Seemingly benign behaviors may trigger Proctortrack reviews

OUM’s exam proctoring software is so sensitive that something as innocent as listening to music may trigger a violation report to the faculty administering the exam. Flagged incidents are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

“When the Student Affairs Committee (SAC) is made aware of a violation, we approach it with the assumption that the student is innocent,” says Dr. Sarmad Ghazi, Dean for North America and Exam/IT Faculty Lead. “We sometimes issue warnings to remind students to correct innocent behaviors that get flagged, such as staring to the side of the screen to review notes mentally before selecting an answer. Unfortunately, we have also dismissed students for academic dishonesty.”

Avoid the “red flags”

Remote exam proctoring takes getting used to. Every distance-learning student goes through the adjustment, and invariably after a new class begins, exam monitoring services report an increase in exam proctor violations.

Monitoring services flag a wide array of activities, ranging from wearing earbuds to failure to present a valid ID. A list of prohibited behaviors appears below, many of them not directly related to actually answering exam questions. Any flagged activity will trigger a review.

“We want to remind students, especially newer students, that while some of the behaviors seem benign, they are, nevertheless, red flagged by the proctor,” says Dr. Ghazi. “The activities listed have been identified as behaviors to avoid in order to assure exam integrity.”

Below are actions prohibited during test taking. They are recorded by exam proctors as violations and will be flagged on exam videos:

  • Use of headset or earbuds
  • Looking away from the camera for an extended period of time
  • Use of ANY materials (such as writing pads, scratch paper/note paper, course textbook, handouts, calculator) or unapproved software/technology, other than your personal computer in the testing station, will be counted as irregular behavior. Meaning that you should NOT be writing during your exam; otherwise it will be flagged and reported to the University and we will have to investigate.
  • Browsing the Internet during an exam
  • Speaking with another individual during examination administration
  • Use of a cellphone or technology other than the computer being used for examination administration. (Students encountering technical difficulty are allowed to access a cellphone to call technical support.)
  • Leaving testing station during exam

Exam tips may be found on Preparing My Testing Environment in Moodle and in the academic integrity section of the OUM Student Handbook.