Universiteit Leiden

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About the use of online proctoring

1 May 2020

Dear all,
A number of students have voiced their concerns about online proctoring at exams by means of the software programme ProctorExam. For most of the exams no proctoring software will be used, except for the standard plagiarism check via Turnitin. However, in some special cases, languages for example, a different approach may be required. This is why we have allowed instructors to choose a different method, including online proctoring, if they feel no alternatives are open to them, and an examination in this format is appropriate. We support all of our instructors in their decisions on examinations. As such, ProctorExam is only used as a last resort if the alternative would be an unacceptable delay in study progress.
After careful consideration, we therefore feel that using proctoring software, as unattractive as it may seem, is still in the best interest of both you and the instructor.
We understand that the initial concerns about privacy are not the main reason some students do not feel comfortable with the online proctoring (the university has in fact covered all the legal issues regarding the GDPR, check the link below) but that it has more to do with the unusual way in which the invigilation will take place. It is understandable that some of you feel especially anxious about these new ways of assessment and there has been a lot for you to take in, switching from a normal semester to a completely remote programme.
Please bear in mind that online proctoring is not a way of trying to make your lives more difficult; it is rather a way of trying to stay as close as possible to a normal exam situation, in which you are also being monitored by the examiners. The Faculty Board has already informed all lecturers that we would like them to be lenient in their grading, taking into account the circumstances in which we are all working and studying at the moment. Different lecturers choose different ways of assessing their students and they base their choices on what they believe is best for their students and their results.
While we understand your concerns, we do advise you to do the exam and find out for yourself that it is not as bad as it seems. For a detailed explanation of how we handle your data, please check the Leiden University Privacy Statement on Online Proctoring using ProctorExam.
Finally, please note that after you end the test, you must also end ProctorExam in order to stop the recordings.
We wish you good luck with studying for your exams. Thank you for your understanding and for your flexibility during the past weeks!

Kind regards,
Mirjam de Baar and Jeroen Touwen,
Vice deans of the Faculty Board

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