Honorlock: What It Is And How It Detects Cheating

How It Detects Cheating

The growth of online learning has led to the development of proctoring technologies geared towards solving one of the biggest challenges of the industry.

Remote invigilation of online tests has always been a general concern for both educational and corporate institutions.

While some educational institutions resorted to the use of tests centers others typically requested students to be present on campus to enable adequate invigilation.

The inconvenience of this system has spurred on the development and growth of online proctoring services with competitors like Proctorio, ProctorU, Honorlock, and ProctorTrack currently dominating online proctoring with artificial intelligence and live proctors.

While these systems may not be perfect, they can out-perform traditional invigilation by leveraging available technologies to provide a secure testing environment.

This article aims to provide some insight into Honorlock proctoring and answer some relevant questions brought forward by students.

What is Honorlock

Honorlock is an online proctoring service provider for academic institutions. The service leverages a combination of artificial intelligence and live human proctors to produce the best results.

While most proctoring companies either resort to leveraging artificial intelligence alone or live human proctors, Honolock provides the best of both worlds.

The artificial intelligence combined with live proctor ensures that only relevant cheating instances during testing are flagged for review.

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How Honorlock Works

Candidates are required to install Honorlock’s Google Chrome extension which will be used for examination monitoring.

The Google Chrome extension enables Honorlock to gain some level of access to the browser’s functionalities and facilitate test monitoring.

It’s worth noting that the instructors or the institution can choose the specific features to either enable or disable for students.

Installation of any software on the computer is unnecessary except if your institution opts for the Honorlock App Unlock feature, in limited release.

Candidates, in this case, would be required to download and install this software on their computers.

The software is designed to detect any apps on the computer and also identify apps that could be used to cheat during the test.

While the App Unlock feature can be requested by the institution, Honorlock’s primary services operate fully through the candidate’s browser.

– Video, Audio, And Screen Recording

The Chrome extension, once installed and permissions granted, enables Honorlock to gain access to the candidate’s webcam, microphone, and desktop screen.

Using the webcam, Honorlock can record the candidate during the test and the microphone helps record any sounds in the room.

A scan of the environment will also ensure that the candidate has no notes, a second screen, or someone hidden in the testing environment shouting answers to them.

Most importantly, the webcam and microphone serve to record the candidate’s movement and any sounds during the test.

Any abnormalities including prolonged disappearance from the camera’s field of view are immediately flagged by the artificial intelligence and a live proctor is then prompted for review.

The screen is also recorded during the test to deter candidates from leveraging any resources available on their computers.

– Browser Guard

While the test is ongoing, Honorlock’s Browser Guard restricts access to non-whitelisted pages. This means students won’t be able to visit any websites and the system also flags and records any attempted links to be presented for analysis.

That said, instructors can whitelist specific websites which students would be allowed to visit during test-taking.

It is also recommended that no other tabs are open while test-taking as the system automatically closes these if available before the test.

Honorlock also disables copy/paste functionality to prevent students from copying and pasting test content

It also disables any print functionality to prevent students from printing or saving pages or content as PDFs.

The extension also prevents users from using multiple or mirrored displays connected to their respective computers.

How Honorlock Detects Cheating

Honorlock detects cheating by leveraging its browser extension to monitor, restrict and flag any suspicious student activities during a test.

Access to the webcam, microphone, and control over the candidate browser enables Honorlock to record the computer screen, track the candidate’s movement and behavior and identify any attempts to cheat.

While Honorlock’s artificial intelligence does a good job of identifying and incidences, it lacks the refinement to identify specific incidences that should be ignored, which leads to numerous flagged incidences.

Honorlock compensates for this weakness by notifying live or human proctors who can review and identify whether an incident constitutes cheating.

How Does Honorlock Detect Other Devices

While Honorlock is unable to detect other devices connected to the network, Honorlock manually hosts specific websites containing seeded questions which produce a sound on the student’s device when accessed within the timeframe of the test.

While Honorlock claims this system makes it possible to detect any students using their phones to cheat, students only get flagged when they access these seeded questions.

Students who leverage popular platforms like Chegg on the other hand may not be easily detected during examinations.

Requirements For Honorlock Test

  • Google Chrome
  • Isolated room
  • Laptop
  • Webcam
  • Microphone
  • Good lighting
  • Identification


Can Honorlock Detect Virtual Machine

Yes. Honorlock can detect virtual machines especially if your institution opts for the App Unlock, limited-release feature. The software will be able to access specific system properties of the computer

Can Honorlock Detect Phones

Sometimes. Phones outside the field of view of the webcam can sometimes be detected by Honorlock during test-taking. However, Honorlock can detect phones if candidates access any of their seeded questions online

Can Honorlock Detect Phones On Airplane Mode

No, unless within the webcam’s field of view or identified by a reflection, Honorlock will be unable to detect phones on airplane mode

Does Honorlock Track Your Eyes

No. Honorlock does not leverage face and eye-tracking technology to identify and flag any prolonged eye focus outside the computer screen.

Does Honorlock Track Wifi

No, Honorlock does not scan either private or public networks for devices or data access besides the immediate computer used for the test

Does Honorlock Track Sound

Yes. Honorlock uses the computer’s microphone to track any audible sounds during test-taking. However, the artificial intelligence does not flag any audible sounds, rather a live proctor would identify and ascertain the type of sound before flagging it for review

What Does Honorlock Flag

The AI identifies and flags behaviors that are outside of the test rules such as going off-camera for long periods of time, having a second person in the room, speaking certain statements such as “Hey Siri or OK Google.”

Can Honorlock Detect Phones Not On Wifi

No. Honorlock does not scan the student’s network or any other network as it’s a breach of privacy. The legal ramifications associated serve as a deterrent to such an action

Akshay Vikhe

I am an aspiring Data Scientist with a huge interest in technology. I like to review courses that are genuine and add real value to student’s careers. Read my story

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