UMKC’s Instructional Design and Technology does not recommend using proctoring services during campus shut down for Covid-19. We recommend considering alternative assessments rather than proctoring exams. This will take a bit of creativity on everyone’s part.
Rationale against using proctoring services at this time includes the following:
- Capacity load: It is very likely that these services cannot handle the load required by every institution that is shutting down because of the pandemic. Do not count on these services remaining available.
- Technical requirements: Not all students have a webcam, which is required for proctored testing verification. Many do not have reliable internet at home and uninterrupted connection is a critical component of an online proctored test.
- Learning environments: Some students do not have a quiet room in their home in which to take a test that wouldn’t be compromised by a parent, sibling, child, or roommate interrupting the test. Environmental interruptions result in “flags” and/or being kicked out of the exam by the proctoring services. Some students are finding access to the internet in public spaces or parking lots, but these spaces are not conducive to taking an exam. Additionally, public spaces are being restricted by government agencies as the Covid-19 pandemic continues.
- Personal and job-related anxieties: Many students are dealing with a number of complicated personal and job-related anxieties and adding on the stress of finding a quiet place with a computer and webcam in which to take a proctored exam is the proverbial straw that is breaking their backs. Many students are finding themselves in situations where they are home-schooling their children while also having to get a full day’s work done from home and are taking care of their families. Others are having to cope with job loss or taking care of elderly or sick family members.
We encourage faculty to consider these issues facing our students during this trying time.