Lots of the exam software utilises some form of electronic surveillance
Translated by Thomas Ansell
With Universities across the North having moved their teaching and testing online during the Coronavirus outbreak, students are sounding the alarm that their privacy may be compromised by the various programmes used by their institution, reports the Omrop Fryslân.
In order to take the exams many students have to download specific applications, which has led various student and youth organisations to send a letter of concern to all the various universities and the Ministry of Education.
“We have been asked to download a programme that has access to our webcams, and everything the computer does is tracked, including exactly what you do with your cursor”, said Janne Dam, a student at the Thorbecke Academie in Leeuwarden, and the chair of the Jonge Democraten in Fryslân.
Dam herself has taken an exam using the software in questions, and also said that it requires a view of your room, “so, it also knows exactly where you live!”, she said.
It is an ongoing privacy concern, say students. “What we are seeing is that these programmes duly have an effect on our privacy. It’s unclear what happens to recorded details, nor do we know how it classifies cheating and labels it”, says Dam.
Dam herself has a solution that may help the problem: “we want schools and institutions to come together with students to look for creative solutions, for example open-book exams, substitute assignments, or small-scale physical exams in school buildings, where we can follow hygiene guidance”.
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