Honorlock is the proctoring system MSU uses for online testing. There are some important things you need to know which are outlined in detail below.
Computer and Internet Requirements
- A laptop or desktop computer (not a tablet or phone)
- The Google Chrome browser
- One-time installation of a Chrome browser extension (The system will guide you through this simple step, and you can remove it after use by following these instructions.)
- A webcam
- Strong Internet connection (We strongly advise testing your system in advance via a link on the Honorlock support page.)
There is no charge to Mississippi State University students for using Honorlock. If you have concerns about Honorlock and privacy, please see the Honorlock Privacy & Security FAQ.
You’ve put in the study time. Now let’s begin.
Review the Exam Guidelines to know how to prep your testing location. Your instructor may provide additional guidelines, so be sure to check your Canvas course site.
Read Getting Started With Honorlock and/or view these videos.
- How to Use Honorlock
- How to Properly Complete a Room Scan
- Honorlock Universal (for use with third party exams such as those from McGraw-Hill and Pearson)
What if I have problems during the exam?
Don’t panic. Honorlock has a live chat for just such occasions. Their staff will have instant access to your session in order to diagnose the problem. You can also visit Honorlock support 24/7 for assistance, to test your system or to find out if there are systemwide issues
Frequently Answered Questions
Make sure your computer is charged and your Internet connection is strong. Check your system. Make sure you’re using Google Chrome to log in. Find a quiet, private location to avoid flags and distractions. Check to see if your instructor has specific requirements regarding your exam setting.
Honorlock checks the name and photo on your ID to make sure you are the correct test taker. Any government ID such as a driver’s license or passport is acceptable as is a student ID with a clear, recognizable photo.
Honorlock has support agents available via live chat to answer questions. You should always contact the support desk via live chat if you run into a problem during the exam.
If you are being asked for an access code, you are most likely not using Google Chrome or have not installed the Honorlock Chrome Extension.
It is a small program that modifies the Chrome web browser, but does not install or alter anything on your computer. You may remove the extension as soon as you have submitted your exam.
You will need a working webcam, microphone and laptop or desktop computer. Integrated or external USB will both work. A reliable, fast Internet connection is essential.
Honorlock is FERPA compliant and uses securely encrypted protocols to save and view all test taker assets. Honorlock's certified proctors and your institution's faculty are able to review test session videos until deleted based on the school's retention policy. See the Honorlock Privacy & Security FAQ.
Honorlock is VPAT certified and fully accessible to students with special needs. Additionally, Honorlock works with screen readers if needed.
No, Honorlock simply reports incidents. Your instructor determines if cheating has occurred by viewing the video.
Privacy & Security Frequently Asked Questions
Mississippi State University’s formal agreement with Honorlock supersedes Honorlock’s general Terms of Services and includes specific legal requirements for the privacy and security of student information including:
- A formal data sharing agreement for student information with specific privacy and security restrictions under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- FERPA binds Honorlock to only collect, process, and store student data for contracted services. This information cannot be sold or transferred for any other purpose restricting access to our student data to only those within Honorlock with an authorized reason to process or view this data
- Restricting storage of our student data to only data centers located in the United States and requiring encryption in the transmission of any protected university data
- The use of appropriate administrative, technical, and physical security measures to preserve the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of protected student data
- Data minimization procedures to delete collected information when no longer necessary or upon termination of the agreement
- Procedures to alert the university upon the confirmation of a data breach of the Honorlock system.
Honorlock is a cloud-based proctoring solution, which has successfully completed the Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 Type 1 audit, U.S. Privacy Shield compliance, and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) readiness. The audit affirms that Honorlock’s information security practices, policies, procedures, and operations meet the SOC 2 standards for security, availability, and confidentiality.
Top Questions from Students About Privacy and Security
Proctored testing enables the university to ensure the academic integrity of assessments and to comply with federal regulations that require universities offering online and distance education to verify student identity. This is a common practice of online courses. Though instructors may use a variety of alternate assessment strategies, they may also rely on online proctoring to ensure the security of tests offered to online students in different locations. Online proctoring helps prevent academic honor violations such as:
- Use of a false identity
- Unauthorized collaboration
- Use of unauthorized materials
- Copying or distributing test items to others
No. Your instructor may use a variety of assessment strategies that don't include online proctoring. When the nature of the course or instruction makes online proctoring a necessity, however, your instructor may choose Honorlock to ensure the academic integrity of your test.
Being displaced during the COVID-19 social distancing period may put you in a situation where online proctored testing is difficult or impossible. Depending on your living situation, you may not have access to reliable Internet, computer hardware, or a private space where you can test uninterrupted. Communicate any limitations or obstacles you have with online proctored testing to your instructors so they can work with you.
No. The university's agreement with Honorlock for online test proctoring does not allow Honorlock to sell student information to third parties. As mentioned above, our contract with Honorlock has specific legal requirements for the protection of student information that supersede Honorlock's standard Terms of Service and bind Honorlock to all of the protections supplied by FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act).
No. Honorlock does not scan home networks or monitor data from any device on the network other than the one used for testing. Secondary devices, such as phones, can be detected, but this is not accomplished by network snooping. See the questions below for more detailed information on how Honorlock tracks and monitors data and devices.
Honorlock uses an encrypted and secured connection during the exam. All videos and photos are stored in Honorlock’s platform. Their system runs in a secure, private cloud within Amazon’s AWS cloud platform in U.S. data centers.
Honorlock has defined data retention periods of 12 months, after which all student-related data is automatically purged, unless the university requests an extension of a particular student’s data related to an academic integrity case. Upon request from the university, Honorlock can extend the data retention of a student’s data up to an additional 12 months.
All data, including photos and video, is stored in an encrypted format on isolated storage systems within Honorlock’s private cloud in Amazon’s AWS U.S. data centers. They are SOC 2 Type 1, US Privacy Shield and GDPR compliant.
Only key staff within Honorlock will have access in order to provide quality control and support for Mississippi State instructors. Those accessing student data are bound to the FERPA and privacy requirements required by the Mississippi State/Honorlock master service agreement.
The AI automatically generates a flag if unusual activity is detected, such as another person entering the room, and can alert standby proctors to "pop in" and briefly monitor the session to correct problems. There is no live person watching the student during the entirety of the exam. Once an exam session is completed, instructors are able to review flagged recordings to determine if a cheating incident may have occurred.
The Chrome Web browser extension allows Honorlock to interact with the student and the exam content during the exam. This includes launching the webcam window and interacting with student behavior within the exam. During the exam, the following data is captured, analyzed, and stored:
- Webcam video, including audio
- Recording of desktop activity
- Student information presented by the learning
- Management system (Canvas), such as student name, course number, exam name, etc.
- Pages visited during the examination session
- Specific student behavior that may indicate academic dishonesty, such as copy/paste into search engines
- Webcam and audio analysis has certain AI capabilities built in, such as detecting the presence of zero, one, or more faces in the camera; one or more voices; etc. This AI will generate a “flag,” prompting the instructor to review the exam session to determine if additional action is necessary to remediate any academic integrity issues.
Honorlock does not employ any technologies to allow detection of secondary devices connected to a student’s local/home network used during the proctoring session. No agents or applications are downloaded to these secondary devices to initiate any type of surveillance activities. Other users connected to the local/home network during a student’s Honorlock session can process personal or confidential information concurrently without fear of the student’s Honorlock session monitoring or eavesdropping on secondary device activities. In addition, the application does not have the capability of intercepting local/home network communications from devices connected during the student’s session.
Students using their smartphones to search online resources for test questions should note Honorlock utilizes a manual technology to detect academic integrity issues. Specifically, Honorlock hosts websites with seeded test questions that, when accessed during an examination session, sets off an action on the phone. This action is picked up during the student’s session and alerts instructors to review for academic integrity issues. Honorlock does not initiate any technologies to eavesdrop on the student’s smartphone activity either during or after an examination session. It is important for students to understand they are not authorized to use their phones during an Honorlock proctored examination.
Instructors make the final assessment about whether suspected cheating has taken place during an exam session. Only students engaging in unusual activity during an exam are flagged and reviewed. If an instructor reviews the video and determines that the student did not violate MSU’s academic honor policy, no action is taken. However, if an instructor determines that the student violated the academic honor policy, that instructor will follow the appropriate channels for academic honor policy violations.
Students who feel wrongly accused of a violation have a channel for resolving alleged violations in the Academic Integrity and Grievance process.
Yes. You are welcome to uninstall the Honorlock Chrome extension after your test is complete if you're not completely comfortable keeping it on your computer.