Remote Proctoring in the News (and Courts)

The use of online proctoring software and services has been growing. If your teen takes an online class, CLEP exam, or one of many assessments delivered remotely, it’s likely that a remote proctor is involved. The controversy is growing, here’s what you should know.

Online proctoring services / remote proctoring are an essential component of online learning and testing in 2022. These services provide the means for verifying the identity of students at a distance before an assessment and the methods for ensuring that students taking the assessment are not cheating or getting unauthorized support. Online proctoring systems do this by providing access to a proctor via a webcam or by using a combination of technological means like biometric proctoring.

On Monday, a student was ruled in favor that Cleveland State University violated his rights during his General Chemistry II remote proctoring exam. The following sections were pulled directly from the court documents:


This case arises out of a scan Cleveland State University conducted of a student’s bedroom in connection with a remote test Mr. Ogletree took for one of his classes. The record contains the following facts, which are largely undisputed.

When a student takes an online exam, it proceeds as follows. First, at the outset of a proctored online exam, whether proctored through an electronic application or an actual person, students must “show their ID next to their face so you can clearly see and read the ID and be able to tell that that person is the same person that is on the ID.” Second, either the proctoring application or the proctor prompts the student to
conduct a room scan of his environment.

Plaintiff contends that the remote room scans at issue are Fourth Amendment (protection against unreasonable searches and seizures) searches because students have a subjective expectation of privacy in their houses, and especially in their bedrooms, and society recognizes that expectation as reasonable.


The judge agreed, ruling in favor of Mr. Ogletree. The ruling marks a victory for digital privacy advocates, who have spoken against the practices of online test proctoring.

“Dave Kielmeyer, Cleveland State University’s associate vice president for marketing and communications, provided the following statement to The Verge: ‘As directed by the Court, Cleveland State University’s counsel will confer with Mr. Ogletree’s counsel on appropriate next steps. Ensuring academic integrity is essential to our mission and will guide us as we move forward.’ While this matter remains in active litigation, we are unable to comment further.”

For Homeschooling for College Credit families, remote proctoring is heavily used in distance learning, CLEP, dual enrollment, ASU Universal Learner, Studycom, Straighterline, Outlier, and many other popular course providers. It remains to be seen whether this will impact our community- I’ll keep you posted.

Author:

Executive Director of Homeschooling for College Credit

One thought on “Remote Proctoring in the News (and Courts)

  1. My teens took their first remote proctoring a few months ago and privacy was a concern of mine after going through the whole experience. The room scan was a bit off-putting although I understood that they want to ensure that students aren’t cheating.
    I’m interested moving forward how this will affect programs close to my homeschooling ASU Universal Learner and CLEP…

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