PSI Services and Online Cheating

With the fast-paced advancements in technology, data analysis, and artificial intelligence, IT offers better and more efficient solutions to multiple industries. Colleges and universities are jumping on the data systems bandwagon, especially with the online testing market's tremendous growth.

Remote proctoring platforms are rapidly gaining popularity for their ease-of-use and convenience. Still, they are problematic and cause erroneous flagging in many cases.

One platform, PSI, is currently offering online testing solutions to decrease instances of test fraud. While PSI's most pressing issue is student discomfort, the platform still accidentally flags students as cheating when they aren't. This action causes them to fail the exam and to get in trouble with school administrations.

Colleges and universities penalize students for test fraud regardless of the location of the exam. Without an appropriate defense strategy and an understanding of the system, students risk delaying graduation. They may need to go through a lengthy appeal process to receive justice, and some do not get to take a retest.

PSI Overview

Planned Systems International, Inc (PSI) is an IT solutions provider that provides services to professionals and students. To date, 750 institutions work with the provider to integrate technology into its online testing methodology. The system allows employers to assess and retain employees, provides licenses and certifications, helps people become proctors, and provides online testing services.

Not all of PSI's services are remote. In addition to remote proctoring, the platform also has global test centers in over 160 locations and offers non-proctored online assessments.

The platform uses PSI Bridge for online tests, allowing clients to customize the testing experience and security measures. Depending on the degree of security the client needs and the program's nature, the monitoring process can be lax or stringent.

Some of its main features include:

  • Multiple identify authorization processes.
  • Live proctoring and chat service.
  • Uses AI in tandem with live monitoring to assist proctors with test fraud prevention.
  • Multi-modal exam approaches to limit cheating and memorization.
  • The use of a unique browser that doesn't allow students to copy, screenshot, download, or use websites and applications.
  • Limits liability and security concerns by not requiring proctors to access a test taker's device remotely.
  • Provides data insight and analytics that allows administrations to assess student performance.

Proctors receive training that helps them accurately identify fraudulent behavior, which they log through the system.

Student Pushback and Complaints

Although online monitoring programs are here to stay, they also have their fair share of issues that have short and long-term implications for test-takers. PSI's online system is less intrusive than others because it relies on a server for exams, limiting the accessibility of the proctors. However, students are pushing back because they feel that the monitoring process is dystopian and stressful.

As a result of elevated student fears regarding these practices, online publications that target students are publishing articles that help them avoid the stress of test-taking with an online proctor. While the tips may be useful, there are cases when the systems are causing problems when they erroneously flag an innocent student as cheating.

The PSI platform doesn't take disciplinary action but forwards the information to college and university administrations. It's then up to the admins to enforce corrective measures, depending on the school's code of conduct or violation policy.

The problems arise when the student is innocent of online cheating allegations. The flags happen for multiple reasons, including moving one's eyes too much from the screen to leaving the test to go to the bathroom. Although these cases seem extreme, they are common enough to make the news, especially since students pay the price.

Repercussions of an Online Cheating Allegation

Students facing online cheating allegations through PSI or other systems must prove that they aren't engaging in fraudulent activity. If they do not, they face repercussions such as:

  • The proctor or AI system abruptly ending the test session.
  • Not being able to retake the test.
  • An obligation to take the test onsite, in an unpopular or undesirable location.
  • Failing the exam.
  • Failing the course.
  • Having a notation on the program that monitors the student's academic history and future performance.
  • Receiving a suspension.
  • Losing precious time that prevents them from attending a program without certification or passing grade.

Depending on the school's policy, the student may have to face a panel investigating the cheating allegations. Suppose the members are not familiar with how the system works and do not watch the entire testing session. In that case, they can make a premature judgment that significantly harms the student's educational path.

Responding to Allegations

If you are a student accused of online cheating using PSI, you have the right to defend against the allegations. However, even a seemingly benign question or action can indicate a violation, making it challenging to craft an appropriate defense strategy. When you receive notice of an infarction through PSI, the following steps can work in your favor:

  • Stay calm, and do not debate with the proctor or the administration before seeking advice.
  • Do not admit any wrongdoing or try to defend yourself.
  • Refer to your college or university's academic misconduct policy.
  • Understand the details of the accusation and what action caused the infarction.
  • Gather evidence to support your claims, like text messages, chat dialogues, video recordings, and audio.
  • Speak to individuals who can attest to your performance and character, such as professors and peers.

Don't wait until after your college or university panel imposes a penalty to seek the advice of a professional. Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento has years of experience working with students facing similar allegations, helping them clear their name and avoid penalties.

Contact the Lento Law Firm

Online proctoring systems may be the way of the future, but that doesn't make them immune to error. Whether it's AI or human monitoring, there is always a chance that an innocuous movement or action is cause for a failing grade. Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento works hard to ensure that you get the best possible outcome for your case.

An online cheating allegation from PSI and similar platforms can derail years of hard work and progress. Call the Lento Law Firm today to discuss your online cheating defense strategy at 888-535-3686.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact our offices today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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