Gabe Tenenbaum, professor at Suffolk University’s School of Law, calls on ExamSoft to fix a serious bug in the test-taking program: Failure to Recognize Faces. It’s an issue that can delay test-takers – or prevent them from starting tests altogether – and according to reports, it disproportionately affects people with darker skin tones.
ExamSoft registers students while they complete exams remotely and monitors for signs of academic dishonesty. Tenenbaum Report It addresses the feature ExamSoft called ExamID, which aims to verify that test takers are who they say they are. The first time a student logs into their test portal, they upload a picture of themselves (their “baseline photo”); They are then asked to take another selfie before the start of future tests, which the software verifies for its original image.
Research Has found Face recognition algorithms consistently make more errors in identifying black faces than they do for white faces. Although those studies did not focus on ExamSoft specifically, it did not appear to be an exception. Back in September, many non-white test takers said to The New York Times The program was unable to recognize them due to “poor lighting” – a problem that Tennenbaum, the fair-skinned, was unable to replicate.
The Embed a Tweet The program cannot “recognize” me due to “poor lighting” even though I am sitting in a well-lit room. You start to think that it has nothing to do with lighting. Pretty sure we all expected that facial recognition software wouldn’t work for people of color. @ Priv4All Diploma
Alivardi Khan (uhreeb) September 8, 2020
Embed a Tweet I finally found out about My Own after 4 hours (still waiting for an EXAM SOFT chat rep) How can I access my MOCK test … just to tell me the system can’t recognize me. I am in a board room with all the lights on and the sun is off. Make it logical. pic.twitter.com/7K3yKT1y4n
– Futureesq1990 (@ futureesq1990) 17th September 2020
Early this fall, Teninbaum set out to find a solution. Such errors are believed to add undue stress to an already stressful period of time. “These are students who are about to take a high-stakes test with so much at stake, which is not very welcome,” Tenenbaum said in an interview with Tenenbaum. the edge.
He added, “Anytime you go to a test, you just want to focus on the exam.” “You don’t want to feel that you have these additional challenges.”
Tenenbaum also thinks optics is important; Schools condemn marginalized students not to rely on a category of programs known to be discriminatory. “Students deserve to feel that their institution is doing what it can to protect their rights, interests and dignity,” he says.
at Transfer, To be released in Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and the Law, Teninbaum identifies the alternative solution he found.
It is suggested that schools assign each student an identical general core picture. After that, it is suggested, they should request ExamSoft to enable “deferred identification,” a feature included in the program that allows students to pursue exams even if an identification fails. This feature is basically hidden – it’s not mentioned anywhere on the ExamSoft website (at least, I haven’t found that). Only ExamSoft can run it.
Combined, these modifications will cause ExamSoft to define each test taker. But they will still be able to follow their exams – ExamSoft will send selfies to school afterward, and teachers can manually check everyone out. “We know who our students are,” Tennenbaum says. “We can ensure that students are what they say they are and avoid exposing students to these types of challenges.”
It is also suggested that ExamSoft make the “deferred identification” feature accessible to customers. “The reporter urges ExamSoft to build this into a feature in which organizations can simply switch on / off, thereby bypassing ExamID until the technology matures into one that does not differentiate,” reads his report.
Tenenbaum hopes these changes will continue beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, and can help students feel more comfortable attending classes remotely. “It will be a growing problem with more and more people using the Internet for their education,” he says.
However, it only fixed part of the problem. Students prof A bunch of hiccups With ExamSoft monitoring software. More than 3000 People who used the platform to take the California bar exam in October had their videos reported for potential violations of the rules – nearly 36 percent of applicants who took the test online. Users reported audio issues and other technical errors as well.
A group of six U.S. Senators – including Richard Blumenthal, Elizabeth Warren, and Corey Booker – wrote an open letter to ExamSoft In December, to highlight the potential harms of students of color and students with disabilities, among many other concerns.
ExamSoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.