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Honorlock - Review known issues and limitations

This document summarizes the steps for providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities in Honorlock. This document also includes ways instructors can support the student in the online proctoring experience.

Honorlock is an online auto-proctoring tool that can be linked to quizzes in Canvas. It is important to consider accommodations for students prior to using Honorlock as the students' accommodations may generate additional flags for review and/or may conflict with standard instructions you provide to students taking the quiz.

This document is part of an Honorlock guide series, Honorlock - Implementing disability-related accommodations (Instructors)or view the following steps for implementing Student Accommodations using Honorlock.

Steps for Implementing Student Accommodations

  1. Review known issues and limitations of Honorlock (this document)
  2. Setting up accommodations or bypass proctoring in Honorlock
  3. Discuss accommodation plans with individual students
  4. Document individual accommodation plans
  5. Add extended time and accommodate timed assessments


Exam instructions may conflict with some student accommodations

Honorlock provides standard exam settings that you can enable for all students.  While most of these are intended to make exams more secure, they may also conflict with student accommodations.

When starting an exam, Honorlock presents the instructions that you provide.  The tool itself does not explicitly state behaviors, resources, etc. that are prohibited.  However, the auto proctoring artificial intelligence (AI) may flag certain behaviors for review.  For  example, if the student leaves their seat to stretch, take a break, use a medical device, or use the restroom, you may receive a notification that indicates "Face not clearly visible." 

Note that "Single Display" does not prohibit the use of a second monitor, but does require that the monitors all be in mirror or duplicate mode. In most instances, this should meet the need of students who use an external monitor for magnification or ergonomics. 

Some instructions that you put in the "Student Instructions" for an Honorlock proctored exam may also conflict with accommodations:

  • Instructions to clear the desk and surrounding area may conflict for students who are approved for access to food/drink/medication or a medical device
  • Restrictions on talking may conflict for students who may read questions aloud or who use text to speech technology for audio  
  • Restrictions on the use of headphones may conflict for students who use headphones for audio exams, screen readers, or for noise reduction
  • Restrictions on the use of other software may conflict for students who use assistive technology
Document these accommodation conflicts via email as (described below) to provide the student with clarity regarding what is allowed during the exam.

Honorlock cannot monitor students under all circumstances

Honorlock is an automated tool that primarily depends on screen recording, webcam recording, audio recording, and computer restrictions for proctoring. It cannot monitor a student under all circumstances, such as a student needing to take a break to use the restroom. Note: there is no known automated or human-proctored option for monitoring students who need to use the restroom in a remote instruction environment.


Not all students will be able to scan their ID in Honorlock when starting an exam.

If the instructor requires to turn on "Student ID" scan, Honorlock asks the student to hold a government or student ID up to their webcam during the startup process. Some students may be unable to position their ID in view of their webcam to complete this ID scanning requirement (due to a visual, physical, or other disability). 

Additionally, students may encounter difficulty scanning their IDs due to recent updates to identification information or their image which may impact a wide range of people including LGBTQ+ students.

If the ID scan fails, Honorlock does not specify the reason the scan has failed which can cause a usability barrier for the student attempting to resolve their scan ID issue. (Honorlock will not allow an image of the student’s face to be photographed instead of an ID.) 

If a student is unable to scan their ID using Honorlock, they can use Honorlock online chat to request assistance from an Honorlock Support Representative. If Honorlock is unable to assist the student in completing this step, the student may need to email their instructor to request an exemption from proctoring.

Not all students will be able to scan their room in Honorlock when starting an exam

If you turn on "Room Scan," Honorlock asks the student to scan their room prior to entering the proctoring session. A student may not be able to complete this task as a result of a motor or physical disability. Even with this setting on, Honorlock does not impede the student's ability to take the exam based on the quality of the room scan if the student clicks record, but does not move their computer during the room scan.  However, it is important for the instructor to let the student know, if appropriate, that they are exempt from moving their computer during the room scan. The quality of the room scan does create a flag for the instructor to review.


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KeywordsHonorlock, Canvas accessibility, usability, accommodations, disability, people with disabilities, students, extended time, extra time, timed, assessment, quizzes, exams, tests, finals, final exams, COVID-Hono, COVID-19, sample practice   Doc ID113392
OwnerLeah B.GroupIT Accessibility and Usability
Created2021-09-01 12:14:50Updated2024-02-28 17:09:37
SitesDoIT Help Desk, IT Accessibility and Usability, Learn@UW-Madison
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