Exam anxiety : How remote test-proctoring is creeping students out

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As schools go remote, so do tests and so does surveillance

The stranger on the Zoom call appeared to be sitting in a tent. He wore a black headset and a blue lanyard around his neck. Behind him was white plastic peppered with pictures of a padlock.

“Hi,” the stranger intoned. “My name is Sharath and I will be your proctor today. Please confirm your name is Jackson and that you’re about to take your 11:30PM exam.”

“Correct,” said Jackson Hayes, from his cinder-block dorm room at the University of Arizona.

When he’d signed up for an online class in Russian cinema history, he’d had no idea it meant being surveilled over video chat by someone on the other side of the world. Hayes learned about it via an item on the class syllabus, released shortly before the semester began, that read “Examity Directions.” The syllabus instructed Hayes and his classmates to sign up for Examity, an online test-proctoring service.

To create his account, Hayes was required to upload a picture of his photo ID to Examity’s website and provide his full name, email, and phone number — pretty banal stuff. But it got weirder. At the end, he typed his name again; Examity would store a biometric template of his keystrokes.

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