I am pleased to report that the University has secured the services of Proctortrack as an online proctoring solution and is working hard to have this solution enabled and accessible for use by faculty and students by mid- to late October. Please note the restrictions on the use of proctoring software highlighted in bold below.
The decision to implement Proctortrack came after a thoughtful, purposeful approach toward securing an online proctoring solution that would best balance the safety of our campus communities, the data privacy issues of our students, and the integrity of our academic programs per the recommendations of our system-wide taskforce charged to provide forward-looking recommendations for Fall 2020. In selecting Proctortrack as a remote proctoring tool while CUNY is primarily operating in remote mode, we endeavored to mitigate risks to our students and our University, secure fair pricing for services to be provided, and maintain tight controls over privacy issues. The level of service in procurement, for example, will make proctoring data available to faculty and University officials only in cases where academic integrity issues are suspected, will require the safe disposition of any and all student data 60 days after a proctored test or quiz, and provide continental 24/7 U.S. support services through Blackboard. Proctortrack is a solution used by institutions such as Rutgers University, MIT, SUNY Cobleskill, and other universities served via edX and 2U (e.g., Brown, NYU, Columbia). CSI has designated our Blackboard Administrator, Michael Castelli, to fill the role of ProctorTrack administrator. In that role, he will work to:
- identify courses/class sections that will use online proctoring and would need to be coded with appropriate class attribute in CUNYfirst for identification and license allocation;
- oversee integration of Proctortrack with Blackboard;
- serve as primary contact for campus faculty and students to ensure usage guidelines are met;
- identify faculty and staff who need to undergo Proctortrack training; and
- identify faculty and staff who will be trained Subject Matter Experts and can serve as liaisons to the CIS Technical Support Team on using the Proctortrack solution.
Finally, per previous guidance, it is important to note that the online proctoring tool may only be required if the course description or course syllabus noted that they might be used, allowing students to make an informed decision about enrolling in that course. No other student can be compelled to agree to the terms and conditions of proctoring solutions procured by the University, Colleges, Programs, and/or those that may be bundled in with specific textbooks. When in doubt, please refer to the following guidance from our Office of General Counsel regarding this matter:
The Office of Legal Affairs has reviewed the Terms and Conditions of several online testing application services and it is the Office’s guidance that faculty cannot compel students to accept the corresponding tools’ “Terms and Conditions” and that in the event students do not accept the terms, faculty must provide students reasonable assessment accommodations to demonstrate they meet the course learning requirements. Examples of alternative methods of assessment include papers, presentations, annotations, e-portfolios, and in-person exams following campus reopening safety guidelines. As part of the communications roll-out, the University will develop an FAQ page with additional information on Proctortrack and on alternative assessment methods and will coordinate a webinar on effective assessment practices that do not require online proctoring tools. More information will be forthcoming.
By the Division of Academic Affairs