Students attending the University of Regina will be video recorded if they take their final exams in the large exam halls this year.
A pilot project was introduced by the university to help deter cheating. Academic vice president and provost, Thomas Chase said the notice via email was given prior to exams.
“We have seen an uptick in the last few years in reported incidents of academic misconduct which includes cheating on the final exams,” he said.
Although Chase said it was a ‘reasonably small’ group who cheated, they want to ensure the integrity of the university for current, future, and past students.
None of the exams will be monitored in real time by university staff. Instead, video recording will be used as a tool the school will use in the future — if needed.
“Only if after the exam, as the professors begin marking the papers, if there is a suspicion of academic misconduct would we then go back and review video from that exam.”
Chase said the point of the pilot is to determine whether it will serve as a deterrent for those few who believe they can cheat on final exams. The pilot project will end in May which then, it will be reviewed by staff.
URSU says timing could of been better
The University of Regina’s Student Union (URSU) is accepting of the pilot project but they wish more notice was given to students prior to final exams.
Shawn Wiskar, vice-president student affairs for URSU said they understand the university has been put under pressure for various cheating allegations.
“We do believe this will be a deterrent that might actually work for the students and we do see a value for an extra security feature that will help ensure the students are upholding the highest level of academic integrity,” Wiskar said. “In terms of how they delivered their messaging, telling the students — a week before exams started — that’s where we have some concerns.”
He said it could cause extra stress and anxiety to their final exam preparation that could of been avoided with a bit more notice.
Wiskar did mention there are supports in place for those who do suffer from exam anxiety and said if a student has the proper medical information they are able to take the exam not in the large halls.
In the email to students, the university says students have the choice to refuse to take their exam; however, no other exam accommodations will be made.