Centre for Extended Learning (CEL)
East Campus 3 (EC3)
195 Columbia St. W.
519-888-4567, ext 44050
What is ProctorU?
ProctorU is a service that monitors you while you’re taking your exams online to ensure academic integrity, help keep an even playing field with all students, and to help you be successful. Using this service allows you to take the exam from your home or other remote location.
Why is Waterloo using ProctorU?
We are committed to providing students the opportunity to complete courses during the pandemic while maintaining a high quality of education, academic integrity, and the health, safety and well-being of our community. Online proctoring through ProctorU is being offered for select courses to ensure a fair and level playing field for all students, and in cases where monitored invigilation is required by an accrediting body.
How does it work?
- Using either Chrome or Firefox, you will create an account at ProctorU and download the Chrome extension or the Firefox extension.
- We are using ProctorU's Review+ level of invigilation which includes a live proctor to get you started. After you start the exam the proctor will disconnect, but will be accessible through the Chat if you need assistance during the exam.
- Review the details provided by your instructor with respect to duration and permitted aids.
- When you are ready to start your exam, make sure you are in a private room and your desk, monitor and walls are clear. Books, bags and phones should be removed.
- Reboot your computer and make sure all applications and windows are closed except ProctorU.
- Login to your account at ProctorU, choose the correct exam and ensure the ProctorU extension is enabled. After you hit the Start the exam button, an automated system will walk you through the initial steps to launch your exam; it will also ask you to download a temporary applet called LogMeIn Rescue to connect with the proctor. This could take 8-10 minutes, but will not take any time away from the time allowed for your exam. The applet will be automatically uninstalled when you disconnect from the system after your exam.
- Wait for the live Proctor to connect with you, it could take a few minutes. If the status shows "waiting" don't re-download the applet or try to re-run it as this will put you at the end of the queue. The proctor will request a scan of your workspace, review the rules of your exam, and enter the password to start your exam.
- You will need to show a photo WatCard to verify your identity. If you do not have a photo WatCard, you may use government-issued photo ID. If you are unable to show a WatCard of government-issued photo ID during your exam, please contact your instructor in advance. The pictures taken of this ID are removed from the ProctorU system 7 days after the exam. The live proctor will check your ID, and any discrepancies will be flagged for your instructor to review later. We do not use facial recognition to check your image against outside sources.
- Then the proctor will release control and disconnect. If you need assistance during the exam, use the live chat feature to reconnect with a proctor.
- If you experience any technical issues during the start-up process, ProctorU staff will work with you via chat or phone until the problem is resolved. In extreme cases when you cannot connect due to technical problems you should contact your instructor.
How do I create an account at ProctorU?
If this is your first time using ProctorU, you will need to create an account
- Please use your uWaterloo email address and your preferred name as entered in QUEST.
- Be sure to select the time zone where you will be writing your test. If you don’t know your time zone, perform an internet search with search term “time zone” for websites that will help you to determine your time zone.
- Once your account is created, you will receive an email with a link to verify your account. Once you click on the link, you will be redirected to the ProctorU website where your account will be verified, and you will then be able to schedule your exam.
What does it cost?
There is no fee to use the service if you schedule your exam at least 72 hours before the start of your exam window.
If you schedule your exam between 72 hours and 24 hours before the start you will be assessed a $20 fee by Waterloo.
No exams can be scheduled in the 24 hours immediately before the start of your exam window or after the start window begins.
If you wish to reschedule your exam, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the preferred date and time within the exam window. There is no fee to reschedule if you contact us at least 72 hours before the start of your exam window.
You will be assessed a $20 fee to reschedule your exam if your request is received in the 72 hours before the start of the exam window.
No exams can be rescheduled in the 24 hours immediately before the start of your exam window, or once the start window begins, unless there are extenuating circumstances and it has been approved by your instructor.
Do I need a special setup to take the exam?
- Students must be alone in the room for the duration of the exam. It is your responsibility to notify others that they should not enter the room during your exam.
- Your desk and immediate exam writing area must be cleared of books, papers, and other items that might compromise the integrity of the exam writing.
- Devices (e.g., phones, tablets, internet-connected watches, etc.) must be removed from the space or placed at a distance from the immediate exam-writing space. If required for two-factor authentication they must be placed at a distance after you are authenticated.
- Only one monitor will be allowed.
- Headsets and earbuds are not allowed.
- You should test your system through your ProctorU account in advance to eliminate technical issues.
What happens if my proctor hasn't connected with me or I lose internet?
If a proctor does not come on right away, do NOT leave the ProctorU site. If you leave the site YOU MAY LOSE YOUR EXAM APPOINTMENT TIME.
There are sometimes delays due to a large number of students logging on at the same time. If you have waited more than 30 minutes for a proctor, you may call ProctorU at 855-772-8678 (be sure to press the option for “test-taker”) or open your email (don’t close ProctorU) and send them a message at email@example.com.
If internet connection is lost during your exam appointment, you can reconnect with ProctorU from your ProctorU account within 30 minutes.
You can also use the live chat feature. Enter "live agent" in the text box to bypass the automated responses and speak to a live person.
What personal information is required or recorded?
ProctorU commits to limit the Personal Information collected to ProctorU Exam Data and student’s name, image of photo ID, telephone number, username and password, and course/test, e-mail address, test submissions, screen captures (during proctoring session only), audio and video recordings captured of the exam environment during the proctoring session, and reasonable online cookies and tracking technologies solely to improve the student’s use of ProctorU’s website.
”ProctorU exam data” means all proctoring data collected by ProctorU regarding student users during a proctored exam or related identity verification session, and it shall include webcam video/audio, desktop screenshots or video, process logs, and other hardware details of the computer used by each student user during test taking.
Exam data will be securely deleted from ProctorU's systems as per the schedule provided by Waterloo.
What happens while I am taking the test or exam?
You will be monitored and recorded during your exam to make sure that no one has any unfair advantages while testing. The ProctorU solution may capture your video, audio, screen, and web surfing particulars to protect academic integrity.
During the test the Artificial Intelligence (AI) system will flag potential issues which will be reviewed by a fully trained ProctorU employee afterwards to determine if they are actually an unapproved activity. Your instructor and/or authorized Waterloo employees will then be notified of any suspicious activities and will review video evidence of your session. At that time regular Waterloo processes and policies are in effect.
Online proctored exams vs in-person exams
exams are synchronous, everyone writes at same time
exams are scheduled by you over a set time period and written privately
must write in a particular room
write in any space, but it should be quiet and free of interruptions and other people
must present photo WatCard or government issued photo ID
|must present photo WatCard or government issued photo ID|
desk must be clear, no phones, bags, purses, hats or unpermitted aids
|desk must be clear, no phones, bags, purses, hats or unpermitted aids|
drinks must be in a clear container, food is not allowed
|drinks must be in a clear container, food is not allowed|
you are monitored by proctors throughout the exam
you are monitored by a proctor when you begin the exam, and then your exam is recorded without a proctor present
proctors noting suspicious activities confirm with other proctors then flag to instructor, or head proctor, you may be photographed
recorded sessions are later scanned using artificial intelligence (no humans watch you write); potential breaches are ruled out/confirmed by ProctorU staff then communicated to instructor/CEL staff to be ruled out/confirmed
exams can be stopped immediately in the event of a breach
exams are NOT stopped in the event of a breach; recordings are scanned later
permission required for washroom breaks, must be accompanied by proctor
permission for washroom breaks is determined by the instructor in advance
reports of confirmed breaches are forwarded to the Associate Dean by the instructor, Policy 71 investigation is launched
reports of confirmed breaches are forwarded to the Associate Dean by the instructor, Policy 71 investigation is launched
What are the technical requirements?
You will need a strong, stable internet connection, a microphone, speakers and a web camera, a computer or laptop, but you cannot use a tablet, Chromebook or mobile device. You can review all equipment and technology requirements on the Equipment Requirements Help page.
What if I need special accommodations?
If you require special testing accommodations (ie additional time or screen readers), your instructor will have been advised of your needs by Accessibility Services and the proctor will be informed. You should also check with your Accommodation Consultant in advance to see if you need to adjust your accommodation plan.
What about my privacy?
ProctorU implements a high standard of privacy and security and Waterloo has reviewed this through a Privacy Impact Assessment of the use of personal information by ProctorU and a security review of the protections of the data.
Can I take a washroom break?
Brief washroom breaks are usually permitted and noted by the system for instructor review. However, it is recommended that you take any required breaks before the exam starts.
Normally students are expected to remain in view of the webcam for the duration of the exam or until they have completed the exam.
Does it negatively interfere with my computer?
ProctorU does not permanently impact your computer in any way. Their technicians are available to provide free basic troubleshooting for common tech issues that can occur during your session such as a slow connection or webcam issue. They can also help reset your computer when your exam is complete. It is recommended that you delete or disable the browser extension after each exam is completed. The LogMeIn rescue applet used will automatically be removed when the session is terminated.
How is Academic Integrity maintained
- Departures from academic integrity are unacceptable. If you engage in behaviours that compromise the integrity of the exam, whether during the exam or after, you may face sanctions ranging from a written warning, to a failure in the course, to a requirement to withdraw from the University, depending on the severity of the offence.
- The following are some examples of activities that are prohibited during an exam or exam window that constitute a departure from academic integrity:
- impersonating another student
- copying from another student
- making information available to another student about the exam questions or possible answers
- communicating with another person during an exam or about an exam during an exam window, or
- accessing unauthorized materials such as smart devices, websites, books, or unauthorized services, including online tutoring services.
- Each exam will have an authentication process to ensure that the academic integrity of the exam is maintained.
- Your instructor will make the final decisions on questions about academic integrity.
- ProctorU trains each of their proctors for more than 6 weeks and adds several layers of human oversight and supervision to every exam to remove AI flags on false incidents of misconduct that trained humans would easily recognize as harmless.
- Visit the student section of the Academic Integrity site for complete details.
What happens at the end of the exam?
At the conclusion of the exam you should ensure you have submitted all exam materials and deleted any duplicates and/or cleared your device’s clipboard. Check in with the proctor to end the session. You can also request assistance to adjust any settings on your computer.
What about potential bias issues with the software?
The use of proctoring software and artificial intelligence can introduce several types of bias into the test-taking process. Knowing that, Waterlo has chosen a multi-pronged approach to minimize these issues as much as possible. No decisions are made by the software: a live proctor is there to begin the exam and verify any identification, a live proctor also reviews any flags of suspicious activity after the exam is writen, removing any that are normal behaviour, and finally any remaining flags are reviewed by the instructor or approved Waterloo staff. After that, Waterloo's normal academic integrity policies are followed.
What authority does Waterloo have to use ProctorU?
The University of Waterloo processes information—including personal information recorded about identifiable individuals—under the authority of the University of Waterloo Act, 1972. The information collected and used for remote proctoring is related directly to and needed by the University for the purposes of administering online exams and maintaining the academic integrity of the exam process.
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) permits universities to collect, use and disclose personal information necessary for the proper administration of the universities and their programs and services.
What if I have questions during the exam?
Questions about exam content cannot be answered by ProctorU during the exam session and instructors are encouraged to provide guidance in advance to students on how questions will be addressed. If your instructor wishes to take questions from students during the exam the proctor may relay any exam related questions to instructors in the fashion communicated by the instructor. Otherwise, students are encouraged to document any questions or concerns in the exam space where possible.
Still have questions or concerns?
Additional test-taker information is provided on the ProctorU Test Taker Information site.
See What Happens During the Exam Launch Process? Waterloo is using the Review+ Proctored Launch, and does not use challenge questions during the log in process.
If you experience issues with LEARN, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions about personal information and privacy at the University or about our responsibilities under Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy legislation, should be directed to the Privacy Officer at email@example.com.