The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Viewpoint: Professors mandate intrusive software

photo courtesy Scott Webb/pexles

Jose Romero
senior editor

Bedrooms transitioning into classrooms impacted students enough, but some professors took it to the next level by invading their privacy with the exam proctoring software, Proctorio.

Once downloaded, Proctorio asks for a cornucopia of personal information, ranging from webcam footage to audio recordings. If students do not have a camera or microphone for their computer, tests will be inaccessible to them until the items are purchased. 

According to its website, there are three layers of encryption — an encoded file available only to the people with a passcode — meaning Procotorio cannot see the recordings. But, professors can view them, which is where the intrusion begins. 

Not every student has a stable environment to work in, so the unnecessary stress Proctorio adds to an exam is outright disrespectful. The lack of trust professors show by using the software is appalling.

With Proctorio, professors place a microphone and a camera in there to monitor them like a hawk. 

What if a student has a shared bedroom? What if they live in a one-bedroom apartment shared by many? These factors are not considered at all when applying the software to a course. Now, let us look at it from a professor’s point of view. 

Students are no longer in classrooms making it difficult to ensure they are not cheating on a test. Proctorio seems like the perfect solution. It records audio, camera footage and records the screen, so it is like the professor is standing right over the student. 

When broken down, it seems logical. But, we are not on campus. We are in our own homes and our privacy needs to be respected. 

If instructors are so worried about cheating, then another solution would be to make the tests themselves. Professors embed in the minds of students the dangers of plagiarizing, yet they copy/paste tests from the internet — making it simple to find the solutions. 

I can’t imagine how difficult it is to be an instructor, but if we’re expected to put in extra effort for a virtual transition, then professors should be held to the same standards. 

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