Moving to Online Courses During the Coronavirus Pandemic

As more schools shut down and start moving learning online due to the COVID-19, it’s important to know that there are solutions out there for ongoing education and helping students continue acquiring the skills they need.

Click the button below to see how you can implement online proctoring in 2 days to help protect exams and support students during COVID

Here are some common questions that people have as they convert their homes into an adequate learning space:

What if students don’t have their own computers or webcams?

If your institution has not implemented a 1:1 student-to-device program, it can be hard to find a resource for students now.  Unfortunately, laptops are one of those items people are rushing to buy worldwide due to the increase in work from home workers as well as learners.  Check with local nonprofits and businesses that may be ramping up programs that provide laptops during this time.  Here is a link to an article that lists several organizations and creative ideas to find a low price or free resources.

What if students don’t have adequate internet access?

Maintaining digital equity for all students is a major hurdle for most college campuses moving learning online right now because if they don’t have access to the internet during the current global pandemic, it will be impossible for them to learn. With shelter in place requirements in place or coming, even the public library may not be an option for learning for quite some time.

Here are some suggestions for how students can gain access to the internet:

  • Spectrum is offering free broadband and Wi-Fi internet access for 60 days to students impacted by the coronavirus shutdown. Charter Communications, Spectrum’s parent company, announced Friday that beginning March 16, it will make its services available for free for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who don’t already have internet through the company. Installation fees will also be waived for new student households. It also said it would open its Wi-Fi hotspots for public use.
  • Comcast is also making it easier for low-income families who live in a Comcast service area to sign up by offering new customers 60 days of free Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month. The company is also increasing internet speeds for the Internet Essentials service from 15/2 Mbps to 25/3 Mbps for all new and existing customers, which will be the speed of the service going forward.
  • More vendors may be offering access as the pandemic response matures.

What if I or my students lose the internet? Will their exam answers be lost?

Honorlock offers 24/7 technical support 365 days a week to help students with issues as they take their exam, easily accessible through an Honorlock support menu available on their screen. Honorlock also monitors additional activity like someone trying to leave the test session, copy/paste questions, or open a new browser. We also have encrypted protocols in place to save work, view the test taker’s answers, and allow the proctor access to review exam session videos.

What is Honorlock’s availability like during the coronavirus crisis if we launch and have issues?

As educational institutions transition to moving learning online during the current global pandemic, we anticipate an uptick in demand for our services. Our HonorSquad continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation, focus on best practices and plan ahead. We’ve contacted AWS (Amazon Web Services) to obtain extra capacity, talked to third party video conferencing vendors to ensure that they understand our demand, and increased our staff. More simply put, we’re preparing as if it was finals week. For more information, check out our Our Pledge To You During Coronavirus and feel free to email us (, or launch a live chat at

What does Honorlock do exactly?

If you are in the process of quickly moving your instructors, students, and staff to an online platform to minimize any downtime with their continued education, keep in mind that Honorlock is a safe and efficient way to facilitate your exams.

Honorlock provides on-demand proctoring services that do not require advanced scheduling or bulky software downloads. Because maintaining academic integrity is of the utmost importance to us, we’ve also patented a one-of-a-kind mobile device detection system.

Honorlock’s innovative and exclusive online proctoring features include:

  • Search and Destroy: To help deter cheating, we employ our proprietary test bank removal service that actively searches the Internet and destroys any unauthorized copies of your test questions. In an online world, it’s far too easy to share and find test answers. We put a stop to this by immediately filing DMCA copyright takedown notices if we find any copycat test information.
  • Multi-Device Detection: Honorlock is proud to have the only technology that can detect multiple devices that may be used during test-taking to try to find answers. Our system even takes screenshots to help prove that attempted cheating may be happening during an exam.
  • Voice Detection: Faculty has told us that online testing services that send voice detection alerts tend to be over flagged, putting unnecessary stress on students. Honorlock reduces the number of inappropriate flags with its proprietary system. The voice detection service even goes beyond that by listening for keywords that students may be using to try to cheat, like flagging words such as “OK Google” and “Hey Siri”.
  • Live Pop-In: Honorlock offers the only Live Pop-In system that combines automation and live proctoring by prompting test proctors to pop into the exam if there’s any suspicious activity going on.

How to get started transferring courses online ASAP with Honorlock

The urgency to get students transitioned into an online learning environment has never been greater. If you are a school or administrator that needs a safe, secure robust proctoring system right away, Honorlock can help. To get started, simply go to this page and follow these steps:

Step 1: Sign a condensed 2-page agreement that makes it easy to get up and running while eliminating liability threats.

Step 2: Fill out a simple order form (Honorlock charges $5 per exam) that will only be billed after the impact of the coronavirus has lessened.

Step 3: Go live with same-day integration and training.

Resources for Further Reading

Maximizing Efficiency in Education: AI & Automation

If you’ve ever caught yourself feeling overwhelmed by the thought of adapting to new technology in education, you’re not alone — the field is evolving so quickly that it can be challenging to keep up. And, while it’s true that not every shiny new solution is necessary or helpful, it’s essential to evaluate each one and implement those that will improve the experiences of your students and faculty. 

When considering a new piece of technology, you have several priorities to balance. One is efficiency — does this new tool make things run more smoothly, or does it create friction and frustration for everyone involved? At the same time, it’s vital to maintain a sense of humanity and connection — students want to know that they are more than a number and that their learning experience is specific to them. While these goals may seem to conflict with one another, in reality, they often go hand-in-hand.

A Shared Solution

By integrating automation and artificial intelligence into the classroom, you can begin to respond to concerns about both efficiency and personalized learning. This works in several ways. By increasing efficiency in education for teachers, you save them time, allowing them more bandwidth to connect with each student. They can identify struggles, provide guidance and tailor the learning experience. At the same time, implementing artificial intelligence can provide a more personalized learning experience as the software adapts to each student’s needs and helps them learn. And, by creating an efficient and easily navigable context for students, you also offer them more mental capacity to focus on learning. Instead of worrying about the minute details of class scheduling or how to take an exam, they can attend office hours and study sessions to gain further clarity on difficult material. 

Automation and Artificial Intelligence

 At Honorlock, we’ve seen first-hand just how valuable AI and automation can be in the classroom. We’re continually evaluating new educational technologies to find the most useful and streamlined solutions for efficiency in education. Wondering how these tools can help contribute to efficient teaching strategies in your context? Here are four of our favorite ways to harness the power of technology in education. 

  1. Class Registration — When it comes to implementing automation, class registration can be a great place to start. Students love the convenience of registering online from anywhere and using a system that can easily cross-check issues like prerequisites eliminates potential mistakes and helps students stay on track with their degree plans. It’s easier than ever for students to track their academic progress and work with their advisors to create the perfect schedule from semester to semester. AI and automation in this process can also ensure that a student never double books their time. This can prevent headaches down the road from having to change class schedules at the last minute and helps students make sure they get into every course they need each semester so they can graduate in a timely manner.
  2. Room Scheduling & Facilities Management — Few things are more frustrating than reserving a room on campus, only to find that someone else has also reserved it and is already using it. This is a challenge for scheduling conference rooms and private study rooms, but it’s even more of a problem when it comes to classrooms — sometimes disrupting an entire class period (or more) as faculty sort out the issue. Thanks to AI and automation, however, this is becoming less and less of a problem on campuses. By using an intelligent scheduler, your school can prevent conflicts and ensure that the correct people are in the correct place at the correct time. And, by adding automation, you can make it even easier to schedule recurring events like meetings and classes. Ultimately, by making this process smoother and less frustrating, you can help your students and your faculty focus on the learning experience rather than the logistics required to make it happen.
  3. Grading — For faculty, one of the most challenging parts of the day can be facing the stack of papers left at the end of class. Whether assignments are physical or digital, the task of grading can seem impossible. TAs have long been part of solving this problem, and they continue to be vital in the grading process, but, especially in large classes, the amount of correction required can still be overwhelming. Thanks to new developments in AI and automation, however, it can be easier than ever to manage. Whether checking for plagiarism, correcting grammar or grading multiple-choice assessments, there are more tools than ever to help faculty spend less time focused on minute details and more time focused on concepts and student success. 
  4. Online Exams — One of the simplest and most important places to integrate automation and artificial intelligence is in exams. Students are looking for a straightforward on-demand process, and faculty want to know that students are maintaining integrity in answering questions. With a solution like Honorlock’s Live Proctor Pop-In, your institution gets the best in online exams. Students don’t have to schedule in advance — their exams are ready and waiting for them 24/7/365. Throughout the test, students are monitored by artificial intelligence. If the system detects a potential violation, such as talking to someone else in the room or walking away from the computer, it alerts a live proctor. They then pop into the exam session to check in with the student. If the student is attempting to cheat, the proctor can intervene appropriately. If not, they can get the student back on track with the rest of their test. Both students and faculty can have confidence that tests will be proctored effectively, helping students focus on learning and faculty focus on teaching instead of worrying about the logistics of exams.

Using Technology to Maximize Efficiency in Education

When it comes to equipping students to learn well, efficiency is a crucial element. By implementing automation and AI, you free faculty and students from worrying about minute details. Ultimately, this leads to a greater focus on education and higher rates of student success. 

To learn more about automation and AI in Honorlock’s online proctoring system, click here.

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4 Ways Technology is Changing How Students Learn

Ever-evolving technology is continually changing the ways we live in and interact with the world, and education is no different. Today’s educators are tasked with charting the course forward, implementing the innovations that are beneficial and useful while avoiding those that aren’t.

With so many new online teaching solutions on the horizon, however, it can be difficult to determine the right next steps. After all, as an administrator, you are not merely choosing whether or not to use new technology at your school. Y

ou’re trying to parse out the options that will help your students learn best, allow you to offer education to the most people, and help your faculty streamline their processes so students can succeed—all while ensuring that everyone involved is aware of how new software works and assured that their data is secure while using it.

Everyone involved wants to know that these new teaching technology alternatives are just as effective as the systems they’re replacing, and no one wants to feel as though the human touch in education is disappearing altogether. Instead, they want access to technology that can extend their reach. But what does that technology look like?

Technology in the Classroom

Even when students are attending classes in person, educational technology is changing the way they learn. Especially in larger lecture courses, digital innovations help everyone’s voice be heard when an instructor asks a question, and it also gives instructors room for creativity in things as simple as taking attendance by having each student present answer a question from their own device.

It also allows instructors to more easily bring guest instructors into the classroom via videoconference, record lectures for students who may need to review later and create more engaging presentations of their content. Instructors have nearly endless opportunities to innovate thanks to new technology in the classroom.

Remote Education Innovations

Where educational tech shines, however, is in online education. Schools today know that, if they want to grow their programs, online education is key to their success. More students than ever before are looking for education that will fit into their lives—not the other way around. And online education lets them do exactly that.

From lectures to homework to classroom participation to exams, students can experience every piece of their education remotely. All they need to enroll in your program is a computer with internet access—a fairly low barrier to entry for most students.

The Challenges of Online Assessments

While this online learning technology can improve the student experience by making education accessible to more people than ever before, there can still be some stumbling blocks. For many schools, exams are the first one they run into. Can you ensure that remote assessments are as secure and accurate as in-person exams? After all, in the classroom, remote proctoring is the same as it’s always been.

Even with new devices and learning technology at students’ fingertips, the remote proctor’s job is virtually the same—ensure that students aren’t accessing external resources (whether on paper or on a screen). When the entire exam takes place online, remote proctoring becomes significantly more difficult. There are solutions, however.

Because staff and faculty can’t proctor exams for distance learners in person, they need tools to ensure that exams are being effectively administered. That typically means enlisting the assistance of an online proctoring service who can provide the innovative online teaching solutions your faculty needs to ensure academic integrity.

Solutions to the Online Proctoring Problem

In a world where most students have access to multiple devices—from smartphones and watches to external monitors and tablets—what does it look like to prevent academic dishonesty in distance learning? How can you choose an online proctoring solution that will effectively address your faculty’s concerns about testing integrity without compromising the student experience? How can you set students up for success by ensuring that they’re taking the proctored exam process seriously?

Here are a few ways an effective online proctoring solution can help:

  • Browser Locking — As a baseline, any online proctoring system should give instructors the ability to secure the student’s browser to prevent them from accessing other tabs, windows, or external applications. By keeping students on the exam page, you can help them focus on their assessment and prevent them from attempting to access test answers.
  • Printer Prevention — In order to help faculty protect their exam content, you’ll want to provide them with a system that prevents students from seeing the entire exam at once and blocks their ability to capture the data—whether by printing, copying and pasting, or taking a screenshot. This is especially important because, in an online proctoring context, students are taking exams at different times and so may be more motivated to try to share information with one another.
  • Customizable Guidelines — Like in-person exams, instructors need the flexibility to set specific test rules and guidelines —whether it’s open-book or on a specific time limit. And, when they are able to set specific expectations, proctors are more easily able to ensure the security of the exam, only flagging students for behavior that is actually problematic.
  • ID Verification — Online testing also creates the possibility for a student to enlist help by asking someone else to take their exam. Thanks to continued technical advancements, however, it’s easier than ever for online proctoring software to verify student identity prior to beginning the exam, ensuring that each student earns the grade they receive.
  • Detecting Secondary Devices — This may be the stickiest question when it comes to exams—how can proctors ensure that students aren’t using their smartphones to access test information? Technology that helps proctors detect the use of additional devices and allows them to intervene to stop the behavior can go a long way toward helping you prevent dishonesty.

Online Proctoring to Improve Learning

Whether you’re ready to find out how online proctoring can help your program offer education to more students than ever before or are looking for a new, more technically advanced proctoring software, Honorlock can help. You want to offer your students the best possible education, and that includes secure tests with the right features to help you protect your program’s academic integrity.

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Live Online Proctoring: Pros & Cons

In the world of academic testing services, there is an ever-increasing array of options, enabling each institution to choose the best approach for their students and staff. While some may opt to continue offering exams in person, the growth of online education programs necessitates the flexibility provided by virtual proctoring.

However, even after making the decision to use online proctoring software, you will likely find yourself facing many more questions and decisions. Test proctoring services offer unattended automated exams, real-time live proctored exams and everything in between. Determining which format is best for your institution can be overwhelming but researching each online proctoring approach is a great way to get started.

To begin, we’ll consider live online proctoring — the positives, the negatives and why it might (or might not) be the best choice for your school.

Live Online Proctoring: The Cons

Unfortunately, live online proctoring has some significant drawbacks — because a proctor has to be present at every session, everything from scheduling to the exam experience itself can be more complicated. In addition, it is often a more costly solution for institutions.

  • Divided Attention — In many live proctoring scenarios, a single proctor monitors several students at a time — in some cases, up to ten at once. Unfortunately, this divides their attention and can impact the accuracy of their proctoring. While they are observing each student’s behavior throughout the entire exam, they may also miss attempts at academic dishonesty because they were focused on another student. This potential for distraction can undermine instructors’ confidence in the reports they receive for each exam, and it may also make students feel as though they can get away with dishonest behavior, emboldening them to make further cheating attempts in future exams.
  • Inconvenient Scheduling — Live proctoring requires exactly that — someone who can proctor a student’s exam live. As a result, most remote proctoring services limit when students can take exams and require them to schedule in advance. This is frustrating for students and can even lead to additional fees if something in their schedule changes, causing them to miss their time slot. Amidst their busy schedules, students are looking for convenient exam options, allowing them to take their exam whenever they are ready — whether it’s over lunch or after a late-night study session. Unfortunately, when they are tied to a live proctor’s schedule, this isn’t feasible.
  • Student Self-Consciousness — There’s one final drawback to live proctoring, and that is the student experience. Often, when students have a sense that they are being watched, they don’t perform as well on assessments. For honest students, in particular, this can be frustrating and may lead to scores that don’t accurately reflect the student’s body of knowledge. While it’s an effective way to rein in cheating, it also feeds self-consciousness and can feel like a punishment – an assumption of guilt. Many students find exams proctored in real-time to be more invasive and frustrating as they try to focus on the test content rather than the reality that someone is watching them throughout the process.

Live Online Proctoring: The Pros

Of course, there are several benefits to live online proctoring. It can increase faculty confidence in the online testing process and help administrators trust that the testing process will run smoothly.

  • Real-Time Intervention — When a student sits down at a computer to take an exam with a live remote proctor, they are monitored by someone who can intervene if something is amiss. Whether that’s because a student is attempting dishonest behavior (by, for instance, talking to someone else in the room) or because it appears that way (by reading questions aloud to themselves), a live proctor can immediately connect with the student and assess the situation. In the event of dishonesty, they can remind students of the rules and help them complete the rest of their exam with integrity. If, on the other hand, it was a miscommunication, they can easily verify so and help the student resume testing. Either way, in-the-moment intervention helps students have a better exam experience.
  • Human Touch — In a live online proctoring scenario, both students and faculty benefit from the assurance that a human is at the helm of all proctoring decisions. While the role of AI in educational technology is continually evolving to create new opportunities, it also raises concerns and questions for students and instructors alike. Live proctoring, on the other hand, puts everyone at ease because they are confident that their proctor is making accurate judgments throughout the testing process. Both parties have the assurance that, because the exam is proctored live, the report of the student’s behavior sent to their instructor is an accurate reflection of their testing experience.

Live Online Proctoring without the Cons

While many schools like the security provided by live proctors, the decision is not that simple—student experience continues to be key to program success, and live proctoring makes students uncomfortable. They have a harder time concentrating on their exam because they’re aware of a proctor watching them (and may even see that proctor via webcam in the corner of their screen).

The good news is that you can get all the benefits of live proctoring in a way that also helps students to succeed. In many cases, the right online proctoring approach is not live proctoring or automated, unattended proctoring but a hybrid of both.

With a solution like Honorlock’s Live Proctor Pop-In, schools get all the benefits of live proctoring, but students also get the freedom and convenience of an automated exam. Powerful AI proctoring monitors student behavior and alerts a live human proctor when intervention is needed, allowing for a real-time response when an issue arises. And it’s all on-demand, so students can take their exams whenever and wherever they are ready — 24/7/365.

For a further discussion of the benefits of advancing and refining online learning by removing the opportunity and temptation to cheat, have a look at our white paper on the topic.

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AI from a Proctor’s Perspective

Earlier this month, we sat down with two Honorlock remote proctors to hear about online exams from their point of view. Many thanks to Corey and Sa’ed for joining us to share their experiences. For more, you can read A Day in the Life of an Online Proctor. During our discussion, we asked them for their perspectives on several specific topics, including artificial intelligence. 

AI is currently a hot topic for discussion and debate in educational technology and with good reason—it provides new possibilities for both online and on-campus program growth, and, when used well, can lead to higher rates of student success. 

In the best cases, AI is paired with human involvement to provide the highest-quality education possible. And who better to pull back the curtain than two of the humans involved in that process? 

AI in Online Proctoring

Some automated proctoring solutions rely heavily on AI. While this has benefits, including ease of scheduling, there’s also a major drawback—no live proctor is present to intervene in real-time in the case of academic dishonesty. These exams are often reviewed after the fact by proctors, but at that point, all an instructor can do is take disciplinary action. There’s no opportunity for the student to get back on track during the exam. 

On the other hand, many proctoring platforms only use live proctoring. A live proctor is more able to intervene and often helps faculty feel at ease about the rigor of the testing process, but there are some drawbacks here as well. A live proctor’s attention is divided between multiple students, so they may miss an incident, and scheduling can also be a challenge for students. 

Live Proctor Pop-In

Honorlock’s remote proctors (and our technology) provide the perfect hybrid between automated and live proctoring so students and schools get the best of both. 

Live Pop-In means that the AI doesn’t actually make decisions about student behavior. Instead, it flags a potential incident so a live proctor can pop in to assess the situation. The AI flags common problems—like a student talking to someone else in the room—and the proctor pops in to identify what’s happening and intervene as needed. 

At the same time, the human aspect helps put students at ease—they know that the system doesn’t make the final call, so they don’t have to worry as much about accidentally doing something that might create a flag (like, for instance, reading a question aloud to themselves). 

How do remote proctors and AI work together?

To provide the best insight into how our AI works, we asked Corey and Sa’ed about their experiences working with it on a day-to-day basis. 

Corey: Live Pop-In is our way of intervening in a student’s session to get them back on track. If the AI detects potential dishonesty, it alerts us so we can pause the exam and start a live chat with the student to address the violation and correct the behavior in a timely manner.  It helps prevent academic dishonesty because we are able to intervene at the moment (often before cheating actually happens). This process also helps teach students the importance of having integrity, not only for their exams and courses but also for their professional lives after graduation.

Sa’ed: We try to prevent academic dishonesty before students even answer that first question. For instance, if we see notes during their pre-exam room scan, we can ask them to put the notes away. A student might be misinformed about the rules of their exam or may not have paid attention to the instructions. They usually comply and are able to move on with the exam as planned. 

How do remote proctors benefit from artificial intelligence?

Sa’ed: The AI helps keep us informed so we can make sure we’re paying attention to all exam sessions. I don’t have to worry about a student leaving and going off camera because, if they do, the AI will alert us and we will immediately attend to the alert. This makes my role as a proctor a bit easier.

Corey: As a human proctor, I don’t have the ability to watch every single student taking an exam at once, so we use artificial intelligence to help the proctoring team monitor students. If we receive a notification that the AI has detected multiple faces in the webcam, we will prioritize our time to assess the situation and intervene as necessary. I’m honored (no pun intended!) to be part of a company that constantly innovates and improves our artificial intelligence. Our AI is a great tool, and we have a fantastic engineering team that works on it.

What is your favorite Honorlock AI feature for exam proctoring?

Corey: We have a speech detection element that transcribes what students say out loud during their exams, and it alerts us if it hears specific keywords (such as “Hey Siri” or “Okay, Google”). It really helps when we have a high volume of students testing at the same time. 

Sa’ed: It’s pretty thorough at doing what it’s designed to do — from face detection to mobile phone use. If it detects a student using their phone, iPad or SmartWatch outside the view of the webcam, it alerts us. It documents exactly what the student is searching for and clicking on and their search activity is logged for the instructor to address with them.

Thanks to Corey and Sa’ed for joining us to answer a few questions about artificial intelligence and online proctoring. They’ll be back soon for one more post with exam tips to help students succeed. 

For more about artificial intelligence in higher education, read Artificial Intelligence and Online Proctoring: Friend or Foe? 

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5 Best Practices for Successful Online Exams

Online Testing Best Practices:

  1. Provide a practice test for students
  2. Use question banks to mix things up and engage students
  3. Include a variety of question types (multiple-choice, short answer, essay, etc.)
  4. Questions should require critical thinking, not regurgitating information
  5. Review and optimize online exam settings

Whether you’re teaching an online course or want to streamline your on-campus lectures, online exams are the perfect tool. If you’re new to teaching online, however, you might be overwhelmed by the process and wondering how to make sure your exams are optimized for online use. And, even if you’re a more seasoned online instructor, you’re likely seeking a few new ideas to improve your online assessments.

What’s Different with Online Exams?

For a successful online assessment, you don’t need exam questions that are different than what you’d need for in-person proctoring — you may just need a few more of them. The main difference is how you’ll present the questions. Whether you’re writing your first or your thirtieth online exam, these tips will help you get started.

1. Provide a Practice Test

No matter how long you’ve been teaching online, it’s important to remember that online testing may be new to your students. And, even if they’ve taken exams online before, they may be new to the platform your school is using or might need a refresher after the summer break. Practice tests are a great way to make sure they know the process, get everyone on the same page and set expectations for assessments in your course. 

When creating your practice test, be sure to use settings and questions that are similar to what you’ll use for actual tests and quizzes. If students will be timed, time the practice quiz. If you’ll be including both multiple-choice and essay questions, use both on the practice test — but be sure to keep it light and fun. You can even use this as an opportunity to learn more about your students by asking about their hobbies or favorite things. Regardless of the content, by the time they’re done with the practice test, your students will be familiar with the technology and ready to jump in when the first quiz comes around.

2. Use Question Banks

The main difference with online exams is that instructors have less control over the testing environment. Because of this, it’s important to employ strategies that will help motivate students to study and succeed in exams — in part by making dishonesty more difficult. 

One of the best features online exams have to offer is the question bank — a solution that helps you keep your students on their toes, make sure they’re engaged with the content and mix things up from student to student. To use the question bank to its full potential, you’ll need to create more questions than actually needed (for instance, if your exam has 20 multiple-choice questions, create 30). When your students take the test, the system will randomize which questions are pulled for which students, making sure that no two exams are the same.  

3. Provide Variation

In addition to question banks, online exams offer many other opportunities to keep your students engaged and learning. One way to do this is with various question formats. By combining multiple-choice, short-answer and essay questions, you provide your students with multiple avenues to show you what they’re learning and even where they might be struggling. 

Another way to make sure they’re on their toes is to use randomization features. In addition to shuffling questions, you can also randomize answers so that, even when two students get the same question, the multiple-choice answer options come in a different order. 

4. Lean into Critical Thinking

Your goal at every stage of the teaching process is to engage your students. When you’re crafting exam questions, you don’t just want to know that they’re able to regurgitate information — you also want to see how they’re able to apply what they’ve learned. 

How do you know whether your questions require students to think critically? A good litmus test is to ask how easily the answer could be found with an online search. If it’s just a click away, try making it a bit more engaging. By asking questions that apply your course information to their lived experiences, you help your students engage with the material and increase their chances of succeeding in your course. 

5. Review & Optimize Your Settings for Online Exams

While you may not have control over a student’s direct environment while they’re testing, online proctoring does offer many settings to make sure you (and your students) are set up for success. For instance, you can choose to only show one question at a time. This has a dual benefit of both making it more difficult for a student to screenshot or copy exam content and also making sure that their progress is saved after every question. You can also use features like randomization and disabling copy/paste to help protect your exam content. 

All online proctoring systems provide a number of settings so you can optimize exactly what your courses and exams need for successful remote learning instruction. Ultimately, you can choose what works best for you and your students by getting to know the features and what they do. And, once you’ve chosen your favorites, remember to review them every time so you know you’ll get the results you want from your assessment. 

Writing Online Exams Doesn’t Have to be Complicated

If you’re looking for more ideas to make your online exams the best they can be, talk with the faculty in your department. Find out what’s worked well for them and what they’ve learned the hard way. Most of them will be more than willing to share their hard-earned knowledge with you as you begin (or refine) your online exam creation. 

With just a few adjustments, you’ll be ready to write online tests that will engage your students, help them learn and help you accurately assess their knowledge.

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The Instructor’s Guide to Online Proctored Exams

Every change in technology creates a learning curve for instructors. You want to focus your time on preparing syllabi, teaching, and research, but instead, you have to spend hours learning a new system. And it sometimes seems like things change so fast that it’s hard to keep up.

Whether you’re trying to get ahead of the game or are dragging your feet and only switching to online exams because your administration now requires it, you have questions and concerns about the process. You want to know that your students are still getting the best testing experience, that your exam results are reliable, and that you won’t have to lose precious time due to a frustrating system.

The good news? When your school chooses Honorlock for online exam proctoring, your job gets easier. Our system is intuitive, easy to learn, and supported around the clock by a highly skilled team.

Here’s everything you need to know about Honorlock as an instructor:

Setting up online proctored exams is easy

You don’t even need a separate account to do it. You can easily set up and enable exams with your school’s LMS. No more extra passwords or duplicating information. You simply need to write your exam, log in, and walk through our quick and easy setup process. Then? Kick back (or start working on the next thing on your never-ending to-do list) and wait for your students to begin testing.

So is accessing reports

Honorlock records all exam sessions, and, as the instructor, you get access to this recording right from your LMS—in real-time. We’ll also send you a report after the exam with timestamped notes about any incidents of potential academic dishonesty. Need to verify a student’s behavior during an exam or provide proof when determining appropriate discipline? Everything you need is easy to access right in your LMS.

You can seamlessly integrate with third-party exam sites

Do you need to connect to a third-party exam site like McGraw-Hill Connect or MyMathLab? Honorlock has your back. And, once again, you can do it all from right within your LMS. No more flipping back and forth between tabs and accounts. You now have a one-stop-shop for everything you need to set up and manage your exams.   

You get 24/7/365 support

Have you ever tried setting up exams on a Saturday morning or weekday evening, only to find your progress suddenly halted by technical difficulties? You check the clock and realize that the business day is over, and support can’t help you now—you’ll have to wait it out and hope that the issue somehow fixes itself. You don’t have to worry about that anymore. Honorlock provides 24/7/365 US-based support. Our trained technicians are on call to help with any problem that may arise. They’re also available to help your students 24/7, so you’ll never again have to field a middle-of-the-night phone call from a panicked student who can’t access their exam. 

You can whitelist websites students can access during exams

You want to prevent your students from accessing exam answers while they’re testing, but you also want to be able to let them access specific sets of information. We get it, and we’ve built a system that can help. Our browser guard keeps students locked into only the exam and whatever webpages and applications you whitelist. Want to provide access to a calculator or a site with a set of equations on it? No problem. Just enter the approved sites during exam setup, and you and your students will be good to go.

You can customize your exam parameters

Honorlock provides several ways to protect your classroom’s academic integrity, and each one is customizable. Do you want to prevent students from printing exam content? Just select that option during setup. Want to detect secondary devices or have the student scan the room ahead of time for any illicit notes and aids? That’s easy too. No matter what you need to do to prevent cheating, we have you covered.

Your test content is secure

We get it. Nothing’s as frustrating as finding out that your exam content has been leaked to a test bank website. Now you have to create new test questions so students can’t cheat as easily, and that cycle repeats semester after semester. Not anymore. With Honorlock’s search and destroy feature, we search the web for illicit copies of your exam questions and then file takedown notices. No more worrying that students have prepared for the exam by looking at the answers rather than studying the course materials.

Your students can’t use phones or tablets to cheat on exams

Today’s students have myriad ways to access the internet. If you or your TA aren’t in the room to proctor an exam live, how can you make sure they aren’t using them just out of site to find test answers? Honorlock’s proprietary Secondary Device Detection technology does just that. By detecting the presence of secondary devices, you can protect academic honesty in your classrooms—even if you aren’t there to oversee the process.

We verify student identity for added security

Another common concern among instructors is whether an online proctoring system can effectively verify student identity. After all, an exam is only an accurate reflection of a student’s knowledge if the student answered themselves. Fortunately, with Honorlock, you don’t have to worry about this anymore. Before each exam, we use AI technology to take an image of the student’s photo ID as well as their face, and then we compare that to the information in the LMS to ensure that students only get credit for their own work.

Your students will love it

Honorlock was built by students for students. Our exams are on-demand, so students don’t have to worry about any headaches with scheduling. We offer easy-to-access 24/7/365 support for any technical issues. We don’t require bulky, security-compromising software downloads. All they need to do is install the browser extension and begin the exam. It really is that easy.

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6 Ways to Improve Exams Using Technology

Technology improves online exams by:

  1. Saving faculty time
  2. Effectively monitoring individual students
  3. Detecting cell phones and other devices
  4. Providing reports that are easy to review
  5. Increasing student engagement
  6. Scaling online proctoring for growing programs

If you’ve heard that online proctoring is the next big thing in education, you may be skeptical. And with good reason—without the right tools in place, online exams can be full of pitfalls. With innovative software and online test tools, however, electronic assessments can actually increase student engagement and lead to exam improvements.

1. Online Exams Save Faulty and Classroom Time

With effective online exam administration, faculty don’t have to worry about losing classroom time to proctor their own assessments. That time stays focused on learning course content, and, when exams are easy to prep, faculty also have more time to focus on their research.

2. Individual Monitoring is More Effective

It’s nearly impossible for a single in-person proctor to notice every instance of academic dishonesty—there are simply too many students in the room to be able to watch all of them at the same time, and there are too many ways a student might try to cheat. Online proctoring provides a more individualized approach so each student’s exam is monitored carefully. It also includes safety measures to make sure students aren’t using notes or electronic resources to access test content.

3. Secondary Device Detection Prevents Cheating

In a classroom setting, a remote proctor’s only defense against mobile phones is to watch for them and try to prevent students from using them to cheat. The right online technology, on the other hand, can detect the use of any secondary device to access test answers—even if the device is out of sight.

4. Incident Reports Make Academic Dishonesty Easy to Handle

In a record-and-review model, instructors get a straightforward report with notes of any instances as well as a timestamped video. They can easily review potential issues and have video proof of any students they need to discipline for cheating. In addition, services that offer live proctors allow for in-the-moment intervention without disrupting other students or creating unnecessary embarrassment.

5. Flexibility Increases Student Engagement

On-demand proctoring makes it easier for students to keep up with assessments even if they need to miss a class. They can test from anywhere, anytime. And, because they can take exams wherever they are most comfortable and focused, they are more likely to stay engaged with the test content and process.

6. Online Proctoring Easily Scales with Growing Programs

Many school staff and faculty are stretched thin and limited in how much more they can undertake. By saving them time and effort with online exam proctoring, you equip them to serve more students and help your program grow.

With ever-changing technology, can your online programs can keep up? 

If you’re ready to see how online test tools like online proctoring can help make your testing more effective and lead to exam improvement, schedule a demo today. Honorlock’s platform is easy, convenient, and secure. We can help you grow both online and on-campus programs while maintaining your good standing as an academic institution.

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Top Five Mistakes in Online Assessments

Mistakes to avoid in online exams:

  1. Not verifying student identity
  2. Not detecting mobile phones
  3. Not checking for notes, friends, and other help
  4. Not monitoring in real time
  5. Watching the entire exam live

Online assessments provide a flexible and efficient alternative to the traditional classroom assessment, but they can pose serious challenges. Ever since they became an option, educators have weighed the pros and cons. The flexibility is great for students, and it helps free up classroom time for teaching, but online proctored exams can be full of pitfalls if you’re not prepared.

How do you continue to grow your online course offering while preserving your institution’s academic integrity and prevent cheating?

Start by correcting these five common mistakes:

1. Not Detecting Cell Phone Use

Most of today’s students have a plethora of ways to access the internet. Cell phones, tablets, and multiple computers create a huge obstacle for online assessments. How do you make sure that students aren’t accessing test bank sites for answers during their exam? Unless your proctoring solution is equipped with technology to detect external devices and alert the proctor, you can’t know for sure that exams are an accurate reflection of a student’s knowledge. Your students need to know that their external device use will be monitored and that, if they attempt to access unauthorized content, it will be detected and penalized according to their school’s Honor Code of Conduct.

2. Not Verifying Student Identity

When a student logs in for an exam, the first step is to ensure their identity. Are you making sure that the student is taking their own exam? How can you do this in a remote proctoring context? The best way is to use the webcam to capture an image of both the student and their photo ID. Once you know that the two are a match, the student can move forward with the exam, and you can know that the answers on the assessment are from the correct student.

3. Not Using Video Proctoring to Check for Notes, Friends, and Other Sources of Help

While online exams give students flexibility, the freedom to take an assessment anytime, anywhere opens the possibility that students will access illicit resources for answers during the exam. A student may ask a knowledgeable friend to join them in the room and help with answers, or they may have a textbook or notes on the desk with them. Is your online proctoring system equipped to detect and prevent this kind of academic dishonesty? A good place to start is to use a system that has the student scan the room with their webcam before beginning. This ensures that the student is alone in the room and doesn’t have resources on their desk. In addition, technology that detects when a student stands up, leaves the room, or diverts their eyes from the screen helps make sure the student stays on track. Exam proctoring solutions also need to block access to other browser windows, new tabs, and applications that students might use to access answers.

4. Not Monitoring in Real Time

For some online proctoring services, offering on-demand services means sacrificing real-time monitoring. Are you relying on a record and review model? While it can help identify incidences of academic dishonesty, the only solution these systems provide is to penalize the student after the fact. By providing real-time monitoring, you can prevent cheating before it ever happens. Proctors can intervene, interrupt any issues, and help students get back on track in the moment to help improve academic outcomes.

5. Watching the Entire Exam Live

While real-time monitoring is vital, live proctoring can create added stress and anxiety for students—especially those who are honest. Do your students feel as though they’re being watched throughout the entire exam? If so, their performance may be suffering as a result. In addition, live proctoring requires students to carefully schedule their exam timeslots and may even charge them if their plans change at the last minute. Live proctors also usually watch several students and exams at the same time, so there’s a higher possibility that they’ll miss an indicator of cheating. Using AI proctoring to monitor the exam and alert proctors to potential issues provides more flexibility and relief while still maintaining integrity.

You need a solution that will let you provide the best in technology and flexibility while protecting your program’s reputation and integrity. You want to know that your assessments are an accurate reflection of what your students actually know without adding stress or frustration to the process. These five mistakes are a great place to start. Honorlock can help you correct these pitfalls and more as you expand your online education options. Schedule a demo today to learn how.

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