Honorlock

Honorlock is an online ID verification and proctoring tool. Stony Brook has a contract with Honorlock to verify identity and proctor examinations online and has gone through the necessary compliance and security reviews. This vendor abides by all FERPA regulations. 

 

*** Please note...effective for Fall 2021****

As we look forward to returning to the classroom this coming academic year, we also anticipate a reduced need for online proctoring. Subsequently, after consultation and input from faculty and Undergraduate Program Directors, Stony Brook will continue to offer campus-wide licenses for the Respondus tools Lockdown Browser and Monitor but will discontinue our subscription to Honorlock effective August 31, 2021.  

What Does Honorlock do?

Honorlock allows faculty to schedule a proctored online examinations for students in Blackboard. Faculty can schedule an examination ahead of time. Before taking an examination, students may be asked to provide facial recognition identification, provide photo identification, and a view of their surroundings (dependent upon which options their instructor chose for their examination).

Honorlock Support

Honorlock provides direct support to all Stony Brook Instructors & Students.  Please visit  https://honorlock.com/support/ should you require assistance.

View Stony Brook Faculty Training Recording (10-19-2020): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzOAJc1_hvs&feature=youtu.be

See below for frequently asked questions, which include information from Honorlock's support pages.

Privacy and Security with Honorlock

Does Honorlock sell my data or monetize my data to third parties outside of my school or university?

No. Honorlock will never sell or monetize your data. We only share your data with your educational institution. Honorlock is contractually bound to keep all data private and secure. 

What data does Honorlock collect from students using the service?
  1. Student information (i.e. student name, course number, exam name. You will be asked to provide a photo ID). This information is synced with your school’s learning management system (i.e., Blackboard).
  2. During the exam, Honorlock collects a webcam video recording that includes desktop activity and audio recording.
  3. Exam and web pages visited by a student during an examination.
How long does Honorlock keep my data?

Stony Brook’s contract with Honorlock allows them to retain data for a period of 6 months. Student data is deleted after the 6-month retention period. Only a request by a Stony Brook will extend the retention period. The only time this will occur is when Stony Brook is investigating a case of academic integrity.

Does Honorlock have control of my computer or my mobile phone?
  1. No. Honorlock uses a Chrome browser extension that uses AI to detect the presence of faces in your camera and different voices. A student will have to install the browser extension to take an examination. You can immediately delete the browser extension following the examination. Honorlock does not have the ability to control your computer, read your passwords or download any files at any point in time.
  2. Honorlock does not have access or the ability to control secondary devices such as mobile phones.
  3. Any messages that appear on the student’s computer screen during the exam will be recorded, and students should disable message notifications during the exam to both prevent distractions and ensure their private messages are not seen during the exam.
How do I access Honorlock? Who can provide assistance if needed?
  1. In our efforts to make this available for classes as soon as possible, we have enabled the tool in Blackboard and provided help resources at: https://it.stonybrook.edu/services/honorlock
  2. Honorlock provides live, 24/7 chat and email support, and webinars are available live and on-demand for those who would like additional help.
Is Honorlock tracking my online activities and watching me when I am not taking an exam?

No. Honorlock is only proctoring your school’s examinations via the Chrome browser extension. You are free to delete the Chrome browser extension immediately following an exam. However, the extension will not track any activity or record any data unless you are taking an exam and logged into Blackboard.

Where is my data stored and how well is my data protected?


All data in transit and data at rest is encrypted and stored within Honorlock’s private cloud in an Amazon (AWS) data center. Amazon’s data centers are SOC 2 Type 1, U.S. Privacy Shield and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant. Details regarding their data security practices were reviewed by a team of SBU technical subject matter experts, and Honorlock was already being used and trusted by many Universities throughout the country before SBU selected them. 

Additionally, Honorlock’s company policy and contractual agreement with SBU forbids them from altering their Chrome extension to operate in any other way than that which it was intended. As a point of reference, a Chrome extension is a ‘lighter weight’ application than the Respondus app which installs on your hard drive and interfaces with the computer OS. See Honorlock’s instructions on how to easily remove the Chrome extension.

Does Honorlock use facial recognition to verify my identity?

No. Honorlock uses facial detection, which only detects that there is a clear human face in the webcam. We do not identify the face, store any of the facial elements, or match the face to a database. If no face is detected, or if multiple faces are detected, AI will flag the incident and a human proctor may intervene.

Is Honorlock accessible?

Honorlock provides options for SASC accommodations such as proctor-assisted login and authentication, extra time, readers and scribes, etc. For more information and instructions about testing accommodations, as well as information about other features to protect test integrity, visit: https://it.stonybrook.edu/services/honorlock.

FAQs

Who selected HonorLock?
  1. After many months of work reviewing and assessing online proctoring vendors, the Online Exam & Assessment Task Group recommended that SBU implement an online proctoring solution for the University. Based on their recommendation, the University secured a contract with Honorlock and the proctoring service became available for use beginning Oct. 13. 
  2. The Online Exam & Assessment Task Group included a diverse and representative group of twenty-one faculty and staff from across campus. This group evaluated several different product options and benchmarked them against a list of requirements and found Honorlock to be one of the best solutions available. Honorlock proctors do not watch students continuously; rather specific behaviors trigger alerts, on which proctors follow up. Because of this, Honorlock is less invasive than other products, while equally capable of ensuring integrity in test-taking.
Why did the University select Honorlock?
  1. The task group selected vendors based on criteria provided by the University and faculty: 
  2. Simultaneous testing for 1000+ student course 
  3. Meets accessibility standards
  4. Platform agnostic (can be used on Mac, PC, & Chromebooks)
  5. Live proctors available 
  6. Able to on-board our campus
We have Respondus, why did we need Honorlock?
  1. After using Respondus Monitor during Spring semester, Stony Brook faculty and students experienced significant difficulties using the platform for proctoring, including:
  2. Respondus does not work on Chromebooks (which the University made available upon request for remote learning)
  3. Students experienced exam login delays resulting in lost time and significant anxiety.
  4. Many faculty were not satisfied with the Respondus proctoring AI and asked that we identify a vendor that had live proctors available to assist and monitor exams. 
  5. The download application Respondus uses was either difficult to install or caused problems with the computer operating system.
Can a student limit access to their information by allowing it to run only on the Blackboard website?


No, in order to be effective, the proctoring system must be able to monitor whether a student is navigating to other websites by being able to see the entire screen and any websites that may be open on the device.

I’ve heard that Honorlock will crash my computer. Will it?

Before using Honorlock, students should run a one-click system check to confirm that their OS, Internet speed, and Chrome version are all compatible. We confirmed with both Honorlock and the DoIT helpdesk that students reporting difficulty with their computer after installing the Chrome extension were either running an outdated OS, had outdated antivirus software, or other system issues that were not allowing Honorlock to operate properly.  If students experience difficulty before or during an exam, their on-demand live chat is available to assist.

How does Honorlock work?

Honorlock’s AI monitors and records the test-taking. In case of unusual activity, for example, another person entering the room, the AI will flag the situation and notify a live proctor. Once an exam session is completed, instructors may review flagged recordings to determine if there was a possible academic integrity violation.

Why does Honorlock record the entire room?

Whereas Respondus only recorded what was viewable on the camera (the student and background), Honorlock requires that students conduct a 360-degree scan of the room. This feature was important to Stony Brook faculty to ensure that the environment was free from materials or resources that were not allowed during the exam. 

What can I do if my device can’t run Honorlock?

If you are using a device that isn't compatible with Honorlock, please contact your course instructor to see what other accommodations can be made.

Technical Questions (Instructors)

How do I set up Honorlock?

To add the Honorlock LTI follow these steps below:

1. Go into Blackboard and go into a Content Area on your course menu.

If you need to add a Content Area, click on the "+" in the upper left hand corner of your Course Menu.

2. Once in the Content Area you can add the Honorlock LTI by click on Build Content then Honorlock LTI.

3. Enter the name and description and date/time restrictions.

4. Click Submit.

 

Enabling Honorlock

1. After creating the test, navigate to the Test Options Page for the exam.

2. Within the Honorlock section, there will be a button to enable the exam with Honorlock. Click Click to Enable to open the Exam Settings screen.

3. You can now enable the Proctoring Settings of your choice. To enable a setting, simply click on the box for that setting.

 

Does Honorlock provide instructors with options?

Yes, the system provides flexibility that can be used at the instructor's discretion, please read this Explanation of Proctoring Options that explains in detail all the options.

Does Honorlock work outside the Blackboard platform?

Yes.   Through Honorlock in your primary Learning Management System, you have the option to offer proctored exams given in ANY third party platform such as Pearson MyMathLab, McGraw-Hill Connect, and WebAssign.   For more information , look at:  https://honorlock.kb.help/faculty-exam-configuration/create-a-third-party-exam/ 

Should you require assistance, please contact Honorlock directly at: 1 (844) 243-2500

How does Honorlock work for students who require special accommodations?

Instructors should verify with their students with disabilities if their accommodations and adaptive technologies are compatible with Honorlock. The University will still provide applicable academic accommodations for students registered with the SASC office who have online exams. Students should communicate with instructors to discuss exam accommodations.  Instructors are encouraged to review the Student Accessibility Service Center (SASC) testing and accommodations website and consult with the SASC staff to develop an accommodation plan with an alternative form of proctoring if a student’s accommodation or adaptive technology is not compatible with Honorlock.

How do Honorlock and Respondus Monitor differ?

These two tools were designed to fulfill different assessment needs. Respondus does not provide proctors.   Respondus monitor utilizes a student’s webcam and video analytics to prevent and flag possible cheating during exams. Faculty then review flags.

If you have not yet used Respondus Monitor this academic year, we ask that you plan to use Honorlock for your proctored exams.   For classes that are already using Respondus Monitor, you may continue to use it for your exams. 

 

Can my students use scrap paper and/or submit PDF's of their work?

Yes, you can use scrap paper and/or PDF's.

Watch this video for more information:  https://youtu.be/wPjQABtVcrg

Is "record screen" a requirement in Honorlock?

Yes, in order for the artificial intelligence of the system to work properly, students screens must be recorded.  If you do not want your students' screens recorded, then Honorlock is not a good solution for you.   Please contact celt@stonybrook.edu and make arrangements to discuss alternative assessment.

Technical Questions (Students)

What are Honorlock’s minimum requirements?

These are Honorlock's minimum system requirements. Honorlock will work on any device that can run the full Chrome browser (including Windows, macOS, and Chrome OS). Windows-based and Chrome OS tablets should work; however, iOS and iPads and Android do not support the full Chrome browser and are not compatible with Honorlock. Honorlock requires internet access and students MUST have a web camera for online proctoring. Instructors should work with students to identify who cannot meet those requirements and find alternative solutions.

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 students in a situation where online proctored testing is difficult or impossible. Depending on the individual situation, students may not have access to reliable internet, computer hardware, or a private space where they can test uninterrupted. Students should communicate any limitations or obstacles they have with online proctored testing to your instructors so they can work with you. Students experiencing a financial hardship related to acquiring the appropriate technology should contact the Stony Brook Student Support Team at  (631) 632-7320 or by emailing   student_supportteam@stonybrook.edu

Can I uninstall the Honorlock extension from 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. Simply right click on the extension icon on your browser bar and select ‘Remove from Chrome’. 

Do I need to pay for Honorlock Proctoring?

You do not need to pay for Honorlock proctoring during the 2020-2021 year.

How does Honorlock work in Chrome?

Instead of interacting with your computer at the operating system level or necessitating a software download, Honorlock only requires that you use the Google Chrome browser and install the Honorlock Chrome extension. This helps to minimize any unnecessary or perceived invasion of student privacy. Google Chrome extensions are sandboxed within the Chrome browser, and they only have access to limited operations provided by the browser. The extension is only active while you are within the Blackboard test environment. When the Honorlock extension is active, there is a flashing red indicator on the extension. If this indicator is not being shown, you can trust that nothing is actively being monitored or recorded during that time. If you still have concerns, we recommend creating a new Google Chrome person or profile to complete your testing with Honorlock. This will create a fresh version of the Google Chrome browser free of all data, and when finished, you can simply remove the extension. This can easily be accomplished by right clicking on the extension and selecting “Remove from Chrome.”

Additional FAQs

How does Honorlock work in Chrome?

Instead of interacting with your computer at the operating system level or necessitating a software download, Honorlock only requires that you use the Google Chrome browser and install the Honorlock Chrome extension. This helps to minimize any unnecessary or perceived invasion of student privacy. Google Chrome extensions are sandboxed within the Chrome browser, and they only have access to limited operations provided by the browser. The extension is only active while you are within the Blackboard test environment. When the Honorlock extension is active, there is a flashing red indicator on the extension. If this indicator is not being shown, you can trust that nothing is actively being monitored or recorded during that time. If you still have concerns, we recommend creating a new Google Chrome person or profile to complete your testing with Honorlock. This will create a fresh version of the Google Chrome browser free of all data, and when finished, you can simply remove the extension. This can easily be accomplished by right clicking on the extension and selecting “Remove from Chrome.”

Who has access to student data?

Only University personnel with legitimate educational interest in the records may have access to student data. Also key staff within Honorlock will have access, if needed, in order to provide quality control and support for SBU instructors. These individuals are bound to the FERPA and privacy requirements required by the SBU/Honorlock master service agreement.

Does Honorlock require that students provide a picture of a photo ID to verify their identity? Is this information saved/stored?

Instructors can choose to enable this feature. Honorlock encourages the primary use of a University/College ID and this is our recommendation. However, any photo ID that has an image of the test-taker and their name on it will work for the purposes of confirming and documenting that the student that is supposed to take the exam is the student that actually authenticates into and completes the exam.

Does Honorlock scan home networks and monitor 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 about how Honorlock tracks and monitors data and devices.

Does Honorlock monitor secondary devices?

Honorlock does not access the test-taker’s network nor does it, in any way, monitor or access any secondary devices that are on the test-taker’s network. Honorlock does monitor the quality of the internet connection of the specific test-taking device to insure the quality of and to document the network connection stability during the test-taking experience. This helps to address and troubleshoot situations where the test-taker’s internet connection becomes unstable during the test-taking experience. Many other platforms (including Zoom) monitor network performance in a similar way. For a complete description of how Honorlock’s secondary device detection works, the patent information can be found here and on the Honorlock Patent Info for Multi-Device Detection.

 

Does Honorlock ‘intercept’ searches or control or interrupt network traffic from any secondary devices?

Honorlock does not ‘intercept’ searches, nor control or interrupt any network/internet traffic from any secondary devices at any time. Honorlock also does not ‘replace’ search results; it has no more control over search results than any other company. Honorlock does utilize SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in an attempt to seed what’s called “honeypot” sites in meaningful ways. Honorlock does not, at any point, hijack any device, secondary or otherwise, to deliver the service. At no point does Honorlock have direct control over any device, secondary or otherwise, before, during or after the test-taking experience.


Honorlock does not need to, nor is it able to, monitor any activity from secondary devices during the testing period to deliver the service. It directs you to the public information available on the service as a patented technology on file with the U.S. Patent Office, links provided above. 


Honorlock in no way monitors any activity on the test-taker’s network from any secondary devices. It does interact with the test-taker’s test-taking device/computer to deliver the service as outlined above regarding internet connection quality monitoring. All of the other capabilities that Honorlock offers (webcam, audio, browser activity, screen recording, etc.) are deployed at the discretion of the Stony Brook University and its faculty and instructors to provide a secure remote test-taking environment
 

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 that Honorlock utilizes a manual technology to detect academic integrity issues. Specifically, Honorlock hosts websites with seeded test questions that, when assessed 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.

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:

  1. Webcam video, including audio 
  2. Recording of desktop activity
  3. Student information presented by the learning management system (Blackboard) such as student name, course number, exam name, etc.
  4. Pages visited during the examination session
  5. Specific student behavior that may indicate academic dishonesty, such as copy/paste into search engines.
  6. 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 (or UMD personnel with legitimate educational interest to the records) 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.

Who monitors the test, artificial intelligence (AI) or live proctors? Who reviews the flags?

Honorlock’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) monitors the test-taking. The AI automatically generates a flag if unusual activity is detected, such as another person entering the room. If unusual activity is detected, a live proctor is notified. Once an exam session is completed, instructors, TA’s, or SBU personnel with legitimate educational interest in the records are able to review flagged sections of the recordings to determine if there was a possible academic integrity violation. 

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 for review.  If an instructor reviews the video and determines that the student did not violate SBU’s Code of Student Responsibility or no action is taken. However, if an instructor determines that the student violated the code, that instructor will follow the appropriate channels for academic honor policy violations. Students who feel wrongly accused of a violation have a channel for resolving alleged violations in the Office of Community Standards (communitystandards@stonybrook.edu or call 631-632-6705). 

Additional Information


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