David G. Balash, The George Washington University; Rahel A. Fainchtein, Georgetown University; Elena Korkes, The Geroge Washington University; Miles Grant, The George Washington University; Micah Sherr, Georgetown University; Adam J. Aviv, The George Washington University
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic changed the landscape of education and led to increased usage of remote proctoring tools that are designed to monitor students when they take assessments outside the classroom. While prior work has explored students' privacy and security concerns regarding online proctoring tools, the perspective of educators is under explored. Notably, educators are the decision makers in the classrooms and choose which remote proctoring services and the level of observations they deem appropriate. To explore how educators balance the security and privacy of their students with the requirements of remote exams, we sent survey requests to over 3,400 instructors at a large private university that taught online classes during the 2020/21 academic year. We had n=125 responses: 21% of the educators surveyed used online exam proctoring services during the remote learning period, and of those, 35% plan to continue using the tools even when there is a full return to in-person learning. Educators who use exam proctoring services are often comfortable with their monitoring capabilities. However, educators are concerned about students sharing certain types of information with exam proctoring companies, particularly when proctoring services collect identifiable information to validate students' identities. Our results suggest that many educators developed alternative assessments that did not require online proctoring and that those who did use online proctoring services often considered the tradeoffs between the potential risks to student privacy and the utility or necessity of exam proctoring services.
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