Anyone who’s taken a proctored online exam has likely wondered who is actually sitting on the other side of the technology. That’s why, for the next few posts, we’re pulling back the curtain so you can meet two of our proctors. We sat down with Corey and Sa’ed to get the details.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

Corey: I’m a recent graduate of Florida Atlantic University. While in college, I served as the chairman of academics for my fraternity. I helped raise the fraternity’s average GPA by creating academic plans for at-risk students, and I helped students pick the best classes for their schedule. I joined Honorlock as a part-time technical support agent in college, and now I proctor exams. 

Sa’ed: I was looking for a job in tech when I came across Honorlock. It seemed like a great company. It’s mostly e-learning, but tech does play a huge role. It’s also one of the few companies that integrate AI into proctoring, and the technology behind it is awesome. I started as a support agent in June and then was promoted to proctoring a month ago. 

When you proctor an exam, what is the process? 

Corey: When a student begins the exam, they are prompted to complete a few preliminary steps. After providing a form of identification and showing the webcam a 360-degree view of the testing area, the student is ready to begin. My role here at Honorlock is to monitor students in real-time to prevent any form of academic dishonesty from taking place and to help students have a positive testing experience.

Sa’ed: Proctoring starts by opening the student’s session and opening the session review page to watch their room scan and make sure that the student followed all Honorlock regulations (as well as any specific room scan regulations set forth by the professor). Then I monitor the student to ensure academic integrity is upheld.

Can you share about a time when a student was going to cheat and you were able to prevent it and get the student back on track? 

Corey: One of the best aspects of live proctoring is that we prevent cheating from taking place rather than just flagging incidents and informing the professor after the fact. One time, I noticed unauthorized notes in a student’s room scan. Before the student read the first question, they were advised to put the notes away. The student apologized and after putting the notes away, was able to focus on their exam. The ability to prevent academic dishonesty is one of the most rewarding aspects of my role.

Sa’ed: I remember an instance where a student had notes ready to use that I was able to see in the room scan right before they were about to begin the exam. I initiated a “pop-in,” – a live chat –  and the student cooperated and removed the notes from the testing area.

What was most surprising to you when you first became a proctor?

Corey: I was most surprised by how many students wait until the very last minute to take their exams.

Sa’ed: I was most surprised by how seriously many students take it when a live proctor enters their session.  I don’t want to frighten them – I’m here to help.

What’s the biggest challenge you face as a proctor? 

Corey: I love my job, but it can be challenging when it’s midterms or finals week. We work extra hours to ensure all exams are effectively proctored and that students have an excellent experience. I am grateful for the awesome people that work with me to proctor everyone.

Sa’ed: Dealing with students that just don’t care enough about their exams and disregard instructions is a challenge.

What’s the most creative way a student has tried to cheat? 

Corey: I don’t want to give away any information that can be used to aid academic dishonesty, so instead I’ll share the most ridiculous way a student tried to cheat. There appeared to be another person in this student’s room scan, and the student could be heard reading the questions out loud. They were also looking to the side right before answering each question – as if looking at someone or something that was providing the answers. You wouldn’t believe the look on the student’s face when we asked them to direct the other person to leave!

Sa’ed: The most creative way I’ve seen a student try to cheat was with a smartphone set up next to the laptop. They were wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap so that we couldn’t see their eyes looking towards the smartphone. The only problem was that they didn’t take into account that the screen of the smartphone was reflecting in their sunglasses. When asked to remove the glasses, the student claimed that they were needed for medical reasons. When asked to remove the smartphone, the student claimed that there was no smartphone!

Thanks so much to Corey and Sa’ed for sharing their experiences! We’ll hear more from them in future posts: AI from a Proctor’s Point of View and Exam Tips for Students.