A reflection on remote university exams without proctoring
I had recently had the experience of organising for a master course a remote exam and had a very bad experience as many students ended up cheating.
A am going public here because on one side I think it is a good proxy of the tension that many of you must have feel in the post-covid era: on one side, remote exams can be super convenient for you of for the students. Especially in advanced education, where the problem of motivations in remote teaching is less pushing, the option to detach the physical place of teaching and grading to those of student's life is really tempting. But is it really possible ?
In my case I has been “forced” to organise the exam remotely, given the nature of the master program with students physically in different countries. At the same time I had, as a student, great experience (setting aside some technical problems with a specific browser..) with proctoring software/services where the room is firstly “scanned”, the software take control of the pc where you do the exam, the mic and the camera, everything is recorded and a mix of AI/cheaply paid guys somewhere in Asia check that all is ok or he/she report to the teacher. Because everything is recorded for years, a warning is also typically given to students that if cheating is discovered, maybe years later when they are affirmed professionals, the title will be stripped.
In my exam however I didn't use these services. I has been told that the students were “good”, already at the end of their accademic carrear. And when I proposed these system, links included, no-one ever replied.