Students raise concerns over proctoring program

WSU uses ProctorU because of issues with academic dishonesty due to virtual exams



Some students are worried about their data and personal files if they have to download ProctorU, a proctoring program.


WSU will continue using ProctorU to proctor exams even after concerns have arisen about the service among students and faculty.

Last spring, WSU saw an increase in academic dishonesty with the rise in virtual classes, according to a WSU statement regarding ProctorU service. The university decided to pay for remote proctoring through ProctorU this semester because it wanted to guarantee academic integrity.

ProctorU is a proctoring program to deter breaches of integrity and dishonest behavior, according to ProctorU’s website.

ProctorU experienced a data breach this summer, according to ProctorU’s website. The company found out about it on July 27. A message board post contained information that appeared to be from ProctorU. It was later reported that the company was affected by a cyberattack.

ProctorU investigated. It found out that registration data that were collected before March 2015 seemed to be obtained and was in the post, according to the website.

In reaction to the data breach, ProctorU put out a Student Bill of Rights for Remote and Digital Work, outlining protections students have concerning their safety, according to the WSU statement.

Alexandra Donnici, junior criminal justice and criminology and sociology double major, said she does not agree with WSU that ProctorU is safe. She feels WSU did not give adequate information to back that statement. The letter sent to students does not make her feel any better about trusting the proctoring system.

“While it’s great that they’re recognizing that we have concerns with it, I don’t feel that they’re adequately addressing all of the concerns we have,” she said.

She said she is worried about giving the program access to the personal information on her computer because students have to download the program.

Brett Backman, senior landscape, nursery, and greenhouse management major, said he has had problems in the past while using ProctorU.

He said he has used the program “a handful” of times. Twice, when he was accessing tests, ProctorU would add a password even though the teacher had not password-protected the tests. He was unable to get into the exams.

After learning in the WSU statement about the security issues and ProctorU’s subsequent tightening of security, Backman said he still feels uneasy.

He said he does not feel safe knowing that ProctorU can access files on his computer. He thinks students should not be forced to use the program.

“Ideally, teachers should not use ProctorU at all and find a program that is more efficient,” Backman said.