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In an attempt to find alternatives to exams that cannot take place physically, Radboud University is considering using proctoring – a far-reaching form of video surveillance – during the fourth and last period of this academic year. Several exams with Proctorio were already held last month as part of a pilot. The Executive Board is currently considering definite implementation. Online proctoring is extremely undesirable because of the privacy breaches. The use of Proctorio is therefore rejected by the group of asap.
However, proctoring may serve as a last resort to prevent study delays among a large group of students, but onlyunder strict conditions. We believe that it is very important that:
- it it is objectively established whether all alternative forms of examination have been explored and whether online proctoring is indeed the only remaining solution to allow an exam to take place (and that these decisions will be made available publicly);
- students who (1) do not have a suitable space or the necessary equipment and / or (2) have fundamental objections to taking an exam with Proctorio on their own device or in the private sphere, should be given the opportunity take part in the examination on campus, of course, provided that government measures allow this;
- the processing and storage of personal data at least complies with the GDPR and students are adequately informed about this processing.
The impact of (further) implementation of online proctoring is so great that the consequences will affect the way the university is operation. The central co-determination therefore agrees with asap that (at least) advisory right should apply to this file. Discussions about that matter have not yet led to a satisfactory result. The group will continue to monitor the implementation of proctoring at Radboud University in the coming days. Stay informed of the latest developments via our live blog below.
Started on: Mon 20 April 2020
Latest update: Thu 2 July 2020
This live blog will no longer be updated
02.07 Additional consultation meeting regarding online proctoring
The Executive Board has invited the Joint Assembly to an additional consultaton meeting on Monday 24 August, in future use of online proctoring will be discusses. That means that while this is the last update of our live blog, the (fundamental) discussion is certainly not over.
10.06 Executive Board allows online proctoring until the end of the academic year
The Executive Board of Radboud University has permitted online proctoring under strict conditions until the end of this academic year.
05.06 UGV contacts Stichting Katholieke Universiteit
The Works Council and the UGV request the Stichting Katholieke Universiteit to enter into a discussion with the Executive Board and Presidium-GV (day-to-day management of the central participational body) about the (un)desirability of online proctoring and about the rights and power of the central participational bodies in this file. Both the OR and the UGV believe they have advisory rights. In that case, the Executive Board cannot simply ignore the letter containing the negative advice.
03.06 Works Council (OR) and University Joint Assembly (UGV) advise negatively on proctoring
The UGV has informed the Executive Board by letter of the negative advice regarding online proctoring. It has not been sufficiently demonstrated that faculties have made a careful consideration (principle of necessity) when choosing to examine with Cirrus and Proctorio. It is striking that a quarter of the requested tests has less than 50 participants – how is it possible that no alternatives were found in these cases? In addition, based on the information provided, it is not possible to assess whether all the requirements of the GDPR are met (and therefore whether there is a principle of justice).
02.06 Towards a new advice
Internally, the group has once again drawn attention to securing the proportional use of online proctoring through Proctorio. There are strong doubts – shared by the Works Council – about the legitimacy of requests for examinations with proctoring. In addition, the examples of teachers who are heavily relying on proctoring whilst acknowledging alternatives are piling up. That is the world turned upside down: Proctorio should not be considered before other alternatives, but solely afterwards. The question is whether the college was able to successfully convey its message in the organisation. The Joint Assembly meets later today to formulate an advice.
30.05 Extra meeting Joint Assembly and Executive Board
This Tuesday, June 2, the Joint Assembly will once again informally discuss proctoring with the Executive Board, this time in response to the pilot Online proctoring Cirrus with Proctorio. The results of the pilot insufficiently answer our questions and ambiguities remain. The group will once again critically question the Executive Board, in an extreme effort to reduce ythe use procotoring to an absolute minimum.
27.05 Additional questions after deviating signals
Internal communication shows that rapid decision-making with regard to the implementation of proctoring is claimed to be necessary, as lecturers must have enough time to switch to an alternative if no ‘go’ is given for Proctorio. This underscores the concerns expressed last Monday during the Joint Deliberation Meeting with the Executive Board: if Cirrus with Proctorio is the last resort, how can teachers still switch to an alternative? The group of asap asks supplementary questions via the Presidium-GV.
25.05 Consultation meeting with the Executive Board: critical statements regarding transparency
Group chairman Thom Teulings states that it is noticeable that there is a lot of private operation regarding Proctorio, especially since it affects decision-making. Not only in his role as employee representative, but also as a student he is concerned about the process. It is completely unclear how Examining Boards weigh up whether or not to take an exam with Proctorio. He calls for clarity and transparency, reiterates that students are entitled to inspect this assessment and asks the Executive Board how openness will be given by facilitating this. The Executive Board promises that the decisions of the examination committees will be made publicly available.
14.05 Emphasis on opportunities on campus
In a sounding board smeeting about online proctoring with Cirrus and Proctorio, attention was again drawn to students who do not have a room or the requested equipment with which they can take an exam with video surveillance and students who have fundamental objections to the storage of video recordings made in the private sphere. Both groups should be given the opportunity to take the exam on campus (under similar circumstances). Measures have already been taken for the first group, students with objections are the subject of discussion later in the process.
27.04 Unsolicited advice from the University Student Council: nine conditions for proctoring
The University Student Council unanimously recommends that proctoring should be applied neither in a pilot nor in education. Proctoring can only be considered in the very exceptional case that alternative test forms have not been found suitable. Lecturers and / or Examining Boards must submit a substantiated request to the Executive Board if they wish to use proctoring for an examination. The application should then be assessed by an independent committee. Strict requirements are also imposed on the processing and storage of personal data.
22.04 Call for assurance of proportional deployment of proctoring
The group of asap seeks contact with all members of the Joint Assembly and calls for critical monitoring of the implementation of proctoring. Considering that online proctoring may serve as a last resort to prevent or minimise study delay for a large group of students, it would be unwise to stop online proctoring immediately at this stage. An possible advice should place a major focus on securing the proportional use of such methods. One possibility would be to set up a special committee that will objectively determine whether all alternative forms of assessment (e.g. proposed by the Teaching and Learning Centre) have been explored and online proctoring is indeed the only remaining solution. let find. In addition, full-fledged opportunities must be provided on campus for students who do not have the necessary equipment for taking an exam with video surveillance or who have objections in principle, of course only if the government measures allow for this. Finally, the group requests that the Executive Board is asked to involve the Works Council and the University Student Council in the final decision-making process regarding the implementation of online proctoring on the short term.
20.04 Joint Deliberation Meeting with the Executive Board
Proctoring is on the agenda for discussion in the context of the corona crisis. Members of the Joint Assembly express their concern in response to reports of the potential use of video surveillance in digital exams.