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Digital Proctoring - Tips for Providing Feedback to Students and Planning Makeup Exams

This article discusses how instructors can reduce student stress and help them improve in their courses by offering exam debriefs and discussing common issues found during proctoring. The article emphasizes the importance of meta-cognition in understanding how students learn and suggests the use of "assignment wrappers" or debriefing to help students reflect on their performance. Specific strategies for conducting exam debriefs after proctoring-enabled exams are provided, including discussing red flags noticed during the review of proctoring results and explaining how proctoring works. The article also suggests addressing content-related problems and questions during the debrief to help students understand the course material better.


You can greatly reduce student stress by offering an overview or summary of the exam. For example, talk with students about common issues you found when reviewing proctoring results, discuss frequent mistakes made by students, and share strategies for how students might improve next time. 


Meta-cognition is essential for students to understand how they learn, and is fundamental to  helping students improve in your course. You can help students build their meta-cognitive skills by “debriefing” course activities. This means taking time to review an exam (or discussion, or another assignment) after you have graded it. Explain to students how the class did on the exam as a whole. Identify common problems or mistakes made. Provide ideas for how students might improve next time. This assignment debrief, sometimes referred to as an “assignment wrapper,” demystifies the classroom experience for students, and provides practical steps they can use to improve in the future. 

With a proctoring-enabled exam specifically, explain to students any red flags you noticed when reviewing the proctoring results. For example, if you noticed that a significant number of students navigated away from the Canvas quiz page (and that was forbidden during the exam), let them know what you saw and then what you did about it (perhaps you reviewed their screen recording to see why they navigated away from Canvas - maybe they were cheating, or maybe they were just typing up some quick notes on a Google.doc).  If some students were flagged for having multiple faces on the screen, note that too - and the steps you took in response. 

In essence, demystify how you use Proctorio in a quiz. Let students know that resizing the browser, navigating away from the screen, or having multiple-faces on the camera might result in AI flagging that material, and that you will likely check into this issue. Let them also know that these types of actions did not of themselves result in an automatic grade reduction or brand that student a course pariah - because these are the sort of things students are worried about!

You can have this type of student discussion following any quiz or assignment you give your students, but it is particularly important after the first time you use Proctorio. 

Target Topics for Improvement

In addition to explaining the basic logistics of digital proctoring to your students, use this discussion as an opportunity to help students with the content as well! An after-the-quiz discussion (debrief) is the perfect time to talk about what common problems the class as a whole had with questions and course content. Perhaps, before a lecture, work through the one or two most common questions students got wrong, or talk with them about what you hoped they learned from the course material reviewed in the exam. Then employ this as a springboard for what you want students to learn in the next course section. 

Additional Readings

For Additional Information

To discuss digital proctoring, best practices and alternatives, contact the CETL Support Commons.

Keywordsstudent stress, exam overview, exam summary, proctoring, proctoring results, common mistakes, strategies for improvement, meta-cognition, debriefing, assignment wrapper, classroom experience, quiz, red flags, Canvas quiz page, cheating, screen recording, AI flagging, browser resizing, multiple-faces on camera, grade reduction, course pariah, digital proctoring, logistics, content review, lecture, course material, after-the-quiz discussion, course section, additional readings, exam wrappers, cognitive wrappers, effective feedback, rubrics, feedback, Active Teaching Lab, CETL Support Commons.   Doc ID130093
OwnerDavid D.GroupCETL
Created2023-08-01 19:32:11Updated2023-10-31 10:40:26
SitesUW-Milwaukee Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
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