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Online proctoring

The UvA is implementing online proctoring – the invigilation of online examinations – for examinations for which there is no alternative. In this way, examinations for large groups will be able to take place remotely, allowing study delays to be avoided.

General

  • What is online proctoring?

    Online proctoring makes it possible to take exams online with remote supervision. To do this, the UvA uses the tool Proctorio. The system recognises suspect behaviour and reports instances of potential fraud. Online proctoring is a form of digital supervision of exams during which no invigilator is present (often exams taken off-campus). After the test, the recorded images, audio and screen activity can be reviewed, thus providing a countermeasure against fraud during remote exams by means of digital supervision. This enables exams to be held in a fair manner.

    Please note: At the Faculty of Science, online proctoring is carried out with the ProctorExam software. More information about Online proctoring at the Faculty of Science.

  • How online proctoring works

    The tool that the UvA uses for online proctoring is Proctorio. The software Proctorio is an add-on to the web browser on the PC or notebook that a student uses to take an exam. The software records audio and video to register what happens in the room in which the exam is taken, as well as the activity on the screen of your device. After completion of an exam, the system issues a risk score for each candidate, based on parameters set by the UvA. Based on these scores, a select group of trained UvA staff members, the so-called reviewers, get to work using a review protocol agreed with the faculty.

    After an exam has been completed, the IDs of all candidates will be checked to confirm that Student X is indeed the Student X taking the exam. Reviewers will only look at other data if a candidate’s risk score gives reason to do so. If, based on this protocol, a reviewer detects a potential case of fraud, an official report will be compiled and submitted to the examination board. In other words, the reviewers are not there to assess, only to identify cases of potential fraud. The examination board will conduct an investigation and assessment based on the official report and the information recorded by Proctorio.

    For the conducting of online exams, the UvA uses Proctorio’s software in combination with the central examination application TestVision Online (TVO). In exceptional situations, Canvas Quizzes or AnsDelft may be used.

    Watch the video below if you want to know more about how Proctorio works and how to prepare for an online proctored exam.

    Note: Some programmes use ProctorExam’s software for the purposes of online proctoring. More information about Online proctoring Proctor Exam.

    Loading video..
    How does Proctorio works?
  • Is it compulsory to identify myself using my UvA student card?

    Your primary means of identification is your student card. If you have lost your student card, please request a new one. Processing new card requests takes a few days, and is subject to a fee.

    If for any reason you do not have your student card with you, it is also possible to identify yourself using your passport or ID card. However, when doing so, make sure that your citizen service number (BSN) and signature are hidden from the camera.

  • What to do if you have missed or are unable to take an exam

    In principle, we assume that you will participate in the exam. However, you may not be able to participate in an online proctored exam:

    • due to illness;
    • by not having the correct technical resources;r
    • by not having a suitable space at home;
    • or because you object to online proctoring despite the fact that the use of online proctoring is GDPR-proof.

    Disease
    If you cannot participate due to illness, the same rules apply as for physical exams.

    It will not work to get the necessary hardware around
    We strongly recommend that you check that your system meets the requirements for online proctoring (see www.proctorio.com/support) by taking the practice exam in advance. If it turns out that you do not have the right technical resources at home, we ask you to first call on your housemates, friends and / or family. If the practice test shows that it is not possible to make the necessary hardware work at home, it is possible to take the exam at a (UvA) location. Register in good time at the Education Desk of your degree program to find out how you can submit a request to take the exam with online proctoring at a UvA location (provided that RIVM guidelines allow this).

    I do not have a suitable room to take an exam
    If there is no suitable room at home where you can take an exam alone, or there are other compelling reasons why it is not possible for you to take an exam safely and quietly, please report to the Education Desk of your degree program in good time to inquire how to submit a request to take the exam with online proctoring at a UvA location (if RIVM guidelines allow this).

    I still have some concerns about privacy when examining with online proctoring
    Privacy objection is not recognized as an exceptional situation. In a Short Proceedings procedure of the UvA it was extensively discussed whether the use of Proctorio falls within the framework of the GDPR. The judge has confirmed that this is the case and the use of Proctorio is therefore legal. In doing so, the UvA acts in accordance with the applicable privacy rules.

 

Environment

  • Does the room in which I take the online exam have to meet certain requirements?
    • Ensure that it is a place where you will not be disturbed;
    • Ensure that nobody else is present in the room;
    • Ensure that the room is quiet (no music or other sources of noise);
    • Ensure that you have a strong WiFi connection (Position yourself close to the WiFi router or use a cable connection, ask housemates/family members not to download or stream movies, use the microwave etc.;
    • Make sure that there are no books, summaries, problem solutions, notes etc., unless it has been clearly stated in advance that these are permitted.

    We understand that this is a unique situation and that you may not be able to control everything. Please try to observe the above requirements to the greatest possible extent.

  • What should I do if I cannot or do not want to take a proctored exam at home?

    If there is no suitable room at home where you can take an exam alone or there are other compelling reasons why it is not possible for you to take an exam safely and quietly, please report to the Education Desk of your degree program in good time to inquire how to submit a request to take the exam at a UvA location. The faculty assesses whether there is a reason for a test on location (if RIVM guidelines allow this).
     
    Note: in the case of a proctored exam, nothing will change in the way the test is taken. Just like at home, the exam will also be taken with online proctoring at the UvA location. At the moment there is limited capacity available on location, so submit your request well in advance.

 

Hardware, software and internet connection

  • What equipment do I need to take online exams?

    In order to be able to take an online exam, you need the following:

    •  
    • a laptop that satisfies the requirements found at www.proctorio.com/system-requirements;
    • a working webcam;
    • a working microphone;
    • internet access in order to connect to the exam application;
    • paper, pen, pencil, ruler etc. in order to work out any open questions that must be worked out on paper. This will be communicated in advance by the lecturer;
    • a telephone with a camera in order to upload photos of hand-written answers, but only if the exam contains questions that must be worked out on paper;
    • Google Chrome web browser with the Proctorio plugin installed (getproctorio.com) as an extension;
    • your UvA student card to identify yourself, or an ID with the citizen service number (BSN) and signature concealed;
    • a strong internet connection through WiFi or ethernet cable.
    • A strong internet connection (1Mbps upload) is preferable.
    • Close all unnecessary applications and, preferably, restart your laptop/PC before the exam.
    • Close all tabs and browser sessions that you will not need.
    • Do not use any headphones, headset or advanced earbuds (simple foam earplugs are allowed).

    Note: other equipment (virtual or otherwise) is NOT allowed (e.g. a second or third screen, your mobile phone acting as an extra screen, a virtual microphone, etc.).

  • During the identification process for the online proctoring, you may be asked to perform a 'desk scan'. When should you do this?

    Like the identification check, the ‘desk scan’ may be part of the mock exam and the real exam. Not all faculties will ask for a desk scan. If you skip the room scan when asked, your exam cannot be processed. It is therefore important that you do the room scan. For this, you must pick up your laptop and turn it so that the camera can see your entire desk/workspace. It must be clear that there are no additional materials or prohibited materials on your desk. For both the room scan and the desk scan it is important that you practice this well during the mock exam and that you carefully consider which objects in your room/on your desk you should put somewhere out of sight during the exam.

  • May I use a VPN connection?

    No, this is not allowed. Proctorio will recognise any use of VPNs or anonymous proxy services. These programmes are designed to conceal your identity, and may therefore not be used during exams.

  • How do I take an exam on my Macbook?

    To take a proctored exam on a Macbook (MacOS 10.15 Catalina or other type) you need to adjust the privacy settings to share your screen. Go through the following steps:

    1. Go to the Apple menu by clicking on the logo at the top left. Go to: System Preferences> Security and Privacy> Privacy> Screen recording. Check the box next to Google Chrome and click "Apply".
    2. If you are asked to quit Chrome, you do not need to do so. You can click "Later".
    3. Adjust the size of the screen so that it is not maximum, then do a retest and share your screen.

    For more information or support, contact Proctorio 24/7 Support in the Live Chat or email at support@proctorio.com.

 

Before the test

  • How can I prepare for an online exam subject with Proctorio?

    1. Check which exam system will be used for your exam

    The Canvas page for each module states which exam application will be used for the exam. The following step-by-step guides will help you ensure that you are well prepared for the online exam.

    Check which exam system will be used for your exam

    2. Install Google Chrome

    Install this browser using the Google Chrome website.

    3. Install the Proctorio plugin

    Install this plugin using the Proctorio-website.

    4. Use a mock exam to test whether your hardware, software and internet connection are adequate

    When your faculty makes a Testvision-Proctorio mock exam available, you will find this mock exam when you log in to TestVision. You can use this to test whether your own hardware (such as your laptop and camera/webcam), software and internet connection are good enough to take the exam. Make sure that you take the mock exam using the same set-up that you will be using for the real exam. Also ensure that (like with the real exam) you first close all unnecessary software and websites. A stable internet connection with a minimum upload speed of 1 Mbps is recommended for Proctorio. You can check the requirements to be able to take exams on Proctorio’s website at the bottom of the page under Proctorio Minimum System Requirements.

    If you experience problems while taking the mock exam, please contact Proctorio directly. Proctorio is available 24/7 through the Live Chat in the mock exam or at https://proctorio.com/support.

    If your laptop is not suitable, you can rent a laptop at www.studiepc.nl/ or Surfspot for a small fee. If neither website can provide you with a laptop, contact the University Library to see whether you can borrow a Chromebook (limited availability).

    5. Take the mock exam so that you know what to expect

    We ask that you take the mock exam well in advance. This give you enough time to solve any technical problems you may experience. If you have questions, please contact Proctorio first, through the Live Chat in the mock exam or at https://proctorio.com/support.

    If you are unable to resolve the issue with their help, contact your own faculty.

    6. Ensure that you are up to date on key topics

    In order to ensure that you are well prepared for your exam, it is important that you at least know the following:

    Want to know more? Watch the video shown above in the answer on the question 'How online proctoring works' for more information about how to prepare for an online proctored exam.

 

During the test

  • What should I do if I experience problems with the use of online proctoring during the exam?

    The online proctoring software contains a chat option that is available 24/7 to solve technical problems. If the process takes too long or is not working, the chat icon will be shown and you will be asked whether you require help. You can also click the blue button at the bottom of the screen to ask for help, or navigate to www.proctorio.com/support to start the live chat. The UvA will have access to the log files afterwards and will review them if there is cause to do so.

    During exams, any questions about the exam itself can be asked through the UvA LiveChat at examsupport.uva.nl.

  • Am I allowed to use scrap paper?

    Your examiner will determine which aids – such as scrap paper – are allowed during the exam. This will be announced before the exam. When the use of scrap paper is allowed, we recommend that you use a clean white, blank sheet of paper.

  • Am I allowed to go to the bathroom during online exams?

    No, during online exams subject to online proctoring, you are not allowed to go to the bathroom. Unless you have express permission from the examination board, e.g. for medical reasons. You should therefore make sure to go to the bathroom before you start the exam.

 

Student-specific arrangements

 

Fraud

  • What is considered to constitute potential fraud during exams subject to online proctoring?

    Fraud is assessed among others by looking for the behaviour and actions described below. Note: the faculty determines, before the exam is held, which behaviour and actions will be given the greatest weight.

    • excessive looking away from the screen (once or repeatedly)
    • whether the student leaves the room
    • whether the student uses aids (e.g. headphones or a graphing calculator) without the express permission of the examiner
    • whether other faces can be seen
    • whether new tabs are opened without the express permission of the examiner
    • whether the student exits the browser without the express permission of the examiner
    • whether the student uses software other than the examination software without the express permission of the examiner
    • whether the audio signal does not match the video
    • whether the starting time, ending time and duration of the exam do not match

    See the infographic explaining how proctored exams are analysed.

  • How is fraud assessed?

    Online proctoring software identifies suspicious behaviour, but does not determine whether fraud has been committed. The identification of potential cases of fraud is carried out by a select group of trained UvA staff, referred to as reviewers, who will monitor the recordings after the exam has been completed, following a specific protocol. If, based on this protocol, a reviewer detects a potential case of fraud, an official report will be compiled and submitted to the examination board. The reviewers do not assess, they only identify potential cases of fraud. The examination board investigates and adjudicates based on the official report.

  • If fraud is suspected, what happens next?

    When a reviewer suspects fraud, they compile an official report and submit it to the relevant examination board. From that moment on, the examination board is responsible for the handling of the case. You can find the examination board on your programme’s or faculty’s page.

 

Privacy

  • When is the Proctorio extension in my Chrome browser active?

    The Proctorio extension for Chrome is only active while you are taking a proctored exam. At that time, the Proctorio shield icon changes from grey to green. In other words, the extension is not active before or after exams are taken. If you are worried about your privacy, you can uninstall or deactivate the Proctorio extension and reinstall or reactivate it when you take another proctored exam.

  • Can I temporarily or permanently uninstall or deactivate the Proctorio extension?

    The Proctorio extension for Chrome is only active while you are taking a proctored exam. In other words, it is not active before or after exams are taken. If you are worried about your privacy, you can uninstall or deactivate the Proctorio extension after you have taken an exam.

    Uninstalling
    You can uninstall the extension by clicking on the Proctorio shield icon in the upper right corner of your Chrome browser. Click “remove from Chrome”, then click “remove”. However, you will need to reinstall the extension next time you take a proctored exam.

    Deactivating
    It is also possible to deactivate the extension instead of uninstalling it. You can do this by clicking on the Proctorio shield icon in the upper right corner of your Chrome browser. Click “manage extensions”, then click “off”. Don’t forget to reactivate the extension before you take another proctored exam. You can do this by clicking on the Proctorio shield icon, then clicking “manage extensions”, and then “on”.

  • How does the UvA handle privacy and security with regard to online proctoring?

    We consider your privacy to be a very important aspect in this process. We have concluded a data processing agreement with Proctorio and formulated a privacy statement outlining which information Proctorio and UvA process and how your privacy is safeguarded. The data is encrypted and stored by Proctorio. Proctorio has stated the following: “Military-grade, zero-knowledge encryption ensures that your exam information is kept safe.” In this form of encryption, an already encrypted message is encrypted one or more additional times using the same or a different algorithm. This means that Proctorio can’t use your personal information to identify you personally. The term “zero knowledge” means that Proctorio does not know anything about the data stored on its servers. Finally, Proctorio does not have access to your data. Only authorised UvA staff members have access.
    In deciding to allow online proctoring, UvA paid particular attention to these points and ensured that:

    • the data is only accessibly by authorised UvA staff who have been mandated by the examination board of the relevant faculty.
    • the company supplying the software (Proctorio) cannot view the images, which are encrypted (end-to-end, zero-knowledge encryption).
    • the servers are located in the EU and the stored video and audio data is deleted as soon as possible after assessment
    • the images will never be used for anything other than the detection of potential fraud.
    • The solution complies with the GDPR. The Data Protection Officer issued a positive opinion, as indicated in the privacy statement.

    The following infographics clearly explain which data is stored and what happens to your personal data:

  • To what extent does the American CLOUD Act affect the data streams, given that the online proctoring party is located in the USA?

    The CLOUD Act applies to this content as well. The UvA’s privacy officer has conducted a risk analysis and determined that the risk that the CLOUD Act will be implemented with regard to this content to be very low. For this reason, we have chosen to work with Proctorio for exams subject to online proctoring, especially in view of the study delays that students would otherwise incur and the consequences thereof. The UvA complies with the GDPR and uses the data protection measures that the European Commission has made available, namely standard contractual clauses. No damages may therefore be claimed.

  • I am still somewhat worried about privacy when it comes to exams subject to online proctoring.

    We are doing everything we can to prevent study delays during the current corona crisis. We have therefore asked lecturers to come up with as many alternative forms of examination as possible. However, no alternative forms fo examination could be found for some courses. In those cases, we decided to use online proctoring, because these exams would otherwise have to be delayed indefinitely. The Data Protection Officer has therefore determined that the UvA may make use of online proctoring based on the principle of legitimate interest.

    If you do not wish to participate in an exam subject to online proctoring, you will have to wait until corona measures are relaxed and we can once again offer exams and resits on site. This will delay your studies. That is why we are trying to solve this issue as best we can through alternative forms of examination and online proctoring.

Any further questions?

  • If you have a problem starting Proctorio: first read the FAQ on this page.
  • Didn't find your answer? Then go to proctorio.com/support and open chat with Proctorio.
  • If you cannot find a solution with Proctorio while taking a test, please contact examsupport.uva.nl
  • In the exceptional case that you are unable to reach an agreement with both channels, please contact the designated person / department within your faculty. 
  • You can ask questions about privacy to the GDPR team (avg@uva.nl).