Think about Algorithmic Test Proctoring

Read Shea Swauger’s article, Our Bodies Encoded: Algorithmic Test Proctoring in Higher Education. It identifies deep concerns about algorithmic test proctoring. Right now, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing everyone to quickly adapt to different ways of doing things, students are facing their final exams. Within universities, I know many people at all levels that are working incredibly hard to find ways to support students and help them successfully complete what they set out to do. Students ought to inform themselves on this issue and listen carefully to all of the options, which the university is providing them.

Many of their intentions are good. However, the potential solution to use AI, various technical measures to invigilate exams remotely appears deeply concerning. There might be some useful and enabling features of this option but it also potentially harms people that are already at a disadvantage. It goes further than privacy concerns.

While the article recommends against this sort of proctoring it also identifies some courses of action to take if indeed, the university will use it. For example “If students are uncomfortable with algorithmic test proctoring, support and empower them to communicate this to the administration and, where possible, give them the ability to opt-out.”

The university where I work (Concordia) has a Centre for Teaching and Learning, which has put up a variety of alternate suggestions for faculty that had originally planned proctored exams. Nice resource to consider.

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