We live in an era of rapid technological change. If you are a college student today, you belong to the first generation in history that carries around a pocket-sized device that can access entire libraries of books, musical recordings, TV shows, and movies on-demand. Through these devices you can talk to family and friends around the world face-to-face in real time in a way that was only possible in the science fiction of three or four decades ago. As recently as the early 1990s, if you traveled abroad to study for a semester or a year, you would essentially be cut off from the life you left behind. International phone calls cost up to $3 or more per minute in today’s money, and letters could take multiple weeks to arrive.

Now, not only can you stay better connected to loved ones down the street and around the world, but you also have access to your college and university courses in a way that your parents never did. It’s the amazing advances in video computing technology in the smartphone age that make so much distance learning possible. Distance courses have been offered online by a number of schools, including Harvard, since the turn of the millennium, expanding every year and eventually moving from simple recordings to live broadcasts with multiple bells and whistles, but the pandemic has brought distance courses to more undergraduate residential colleges than ever before. Not only are you and others likely to be taking a course via video this year, but you’ll also likely be tested in a remote proctoring environment that is enabled by the 21st-century video technology that has made so much else possible.

Let’s have a look at the part video plays when you take an online examination.

How Video Contributes to Remote Exam Proctoring

Nearly every personal computer these days has a built-in camera. If you are a student whose camera is malfunctioning, be sure to get that fixed or get yourself an external plug-in camera before exams come around. No working camera, no web-proctored exam. The camera is important for a number of reasons.

Fast ID Verification

When you sit down to take your first online exam proctored by Honorlock, you won’t have to download any bulky software, as our platform works via a lightweight Google Chrome extension. Downloading the extension takes just a few moments, and you can delete it in a few seconds following your exam. With the Honorlock extension, you will have the ease and security of simply logging into your school’s learning management system to get started. After a quick 60-second pre-test checklist to make sure you’re ready to begin, you’ll scan the room with your webcam to demonstrate that no one else is in the room with you and that you’re not using any resources that have been forbidden by your instructor. We appreciate that everyone’s surroundings will be different, but we recommend taking your online exam in as uncluttered an environment as possible.

Then we’ll have you verify your identity by taking a picture of both yourself and your photo ID with your webcam. This verification is required of schools by the federal government—it only makes sense that everyone is sure that the person receiving credit for the course is that same person doing the work and earning the grade, right? You’ll be happy to know that Honorlock’s has the fastest ID verification process of any video proctoring software, so you’ll spend the least possible amount of time on administrative tasks before being free to concentrate on your exam.

Who’s Watching and When

Honorlock was made by students for students. We didn’t like the idea of having a stranger stare at us through our cameras when we were taking exams so we came up with an online proctoring solution that would not be so intrusive. Your webcam does record you during your test, but no one is watching your exam in real time. AI proctoring technology will monitor your session. If the AI senses that something is wrong, it will automatically notify one of our certified human proctors for a Live Pop-In. The proctor will assess the situation, suspend your exam remotely, and communicate with you via chat box to help you get back on track. The proctor will later send any notes about the incident to your instructor. After the exam, one of our proctors may review the testing session to look for any potential violations, and we will send the recording to your instructor along with any notes made by our proctors.

Protecting Your Privacy

We use secure encrypted protocols to save and view all student assets. Honorlock’s certified proctors and your institution’s faculty are able to review test session videos until they are deleted based on the school’s retention policy or after 12 months. Learn more about our commitment to your privacy and data security here.

Some have asked whether Honorlock uses facial recognition when we verify your identity. We do not. We used facial detection which only determines that there is a clear human face in the webcam. We do not identify the face, store any of the facial elements, or match the face to a database. If no face is detected, or if multiple faces are detected, AI will flag the incident and a human proctor may intervene.

Living in the Video Age

All of this high-tech proctoring of your exams is largely enabled by video and geared to upholding the academic standards of your institution of higher learning. You want to get the credit you deserve, which means you want a level playing field for you and your classmates. Remote proctoring helps you get all that from a distance, which was impossible when folks your parents’ age were undergraduates, at home or abroad. Honorlock also helps you with a friendly US-based support team that’s available 24/7/365–not unlike like your family and friends here in the era of the smartphone! 

If you’re a student looking to learn more about how it works, visit our Student page or Support page.

If you’re an administrator or instructor interested in learning how Honorlock works, request a demo