Honorlock, an online proctoring service, is being offered at no cost to all FLCC students, local or remote, and provides a way of assessing students remotely. Student exam sessions are recorded and flagged for review when potential academic misconduct is detected.
Support for Remote Assessments
As FLCC continues our move to remote learning, we understand there will be questions as students and faculty transition to a different type of educational delivery system.
The college is leaning on a variety of technological resources to ensure that FLCC students have the best experience possible as they continue their academic journeys and that includes alternatives to in-person proctored testing.
We understand that some students and their families may have privacy concerns with Honorlock.
Please note that FLCC's agreement with Honorlock contains specific legal requirements for the privacy and security of student information. FLCC's agreement with Honorlock supersedes the company's general terms of service, and it is not the same agreement some students have been reviewing online.
Students should be aware that:
- Honorlock does not sell student information to third parties.
- Honorlock does not scan home networks or monitor data from any device on the network other than the one used for testing.
- Secondary devices, such as phones, can be detected by Honorlock, but this is not accomplished by network-snooping.
- Since the Honorlock extension is contained within the Chrome browser itself, it only has access to the limited operations that are provided by the browser - nothing else. It can also be deleted at any time following the completion of a test.
- The Honorlock extension is only active while you are within the learning management system, and never accesses any personal or private data.
- When the Honorlock extension is active, there is a flashing red indicator on the extension. If this indicator is not being shown, you can trust that nothing is actively being monitored or recorded during that time.
Why and when is online proctoring necessary?
Proctored testing enables the college to ensure the academic integrity of assessments and to comply with federal regulations that require universities offering online and distance education to verify student identity. Traditional face-to-face classes that aren't conducive to testing in the classroom typically rely on testing facilities for live, in-person proctoring of exams.
During the social distancing of COVID-19 and the closure of testing facilities throughout the world, online proctoring offers an alternative to in-person proctored testing. This is a common practice of online and distance learning courses and is used by universities throughout our state university system and the nation. Though instructors may use a variety of alternate assessment strategies, they may also rely on online proctoring to ensure the security of tests offered to online students in different locations. Online proctoring helps prevent academic honor violations such as:
- Use of a false identity,
- Unauthorized collaboration,
- Use of unauthorized materials, and
- Copying or distributing test items to others.
Are instructors required to use Honorlock?
No. Your instructor may use a variety of assessment strategies that don't include online proctoring. When the nature of the course or instruction makes online proctoring a necessity, however, your instructor may choose Honorlock to ensure the academic integrity of your test.
Is it true that my student information could be sold to third parties if I participate in an online proctored test?
No. The college's agreement with Honorlock for online test proctoring does not allow Honorlock to sell student information to third parties. As mentioned above, our contract with Honorlock has specific legal requirements for the protection of student information that supersede Honorlock's standard Terms of Service and bind Honorlock to all of the protections supplied by FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act).
Is it true that Honorlock scans home networks and monitors data from any device connected to that network?
No. Honorlock does not scan home networks or monitor data from any device on the network other than the one used for testing. Secondary devices, such as phones, can be detected, but this is not accomplished by network snooping. See the questions below for more detailed information on how Honorlock tracks and monitors data and devices.
Where does Honorlock store student data?
Honorlock uses an encrypted and secured connection during the exam. All videos and photos are stored in Honorlock's platform. Their system runs in a secure, private cloud within Amazon's AWS cloud platform in US data centers.
How long is student data stored?
Honorlock has defined data retention periods of 12 months, after which all student-related data is automatically purged, unless the college requests an extension of a particular student's data related to an academic integrity case. Upon request from the college, Honorlock can extend the data retention of a student's data up to an additional 12 months.
How is student data secured and protected?
All data, including photos and video, is stored in an encrypted format on isolated storage systems within Honorlock's private cloud in Amazon's AWS US data centers. They are SOC 2 Type 1, US Privacy Shield and GDPR compliant.
Who has access to student data?
Only key staff within Honorlock will have access in order to provide quality control and support for FLCC instructors. Those accessing student data are bound to the FERPA and privacy requirements required by the FLCC/Honorlock master service agreement.
Who monitors the test, Artificial Intelligence (AI) or live proctors? Who reviews the flags?
The AI automatically generates a flag if unusual activity is detected, such as another person entering the room, and can alert standby proctors to "pop in" and briefly monitor the session to correct problems. There is no live person watching the student during the entirety of the exam. Once an exam session is completed, instructors are able to review flagged recordings to determine if a cheating incident may have occurred.
What data is tracked/recorded from the web browser extension and how is it handled?
The Chrome Web browser extension allows Honorlock to interact with the student and the exam content during the exam. This includes launching the webcam window and interacting with student behavior within the exam. During the exam, the following data is captured, analyzed, and stored:
- Webcam video, including audio;
- Recording of desktop activity;
- Student information presented by the learning management system (Blackboard), such as student name, course number, exam name, etc.;
- Pages visited during the examination session;
- Specific student behavior that may indicate academic dishonesty, such as copy/paste into search engines.
Webcam and audio analysis has certain AI capabilities built in, such as detecting the presence of zero, one, or more faces in the camera, one or more voices, etc. This AI will generate a "flag," prompting the instructor to review the exam session to determine if additional action is necessary to remediate any academic integrity issues.
Does the Honorlock browser application have the ability to detect and monitor other computing devices connected to the local/home network used during a student's proctoring session?
Honorlock does not employ any technologies to allow detection of secondary devices connected to a student's local/home network used during the proctoring session. No agents or applications are downloaded to these secondary devices to initiate any type of surveillance activities. Other users connected to the local/home network during a student's Honorlock session can process personal or confidential information concurrently without fear of the student's Honorlock session monitoring or eavesdropping on secondary device activities. In addition, the application does not have the capability of intercepting local/home network communications from devices connected during the student's session.
Does Honorlock have the capability to monitor the use of my smartphone during an examination session?
Students using their smartphones to search online resources for test questions should note Honorlock utilizes a manual technology to detect academic integrity issues. Honorlock does not initiate any technologies to eavesdrop on the student's smartphone activity either during or after an examination session. It is important for students to understand they are not authorized to use their phones during an Honorlock proctored examination.
Who determines if cheating took place during an online proctored test?
Instructors make the final assessment about whether suspected cheating has taken place during an exam session. Only students engaging in unusual activity during an exam are flagged and reviewed. If an instructor reviews the video and determines that the student did not violate FLCC's academic honor policy, no action is taken. However, if an instructor determines that the student violated the academic honor policy, that instructor will follow the appropriate channels for academic honor policy violations. Students who feel wrongly accused of a violation have a channel for resolving alleged violations in the Academic Grievance Policy
Can I uninstall the Honorlock extension in my browser after my exam is over?
Yes. You are welcome to uninstall the Honorlock Chrome extension after your test is complete if you're not completely comfortable keeping it on your computer.
Office of Online Learning
Contact FLCC's Office of Online Learning at (585)785-1733
We will help you get the information you need.
Using the above number, you can also connect with many offices across the college as well as the Open SUNY help desk.