Using Honorlock to remote proctor STEM tests in a virtual learning environment

Kate Beverage, Online Course Testing Coordinator
Lindsey Van Gieson, Instructional Technology Systems Manager of Academic Technology

Online Proctoring in a virtual STEM environment 

The WPI testing faculty was facing the challenge of finding an online proctoring service that would be the right fit for their online paper-based assessments.

The faculty wanted to be able to see the students’ work and ensure that online students were meeting the academic integrity standards on-premise students were expected to meet. They also needed flexible test-taking options for students. 

Online proctoring service and platform requirements: 

  • Ability to remote proctor paper-based online exams 
  • Ability for instructors to review remotely proctored exam sessions 
  • Ability for students to scan and submit notes for the online exam 
  • Good tech support and communication from the online proctoring service
  • Platform agnostic (PC, Mac) 

WPI did several pilot tests with other online proctoring companies before they ultimately selected Honorlock for their online proctoring platform.

“Honorlock met all of our requirements, they were willing to work with us on proctoring paper-based exams, they had a robust training and support model, and we felt it was the easiest transition for faculty,” said Van Gieson.

The college began using Honorlock online proctoring for their summer online courses.

“We started summer 2019 with Honorlock for all undergraduate courses with a majority being math courses. We had approximately 500 unique student users taking multiple exams. We noticed an immediate improvement compared to our previous proctoring solution!” Beverage said.

When the pandemic hit, Lindsey and Kate had 10 days to get 300 faculty teaching 700 courses fully online, which was a huge undertaking. Many of WPI’s faculty new to online education were seeking an online proctoring solution for their exams. 

One faculty member sent this evaluation to colleagues who were navigating the move of face to face courses online:

“Colleagues, I used Honorlock in my E1 Calculus course last summer and many faculty members in mathematical science also used it. My general take is that for online proctoring, Honorlock is a great tool for proctoring math exams and online courses,” read Beverage in an email from her faculty member. “When the AI is triggered, a skilled human proctor intervenes. This model worked better than the competitor’s model having all exams proctored by people who were unable to properly provide student support.” 

Online proctoring implementation and support 

Prior to partnering with Honorlock for online proctoring, WPI testing’s previous remote proctoring solution did not provide the support the faculty needed to be successful in delivering online assessments. “The other proctoring solution was not very supportive. The support team was not open to receiving feedback,” said Beverage.

Upon adoption of Honorlock online proctoring, Beverage and her team were surprised and appreciative of the level of support received from their client success manager. “Honorlock’s support model is great! Our client success manager, Americo, has always been very responsive to both faculty and students. The live chat has been very helpful for us. The resources provided for faculty in terms of creating exams and proctoring options when enabling exams are excellent!” 

With the rapid transition to online learning during the pandemic, students raised concerns regarding their privacy. “We get questions from students about privacy and Americo has been great about responding to those and pointing us to Honorlock resources that will help reassure students that their privacy is maintained,” said Beverage.

“Honorlock’s support model is great! The live chat has been very helpful for us. The resources provided for faculty in terms of creating exams and proctoring options when enabling exams are excellent!” – Kate Beverage, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Best practices for delivering online proctored exams

Beverage and Van Gieson shared these best practices for others implementing remote proctoring: 

  1. Remind instructors to include specific instructions for Honorlock remote proctors when they enable their exams (especially with paper-based exams where the student may be looking down to solve an exam question) 
  2. Prepare a list for faculty of the recommended settings for Canvas and Honorlock
  3. Designate a department exam champion who is trained in Canvas and Honorlock and has access to the Honorlock CSM to troubleshoot on behalf of the department 
  4. Develop a pool of test questions designed to to deter cheating 
  5. Give extra time for paper exam submission logistics 
  6. Partner with instructional designers when designing online exams to mitigate cheating 
  7. Have students take the Honorlock practice exam. Doing the practice exam takes a lot of pressure off – you don’t want to add extra stress or pressure on students when they’re already trying to learn the content.

Results and benefits of proctoring online exams with Honorlock

  1. Successfully remote proctor paper-based assessments and certify the integrity 
  2. The modest learning curve for instructors and students allows them to focus on teaching and learning and not on the technology 
  3. Unlimited flexibility and customizations for students taking proctored online exams

Reach out to our team of experts to see how Honorlock’s proctoring services and platform can benefit your institution

About WPI


Worcester Polytechnic Institute is a private institution founded in 1865 in Worcester, Massachusetts. The college supports over 6,000 students offering undergraduate, masters, and doctoral programs in science, engineering, and technology. The university’s curriculum features a flexible, rigorous program that is project-based and globally engaged, aimed at delivering a quality experience and a positive impact for the communities it partners with.

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