Students say crying in exams activates ‘cheating’ eye-tracking software

ByLance T. Lee

May 2, 2022

Colleges and universities are increasingly using digital tools to prevent cheating on online exams as many people take classes from home or in their dorms in the age of COVID-19.

Needless to say, there are pain points.

The programs – software verified by angry commenters including Pearson VUE and Honorlock – track eye movements and even anxious sobbing during tough tests, a commenter under a TikTok said of the controversial trackers. Josef Fruehwald, professor at the University of Kentucky said in his video that he wouldn’t trust teachers which use tracking software, garnering 2.3 million views and dozens of comments from stressed students.

“One of my French exams was flagged for cheating because I was crying all the time and my French teacher had to watch me sob quietly for 45 minutes,” one user replied.

“Since COVID, LSAT has been using a monitoring system,” said another. “I got yelled at for having a framed quote from my grandmother on the wall.”

No less heartbreaking, one student said an invigilator asked them to change into ‘something more conservative’ during the exam, at the student’s own home.

Fruehwald received so many responses he made a twitter thread about it — whereupon the tweeps began to share even more allegations.

“My husband has two more classes for his BFA and one of them is a math class that requires an assessment test before enrolling,” wrote a person. “He should have graduated two years ago, but he couldn’t take math class because THE SOUND OF HIS LAPTOP FAN TRIGGED THE PROCTOR SOFTWARE.”

Eye tracking software hasn’t really stood out in public opinion lately. One startup forces people to watch ads with their eyelids fully open, and another offers crypto in exchange for eyeball time.

The pandemic has changed the way society works a lot, and education seems to be a sector particularly in demand. Like teachers leave their jobs and students say they sob silently into eye-tracking programs on a computer screen, it’s not hard to see why.

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