With the renormalization of the in-person school year, Zoom University seems like years ago, but the influence of online learning is still there. Room scanning software, widely adopted by universities, schools and other institutions to proctor exams during the pandemic, was officially declared unconstitutional on August 22nd.
A privacy risk regarding room scanning software was raised by Aaron Ogletree, a student at Cleveland State University. According to NPR, Ogletree sued his university, saying it was unconstitutional to scan rooms as part of oversight measures before online tests. In response, U.S. District Court Judge J. Philip Calabrese concluded that the scan of the room was unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment.
Ogletree isn’t the only student concerned about the invasion of privacy posed by room-scanning software. Ever since colleges went completely online in response to the pandemic and started using electronic supervision software, students across the country have frantically made sure their rooms were spotless and spanked, desks Fans above noticed his fiction wasn’t mistaken for his own notebooks. Universities such as Cleveland State University and the University of Southern California argued that such measures established fairness and academic honesty, but students said their parents would barge into their rooms or their siblings would poke through walls. I couldn’t control my screaming.
According to YR Media, there is an additional stressor for students as recorded data typically has a retention period of many years. This data can lead to security and privacy risks if not properly stored and protected by an electronic proctoring company.
Vice Writers Todd Feathers and Janus Rose provide additional insight into exactly what electronic supervision software can access once students start using it on their computers, stating: A microphone records the noise in the room, and an algorithm records how often a candidate moves the mouse, scrolls up and down a page, or presses a key. The software flags behavior that its algorithms deem suspicious, for later review by the class instructor. ”
But if the program is mathematically designed to represent the “perfect” or “ideal” student, how can the software distinguish between test anxiety and questionable behavior? .
“Anything outside of that ideal is viewed with suspicion,” said Shea Swauger, an educational technology researcher at the Auralia Library at the University of Colorado Denver, in an interview with Vice. behavioral characteristics.
Hybrid models of learning and testing continue to take root in many classes to promote accessibility and public health as the pandemic continues. This has led many professors to finally move away from anxiety-inducing, reductive, standardized exams and find new ways to analyze how well students are holding on to class material. The University’s Learning Innovation Blog suggests giving students formative questions that require analysis, rather than providing a single correct answer. From individual projects to essays, there are several ways educators ensure academic integrity outside of proctored exams.
That said, even if the pandemic didn’t strike and I never registered for Zoom University, timed, closed-book exams would be a thing of the past. Not only does it fail to attract students to the material, it is also the very definition of unfairness.
A study conducted by the Department of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has empirically proven that timed tests don’t work. This is not just a hoax or a student’s dissatisfaction with the lesson. Most of the current “tests” have been scientifically proven not to work.
So, to all USC professors: Come out of your old, unreliable shell and let a new era of education flourish that puts student privacy and education first.