Online Remote Proctoring Software in the Neoliberal Institution: Measurement, Accountability, and Testing Culture


  • Cristyne Hébert URegina



As COVID-19 spread in early 2020, a lockdown was implemented across Canadian provinces and territories, resulting in the shuttering of physical post-secondary campuses. Universities quickly pivoted to remote learning, and faculty members adjusted their instructional and assessment approaches to align with virtual environments. Presumably to aid with this process, a number of institutions acquired licenses to remote online proctoring services. This paper examines the research around online remote proctoring, examining the justification offered for the adoption of online remote proctoring, and contemporary research on assessment practices in higher education. Throughout the paper, I demonstrate a lack of research that speaks to the efficacy of this mode of assessment while also acknowledging shifts in the testing environment, and an increase in student anxiety. I argue that online remote proctoring is not only embedded within neoliberalism and audit
culture, but supports a continued reliance on testing culture. It concludes with a discussion of assessment culture, offering some alternative assessment approaches that might disrupt the very need for online remote proctoring.

Keywords: Online remote proctoring, assessment, testing