Robin Pocornie’s complaint against the VU for their use of Proctorio, which had trouble detecting her face as a person of colour, is part of larger and international story as an article in Wired shows.
Morgan Meaker not only speaks to Robin, but records the experience of another student who was forced to use Proctorio. Meaker writes:
Amaya Ross says her college in Ohio still uses anti-cheating software. But every time she logs in, she feels anxious that her experience during the pandemic will repeat itself. Ross, who is Black, also says she couldn’t access her test when she first encountered the software back in 2021. “It just kept saying: We can’t recognize your face,” says Ross, who was 20 at the time. After receiving that message three or four times, she started playing around with nearby lamps and the window blinds. She even tried taking a test standing up, directly underneath her ceiling light.
Eventually she discovered that if she balanced an LED flashlight on a shelf near her desk and directed it straight at her face, she was able to take her science test—even though the light was almost blinding. She compares the experience to driving at night with a car approaching from the other direction with its headlights on full-beam. “You just had to power through until it was done,” she says.
And Ross wasn’t the only one at her university:
When Ross asked some of her Black or darker-skinned friends about the software, a lot of them had experienced similar problems. “But then I asked my white friends and they’re like, ‘I’m taking tests in the dark,’” she says.
See: This Student Is Taking On ‘Biased’ Exam Software at Wired.
Image generated with DALL·E (prompt: “Driving at night with a car approaching from the other direction with its headlights on full-beam”).