Exam security becomes hot button issue

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There have been a couple of good articles recently concerning the security of exams, more specifically concerning exam material showing up on Facebook and other social media sites. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times reports that hundreds of photos of the state’s standardized exams have shown up online.

According to the article, not all of the nearly 100 students involved were attempting to cheat, as some photos depicted students posing with test booklets, but administrators will still concerned about the breach.

“Most of the images discovered so far contained only students posing with a closed test booklet, blank answer documents or answer documents with a message written on them,” the state Education Department said in a release quoted by the L.A. Times. However, some images “appeared to contain test questions or completed answer documents” from both the annual achievement tests and the state’s high school exit exam, which is required for graduation.

Modern cell phones with Internet connectivity pose an interesting challenge to educators due to their compact size and advanced data capabilities.

At ProctorU, it is company policy that exam candidates turn off and remove cell phones from their work area before beginning a test. Online proctors also require test-takers show them their work space by panning their webcam around the room 360 degrees and showing all desk surfaces. During the exam proctors watch for eye and body movement consistent with looking down at a cell phone or other materials in order to ensure the academic integrity of the exam. Proctors can also prevent students from taking screen shots of the exam by monitoring the test-taker’s computer activity. For more information on how online proctoring works, visit our website.