Online Test Proctoring FAQ


What is online test proctoring?

Online test proctoring systems provide increased security for online tests. Depending on the system used and the settings enabled, an online proctoring system may include identity verification, controlling or recording the student’s screen, and monitoring and/or recording the student via webcam while they take the test. Webcam monitoring may use a live proctor employed by the online proctoring service or an automated AI-driven algorithm.

What is NIU’s policy about use of online test proctoring services?

There is no official policy about the use of online proctoring services; faculty can choose whether or not to use online test proctoring. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), however, requires that students are notified of any fees required for the course while they are able to drop the course or modify their schedule.

The fees can be disclosed in MyNIU when students to register. You may also want to send students a welcome email to the course prior to the first week and include any required equipment, like a webcam or a computer that can support the proctoring service.

What should I let my students know about online proctoring services?

We highly recommend letting your students know that you will be using online test proctoring as early as possible. You should let your students know the following:

  • Fees: if students will be paying for the proctoring service, estimate the total cost for proctoring and what types of payment are possible (e.g., if they need a credit card)
  • Technical requirements: a computer that runs Windows or MacOS (not a Chromebook) with a webcam (built-in, such as a laptop, or external USB)
  • Software requirements: any specialized software they will need to install on their computer
  • Internet connection: they should have a strong Internet connection to avoid being interrupted once they are connected to the proctoring service
  • Testing location: they will need a space to take the test that is quiet and free from interruptions, with good lighting to illuminate their face
  • Scheduling: if you are using a live proctoring system, students will need to schedule an appointment to take their test
  • Privacy policy: post the link to the service’s privacy policy in your course or on your syllabus, so that students are aware of the information that is being stored by the service as well as the safeguards they take to ensure student privacy


Other than proctoring, how can I increase academic integrity on online exams?

There are a number of ways to increase academic integrity in online exams.

  • Ask students to type or agree to an honor statement that asserts that they did not use prohibited sources and that the work is their own
  • Randomize question order (and possible answers, if multiple choice)
  • Add a timer to the test
  • Limit the number of possible attempts
  • Be strategic with when students are able to view the correct answers (ideally, correct answers will only display once all students in the course have finished the test)
  • For an exam delivered in Blackboard, use large question pools and have Blackboard assign a random set of questions for each student

Learn more about options for delivering virtual exams.

What alternatives are there to giving online exams?

If you usually use exams to assess student learning, we recommend considering three principles when rethinking your exams:

  • Think “authentic”: What do you want students to be able to do by the end of your course? What skill should they have or knowledge attained? Try to design an assessment that measures that skill or knowledge.
  • Think “meaningful”: How can your assessment be a learning experience in itself? How could the process of completing the assessment give students a deeper understanding of the material and concepts?
  • Think “practical”: What kind of assessment could you efficiently create? How many students do you have, how many would you have to grade? Can rubrics assist and guide your assessment?

Learn more about options for delivering virtual exams.

Cost - Time and Money

What do the various online proctoring services cost?

Respondus Browser/Monitor (Current NIU Site License, no cost to students)

The University has a site license with Respondus through June 2022 that allows unlimited use of Respondus Monitor.

Examity (Department Pay or Student Pay available)

Examity offers two primary solutions, live proctoring and fully automated proctoring. The cost for Examity proctored exam costs range from $4-$29 per exam depending on length and type of exam.

Examity Live Proctoring
Test Duration Cost (Per student per test)
60 Minutes or Less​ $12.00-$15.00
Each Additional Hour $5.00-$7.00
Examity Automated Proctoring
Test Duration Cost (Per student per test)
Any Duration $4-$6
Are there other costs associated with using an online proctoring service?

Students may incur additional costs for equipment, such as purchasing a webcam or laptop to support proctoring. They may need to pay to get an official ID card, such as a state ID, if they do not already have one to be able to pass the identify verification. Students may need to increase their bandwidth capacity if they are relying on a cellular data plan for their primary Internet connection.

How much time does it take to set up and maintain online proctoring?

Initial set up is fairly simple for you. Once students have completed their exams, you will need to spend time to review the videos for any potential incidents. With a live proctor, those should be minimal, as the proctor will be able to determine whether the student has potentially violated the exam parameters.

For automated proctoring, the proctoring service will use an algorithm to review the video to identify potential violations. The algorithm will likely identify far more potential violations, and you will need to watch them to determine whether any misconduct took place.


What data is collected by the proctoring service?

All online test proctoring services collect personal data about students. This includes information from Blackboard, such as name, account ID, and course enrollments. The proctoring service also records video of the student (and anyone else in the room with them) and the location where they are taking their exam (likely their home), as well as recordings of their computer screen. The proctoring service may also record a photo of the student’s driver’s license or other official ID and a photo of the student, for comparison.

In some cases, the proctoring service may collect information about the student’s computer, their location (based on IP), the time they completed the exam, and the amount of time spent on each question.

You should review the privacy policy for the proctoring service you are using, and share it with your students:

Who has access to student videos recorded by the online proctoring service?

The online test proctoring service has access to the videos recorded of the student and their surroundings. At NIU, the instructor of record and anyone with Instructor or Teaching Assistant access to the course is able to review the videos.

In Respondus Monitor, faculty are able to request an export of the video to submit to Student Conduct to support a report of misconduct. It is important that faculty treat the exported video as confidential and share it securely.

Learn More

Online test proctoring is just one of many options for delivering exams via virtual instruction. For more details on all the options available or to discuss further on how to implement online test proctoring in your course, reach out to the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning,

Options for Delivering Exams via Virtual Instruction

Online Test Proctoring Tools

Get Help

Center for Innovative
Teaching and Learning

Phone: 815-753-0595

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