For the Project Management exam, my university requires us to install a program on our PERSONAL laptops that is meant to take over the control over the entire system during the exam, monitor any “suspicious activities”. The software is closed-source (it’s called Schoolyear Exams), does god-knows-what in the background, takes the control over the entire system and can be summoned through any Chromium web browser.

Don’t get me wrong, I get that you want to make sure nobody is cheating - but at this point, I’d rather write it with pen and paper. Or just provide us with computers for the time of exam.

I decided to whip out my old laptop instead, installed a Windows 10 on a separate SSD, and installed that software on it.

Also it’s very amusing that this software is also mandatory for the Linux exam… But the program can’t run on Linux (it’s Windows and Mac only and doesn’t even support M1 chips).

EDIT: typos

  • 17
    I'm so glad I was long gone from college by the time they started pulling this nonsense. I probably would have used a VM if my college required me to install actual Spyware on my computer.
  • 4
    @EmberQuill I thought of it, but I am worried that it would detect VM as a “suspicious activity” - and I don’t want to fail the exam.
  • 7
    my college put a software in moodle to point similarities with the entire internet. problem with that: similarity check gets a lot of false negatives and i have been accused of plagiarism on a work i did from scratch because of stuff like this.

    the problem here is blind faith in technology to do a person's job. there's just stuff that algorithms are not supposed to be doing. the valuation system schools use is already shit with pen and paper, a test grade is no proof that you know a subject, and then they do this. I'd rather do a presentation, and it's what most of my professors have chosen for 2 years
  • 4
    I'm glad my university opted for making the exams more difficult and allowing the use of study material instead. There are other means to detect plagiarism, which can't really be detected by spyware anyway.
  • 5
    In doubt this would lead me to fail the linux exam for not owning a PC with Microsoft Windows. Nice.
  • 5
    @darksideofyay Ah yes, I had a bad experience with plagiarism checks when writing my last report.

    My paraphrasing of my interviewee’s answers were detected as plagiarism.
    I had to remove any mentions of “COVID-19”, because otherwise they would be detected as a plagiarism too.
  • 3
    You also need to install this bullshit if you want to take an AWS certification exam remotely.

    And the software runs like trash. I did the solutions architect cert recently and the exam literally crashed halfway through and Pearson tech support had to call me to restart the program.
  • 2
    @EmberQuill that’s a pretty clever idea!
  • 1
    wouldn't device monitoring methods fail to detect cheating if the user is using several devices?
    Just spitballing here, but imagine that college students that own a table computer also own some sort of portable pocket computer that allow for communication and internet access. Students could then just use another device brought from their pockets.
    Luckily no student has more than one digital device, right?
  • 3
    @JsonBoa I don't know if OP's university is doing this, but some universities have been using spyware that uses your webcam for eye tracking to see if you spend a lot of time looking away from your screen. So even the "use another device" plan wouldn't work.

    Students are understandably pissed about being required by the school to install actual spyware on their computers.
  • 3
    @EmberQuill Pearson’s spyware does use webcam and mic with a proctor on the other end who watches you throughout the test. You also have to submit photos of your workspace from various angles to show you have no extra devices/displays.
    I was even told to stop covering my mouth during my first AWS cert (I was leaning on my hand while thinking).
  • 3
    @EmberQuill @LLAMS WTF this type of shit gotta be outlawed soon.
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