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Proctorio chosen as finalist for proctoring service after recommendation to end contract

This story has been updated since The Miami's Student's Sept. 15 print issue.

After Miami University Senate recommended Miami terminate its contract with Proctorio in  September 2021, the university began looking for alternatives to the remote proctoring service to better align with the interests of students and staff.

In creating a new Request for Procurement (RFP), a committee appointed by former Provost Jason Osborne considered bids from multiple proctoring services. The committee announced the final two options on Monday, Sept. 12, at the University Senate meeting: Honorlock and Proctorio itself.

In September 2021, Senate’s Center for Teaching Excellence Subcommittee on Proctorio determined, in a 127-page report, that the university should end their contract with the proctoring software due to concerns voiced by students and faculty over the service’s security and reliability.

Last year, Proctorio took legal action against Erik Johnson, Miami junior, after he posted tweets critical of the company which revealed lines of confidential code. The case — and Johnson’s own legal claim — was eventually dropped, a decision announced by Johnson and Proctorio in a joint statement.

In response to these criticisms Mike Olsen, Proctorio CEO, said in March 2021 he was open to starting dialogues with universities and students who had issues with the proctoring software. 

"Critics make our company and our software better,” Olsen said. “We want to engage in those criticisms and in those sorts of conversations. If these kinds of things need to happen in a forum, absolutely. Organize it, have the school reach out to our success team manager, and we'll get things set up."

The second option, Honorlock, was recently involved in a court case where the service’s room-scanning was declared unconstitutional

In this case, Cleveland State University student Aaron Ogeltree argued that the university’s use of software to scan his room violated his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure. The judge ruled in favor of Ogletree and found the room scans to be a violation of students’ constitutional rights. 

After the court decision was made, Elizabeth Wardle, English professor and Senate member, spoke out against the decision to continue working with Proctorio, reading a statement at the Aug. 28 senate meeting. 

“If we had $600,000 to spend, we should have spent it to innovate teaching and assessment,” Wardle said in her statement. “Instead, we paid an outside tech company to surveil our students and infringe on their constitutional rights.” 

There has yet to be any other announcements about the university’s future with online proctoring services. 

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