Certificate vs. Certification vs. Licensure

Certificate vs Certification vs Licenses

Certificates, certifications, and licenses formally recognize knowledge, skills, and qualifications, but…

  • Earning a certificate doesn’t mean you’re certified… 
  • And earning a certification doesn’t mean you’re awarded a certificate… 
  • Sometimes a license can fulfill alternative certification requirements…
  • But a certification doesn’t mean you’re licensed…
  • Certifications are necessary for some jobs but not mandatory, like licenses are… 

Sounds confusing, right? Don’t worry, we’ll break down the differences between certificates, certifications, and licenses and answer common questions about each.

Comparing certificates, certifications, and licenses


What is a certificate?

A certificate is awarded after completing a course or program focused on a specific subject or skill. 

Who awards certificates?

Certificates are awarded by educational institutions, companies, and organizations.

Are continuing education credits required to maintain a certificate?

No, continuing education credits aren’t required to maintain a certificate after it’s awarded. However, certificates often count towards continuing education credits.

Does having a certificate mean you’re certified?

No, certificates do not mean you’re certified, but they can help prepare for certification exams.


What is a certification?

A certification signifies that an individual has passed an exam confirming they have met established industry standards of competence and expertise in a specific field or skill.

Who issues certifications?

Certifications are awarded by professional associations, companies, organizations, or certification bodies.

Are continuing education credits required to maintain a certification?

Yes, awarding organizations usually require continuing education credits to help expand expertise, stay relevant and up-to-date, and ensure professional standards are maintained.

Does a certification mean you’re certified?

Yes, passing a certification exam means that you’re certified in that specific area. However, maintaining certification status depends on meeting ongoing education requirements.

Does a certification mean you’re licensed?

No. While some professional certifications may be required by employers in certain fields, they do not grant the legal authority to practice a regulated profession like a license does.

Does earning a degree mean you’re certified?

No, earning a degree doesn’t certify you.

Are certification exams taken online?
Yes, online certification exams are common because they open the exams up to a larger audience and provide convenience for test takers. Many organizations remotely proctor certification exams to prevent cheating and support test takers throughout the process.

Do you receive a certificate after earning a certification?

After earning a certification, individuals typically receive a digital or physical document. However, this document is different from a certificate received after completing a certificate program.


What is a license (licensure)?

Licenses provide individuals with the legal authority to work in regulated professions after training and passing a licensing exam. 

Licensure can also include additional requirements, depending on the type of license and state, such as:

  • Attaining a degree
  • Earning professional certifications and/or certificates
  • Completing apprenticeship programs
  • Work experience

Who issues licenses?

Licenses are issued by government state licensing and certification agencies.

Does a license mean you’re certified?

No, a license does not necessarily mean you’re certified.

Are online licensing exams available?

Yes, high-stakes licensing exams can be taken online when remote proctoring is used to protect exam content and academic integrity.

Do licensing requirements vary based on the state?

Yes, licensing requirements can vary from state to state due to different laws, regulations, and standards set by each state’s regulatory bodies or licensing boards. 

For example, lawyers and teachers may need to meet different criteria or complete different processes to be licensed in different states.

However, some licenses can automatically transfer to other states, or the licensing requirements may be adjusted if the individual already holds a license, through reciprocity agreements or endorsement processes between states.

While there are distinct differences between certificates, certifications, and licenses, they all serve unique roles in professional education, reflecting the knowledge and skills required to help ensure competence and quality in various fields.

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Intellum & Honorlock Integrated Certification Solution for Customer and Partner Education

Combined, AI-driven proctoring and the industry’s leading learning platform protect the integrity of high-value professional certifications.

ATLANTA, Ga., and BOCA RATON, Fla., May 11, 2021Intellum, the leading customer education platform, and Honorlock, the leading online exam proctoring solution, today announced the first fully-integrated certification solution designed for corporate training and education programs. Organizations that certify an individual’s level of knowledge or proficiency in an industry or profession are now able to leverage Honorlock’s AI-based online exam proctoring and cheating mitigation software to further ensure the integrity of the certification programs that are designed and delivered on the Intellum Platform. 

Intellum provides clients with an all-in-one solution for authoring, presenting, managing, tracking, and continuously improving customer, partner, and employee learning initiatives at scale, which often include high-stakes, legally defensible certifications. Honorlock’s proprietary in-browser technology leverages AI to monitor user behavior through head movement, mobile-device engagement, and voice detection. If Honorlock detects potential cheating, a live proctor is alerted to intervene in real-time to ensure the integrity of the certification exam.

With e-learning expected to grow by $247 billion from 2020 to 2024, enterprises are increasingly offering a tuned-in, remote professional audience with certification programs      designed to help improve proficiency with the tools or services they offer. In a growing number of industries, these certifications are employment prerequisites.

“When structured and delivered correctly, certification programs can make a big impact on an organization’s ability to drive business outcomes through education. But scaling high-value certifications that require some form of proctoring can be extremely challenging, especially during a global pandemic and a work-from-home scenario,” said Chip Ramsey, CEO of Intellum. “The Honorlock and Intellum integration now gives organizations a more modern and secure alternative for certifying customers, partners, employees, members, individuals working in a specific industry, or the general public.”

As a result of the deep integration with Honorlock, Intellum clients get all of the benefits of executing a live “brick-and-mortar” proctored exam without the cost or logistics associated with scheduling in-person testing on the national or global level. Honorlock’s unique browser-based approach ensures that there is no disruption to the user experience in the Intellum Platform, which further supports the ability for clients to offer and promote on-demand certifications that learners can complete at any time, from anywhere. 

“Digital certification programs are ubiquitous in industries that need to support skill-building in cloud technologies, data and analytics platforms, digital marketing, and other areas,” said Michael Hemlepp, CEO, Honorlock. “Organizations offering training and exams must protect the integrity of the programs and process while opening them up to users across the globe. By combining the strengths of Honorlock and Intellum, we make that possible.”     

Click here to learn more about Intellum and Honorlock’s integrated solution, as well as to register for a co-hosted webinar on Thursday, May 13, from 1-2pm ET, featuring presentations from Honorlock and Intellum’s certifications experts. 

About Intellum

Intellum provides the customer education platform that large brands and fast-moving companies rely on to improve product utilization, customer retention, and revenue. Intellum’s scientific, data-driven approach is based on 20 years of industry experience and the Intellum Platform includes all of the tools an organization needs to create, deploy, manage, track, and continuously improve highly personalized, engaging educational experiences. To learn more, visit http://www.intellum.com.

About Honorlock

Honorlock is revolutionizing the way academic and corporate institutions enable equity in online courses and exams. Our purpose is to uphold honesty and integrity. We are all about reaffirming the trust we have in test-takers while assuring the integrity of the institution, each instructor’s institutional knowledge and value, and the exams themselves. Learn more at http://www.honorlockmerge.local.     

Honorlock’s Online Proctoring Software Detects Cell Phones During Online Exams

Does Honorlock detect cell phones?

Imagine a week without your cell phone. For many, it’d seem pretty strange because they’re so intertwined in our lives. With a few taps—or words to Siri and Alexa—we use them to track our workouts, set timers while we cook, adjust our thermostats, and even monitor our health.

Unfortunately, the use cases also extend to being used to gain an unfair advantage during online exams. In fact, it’s the number one violation Honorlock sees during our remotely proctored exams.

Test takers use them to search the internet for answers, ask AI tools like ChatGPT for help, and interact with voice assistants like Siri and Alexa.

Fortunately, Honorlock’s online proctoring solution has the most comprehensive approach to detecting cell phones and preventing them from being used during online exams.

How does Honorlock detect cell phones?

Honorlock’s cell phone detection involves a combination of several proctoring tools in addition to review by our live proctors.

Multi-device detection

Honorlock’s proctoring software can determine when test takers try to use their cell phones to access test bank content during their exams. This feature protects against tablets as well.

Apple Handoff Detection

Our newest feature, Apple Handoff Detection, is exclusive to Honorlock and detects if a phone is present in the testing area. Our proctors then add a violation if the test taker is seen using a cell phone during the exam.

But even if it’s an Android phone, their behaviors to use the phone will likely be flagged by our AI. For example, AI flags when a test-taker looks down or voices specific keywords like “Google” or “Siri”.

Once flagged by the AI, a live proctor will watch the session live to determine if the test taker is using a cell phone or not.

Prioritized proctor review

All violations for suspected cell phone use are reviewed and verified by a human proctor to give you confidence in your exam results. In addition, Honorlock’s proctors are trained to spot cell phones that can be seen in reflections or light emitting from the phone.

Speech detection

Honorlock’s speech detection is ideal for instances when test-akers use voice commands to interact with voice assistants, like Siri or Alexa, on a device hidden from the webcam.

Our speech detection listens for specific keywords and phrases that activate and operate voice assistants, such as “Hey Siri,” “Alexa,” or “OK Google.”

This approach allows test takers to speak aloud while solving problems without being unnecessarily flagged and interrupted. It also creates a better testing experience compared to proctoring solutions that use sound detection, which can flag unimportant sounds like coughing or a dog barking.

About Honorlock

What is Honorlock?

Honorlock is an online proctoring company that partners with higher education institutions and professional education organizations, providing software and services that protect academic integrity and support test takers 24/7/365.

How does Honorlock work?

Honorlock blends live human proctoring with AI-proctoring tools to prevent cheating and create a non-invasive testing environment with fewer distractions.

Here’s how Honorlock’s exam proctoring works:

Other Honorlock features and benefits

In addition to the cell phone detection tools we mentioned earlier and our blended proctoring approach, Honorlock also:

Blocks AI tools like ChatGPT

Honorlock’s proctoring solution uses a combination of tools to block the use of AI and extensions, like ChatGPT and Transcript, during exams.

Provides 24/7/365 US-based test proctoring with live support

Proctored exams can be taken anytime without scheduling, and live support is available if needed.

Uses the webcam to record behavior and scan the room

The test taker’s webcam is used to monitor behavior throughout the proctored exam and it can be used for an optional 360-degree room scan to ensure no unauthorized resources or people are present prior to starting an exam.

Locks the browser

Honorlock’s BrowserGuard™ prevents (and/or flags) access to other browsers and applications and disables keyboard shortcuts like copying and pasting during proctored exams.

Verifies ID

Quickly verifies and authenticates test taker identity to ensure the person taking the test is the same as the person getting credit.

Finds leaked test content

Honorlock’s Search & Destroy™ technology automatically finds leaked test content on the internet and gives test administrators the ability to send content takedown requests with one click.

Protects exams taken on third-party platforms

Proctor exams on third-party platforms such as MyMathLab, Pearson, and more.

Integrates with your LMS

Honorlock’s proctoring software integrates with: Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle, D2L Brightspace, Intellum, Docebo*, and Open LMS. We also provide open APIs for custom integrations.

*Coming soon

Puts accessibility first

With minimal system requirements, support for low bandwidth, integrations with accessibility technologies, and individual accommodations ensures a fair and accessible testing experience for all learners.

Learn more about how Honorlock’s approach to online proctoring is revolutionizing and improving the entire testing experience in higher education and professional education.

Accommodating All Test-takers: Honorlock’s Accessibility-First Approach

Honorlock's accessibility first approach

Accommodating All Test-takers: Honorlock’s Accessibility-First Approach

Accessibility-first approach

Test-takers are faced with many unknowns as they navigate online testing. Individuals who need accommodations are often met with strict guidelines and difficult system requirements that limit their ability to take an exam comfortably. Remote proctoring is often seen as just a way to prevent cheating or other misconduct within online exams, but the right approach can also improve accessibility for all test-takers.

Honorlock aims for genuine accessibility for all users. We engage a third-party to conduct a yearly end-to-end accessibility test across all workflows to ensure accessibility and build our Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT). Honorlock spreads knowledge throughout our organization with regular accessibility training. As our accessibility-certified engineers develop our solutions, we focus on building features with an accessibility-first mindset. This means providing flexible accommodations, integrating with assistive technology, conforming to compliance standards and guidelines, and routinely reviewing the accessibility of our offerings. To drive continuous improvement, we conduct regular audits throughout the year to ensure we address any accessibility bugs, keep up with new WCAG standards, and adjust accordingly.

Independent third-party accessibility audits

Thorough VPAT for test-takers & admins

Spread knowledge across the organization

Accessibility-first approach

Constant improvement

Student preparation tools

When users feel prepared and comfortable using the features available, technology is accessible. Honorlock’s online proctoring platform is designed to be easy to use for exam admins and test-takers alike.

Practice exams

Practice Exams are the perfect way for exam administrators and exam-takers to get familiar with using Honorlock. These are enabled by exam admins so exam-takers can surface any questions before they’re in a real exam.

Student tutorial

HonorPrep, our guided tour, has unlimited uses and lets students prepare for their first Honorlock exam. It includes a system check, authentication walkthrough, and sample room scan.

Knowledge Base

For students who need more in-depth help, Honorlock’s Knowledge Base details specific guides for common issues and has detailed FAQs.

Accommodating all test-takers with Honorlock

Minimal system requirements

Exams should be accessible for everyone, regardless of Internet connection. Honorlock proctored exams don’t “boot out” test-takers when a challenge or error arises. Our goal is to help test-takers complete their exams as seamlessly as possible, without inducing extra anxiety.

For students with low bandwidth, Honorlock adjusts our reporting and session viewer so that the test-taker can complete their exam even on an unstable network. Our solution still captures still images to compensate for slower networks to allow test-takers to complete their exams.

Test-takers in rural communities are able to take their exams at any time of day, without a required hardwire connection. We also allow users to take their exams on Wi-Fi or hotspots, unlike other providers.


Honorlock accommodates those who need text to be read aloud with a screen reading capability. Check out the functionality in the video below.

Keyboard accessible

Exam administrators and test-takers are able to navigate within Honorlock. An outline appears while tabbing provides clear guidance on where users are navigating within Honorlock.

Human proctoring and decision-making

Human involvement means we can make human decisions around accessibility. Our live proctors are trained in de-escalation and focus on the success of the test-taker. For example, our live proctor will review accommodations before intervening. If a test-taker is allowed to wear headphones, per an accommodation, the live proctor would refrain from intervening and interrupting the exam session.


Exam administrators can enter any specific accommodations for test-takers, such as additional time or breaks to complete their exams. This includes extensions enabled for assistive purposes or other assistive technology, such as dictation software. Honorlock will respect accommodations configured within the LMS as well.

Some sample accommodations include:

Smart Speech Detection

Honorlock’s Smart Speech Detection listens for keywords and phrases that may indicate exam misconduct, like “Hey Siri” and “OK Google”, which allows test-takers to read aloud without being flagged and interrupted.

Honorlock meets accessibility standards

Honorlock’s accessibility highlights

Honorlock aims for excellence when meeting accessibility standards. Our experts keep us ahead of the curve and allow every test-taker to experience a seamless testing experience.

Not all remote proctoring solutions are alike

Not all remote proctoring solutions are alike and there are some key elements you should consider. By building out your own accessibility checklist, you can be sure that your proctoring partner is the best fit for your test-takers. Consider adding some of the questions below when comparing services.

To learn more, please review Honorlock’s Accessibility Statement. If you would like to discuss building out your own accessibility checklist or statement, get in touch today.

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Strategies to stop new types of contract cheating

Strategies to stop new types of contract cheating

What is contract cheating?

Contract cheating means using paid or unpaid third parties (people, services, or tools) to complete tests or assignments. In the past, it meant things like someone else writing your essay or getting answers from “homework help” sites like Chegg and Course Hero. 

Contract cheating is evolving. It now includes paid test-taking services that use remote access software to control a learner’s device and complete tests on their behalf. It also includes the misuse of AI tools like ChatGPT, which a March 2023 survey indicated is used by over 1 in 5 learners to complete exams and assignments.1

Detecting contract cheating… or preventing it?

Do you only want to detect that it happened or prevent it from happening altogether? Detecting cheating is a very different experience than preventing it altogether. 

For example, using tools to detect AI plagiarism in essays can be challenging. While those detection tools were moderately effective in the past, AI tools like ChatGPT don’t plagiarize and can be instructed to write just like humans, leading to false positives and overall accuracy issues.

And if those detection tools indicate that portions of an essay were AI-generated, what’s the threshold to take action? Should they take action when 1% of the essay is AI-generated? 25%? 50%? Regardless of percentage, if AI and plagiarism detection tools aren’t accurate and they’re easy to beat, you’ll have an uphill battle.

So, why try to detect that contract cheating happened when you can prevent it from happening at all?

The rest of this article shows you how to use online proctoring software to stop contract cheating (and other types of cheating).

Here’s how to prevent different types of contract cheating:

1. Paying a test-taking service that uses remote access software to take the test for the person getting credit

Have you ever had an issue on your computer and a support technician remotely accessed your computer to fix it? That’s basically how this form of contract cheating happens.

The person getting credit pays a proxy test-taking service to have a subject matter expert remotely access their desktop and take the test for them.

This type of cheating can be difficult to catch because the person getting credit is still on camera while the subject matter expert has control of their desktop and completes the test for them. Because the person getting credit stays on screen, ID verification methods won’t be able to stop this form of contract cheating.

Here’s how Honorlock’s online exam proctoring software beats this form of cheating:

Displaying countries of test: Honorlock’s platform shows the countries where tests were taken based on IP address. If there’s a trend of tests taken in countries with no known test takers, it might indicate the use of proxy test-taking services, prompting further investigation.

Blocking applications: Certain settings within Honorlock’s proctoring platform can be used to block remote access applications.

Requiring keyboard commands before starting the test while recording the screen: Instructions, or even the first test question, can require test takers to use keyboard commands, such as Ctrl+Alt+Del (Windows) or Cmd+Opt+Esc (Mac), to display the applications and processes running on the device. Honorlock’s software also records desktops, allowing exam administrators to review the recording if there’s any suspicion that someone else took the test on the test taker’s behalf.

2. Using AI tools like ChatGPT

Using AI tools like ChatGPT without permission is considered contract cheating because it still involves the use of a third party and isn’t the person’s original work.

ChatGPT generates written responses and answers questions about basically any topic. With the right prompts, it can write just like a person, and AI or plagiarism detection software can’t really catch them.

Here’s how Honorlock’s remote proctoring software helps block and control AI tools:

Detects cell phones and browser extensions: Honorlock’s proctoring software can detect when test takers try to look up answers on their cell phonesas well as device-sharing applications like Apple Handoff.

Listens for voices (not just sounds) to ensure there’s no help from Siri or other voice assistants: Honorlock’s Smart Voice Detection listens for keywords and phrases like “Hey Siri” and “Alexa,” which could be used in addition to voice dictation to operate ChatGPT on another device.

Blocks access to other sites and disables keyboard shortcuts: With Honorlock’s BrowserGuard™, learners won’t be able to access sites like ChatGPT or copy text beforehand and paste it as their own. 

Uses the webcam to monitor behavior and check the room for unauthorized devices and resources

3. Paying someone else to write their essay

To prevent this form of contract cheating, have learners write their essays while online proctoring is monitoring behavior.

Here’s how Honorlock can stop this form of contract cheating:

Verifies ID: Honorlock makes ID verification easy by capturing a picture of the test-taker and their photo ID in about 60 seconds.

Locks the browser while still allowing access to certain sites: This is important because there may be instances where you want the learner to have access to certain resources while they’re writing, like an online research journal, but still want to block all other sites.

Prevents copying and pasting: Honorlock’s BrowserGuard™ prevents keyboard shortcuts, which means they can’t copy text before they start the essay and paste it into their response.

Uses video to monitor behavior and check for unauthorized resources

In addition to the features mentioned earlier in this article, Honorlock also provides:

LMS integrations: Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle, D2L Brightspace, and Intellum directly integrate with Honorlock’s online proctoring platform. We also provide a developer toolkit for custom integrations, giving you the power to create a tailored integration that meets your specific needs.

24/7/365 online exam proctoring with live support: Honorlock’s proctoring services and support are on-demand, which means exams can be taken anytime, day or night, and live support is available.

Test content protection: Search & Destroy™ finds leaked test content on the internet and gives exam admins the option to send one-click content takedown requests.

Third-party test proctoring: Allows seamless test proctoring on third-party platforms such as MyMathLab, Pearson, and more.

As contract cheating evolves and unfortunately grows, so should your strategies and technologies to beat it. Honorlock’s online proctoring software and services put you in control and keep you one step ahead of whatever comes next.

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1Half of College Students Say Using AI on Schoolwork Is Cheating or Plagiarism. (2023, March). BestColleges. Retrieved March 29, 2023, from https://www.bestcolleges.com/research/college-students-ai-tools-survey/

See the surprising ways online proctoring improves testing

Best features and benefits of online proctoring software

Click below to skip to any sections

1. Blocks AI tools like ChatGPT

ChatGPT and other similar AI tools can answer test questions and write in-depth responses in a matter of seconds. And it’s even more concerning that tools for AI detection and plagiarism can’t really detect AI-generated content.

But with remote proctoring software, you can prevent these tools from being used during online exams. But you’ll need a lot more than browser lockdown software because a test taker can just use their cell phone to beat it.

Your proctoring platform also needs these features to block AI:

Cell phone detection: detects when test takers try to look up answers on their cell phones as well as device-sharing applications.

Extension Detection Technology: browser extensions, like Transcript, can make it easy to cheat by automatically answering test questions. They’re easily accessible and very common, but with extension detection technology, you’ll know when test takers attempt to use them.

Smart Voice Detection: listens for keywords and phrases like “Hey Siri,” which could be used in addition to voice dictation to operate ChatGPT on another device.

Video monitoring: the webcam monitors and records behavior and checks the room for cell phones, notes, and even other people.

2. Proctors hands-on alternative assessments that create real-world situations

Traditional questions, like multiple choice, are staples in assessments, but it’s just as important to assess knowledge with alternative assessments that recreate real-world situations, sometimes referred to as authentic assessments.

“If they aren’t going through those kinds of things, they may not be prepared for the next level or applying it in a real situation,” Paul Fisher, Associate CIO & Director of the TLT Center at Seton Hall University.

But the issue is that most online proctoring platforms have rigid settings that limit the types of questions that can be proctored.

However, some have flexible settings that can proctor activities that recreate real-world situations, such as:

Fisher gave examples of how Seton Hall uses online proctoring for alternative assessments: “The accounting programs use Honorlock to proctor tests where they’re using software to fix balance sheets and other similar documents, while other programs use it for short answer and essay questions.”

3. Detects cell phones and browser extensions

Did you know that over 70% of exam violations are caused by test takers using cell phones or another device?

With that in mind, it’s easy to see why online proctoring software with cell phone detection is so important to protecting exam integrity. This software can detect device-sharing applications, like Apple Handoff, and when test takers try to look up answers on their cell phones.

4. Finds leaked test content on the internet

Unfortunately, it’s pretty common for instructors to find leaked test content on sites like Chegg and Quizlet. That’s why you need Search and Destroy™ technology, which automatically searches the internet for your leaked test content and gives you the ability to send one-click takedown requests.

5. Reduces testing costs

Physical testing centers’ overhead costs, such as utilities and maintenance, staff wages, and hardware and software, can be expensive. Online proctoring can help save money by reducing (or even eliminating) the need for physical testing centers.

6. Gives more time to teach instead of administer tests

How many hours of your course hours are spent administering tests?

“The time savings reaped by faculty is an estimated 8.5 hours per semester, per course… That’s nearly three weeks worth of class time returned to the faculty member.” Brian Marchman, Assistant Provost & Director of Distance Learning & Continuing Education, University of Florida

How much more value could you give to learners if you had those hours back? Honorlock’s on-demand remote proctoring can give you those hours back because tests can be taken outside of class hours and live support is available 24/7/365.

7. Increases access & improves accessibility

According to the US Department of Education, 1 in 5 college students have a disability, and more than 40% of students paying tuition independently are in or near poverty. With that in mind:

Honorlock’s proctoring software is compliant with web accessibility standards and allows instructors to provide accommodations, like taking a proctored assessment without a webcam. And if a test taker has slow internet speed, our software has failsafes in place that work when internet speeds drop below streaming video thresholds. And with Honorlock’s 24/7 proctoring and live support, test takers with busy schedules can take proctored tests at a time and place that works for them.

“Honorlock helps us get to the core of our mission here at Warrington: being able to offer an MBA to just about anybody. Having a proctoring service focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion made choosing Honorlock an easy fit for us.” – Naz Erenguc, University of Florida, Director of Admissions at the Warrington College of Business

8. Helps reduce test anxiety

Tests are stressful, but did you know that taking a test in a different room or even in a different seat can negatively impact performance? And with online exams, there’s added stress because test takers have technology concerns.

But in a student survey, 100% of students who interacted with a live remote proctor from Honorlock indicated that it reduced their test anxiety. 

Honorlock’s combination of AI with human proctors means test takers won’t be watched constantly during tests. Our AI monitors behavior and alerts a live proctor to review the situation if it detects any issues to determine whether to intervene or not. This way, test takers won’t be interrupted unless it’s necessary. Honorlock’s full-time remote proctoring team received training by a nationally certified counselor and educator to better support test takers during moments of assessment frustration and anxiety.

“The proctor popping in was different than I expected – in a positive way. I imagined them being more strict. I felt that the proctor was helpful and a lot less intimidating than I thought.” – Student survey quote in a post-exam interview

9. Detects voices, not sounds

If the proctoring software uses sound detection, instructors could be left reviewing flags for irrelevant sounds…

Dog barking – flag to review.

Coughing – flag to review.

Tapping pencil – flag to review.

As mentioned earlier, Honorlock’s Smart Voice Detection listens for keywords and phrases, like “OK Google” and “Hey Siri,” so you’ll only have to review what’s important.

But what if a test taker talks to themselves during the test and says a phrase that the Smart Voice Detection listens for, such as ‘ OK Google’?

This phrase would trigger Honorlock’s Smart Voice Detection, but it would also notify a live proctor to review the situation, where they would see that cheating didn’t occur, so there’s no need to intervene.

Honorlock’s online proctoring software is different by design

Our approach to proctoring is different because we know that it’s more than just catching cheating. 

Honorlock’s flexible platform positively reshapes the way tests are administered by improving the entire assessment experience, ensuring equity and access, and effectively protecting academic integrity. 

For institutions looking ahead, investing in Honorlock’s proctoring services and software is a step towards a smarter future with more opportunities to improve education.

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Prewritten AI Policy Statement

AI tools can help improve teaching and learning, but instructors have concerns about how they’re used. Use our prewritten AI Policy Statement to set expectations for acceptable use of AI tools in your courses.

What goes into an AI policy statement?

Some AI policy statements resemble extensive legal documents, while others are just a few bullet points. Regardless of format, make it clear and easy to understand for learners in your course.

PART 1: Introduction & purpose

Briefly (and clearly) state your stance on AI & key takeaways

If learners only read this part, what are the must-know takeaways?

PART 2: What are AI tools?

Explicitly define what you consider to be AI tools.

To some, AI only means tools like ChatGPT. To others, it may mean using AI writing tools like Grammarly. So, be clear about the AI you’re referring to.

Group them by type (chatbots, writing assistants, browser extensions, apps, voice assistants, etc.) and name a few examples for each group, but emphasize that just because a tool isn’t named doesn’t mean it’s allowed to be used.

PART 3: Acceptable AI use

Be clear about when and how they can or cannot be used.

This will be short if you want to block AI entirely. But if you want to allow it at certain times, discuss when and how and use a few specific examples.

PART 4: The negative impact of using AI tools

AI puts data privacy, academic integrity, and reputation at risk.
Discuss how taking AI shortcuts devalues their education and the program’s reputation, which ultimately impacts their investment. And discuss other items, like data privacy.

PART 5: AI Policy enforcement

How you’ll enforce this policy, penalties, and revisions.

Example AI policy statement for your courses

Note: The primary example assumes an instructor is only allowing AI use in a few specific instances but blocking it otherwise. You’ll see expandable boxes in some sections that contain alternative language for an instructor that wants to block AI in all cases.

Introduction & purpose

I recognize the importance and benefits of using Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, which is why my position is to embrace and integrate them into certain course activities, like interactive projects, with full transparency about their use. However, using any AI tools during an exam or quiz is never permitted. The information and guidelines in this policy ensure that AI is effectively and ethically used in this course.

The remainder of this document provides important information to understand as a participant in this course.

Alternative text for blocking Al (click to expand)

I recognize the power and potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools in shaping the educational landscape and even our lives in general. However, I want to make it clear that we will not be integrating or permitting the use of any AI tools in this course. The remainder of this document provides important information to understand as a participant in this course.

What are AI tools?

AI tools mean something different to each person, especially related to education, so I’ve grouped them into categories and named a few tools for each. Please note that countless AI tools exist, and the omission of a specific tool doesn’t mean its use is permitted. If you have questions about a certain tool, do not use it until we’ve discussed it and I indicate that its use is allowed.

Alternative introduction text for blocking AI (click to expand)

AI tools mean something different to each person, especially related to education, so I’ve grouped them into categories and named a few tools for each. Please note that countless AI tools exist, and the omission of a specific tool doesn’t mean its use is permitted.


What they do
Example tools
Generates written responses, answers questions, & checks work
ChatGPT (and GPT-4), Google Bard, Bing AI, Jasper AI
AI writing assistants
Edits, rephrases, & rewrites text to improve writing
Grammarly, QuillBot, Hemingway Editor
Answers questions & completes numerous “homework help” tasks
Course Hero, Photomath, Wolfram Alpha, Socratic
Voice assistants
Takes voice commands to provide answers to questions & operate portions of devices.
Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, Cortana

Acceptable use of AI tools

We’ll use AI in this course to enrich your learning experience with interactive activities and as a way for you to gain practical experience with important technologies.

Key takeaways for AI use in this course:

Do not use any AI tools during any exams or quizzes.

Do not use AI tools during any assignments or activities without specific permission and instructions.

Credit and cite any time you use AI.

Except during exams and quizzes, you may use writing assistants to check your written work for grammar and punctuation.

Writing assistants and other AI should not be used to write, paraphrase, or change the style and composition of your writing.

Using AI as a supplement is permitted. Examples include using browser extensions or apps to check your answers to practice questions.

Never enter any personally identifiable information or other relevant information into AI tools

Alternative text for blocking AI (click to expand)

Use of AI tools is not permitted in any aspect of this course, including exams, quizzes, projects, or any activities.


The negatives of using AI tools

Integrating AI into course activities helps create interactive and engaging learning experiences. However, it’s crucial that you adhere to the guidelines about the use of AI tools because it impacts the entire learning experience and your data privacy.

Inappropriate or unauthorized use of AI tools to gain an unfair advantage and any other forms of academic dishonesty not only devalue your education but also jeopardize the integrity and reputation of the entire course and program you and others have invested in. That said, I ask that each of you fully, honestly, and ethically commit to using AI only as instructed.

Data privacy

I trust that you’re careful with personally identifiable information, but it can be mistakenly shared, such as when you’re checking your written work in ChatGPT. Let’s assume the assignment allows you to use ChatGPT, and you copy all of the text from the document and paste it into ChatGPT, including your information at the top of the page:
First & last name
ID number
Date & time
Course name
Instructor name

While not likely, others could receive any or all of that information, which could be enough information to determine who you are, your institution or organization, and your location. So, please do not use any personally identifiable information or other relevant information about yourself or others in any AI tools.

Alternative text for blocking AI (click to expand)

While some courses integrate AI tools, my decision to prohibit them doesn’t mean I won’t leverage technologies for different aspects of this course. These technologies will be used to create an enriched and interactive educational experience that drives creativity and collaboration.

But to give you more context on my decision, I believe that AI tools currently pose challenges related to academic dishonesty and data privacy. Many AI tools quickly answer test questions and even generate in-depth written responses that can be rephrased to go undetected by plagiarism detection tools.

Equally important, it puts your data privacy at risk. For example, did you know that everything you type into ChatGPT is saved and could be given as a response to other users? Imagine if you accidentally provided personally identifiable information and other relevant information if you used it to check your work and you copied and pasted all the text in your document, which included your first and last name, institution or organization, course name, date and time, and instructor. Just that information alone is enough for someone to know who you are and where you may be at a specific time.


AI Policy enforcement

I take academic integrity very seriously, and I will address any violations of this policy and follow [institution’s name] disciplinary policies and procedures. If you have any questions about the information, policies, and guidelines in this statement, I urge you to contact me to discuss them.

This policy goes into effect on the first day of this course, [insert day, month, and year].

I trust that each of you will make ethical decisions about the use of AI tools in this course and I’m looking forward to a rewarding experience for everyone, including myself.

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Making Sense of G2 Ratings for Online Proctoring

G2's ratings of the best online proctoring in 2023

G2 is the largest and most trusted peer-to-peer software review site with about 80 million people each year and over 2.2 million authentic reviews. 

Two important words to remember from above:authentic reviews

Companies can’t buy their way to the top. Reviews can’t be influenced or manipulated. They have serious review validation processes to make sure of it. 

G2 is the go-to for real reviews that compare online proctoring software and services. The reviews include ratings of more generalized topics, like ease of use and meeting requirements, and they cover specific proctoring features and functionality.

This article will give you context about the specific features and functionality and why they’re so important if you’re comparing proctoring software and services. See a breakdown of the ratings here.

ID verification

Verifies that the person taking the proctored exam is the person getting credit.

Obviously, you want to know that the person taking the proctored exam is the person getting credit for it. While most online proctoring platforms have ID verification, they aren’t the same. Some are quick and simple. Others are time-consuming and invasive.

Consider these questions as you’re comparing online proctoring software:

Honorlock’s ID verification captures a picture of the test-taker and their photo ID and ensures the name on the ID matches the name in the LMS in about a minute. No facial recognition. That’s it.

ID verification ratings

Browser lockdown

Blocks access to other browsers and software.

If you’re only using browser lockdown software to proctor online exams, you’re essentially just locking your windows but leaving your doors wide open. 

Meaning that only locking the browser won’t really prevent cheating. If a test taker has a cell phone, they can get around it.

But a browser lock is still an important part of a larger solution. And instructors may even want to allow access to certain sites while blocking all others. For example, allowing access to course notes or an online study, while blocking all other sites. Some allow that, some don’t. Make sure the solution’s browser locking is customizable.

Honorlock’s Browser Guard, which is just one component of a comprehensive proctoring solution, is customizable to block all sites and software or allow the ones you want, and it prevents keyboard shortcuts like copying and pasting. 

Browser lockdown software ratings

Video recording

Records test takers’ behavior during the proctored exam session.

Video recording is a staple of proctoring, but it’s important to understand how it’s done and how it’s used.

Do you only want behavior recorded to watch later? Or do you want AI to monitor behavior during the exam, record it, and you’ll just watch the important behaviors that need your attention?

Honorlock’s AI uses the webcam to monitor and record behavior. If the AI detects suspicious behavior during the exam, it alerts a live proctor to review and intervene if necessary. After the exam is over, instructors and admins get a report with proctor-verified violations and can access time-stamped video recordings in full HD quality (many proctoring services only provide SD).

Video recording ratings

Automatic behavior flagging

Uses AI or algorithms to automatically flag test takers’ behavior.

This is one part of online proctoring that separates the best from the rest. 

From cell phone detection and video monitoring to sound detection and room scans, there are many AI proctoring tools to consider that impact the entire experience for all users.

Some AI proctoring software will flag almost anything.

Sneezing – flag.

Talking to themselves – flag.

Looking away from the screen while thinking – flag.

These distract test takers and create more work for administrators during exam reviews. But Honorlock’s approach avoids distractions and extra work. Powerful AI monitors behavior and alerts a live proctor if it detects suspicious behavior. The proctor can review the behavior and decide whether to intervene or not. If the behavior isn’t problematic, the proctor won’t intervene and administrators can skip it when they review. 

AI behavior flagging ratings

Live proctors

A live human proctor is available for an exam session.
Which option would you prefer?

Option 1: There’s a box on your screen of a proctor watching you take an exam

Option 2: No box with a stranger watching you take your exam, and you’ll only interact with a proctor via chat if there’s any behavior that needs to be addressed

Most would choose Option 2 because it isn’t creepy and distracting… And that’s the approach Honorlock uses. You’ll also want to consider what the interactions are like between test takers and proctors. Honorlock’s full-time online proctoring team received training from a nationally certified counselor and educator on providing help and support during moments of test anxiety and frustration. This helps create a better test environment that reduces anxiety and allows test takers to focus.

Live proctoring ratings

Test session reports

Reports containing details about test taker behaviors and suspicious activities.

Test reports can save admins a lot of time… or waste a lot of time.

If you want to save time, make sure that the reports are:

Honorlock’s exam reports save time and make the review process simple. After proctored exams are complete, instructors/admins can access in-depth reports with time-stamped recordings within the LMS dashboard. Reports include test taker violations and notable or suspicious behaviors/activities. In addition, proctors will send a detailed email to test administrators about suspicious behavior observed.

Proctored exam reports ratings

Online proctoring dashboard

A dashboard to view exam trends and overall usage.

How can you monitor proctoring utilization across the institution? How do you determine if the online proctoring platform is actually effective?

In 2023, Honorlock plans to release the most robust analytics reporting available in the online proctoring space. 

The analytics dashboard will allow institutions to:

Honorlock’s dashboard will provide powerful, on-demand analytics empowering institutions to uphold equity, integrity, and exam security by understanding usage trends.

Proctoring dashboard ratings

LMS integrations

The proctoring platform’s integration with Learning Management Systems.

The integration between the online proctoring platform and the LMS impacts the entire experience for every user. It’s the difference between a secure proctoring platform that’s easy to use and a frustrating experience that puts security at risk.


Honorlock’s direct LMS integration means that:

Honorlock’s proctoring platform integrates with Blackboard Learn, Instructure Canvas, Moodle, D2L Brightspace, and Intellum. We also offer custom LMS integrations.

Proctoring LMS integration ratings

Other things to look for to find the best online proctoring service and software

Cell phone detection

Some online proctoring services claim to have cell phone detection, but Honorlock has the most robust cell phone detection available. 

Honorlock’s AI proctoring software can detect when students attempt to use their cell phones to access test bank content during the tests, and we’re the only online proctoring company detecting device sharing apps like Apple Handoff.

Technology that finds leaked test content

Honorlock’s Search & Destroy technology scours the internet to find leaked exam questions. If leaked exam questions are found, instructors are given simple steps to take control of their exams’ integrity.

Unlike the technologies at proctoring companies, instructors using Search and Destroy typically won’t have to deal with the hassle of manually selecting which questions they would like to search for. In just a few minutes, Search and Destroy searches all questions included in the exam.

Live US-based support 24/7/365

If proctored exams are available 24/7/365, support should be available at all times too. The quality of support matters too. Ask proctoring services about support satisfaction and support response times. 

Honorlock offers 24/7/365 live human support at no extra cost. Our support response time is less than five seconds, and we have the highest support satisfaction rating (93%) on G2 for online proctoring companies.


Flat-rate cost

Variable prices can add up quickly. Find an online proctoring service, like Honorlock, that offers online proctoring at a flat rate cost per user or exam. Including implementation and 24/7/365 live human support.

While there are many online proctoring companies offering different software and services, make sure that you’re choosing the right one for your needs. We encourage you to dig into G2’s reviews for online proctoring because we know that you’ll come to the same conclusion that many others have: Honorlock is the leader in online proctoring and a true partner in academic integrity.

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Stopping AI tools in corporate assessments

Many companies have mixed feelings about emerging AI tools, especially ChatGPT. While some companies are already using ChatGPT, many are still skeptical of the potential risks.

How are companies using ChatGPT and other similar AI tools?
Companies are using ChatGPT for things like:

Companies using ChatGPT are enjoying the benefits, but there are a lot of risks.

Risks for companies using AI tools like ChatGPT
AI tools like ChatGPT can create significant risks for companies, such as:

Data security: anything typed into ChatGPT is collected, saved, and could be used in future responses to other users. 

Employee training: AI tools can automatically answer questions during post-training tests.

Assessing job skills: ChatGPT can provide step-by-step instructions to complete various tasks. This includes tasks within software like Salesforce, Quickbooks, Excel, Google Analytics – and many more.

Certification exam integrity: participants can use AI tools to answer exam questions, write responses, and even complete complex math problems.

Pre-employment assessment: job candidates could use AI tools to pass pre-employment assessments, even those requiring in-depth product expertise.

How to stop AI tools during corporate assessments

Whether it’s assessments after security training, certification exams, or pre-employment assessments, you need to keep AI tools under control. This section shows you instructional design tips and technologies that can prevent the use of AI during corporate exams.

Will browser lockdown software, plagiarism checkers, or AI detection tools work? Not really.

They can help, but they’re easy to work around. If you’re only using browser lockdown software, what if the test taker uses ChatGPT on their cell phone?

Both AI detection tools and plagiarism checkers have proven to be pretty ineffective against tools like ChatGPT for a few reasons:

Tips to help stop AI during corporate testing
Ask for written responses based on the employee’s role, the organization itself, or specific case studies

Asking for responses to questions about their role-specific resources, like case studies, makes AI like ChatGPT less effective because, while it was trained on internet resources, it doesn’t have access to specific resources (currently) and it doesn’t plagiarize. 

Ask for responses that encourage participants to apply their knowledge in different ways and integrate their opinions and reasoning. Examples below.

General question
Example role-specific question
1. What are three similarities and three differences between Agile methodology and Waterfall model?
1. What are three ways your daily planning, documenting, and carrying out tasks would change with a shift from Waterfall to Agile?
General question
Example role-specific question
1. What are three advantages and three disadvantages of using Agile methodology?
1. Why did ABC Corporation decide to stop using Agile and transition to Waterfall?
2. What are three different situations when it’s better to use Waterfall instead of Agile?
2. Given ABC Corporation’s situation, would you continue using Agile or switch to Waterfall? Provide three reasons.
Use video responses to dig deeper into a subject

Aside from practicing presentation skills and increasing engagement, answering test questions on video is a great way to further assess test takers’ knowledge. The goal is for them to elaborate on a topic and express their knowledge, ideas, and opinions in different ways.

Example of a written question and follow-up question for a video response:

How to use online proctoring software to stop AI tools during online corporate testing
Detect cell phones and other devices

Honorlock’s online proctoring platform can detect when participants attempt to use their cell phones to look up answers and device-sharing applications, like Apple Handoff.

Lockdown the browser and control access

Most online proctoring services offer browser lockdown software, which is an entry-level tool that prevents access to unauthorized sites and applications. But some proctoring platforms offer admins the flexibility to give participants access to specific resources while blocking all others. 

Example: allowing participants to watch two specific videos on YouTube while blocking all other videos, websites, and applications.

Make sure there’s no help from Siri and Alexa

Using Honorlock’s Smart Voice Detection technology makes sure that participants aren’t asking virtual assistants, like Siri and Alexa, to navigate ChatGPT and read the responses to them. 

Here’s how it works: Our Smart Voice Detection listens for specific keywords and phrases that can activate virtual assistants, like “Alexa” and “Hey Siri,” and records and transcribes what’s said.

Check the room for other devices and monitor behavior

Proctoring software that uses video helps ensure that participants aren’t using unauthorized devices (like cell phones or other computers), and it monitors and records behavior during tests.

Disable keyboard shortcuts like copying and pasting

If an employee or participant has a basic idea of what they’ll write about during the test, they could generate a response in ChatGPT before the test starts, then copy and paste the response to use as their own. Some browser lockdown software prevents the use of keyboard shortcuts and flags the behavior.

Stay ahead of AI with Honorlock’s remote proctoring software and services

AI evolves every day. Make sure your strategies to protect against it are evolving too.

While updating test questions is a great start, you need technology in place to be certain that academic integrity is protected. That’s where Honorlock fits in.

Honorlock’s blended proctoring solution is flexible, scalable, and cost effective. 

Here’s how Honorlock works: Powerful AI monitors exams and alerts a live proctor if it detects potential academic dishonesty. The proctor can review the situation and decide whether to intervene or not. This creates a non-invasive test environment that won’t distract test takers.

Read our G2 reviews to learn why Honorlock is the best online proctoring service.

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Hint: Plagiarism detection can ‘t really detect AI

How ChatGPT beats plagiarism checkers

Can plagiarism checkers catch ChatGPT?

Some plagiarism checkers are pretty good, but can they catch ChatGPT? Ehhh… not really. But you still have options to stop ChatGPT from being used. 

This article will show you:
– A simple analogy of how ChatGPT works with real examples

– How plagiarism checkers work & why they can’t catch ChatGPT

– Proctoring software that can prevent the use of ChatGPT during written activities

How does plagiarism detection software work?

It compares written text submissions to its database of content. Some plagiarism checkers only find exact matches, but others can identify paraphrasing.

Does ChatGPT plagiarize?

ChatGPT does not plagiarize.

How does ChatGPT work if it doesn’t copy internet content?

ChatGPT was trained WITH internet resources, but it doesn’t copy content FROM the internet.

Here’s a quick analogy of how it works:

– You learn from articles, textbooks, research, instructors, lectures, etc.

– But you don’t regurgitate that information word-for word.

– You understand what you learned, make connections, and apply it in different ways.

That’s basically how ChatGPT works. It learns, makes connections, and writes tailored responses based on the prompts it’s given. ChatGPT writes like a person because it receives human feedback that refines its responses.

Are there plagiarism checkers made specifically for ChatGPT?

Yes, some plagiarism checkers only check for ChatGPT plagiarism. Sounds good, but they basically just group responses to really general prompts.

These won’t catch ChatGPT because detailed prompts produce tailored responses that won’t be detected by plagiarism detection software. To show you what we mean, here are some of ChatGPT’s responses that change based on the details in the prompts. While the “General Prompt” may eventually be grouped, the others won’t be.

Prompts can be more detailed, and you can even have them written from a specific person’s perspective, like the example below.

Where does ChatGPT get its information?

ChatGPT gets its information from the 300 billion words it was trained on from internet resources, like articles, research, websites, etc.*

Can online proctoring stop ChatGPT?
Prevents copying and pasting

Example: If participants have an idea of the topic they’ll need to write about during the written assignment/exam, they could copy and paste a written response from ChatGPT.

Honorlock’s proctoring software prevents participants from copying and pasting, and it flags the action.

Blocks websites, browsers, and applications

Example: Participants try to open a different browser tab to use ChatGPT.

Honorlock’s BrowserGuard prevents participants from opening other browsers and applications. It also allows you to give access to specific sites while still blocking others. For example, participants can access a research study, but can’t still access ChatGPT.

Listens for specific keywords/phrases to use voice assistants like Siri and Alexa

Example: Participants can use voice commands and dictation on their phones to have Alexa or Siri open ChatGPT, ask specific prompts, and read the responses aloud.

Honorlock’s smart Voice Detection listens for specific things like “Hey Siri,” “Alexa,” and “OK Google.” It also records and transcribes what’s said and alerts a live proctor.

Checks the room for other resources like cell phones

Example: A participant uses ChatGPT on a cell phone that’s out of view of the webcam.

With Honorlock, instructors have the option to require participants to complete a roomscan that checks for unauthorized resources that could be used to access ChatGPT and even other people.

Records participants’ screens while they’re writing

Honorlock records the participants’ desktops during the written activity and/or exam and requires them to disconnect secondary monitors. Instructors can watch time-stamped exam recordings and review in-depth reports.

Other ways Honorlock’s online proctoring software prevents cheating on exams
Detects cell phone use

Honorlock can detect if a participant attempts to access test bank content using a cell phone or other devices during the written activity.

Verifies identity in about a minute

Our ID verification process is quick and simple. It captures a picture of the test-taker along with their photo ID in about 60 seconds.

Finds leaked test questions

Have you ever found your test content leaked on sites like Quizlet, Chegg, or Reddit? Honorlock can help.

Our Search and Destroy™ technology scours the internet for your leaked test content and gives you the ability to send takedown requests with one click.

Get in touch with our experts to see how Honorlock can help your institution stay ahead of the technology curve by preventing the use of AI chatbots like ChatGPT.