior to those accommodations.”

In addition to identifying and respecting student needs, Honorlock has helped identify faculty needs for supporting students with learning disabilities, such as ADHD or dyslexia, effectively. Conerly shared,

“Honorlock has allowed us to identify areas of professional development that we need to provide to our faculty and staff. Instructors may not recognize that certain behaviors may be attributed to certain disabilities. Honorlock has helped us fill this gap.”

Faculty, Students, and Academic Leaders Love Honorlock

Faculty Rave About Honorlock
“Our faculty absolutely fell in love with using Honorlock. I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about Honorlock from our faculty,” Strickland shared.

A recent anonymous survey of Coastal Alabama faculty revealed that:

In the same anonymous survey, when asked what they liked best about Honorlock, here is what some faculty said:

Additionally, Mallory Radwitch; Head Varsity Softball Coach, and Physical Education and Health Instructor; shares that,

“Honorlock contributes to the success of my student-athletes because it gives them flexibility with our busy schedules to be able to take their tests any time, any place. So if we’re on the road for several days, they’re able to test in a hotel room or wherever to ensure their academic excellence.”

She adds,

“Honorlock has improved the assessment experience for our students because it helps them actually focus on the test while they’re taking instead of worrying about the process of the proctoring.”

Nursing and Allied Health Advisor, Khori Fields agrees,

“I don’t have to worry about the validity of the exam with Honorlock.”

Einfeld loves that Honorlock saves her time,

“Honorlock flags possible infractions so that we can do reviews of those testing sessions without consuming every hour of the day. It also saves me time in ease of setup and enables me to collaborate with evidence in hand for academic disputes.”

As Math Division Chair, she values that,

“Honorlock affords mathematics instructors the flexibility to use a variety of assessment methods and tools that help students be successful in their mathematics assessment.

She adds,

“It’s very easy for our students to use, so we don’t get a lot of feedback on technical problems. And, if there are problems, Honorlock support is right there to avert those issues before an instructor ever has to deal with them.”

Students Appreciate Honorlock

A recent anonymous survey of over 1,500 Coastal Alabama students revealed that:

In the same anonymous survey, when asked what they liked best about Honorlock, students had a lot to say. While 72% of students agreed that Honorlock is easy to use, 127 students claimed ease of use was what they liked best about Honorlock in an open-ended response. Several themes emerged from their open responses— ease of use, quality support, flexibility in scheduling, academic integrity, and aids in motivation and focus. Here are some highlights for each theme:

Ease of Use

• “Honorlock is very easy to use and it’s not a hassle.”
• “Honorlock is user-friendly, easy to use, and works quickly.”
• “It pops up whenever I need to use it so I don’t have to manually do anything.”
• “Honorlock doesn’t lock you out if you make a small noise like other programs do.”
• “I like that Honorlock provides flexibility for when I lose internet during a test.”

• “If something goes wrong with my test or internet, Honorlock support is always
there to help.”
• “Support was so helpful when I had an issue during an exam. He didn’t stop until
it was working.”
• “It was easy to reach out for support using chat.”
• “Live agents are always available for any questions or concerns during test time.”
• “I like that you can talk one-on-one with an actual person if anything goes wrong.”
• “I like how Honorlock troubleshoots with you right then and there.”
• “Honorlock has assistance to help you with any problem that may occur.”
• “Honorlock was fast at fixing a problem for me.”

• “I like that I don’t have to schedule the test and that I can take tests at any time.”
• “I like the flexibility to take a test on my schedule.”
• “Honorlock saves me gas money.”
• “I like to be able to take exams home when needed.”
• “It’s flexible. It’s nice being able to take tests at my convenience.”

• “With Honorlock, I know that all students are on an even playing field.”
• “Honorlock makes you accountable for actually learning the material, not just cheating your way through.”
• “It reassures me that everyone is taking the tests fairly because it is very hard to cheat with Honorlock.”
• “I know I can take my tests without worrying about others cheating and that they have to try as hard as me to succeed.”
• “I like how I can prove that I’m doing my own work with Honorlock.”
• “Honorlock is secure, unlike some other proctoring services.”
• “I like the fact that Honorlock helps students remain accountable for doing
their own work.”
• “Honorlock keeps students honest in their test taking.”
• “I felt good that my test was secure with Honorlock.”
• “Honorlock proves to your instructor that you are not cheating, even if they think that you are.”
• “On Honorlock, you can prove that you did not cheat on a test so the teacher does not think you are lying.”
• “I like that there is no way to cheat with Honorlock.”
• “I like that Honorlock made sure I wasn’t cheating.”

• “With Honorlock, I can’t cheat. Therefore, I have to push myself to learn.”
• “Honorlock keeps me focused on my work.”
• “Honorlock challenges you to really try your best.”
• “Honorlock keeps me focused and not think about distractions.”
• “Honorlock keeps me in the right head space.”
• “Honorlock keeps me focused on finishing the test.”
• “I like how private Honorlock is. It gives students the feeling of being alone and gets them in the right mindset to take a test.”
• “Honorlock helps me focus more and reduces the urge to cheat on things.”

Students Olivia Tubbs and Trey Huerta couldn’t agree more with their peers. Tubbs says,

“Honorlock gives me the flexibility that I need as a student-athlete. Being able to take exams anywhere benefits me because I’m always on the go. I don’t have much downtime. Having the opportunity to sit down and take the exam whenever is best for me helps me score better on my exams. “

Huerta adds,

“ I definitely find Honorlock easy to use. It also helps me focus more since I’m in my own environment. I like that I’m able to take my exams anywhere and basically at any time because I’m such a busy student. I have to go to so many meetings. I have a job. I have schoolwork. It’s just nice.

Academic Leaders Love Honorlock’s Support and Analytics

As the Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, Strickland praises Honorlock for reducing the burden of training and eliminating the burden of support on her team. She reports that her team doesn’t field a lot of questions about Honorlock and that,

“Honorlock has made our work so much easier. With Honorlock, faculty don’t require much training because it’s so easy to use.”

Strickland appreciates the rapid response and exceptional service provided by Honorlock’s 24/7/365 support team for all end users because it lightens the load on her team. She also loves her success manager, she adds

“Our dedicated success manager is responsive to our needs. The Honorlock team is always ready to help. Having someone from Honorlock walk us through new features is great because we manage multiple software products.”

Continuous Innovation With Honorlock

Looking ahead, Coastal Alabama looks forward to advancing institutional initiatives with Honolock such as upholding high academic standards, providing accessible assessment for all students, streamlining attendance and identity verification for all needs, and continuing to innovate in all areas.

“The Analytics Hub provides a wealth of information that helps us plan our future use of Honorlock. Honorlock’s data insights allow us to better understand how our faculty are using Honorlock. These insights will impact the future of testing at Coastal Alabama.” – Ann Strickland, Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning

– Ann Strickland, Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning

“I highly recommend Honorlock to any institution because of the ease of use, the validity of the testing sessions, and the unmatched support.”

-Lee Conerly, Director of Academic Instruction

*Coastal Alabama Community College’s participation in this case study does not imply endorsement by the College, nor discrimination against similar brands, products or services not mentioned.

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