Colleges Say They Don’t Need Exam Surveillance Tools to Stop Cheating

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      Harvard strongly discourages the use of proctoring software in its undergraduate courses, instead suggesting that professors who still prefer timed, closed-book exams proctor the tests themselves over Zoom. And as the school’s student newspaper has reported, a growing number are opting to switch to alternate class models. Assessments like group projects, creating podcasts, and open-book tests are “coming up more as people are thinking about the job market that exists, and ways that students can be learning other kinds of skills,” Lopez said.

      Stanford University and McGill University, in Montreal, both have outright bans on proctoring software. In Stanford’s honor code, the faculty body commits to its “confidence in the honor of its students by refraining from proctoring examinations … [and] will also avoid, as far as practicable, academic procedures that create temptations to violate the Honor Code.”

      “Shifting to unproctored take-home examinations eliminated the need for special timing accommodations for students with disabilities and also allowed students to complete assessments at a time best for them, particularly if they were in a different time zone, had constraints due to living conditions, or caretaker responsibilities,” Shirley Cardenas, a spokeswoman for McGill University, told Motherboard.

      When the pandemic hit, U.C. Berkeley also decided to ban the use of proctoring software due to concerns about how it would impact the school’s diverse student body. Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education Catherine Koshland says she has been tracking the transition through surveys, pilot projects, and conversations with faculty.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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