tHUD – The tutoring Heads-Up Display

The last year has been full of change and novelty for all of us. Businesses, schools and universities all had to move their every-day routines on-line. Regular meetings, classes, and exams had to be re-designed in order to comply with CoVid-19 regulations, while still meeting minimum standards from the before times.

One of the great challenges of this year, for school and universities alike, was of course the issue of making sure that students would not cheat during exams. This is why we created the tHUD.

Sketch of a heads up display with several descriptive labels.

It all started with a brainstorming – how could we improve teachers’ exam experience? From friends and colleagues, we know that the having to check students’ IDs and setups was a big issue. An additional drain on resources was making sure throughout the exam that the students would not employ whatever means necessary in order to surreptitiously obtain a passing grade.

Before the exam

When starting a tHUD-enhanced exam, after putting on the device, students scan their NFC-equipped student ID. tHUD then checks if the student signed up for the exam, does a quick ID-check (comparing a picture provided by the university’s systems with a live webcam image), and if successfull  provides the student with the necessary log-in credentials.

Black headband with red, blue and green dots attached to it.

During the exam

Cameras on the display itself record what the students have on their desks. Infrared sensors throughout the headband make sure that no other persons are present during the exam. Eye tracking technology on the front keeps tabs on what students are looking at, to control for support material kept just out of the visual range of the front cameras. Acoustic sensors finish the setup, to eliminate the option of having helpers e.g. sit under the students desk and feed them answers or hints.

By using cameras only on the front-facing part of the headband, tHUD allows for maximum privacy preservation in multi-use rooms (e.g. dormitory rooms).

Black headlamp, with blue, green and red dots sticked to the band, and a makeshift plastic display attached.

 

After the exam

tHUD automatically processes all data in a GDPR-compliant way, encrypting it in such a way that only the examiners may de-encrypt it. In case suspicions arise as to whether a student may have cheated on their exam, teachers can easily access the data – depending on their university’s plan, it will be stored on-site or in one of our data centers throughout the globe.

Another view of the headband/headlamp with blue, green and red dots attached.