Piling stress on stress
Last week was the first test for many classes using the e-proctoring software and issues were found across the board, confirming the shortcomings that many students anticipated.
Many students downloaded the software only to find their firewall flagged Proctortrack as “malware” and required students to specifically grant access to their computers. For students downloading Proctortrack right before an exam, this added stress to an already stressful time.
Some of those who could get Proctortrack to work were still met with myriad problems. Students in a nursing final were promised the ability to work with an online calculator, which they were told would be provided. Upon getting into their exam they found they couldn’t use the online calculator, leaving many students without any calculator at all.
In Professor Brett Dolter’s Economics 231 exam students were promised to be able to use excel during their exam, and to contact Dolter over Zoom if they had any problems. Problems occurred when Excel wasn’t allowed by Proctortrack. It would forcibly close any student’s Excel sheet, and when students attempted to contact Dolter over Zoom they found Proctortrack wouldn’t allow them to open Zoom either. This resulted in students either closing the exam without finishing it to talk to Dolter, or students having to attempt to write an exam without the use of Excel, which they required. In the end, Dolter ended up having to make the exam a take-home exam and even had to open a second exam for those that couldn’t get Proctortrack to work. When asked about it, he stated Proctortrack would continue to be used, and that it was “good to find these problems before the midterm”.
Students who were stressed, lost time doing an exam that they could not complete, and who were worried about leaving the exam because they would be flagged for cheating or have to submit an incomplete exam, were not impressed with the response from the professor. “For that entire hour I just sat there and felt sorry for myself. Everything went to shit and I can’t do anything” said one student, who doesn’t want to be named for fear of ramifications.
And it’s not an isolated event. Many students using Proctortrack have had issues with it. One professor who originally used it has since stopped. It’s important for students to continue to raise their concerns with their profs and deans, for the betterment of all students, so they can succeed to the best of their abilities.