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Proctorio – demystifying online proctored exams

Busting myths workshop

Last month the CLT Education Design team facilitated a workshop with the Research School of Psychology (RSP) about the pro, cons and intricacies of using Proctorio, the online exam proctoring service used at the ANU.

As all exams organised by the Exams Office will be conducted online in 2022, RSP is considering whether or not Proctorio will meet their needs or ensure exam integrity, fair and equitable assessments and manageable workloads for teaching staff.

The workshop aimed to:

  1. differentiate between online proctored exam realities and myths
  2. explain the basics of how Proctorio works and how to implement it in a course
  3. identify how to support students to prepare effectively for proctored exams.

What is Proctorio?

Proctorio is an online proctoring service integrated into Wattle and has been used at ANU since 2020. It needs to be set-up and used in conjunction with a Wattle Quiz activity and has the capacity to analyse and capture a student’s activity during an exam depending on the settings that are enabled.

  • The primary purpose of Proctorio is to provide exam invigilation to maintain academic integrity at scale throughout a timed examination period.
  • Proctorio uses the Google Chrome web browser to monitor exam participants for any behaviour that may indicate an academic integrity breach.
  • It allows lecturers to set controls on individual exams such as ID verification options, recording options, and user behaviour settings. It will flag behaviour based on the chosen settings; these flags can be reviewed in the Proctorio Gradebook.
  • Academic misconduct may be reduced due to awareness of invigilation​
  • Proctorio settings can be adjusted from minimum (student ID verification) to maximum (browser locked down to a single page and recording of a student’s environment and actions), according to the needs of the exam​
  • Weight of behaviour settings can be adjusted and individual recordings reviewed to see the details of a flagged behaviour​
  • Proctorio allows large numbers of students to take their exams concurrently, with identity verification and invigilation options
  • Proctorio creates a record of internet or other issue that occur during the exam which can be used by students as evidence of the need for special consideration.
  • Proctorio cannot prevent all academic misconduct​
  • Proctorio cannot guarantee security of exam questions​
  • Student network/computer issues can interrupt the exam
  • Use of Proctorio can increase student stress during the exam (although some come to prefer using it over taking their exams in an exam hall)
  • Lecturers cannot use Proctorio to be asked questions or broadcast answers during the exam​
  • Students need to do a Proctorio practice exam to ensure their device will be compatible.

Learning from the experts

At the workshop, which featured a range of experts from across ANU, panelist Andras Keszei from the School of Biology (CoS) reported on the extensive work he has undertaken using Proctorio – and was, in fact, conducting deferred online exams using Proctorio on the day of the workshop.

Panelist Brendon Colquhoun from the Exams Office was able to respond to questions and issues as they arose. Panelist Grant Melvin, from LSSG, provided technical information and reiterated that LSSG is keen to review exams to ensure all settings are optimal. However, he did request that lecturers allow 10 working days before the exam to ensure an effective advice process: send the exam to for review, and, if necessary, they will alert you to any potential issues.

A third panelist offering a student viewpoint was in the form of a pre-recorded video. In the video the student discussed what was valued by students: a level playing field for all students and some measures ensuring the integrity of exams.

Is Proctorio the answer to all the issues of online exams? There is no one answer to complex issues around online exams, but Proctorio can address many of the needs of teaching staff – without necessarily adding greatly to their workloads. This is especially true for those staff who already effectively use the Wattle quiz function with its ability to randomise questions and answers and conduct timed online exams.

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In summary, RSP is intending to explore Proctorio further before possible implementation in Semester 2, and the CLT Education Design team are keen to support them and other groups wishing to implement Proctorio in 2022.

To find out more about exam design, or to get support with online exams contact:
For LSSG support with the exam review process, contact

Useful links:

Information for students:

March 2021


  • Claire Brooks, Educational designer, CLT 
  • Bronte Funnell, ANU student and CLT Education Technologist
  • Karlene Dickens, Educational designer, CLT