Zoom as a Proctoring Tool

Though not designed as a proctoring tool, instructors at many national universities are virtually proctoring students through Zoom’s video communication tool.

On this page:

Overview

There are two options to consider when using Zoom as a proctoring tool:

  • Option 1: using Zoom with LockDown Browser; or
  • Option 2: using Zoom on a second device (e.g., smartphone) monitoring the student taking the assessment
Advantages
  • breakout rooms allow for a variety of class sizes (recommended: 5-10 students per room)
  • students can take the assessment at the same time
  • gallery view (can see up to 49 students at a time) allows for all students to be proctored simultaneously
  • waiting room can be used to let one student in at a time so students can identify themselves and share their environment
  • has a remote control desktop option
  • can record sessions for further review
  • cost effective proctoring tool
Disadvantages
  • large classes may need multiple faculty or teaching assistant proctors
  • cannot record breakout rooms unless the host is present in the individual room
  • virtual backgrounds can be used to hide the actual testing environment
  • students must have a webcam
  • students must have multiple devices (e.g., laptop and smartphone)
  • students may have privacy concerns (e.g., recording and/or sharing environment)
  • if used with LockDown Browser, freezing may occur
  • can't use with LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor on the same device

Recommendations

  1. clearly outline assessment expectations to students prior to the assessment, for example:
    • physical environment
    • faculty/ TA roles
    • bathroom breaks
    • questions/clarifications procedure
    • technical difficulties
    • unexpected emergencies
  2. use in conjunction with a paper and pencil assessment or UB Learns assessment
  3. keep in mind that students have individual UB, SSO Zoom accounts
  4. provide a practice assessment
  5. consider possible disparities in students’ internet availability and bandwidth
  6. add additional time to the Zoom meeting for instructions and questions
  7. in Zoom profile settings, under In Meeting (Advanced), turn off Virtual backgrounds
  8. clearly communicate a standard for students’ Zoom configurations, for example:
    • mute upon entry
    • turn off virtual background
    • audio is activated—microphone and speaker
  9. consider additional situational factors (e.g., time zones, device diagnostics and compatibility
  10. keep in mind that 50 breakout rooms are available per Zoom session. Multiple Zoom sessions may be needed for larger classes because breakout rooms are not recorded unless the host is present in the room
  11. remember that recordings of students in Zoom are subject to the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)