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There are many reasons why university and college students don’t want to be invigilated when taking their online exams. Here is a list of the top 10 reasons why students hate remote proctoring:

1. They want to cheat and invigilation software makes it much more difficult for them to achieve without being detected. These students might have to roll up heir sleeves and start studying hard as it seems like invigilation software is growing in popularity amongst large educational institutes as a way to ensure academic integrity in their online assessments.

2. They feel anxious about being incorrectly accused of cheating. This is a legitimate worry for students but remote proctoring technology is carefully developed to only flag behaviours that indicate potential cheating. If students follow their institutes instructions, set up their exam environment as instructed and simply take their exam as intended there should be no problems. Also, lecturers are intelligent people and if they review a recording and see that a student was incorrectly flagged as cheating e.g. the glare on your glasses obscured eye movement then they will recognise the error and disregard the flagging.

3. They think being recorded is invasive. This is understandable as it does feel strange being filmed by an unknown source in your home/office but there is no one actually watching you in real time. Your recording will only be reviewed or scrutinised if your teacher or lecturer believes academic misconduct has occurred. If there is no reason to think that a student cheated e.g. no or low flagged behaviours then recordings are often not even reviewed. Therefore, if you don’t cheat then remote invigilation can in fact be less invasive than real life invigilation where a real person is watching your every move in an exam hall.

4. They have security concerns. Here at IRIS Invigilation we have stringent security protocols that we follow, IRIS invigilation values the privacy of its users and is committed to handling student data responsibly and securely. IRIS will never sell any collected data to external parties. All recordings and personal information are solely used for invigilation purposes. All staff and contractors working under IRIS invigilation must comply with Australia’s Privacy Act and this policy. You can read our full privacy policy for more information.

5. They want their data protected. The privacy and protection of students and their personal information is paramount. IRIS ensures that data security, protection laws, privacy legislation and regulation are priority. IRIS uses AWS Cloud Security to protect student data and host all data in Sydney, Australia. IRIS never shares data with third parties. The only people who have access to your data are the IRIS technical team and your lecturers.

6. They have bad internet at home and are worried this will affect their exam result. Some students live in countries where the internet is unreliable and network errors are a common occurrence. Luckily IRIS has been designed so if a student's computer crashes or internet goes down during an exam, then the file will try to upload to the internet once a connection has been detected again. If the computer entirely crashes, then the user will have to manually upload the outstanding files via the manual upload feature in IRIS once their internet is working again.

7. They don’t have an ideal IRIS environment. Students need a quiet, private, well-lit room to take their online exam. Some students don’t have a computer at home and use their institutes in a group environment. Some students live in a large household/living arrangement and cannot find a quiet place to take their exam. If an unforeseen incident occurs while you are taking your test, such as a person entering the room, please contact your unit coordinator with details explaining the event. Students should view taking assessments with IRIS in the same manner as they would taking an invigilated assessment on campus.

8. The software is too difficult to set up. The IRIS team have worked hard to make the downloading of IRIS as easy as possible for students. All they need to do is visit the Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome store and download the IRIS extension. That’s ALL you have to do. You can’t start using IRIS until your institute send you your LMS assessment link. When you click on the assessment link IRIS will automatically pop up, follow the prompts, start invigilation and that’s it. If you run into technical problems, re-read your instructions, log out/log in again, or uninstall and reinstall the plugin. Or contact your institutions help desk. Now take your test, once you “finalise and submit” IRIS will pop up again and ask you to wait until your recording has uploaded to IRIS. Then IRIS will automatically shut down, please don’t shut it down before it has finished. That’s it you are done. If you want to delete the extension at this point you can, just make sure you have finalised your recordings first or you will lose data.

9. They worry they are being watched after their exam. Can IRIS record what I do on my computer when I’m not taking an exam? No, IRIS will only invigilate a student during their exam. The permissions they agree to are only for the duration of the exam.

10. They hate it so much they refuse to use it. If a student is taking a unit that requires the use of IRIS, they will need to use the system to access their online tests. There is a password that is auto-populated by IRIS, which will allow them to access their test in their learning management system. If they do not set IRIS up, they will not be invigilated. If they complete any assessment without the compulsory IRIS recording, they could receive a zero for the assessment.

To discuss remote invigilation please contact the IRIS Team. For notes on how to set up your IRIS environment to get the best results click here.

 

There is no way around it, students cheat. They have always cheated and they will continue to cheat and Coronavirus has made it even easier for them to get away with it.

Many institutes were forced to move online without much preparation or planning due to the sudden and devastating introduction of coronavirus. Bustling campuses turned into empty lifeless fear factories and everyone was at home and online. Universities and colleges had to quickly step up their technical and IT requirements so students could continue on with their studies as soon as possible. It was now normal to take all your classes online, and your Learning Management System (LMS) e.g. Moodle, Canvas, Blackboard… became your new best friend and all your classwork and assessments were now online. Once students felt comfortable studying online, then the next hurdle was introduced....online exams.

Universities and colleges had to ask themselves. How do we run exams with everyone at home? How do we make sure academic integrity is upheld? How do we maintain the quality of our assessments? How do we detect cheating? With so many things to consider institutes had a tough job on their hands.

Students were no longer sitting in a large exam hall in rows of desks with live invigilators walking the aisles making sure students weren’t on their phones, sharing notes or writing formulas on their arms. They were at home with the world at their finger tips with access to books, notes, phones, WhatsApp, the internet. It would be so easy to cheat! Why wouldn’t you?

If your exam isn’t proctored or invigilated it is very easy to cheat. There is literally no-one watching you. The only way to ensure academic integrity in online exams is to have them invigilated remotely. Invigilation means to supervise students at an examination, but when using software, it means so much more. IRIS Invigilation software records students for the full duration of their exam and also records their screen activity and audio.

Remote proctoring and invigilation software is a deterrent not an outright solution. Students can still get around invigilation software but it does make it harder. There are three types of students; the first student never even thought about cheating and will never, the second type of student will simply not cheat as they know they are being watched, but the third student is the one we really need to watch out for, they will do anything to cheat and will always try to find a way around the system. Here are some techniques students use to cheat in online assessments and exams:

* Chatting on WhatsApp with fellow students
* Making use of professional cheating websites during the exam e.g sending them questions in real time and receiving answers back.
* Using a screen sharing app to record the exam to share with others and perhaps make money
* Having a second laptop on the desk next to you
* Using a calculator
* Having your notes in front of you and referring to them in a closed book exam
* Taking your exam with someone else in the room feeding you answers
* Taking the exam with a fellow student in the room and colluding
* Talking to someone using a discrete headset
* Having someone else take your test/exam

What a lot of students don’t realise is that proctoring software such as IRIS Invigilation software can see everything and is recording everything you do. Firstly, IRIS uses AWS facial recognition to face match your photo ID so it’s tricky if you want your friend to take your test for you. IRIS records your screen activity and has proof that you were on WhatsApp, they can see you reading your Moodle notes, they can see when you screen share. IRIS can see when you open a Google tab, they know what time you did it and see which websites you visited. IRIS can hear you talking to your cousin, they have recorded your conversation. IRIS tracks your head and eye movement so they know if you are looking at another screen.

Is it really worth getting caught and risking your education? Do you want to have to repeat units or even worse get kicked out of university? It’s something to think about but again, cheaters will always exist. It will be interesting to see what ingenious methods they come up in the future as invigilation software continues to change and modify to keep up with them.

If you have any questions about remote invigilation, please contact our IRIS team. We are happy to support you and hopefully reduce the cheating amongst your students.

Let me explain how the Intelligent Remote Invigilation System (IRIS) works:

When the remote invigilation system is active it will be recording a video of you, captured through your computer’s web camera. It will also be recording sound from your computer’s microphone. Every few seconds it will take a screenshot of whatever is showing on your computer screen. There are some things you can do to make sure IRIS works properly and doesn’t accidently flag something as suspicious behaviour.

Optimal exam set-up at home

You will need to make sure that where you are taking the exam is suitable and that the technology you have is reliable. You will require:

1. A quiet private place to take the exam, where you won’t be disturbed.
2. A computer with a working microphone and webcam that is reliable and clear
3. A strong internet connection that won’t go down during your exam.

Make sure your face is clearly visible at all times

Students need to have bright diffused light, a neutral/blank background, avoid shadows on their face, avoid glare from glasses on their eyes by tilting their computer screen, avoid obscuring their face from slouching, wearing a hat, hooded top or sunglasses.

Here are some tips:

* Make sure your workspace is well lit, and that no one else is present or likely to walk past
* Make sure your facial features are clearly visible in the camera view, and that your head is distinguishable from the background. You might need to adjust the lighting.
* Don’t wear a hat or anything that can darken or obscure your face
* Always face the screen and camera, avoid looking around
* Try to avoid covering your face with your hand

There should be no sound:

* Use a quiet room with limited background noise
* Do not wear headphones, IRIS needs to hear what you hear
* Don’t have music playing
* When IRIS is active you will see a pop-up window showing the image visible through your web camera
* When IRIS can make out your face it will draw an outline on top of your image and begin tracking your position.
* If it can’t see your face, a red warning bar will show in the IRIS pop up window

Here are some additional points about how IRIS works:

* IRIS is activated when you click on the “Start Invigilation” button
* You need to go through the first three setup steps before you can start your online assessment
* IRIS will automatically enter the password to allow you to start the online assessment
* You can minimize the IRIS window, but don’t close it
* During your assessment IRIS will store some temporary files on your device
* At the end of the assessment IRIS needs some time to upload the recorded files
* Don't shut IRIS down, once it finishes uploading your recording it will automatically shut down

Authenticating your ID on IRIS:

IRIS requires students to hold up their photo ID to the camera, takes a photo of it and face matches it to their actual face using AWS facial recognition algorithms. This step enables the student to be correctly identified as the right student and automatically authenticates their identity.

Authentication won’t work if the student doesn’t set up their exam environment correctly. Some students are not authenticated on IRIS due to the student using ID with no photo, poor lighting or bad quality photos. Students have several attempts to capture their ID so it’s important to remind them to make sure the photo capture is clear and well lit. Students can use any photo ID e.g. passport, drivers licence if their student ID doesn’t have a photo.

Remember:

IRIS is just a tool to help monitor and maintain academic integrity during online tests.

It is the student’s responsibility to demonstrate integrity by reading and following the instructions and completing the test without assistance.

Did I answer all of your questions? If not, check out the FAQs or if you need help with setting up or using IRIS download the step by step instructions.