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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Respondus Monitor - student questions

The situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve rapidly, raising many valid questions and concerns among our campus community. The university will update the information on this page regularly based on decisions as they are made, in accordance with the direction and information provided by public health authorities.

  • Why is Ontario Tech using video and audio monitoring software?

    Due to the orders and directives issued by the Government of Ontario, and relying on advice of public-health authorities as it relates to COVID-19, Ontario Tech is unable to administer in-person assessments at this time. Video monitoring through software is viewed to be an integral part of the transition to online learning. Use of this software allows the university to maintain the academic integrity of its assessments, while protecting the health and safety of all of its members by adopting the recommendations for physical distancing during the pandemic.

  • What information does the video and audio monitoring software collect about me?

    During your assessment while the Respondus Monitor is enabled, the software collects video and audio recordings captured by your webcam and microphone, an image of your student ID, and data regarding your activity, including eye movement and the time taken by you to answer specific questions. The software also uses automated processes to help authorized Ontario Tech personnel to evaluate the recordings.

    Student identifiable information including name, grades, course name, and photos taken for identification cardsis only accessible through Ontario Tech’s Learning Management System (LMS) by authorized Ontario Tech personnel. Respondus cannot view or access your student information on the LMS.

  • Who has access to my video and audio recordings at Ontario Tech?

    Only authorized Ontario Tech faculty or staff have access to view video and audio recordings of your assessment along with personal information such as your name. Authorization is granted on a course-bycourse basis and is restricted to the following personnel:

    • Your course instructor(s) and teaching assistant(s);
    • Proctor(s) authorized by your faculty;
    • LMS administrators; and
    • Faculty and staff responsible for the review, investigation and adjudication of allegations of academic misconduct pursuant to Ontario Tech’s academic regulations.
  • How will Ontario Tech use my information?

    Information will be treated in accordance with the Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the privacy law that governs the university. Every employee of Ontario Tech is subject to this law, which means that information will only by used by personnel who require the information to perform their duties, and solely for the purpose the information was collected.

    Assessments conducted through Respondus are not viewed or monitored in real-time like in-person assessments. Instead, the system is set up to generate data that flag any abnormal activity.

    Audio and video recordings, along with the additional data generated by the software’s automated processes, will be used by Ontario Tech for the sole purposes of improving educational processes and managing the academic integrity of its assessments by:

    • Allowing authorized personnel to review, assess, and analyze student performance and conduct; and
    • Using the relevant recordings as evidence for the purpose of investigating and adjudicating allegations of academic misconduct.

    Images of student ID cards will be used to ensure compliance with Ontario Tech’s Examination and Grading Policy, which requires students to present student ID cards to verify their identity at the beginning of each final examination.

  • Who has access to my video and audio recordings at Respondus?

    Only authorized personnel and third-party researchers (research institutions and/or biometric experts) performing research on behalf of Respondus will have access to video and audio recordings of assessments for the uses stated in Question 6.

    Researchers do not have access to any personally identifiable information of any student, such as the student's name, course name, institution, grades, or student ID photos, and are bound by legal agreements that include confidentiality obligations that are at least as restrictive as the terms set out in the Respondus Privacy Policy.

  • How will Respondus use my information?

    Respondus limits its use of information to purposes:

    • For which it has been given permission;
    • Necessary to deliver the services; or
    • As may be required or permitted for legal compliance or other lawful purposes.

    Specifically, relating to the Services, information is used to:

    • Improve and optimize the operation and performance of services;
    • Diagnose problems with and identify any security risks, errors, or needed enhancements to the services;
    • Detect and prevent fraud and abuse of services and systems;
    • Collect aggregate statistics about use of the services; and
    • Understand and analyze how services are used.
  • Do any other third parties have access to my personal information?

    No. Other than the research purposes outlined in Question 5, Respondus will not share recordings or personal information with third parties.

  • How is my information secured?

    Respondus Monitor uses industry-standard SSL (Secure Socket Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security) encryption to transfer information. Respondus uses independent, third-party security firms to perform 'penetration testing' of the Respondus Monitor system. This includes a review of the Respondus Monitor architecture and the testing for vulnerabilities and exploits. However, no data transmission over the Internet is 100 per cent secure.

    Within the LMS, student identifiable information including name, grade, course name, and photos that show identification cards can only be accessed by authorized Ontario Tech personnel.

    Only users with instructor credentials for the LMS course (e.g. instructors, teaching assistants, proctors, LMS administrators) are able to view video sessions in conjunction with student identifiable information. Video URLs are 'one-time use' and will not function if copied.

  • Can Respondus or the virtual proctor access or view any other files or data that are stored on my computer?

    No.  All files and data that are stored on your computer are secured by the Lockdown Browser.

  • How can I further protect my privacy interests when taking an assessment online?
    During the assessment, it is recommended that, if possible, you situate yourself in a quiet and unoccupied space, where other persons inside your dwelling will not be observed, and remove or conceal personal property bearing images or names (e.g. family photographs or signs) to further maintain your privacy.
  • Do I need a functioning webcam or microphone?

    Yes. Both webcam and microphone need to be functional and enabled on your computer at all times during the assessment.  If you do not have one or both of these capabilities, please contact your instructor.

  • How long does Respondus keep my information?

    Your personal information will be retained by Respondus and Ontario Tech for one year after it is collected. This is consistent with Ontario privacy law.

  • Whom do I contact if I have questions or concerns?

    Please contact Dr. Susan L. Forbes, Manager, Teaching and Learning Centre if you have any questions or concerns about the use of Respondus Monitor.

  • Are there any policy instruments that address the use of Respondus Monitor?
    The university is currently developing a directive that will regulate the use of virtual proctor systems. A draft will be made available on the Policy office website for community comments. We expect the directive to be presented for approval by Academic Council at its October meeting.

Latest updates

Update 26: April 22, 5 p.m.
Federal government proposes support for students and new grads affected by COVID-19

Update 25: April 9, 4:35 p.m.
Introducing the Ontario Tech Student Emergency Fund.

Update 24: April 8, 5:15 p.m.
Changes to Canada Summer Jobs program.

Update 23: April 7, 4:55 p.m.
Provincial support for families, and online mindfulness resources.

Update 22: April 6, 4:55 p.m.
Online access to Ontario Tech’s new Campus Store.

Update 21: April 3, 5:15 p.m.
Today's release of provincial models and projections; requesting an exam deferral; preparing for online exams during COVID-19; no entry to campus on Good Friday; ancillary fees for the Spring/Summer semester; additional mental health supports; international student eligibility for EI; Ontario Tech University: Taking a lead role in e-learning; Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan scores highly with Ontario Tech University.

Update 20: April 2, 5:15 p.m.
FAQ for students moving to Simcoe Village residence; Dr. Jennifer Laffier's study on how we’re using social media during the COVID-19 crisis; Government of Canada COVID-19 app.

Update 19: April 1, 5:20 p.m.
Update to grading FAQ; new Respondus Browser questions and answers; parking and meal plan refunds; PC requirements, repairs, returns and provisioning; reminder regarding emergency orders prohibiting large gatherings and parties; Government of Ontario and eCampus Ontario partnership a positive move for students.

Update 18: March 31, 4:50 p.m.
FAQ regarding temporary amendment to the university’s grading policy; updated University Works FAQ; new online support resources from Student Life; online weekly mindfulness groups.

Update 17: March 30, 4:55 p.m.
Update on temporary amendment to the university’s grading policy.

Update 16: March 27, 4:25 p.m.
Temporary amendment to the university’s grading policy; updated research, grad studies and SAFA FAQ; updated travel information and advisories page; updated health recommendations page; Ontario Tech innovating rapid PPE production solutions to address health-care shortage (news story).

Update 15: March 26, 5:25 p.m.
How to set up an Internet hotspot; updated research-related FAQ; Ontario Tech's donations of health-care supplies; and Ontario Tech's recognition of the Government of Ontario's action plan to support its citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Update 14: March 25, 5:50 p.m.
Residence, university transcripts, and physical distancing FAQ; reminder to students regarding large gatherings and parties; new COVID-19 resources from Human Resources; new exercise and wellness resources from the CRWC; Ontario Tech researcher exploring parent-child conversations about COVID-19; COVID-19 self-assessment tool.

Update 13: March 24, 5 p.m.
Campus building closures and exceptions; social vs physical distancing; student concerns about Internet access; postponement of Convocation ceremony; Q+A with Ontario Tech epidemiologist Dr. Emma Bartfay; and Virtual Open House.

Update 12: March 23, 5:30 p.m.
Information about: travel exemptions for international students; mental and physical wellness tips; Virtual Open House on Saturday, March 28; and Work-from-home (WFH) social media campaign

Update 11: March 20, 2:30 p.m.
Access to Ontario Tech buildings; new FAQ for grad students; cancellation of student mobility for the summer session; student concerns about Internet access.

Update 10: March 19, 3:30 p.m.
Updated research and mental health services FAQs; Software Support moving to online services only.

Update 9: March 18, 5 p.m.
All Campus Libraries closed; term dates for students; changes to food services; Software Support moving to online services only; Coronavirus phishing scam; new frequently asked questions page for researchers; reminder about campus access.

Update 8: March 17, 1 p.m.
On-campus service updates related to the Office of the Registrar, Campus Library, Campus Food Services and Campus Health Centre

Update 7: March 16, 4 p.m.
COVID-19 update: Campus Health Centre closed March 17, telephone appointments available

Update 6: March 15, 8 p.m.
Updates on academic planning and university operations

Update 5: March 14, 2:30 p.m.
Transition to online learning

Update 4: March 12, 10:30 p.m.
University assessing online instruction; classes cancelled effective March 13

Update 3: March 12, 1:50 p.m.
Health information update from the WHO and Region of Durham; international travel update from Ontario Tech

Update 2: March 10, 2:40 p.m.
University continues to closely monitor COVID-19 situation and is reviewing emergency preparedness plans

Update 1: January 23, 2 p.m.
Coronavirus information