Honorlock

What is Honorlock?

Honorlock is an online proctoring solution offered by Tallahassee Community College. Student activity is monitored through a webcam as well as a screen recorder to ensure that students comply with exam procedures and policies. Students need not schedule a time to take an exam and can do so at home. You can utilize Honorlock in both Canvas exams and quizzes, as well as quizzes and exams conducted within publisher content such as McGraw-Hill or Pearson.

Honorlock is free to use for all TCC faculty and students, and is pre-installed in all live Canvas course shells.

How does Honorlock work?

Honorlock does not routinely rely on live human proctors to monitor student exam attempts. Honorlock's software locks down the student's internet browser and records both screen activity and webcam activity for your review. To reduce time spent on footage review, Honorlock's artificial intelligence (A.I.) flags specific behaviors and exam sessions for you.

If Honorlock's AI detects suspicious activity, it may query a human proctor to monitor the student's exam session for any irregularities or technical problems, and can provide assistance to students having difficulties in-session as necessary. If students are not complying with the exam rules you set within the system, Honorlock will flag the session for your review.

Does Honorlock itself rule on whether students are engaging in academic misconduct?

No. Honorlock's combination of AI and human proctors can flag an exam session for suspicious activity, but ultimately it's up to faculty and the Office of Student Conduct as to whether a student's exam activity constitutes academic dishonesty.

How do I use Honorlock within Canvas?

Follow the steps below to setup an Honorlock exam or assessment within Canvas. Click the links for more information on how to perform each of the steps:

  1. First, you will need to make Honorlock available for access in your Canvas course shell.
  2. Create your exam or assessment as a Canvas Quiz.
  3. From here, enable Honorlock for that specific assessment.

Honorlock also maintains a Faculty Guide that fully explains how to use the proctoring software. You can also view this quick Honorlock video tutorial if you're in a hurry and want to set up proctoring quickly.

Once students have completed their exams, you can review their exam results in closer detail. This short video tutorial will also explain the process of looking up student exam footage. If a student's exam contains lost footage, you can also request fail-safe images of their exam attempt from Honorlock.

What about using Honorlock in third-party software, like McGraw-Hill or Pearson exams?

Honorlock can also be used with third party exams! Click here to watch a video tutorial on using Honorlock with third party publisher exams.

I want to use Honorlock in my Canvas course, should I include that information in my course syllabus?

Yes! Students often have questions about the use of Honorlock, especially where it intersects with their privacy and data security. It's important to let them know you plan to use Honorlock to proctor your assessments and to answer any questions they may have regarding using the service. You can include the following language in your course syllabus:

"Your exams this semester will be proctored by Honorlock. Honorlock is an online proctoring service that allows you to take your exam from the comfort of your home. Honorlock is available 24/7 all you need is a computer, webcam, and an Internet connection. You do not need to create an account or schedule a time.

Honorlock is very simple! All you will need to do is log into Canvas and click on the quiz you need to take. You will be prompted to add the Honorlock Chrome Extension, which is required to take your exam. You are required to use Google Chrome as your browser. Then you will need to take a picture, show your ID, and scan your room. Honorlock will be recording you via webcam and they will be recording your screen. They also have an integrity algorithm that can detect search-engine use, so do not attempt to cheat or look up answers."

Sounds great! What other support resources are available for Honorlock?

Honorlock has plenty of support resources available for faculty who are interested in using the service. Take a look below:

If you need direct assistance with using Honorlock, you can contact them at support@honorlock.com. You can also visit Honorlock's Support Page to begin a live-chat with their support representatives.

How is student privacy protected while using Honorlock?

TCC has a formal agreement to provide online proctoring services through Honorlock. The agreement supersedes Honorlock’s general Terms of Services and includes specific legal requirements for the privacy and security of student information including:

  • A formal data sharing agreement for student information with specific privacy and security restrictions under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Florida Information Protection Act (FIPA);
  • FERPA binds Honorlock to only collect, process, and store student data for contracted services and this information cannot be sold or transferred for any other purpose; Restricting access to our student data to only those within Honorlock with an authorized reason to process or view this data;
  • Restricting storage of our student data to only data centers located in the United States and requiring encryption in the transmission of any protected university data;
  • The use of appropriate administrative, technical, and physical security measures to preserve the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of protected student data;
  • Data minimization procedures to delete collected information when no longer necessary or upon termination of the agreement;
  • Procedures to alert the university upon the confirmation of a data breach of the Honorlock system.

Honorlock is a cloud-based proctoring solution, which has successfully completed the Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 Type 1 audit, US Privacy Shield compliance, and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) readiness. The audit affirms that Honorlock’s information security practices, policies, procedures, and operations meet the SOC 2 standards for security, availability, and confidentiality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why and when is online proctoring necessary?

Proctored testing enables the university to ensure the academic integrity of assessments and to comply with federal regulations that require universities offering online and distance education to verify student identity. Traditional face-to-face classes that aren't conducive to testing in the classroom typically rely on testing facilities for live, in-person proctoring of exams.

During the social distancing of COVID-19 and the closure of testing facilities throughout the world, online proctoring offers an alternative to in-person proctored testing. This is a common practice of online and distance learning courses and is used by universities throughout our state university system and the nation. Though instructors may use a variety of alternate assessment strategies, they may also rely on online proctoring to ensure the security of tests offered to online students in different locations. Online proctoring helps prevent academic honor violations such as:

  • Use of a false identity,
  • Unauthorized collaboration,
  • Use of unauthorized materials, and
  • Copying or distributing test items to others. 

Are instructors required to use Honorlock?

No. Your instructor may use a variety of assessment strategies that don't include online proctoring. When the nature of the course or instruction makes online proctoring a necessity, however, your instructor may choose Honorlock to ensure the academic integrity of your test.

What do I do if I don't have the resources needed to participate in online proctored testing?

Being displaced during the COVID-19 social distancing period may put you in a situation where online proctored testing is difficult or impossible. Depending on your living situation, you may not have access to reliable internet, computer hardware, or a private space where you can test uninterrupted. Communicate any limitations or obstacles you have with online proctored testing to your instructors so they can work with you.

Is it true that student information could be sold to third parties if I use the service to proctor an online test?

No. The university's agreement with Honorlock for online test proctoring does not allow Honorlock to sell student information to third parties. As mentioned above, our contract with Honorlock has specific legal requirements for the protection of student information that supersede Honorlock's standard Terms of Service and bind Honorlock to all of the protections supplied by FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act).

Is it true that Honorlock scans home networks and monitors data from any device connected to that network?

No. Honorlock does not scan home networks or monitor data from any device on the network other than the one used for testing. Secondary devices, such as phones, can be detected, but this is not accomplished by network snooping. See the questions below for more detailed information on how Honorlock tracks and monitors data and devices.

Where does Honorlock store student data?

Honorlock uses an encrypted and secured connection during the exam. All videos and photos are stored in Honorlock’s platform. Their system runs in a secure, private cloud within Amazon’s AWS cloud platform in US data centers.

How long is student data stored?

Honorlock has defined data retention periods of 12 months, after which all student-related data is automatically purged, unless the university requests an extension of a particular student’s data related to an academic integrity case. Upon request from the university, Honorlock can extend the data retention of a student’s data up to an additional 12 months.

How is student data secured and protected?

All data, including photos and video, is stored in an encrypted format on isolated storage systems within Honorlock’s private cloud in Amazon’s AWS US data centers. They are SOC 2 Type 1, US Privacy Shield and GDPR compliant.

Who has access to student data?

Only key staff within Honorlock will have access in order to provide quality control and support for TCC instructors and proctors. Those accessing student data are bound to the FERPA and privacy requirements required by the TCC/Honorlock master service agreement.

Who monitors the test, Artificial Intelligence (AI) or live proctors? Who reviews the flags?

The AI automatically generates a flag if unusual activity is detected, such as another person entering the room. There is no live person watching the student during the exam. Once an exam session is completed, instructors are able to review flagged recordings to determine if a cheating incident may have occurred.

What data is tracked/recorded from the web browser extension and how is it handled?

The Chrome Web browser extension allows Honorlock to interact with the student and the exam content during the exam. This includes launching the webcam window and interacting with student behavior within the exam. During the exam, the following data is captured, analyzed, and stored:

  • Webcam video, including audio;
  • Recording of desktop activity;
  • Student information presented by the learning management system (Canvas), such as student name, course number, exam name, etc.;
  • Pages visited during the examination session;
  • Specific student behavior that may indicate academic dishonesty, such as copy/paste into search engines.

Webcam and audio analysis has certain AI capabilities built in, such as detecting the presence of zero, one, or more faces in the camera, one or more voices, etc. This AI will generate a “flag,” prompting the instructor to review the exam session to determine if additional action is necessary to remediate any academic integrity issues.

Does the Honorlock browser application have the ability to detect and monitor other computing devices connected to the local/home network used during a student’s proctoring session?

Honorlock does not employ any technologies to allow detection of secondary devices connected to a student’s local/home network used during the proctoring session. No agents or applications are downloaded to these secondary devices to initiate any type of surveillance activities. Other users connected to the local/home network during a student’s Honorlock session can process personal or confidential information concurrently without fear of the student’s Honorlock session monitoring or eavesdropping on secondary device activities. In addition, the application does not have the capability of intercepting local/home network communications from devices connected during the student’s session.

Does Honorlock have the capability to monitor the use of my smartphone during an examination session?

Students using their smartphones to search online resources for test questions should note Honorlock utilizes a manual technology to detect academic integrity issues. Specifically, Honorlock hosts websites with seeded test questions that, when accessed during an examination session, sets off an action on the phone. This action is picked up during the student’s session and alerts instructors and proctors to review for academic integrity issues. Honorlock does not initiate any technologies to eavesdrop on the student’s smartphone activity either during or after an examination session. It is important for students to understand they are not authorized to use their phones during an Honorlock proctored examination.

Who determines if cheating took place during an online proctored test?

Instructors make the final assessment about whether suspected cheating has taken place during an exam session. Only students engaging in unusual activity during an exam are flagged and reviewed. If an instructor reviews the video and determines that the student did not violate TCC’s academic honor policy, no action is taken. However, if an instructor determines that the student violated the academic honor policy, that instructor will follow the appropriate channels for academic honor policy violations. 

Can I uninstall the Honorlock extension in my browser after my exam is over?

Yes. You are welcome to uninstall the Honorlock Chrome extension after your test is complete if you're not completely comfortable keeping it on your computer.

See Honorlock’s Student Privacy Statement for additional information on Honorlock’s privacy policies.