Honorlock Online Proctoring Customer Testimonial

Jill Simpson, PhD
Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Information Systems
Instructional Technologist for the College of Business
University of North Alabama

Students call for a better online proctoring service

The College of Business at the University of North Alabama (UNA) makes a regular practice of conducting focus groups with students to learn how well the College is serving their needs as well as help set a vision for the future. Over the past few years, a recurring theme from students was complaining about cheating on campus. “They said many students were bragging about how to get around the online exam proctoring solution we were using at the time,” said Jill Simpson, PhD, an Instructional Technologist for the UNA College of Business. “They felt they were being penalized because they were NOT cheating.” 

In today’s intense academic environment, students are under extreme pressure to achieve perfect grades to win a competitive scholarship or acceptance to a graduate program. The drive for an “A” may compromise their decision making and lead them to rationalize searching test banks for answers or other forms of cheating. This puts other students at a disadvantage. While the college was using an online proctoring solution for online exams, it wasn’t very effective and therefore some faculty were reluctant to use it. “The proctoring solution we had was used as a deterrent only,” said Simpson. The importance of ensuring academic integrity and fairness for all students at UNA’s College of Business led them to search for a better online proctoring service. The dean asked Simpson to head up the effort. She started by asking faculty and students for feedback to devise a list of priorities. 

Priorities for a new online proctoring solution

  1. Verify Identity: the online proctoring solution needed to automatically verify the student’s identity 
  2. Effective: the online proctoring solution needed to protect academic integrity in a variety of ways
  3. Easy to use: faculty and students needed a user friendly and intuitive online proctoring solution

“I was instantly in love with Honorlock. With Honorlock, more faculty began to proctor their online exams. They saw that it worked and now they all use it and have faith in it.” – Jill Simpson, PhD, University of North Alabama

The UNA College of Business piloted four online proctoring services over a period of two years. Here were their findings: 

Online Proctoring Service 1: Delayed faculty reporting

The first online proctoring service they piloted allowed them to verify identity and it was effective, but it was not easy to use. Students didn’t find it intuitive and faculty didn’t like waiting two weeks after a proctored exam to get a faculty report. “If the proctored exam was a final, they wouldn’t get the report until after grades were due and then it’s too late to address any suspicious activity,” Simpson said. The faculty needed real-time reporting. 

Online Proctoring Service 2: Automated proctoring alone was not effective

The second online proctoring service involved automated proctoring that provided immediate results and captured student identity, but it did not verify it and students quickly learned how to beat it. It was user-friendly from the student perspective but was very clunky and tedious from the faculty perspective. 

Online Proctoring Service 3:  Live remote proctoring led to student anxiety and scheduling frustration 

The third proctoring service verified identity and was effective, but failed on user friendliness. Students didn’t like having to schedule their proctored online exams in advance and if something came up and they had to change their exam time, they had to wait another 24 hours to take the exam (or pay an on-demand fee). “It was a hassle for the students because the exam might close within those 24 hours,” said Jill. “It used a live proctor to verify identity, which is why students had to wait 24 hours. Student complaints were through the roof.”

Online Proctoring Service 4: Honorlock online proctoring met all three priorities

Honorlock online proctoring verified identity, was very effective and it was easy to use. “The faculty loved it because it did what we wanted it to do and it was super easy to use. Even students said they liked Honorlock best,” said Simpson. “There was one professor who didn’t see the point of proctoring because he said students will find a way to cheat, but after looking at the Honorlock video and report, he said, ‘This is pretty impressive!’ I couldn’t have asked for a better endorsement!” 

100% Adoption Of Honorlock Online Proctoring

With the first three online proctoring services, some faculty chose not to proctor their online exams because they didn’t like the proctoring solutions that were available. Now, with Honorlock online proctoring, every online exam in the College of Business is remotely proctored. “I was instantly in love with Honorlock!” said Simpson. “With Honorlock, more faculty began to proctor their online exams. They saw that it worked and now they all use it and have faith in it.”

Online Proctoring Results with Honorlock

  1. Normalized the bell curve by preventing cheating 
  2. Achieved 100% adoption—100% of all online exams in the College of Business are remotely proctored
  3. Helped with student retention by reducing test anxiety and leveling the playing field 
  4. Saved faculty time and hassle by providing real-time reporting of proctored exams

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