Last revised: 5/31/2018 by DSM.
Sometimes even fully online course require in-person proctoring for administering tests and authentication of students’ identities. It is very common for online students to be geographically dispersed regionally, nationally, or even internationally and it is not always practical or possible to travel to one central testing location. This article provides guidance around permitting alternate proctoring locations as a solution.
Being flexible in time and location, delivering a course online has some obvious conveniences and benefits. But when it comes to maintaining a high standard of academic integrity for student assessments, in particular, online courses can sometimes present a challenge. As such, some instructors choose to require in-person proctored exams. This decision can negate some of the benefits of an online course and can also negatively impact enrollment. So what can we do to maintain academic integrity while still making a course widely available online?
If your assessment strategy requires it and as long as you are willing to identify the guidelines, communicate them with the students, and coordinate a few simple logistics, below are some options you may consider.
Note: This article does not specifically address accommodation requests. Instructors should still work with the Center for Students with Disabilities for those situations.
Process Overview and Helpful Documents
- Communicate the Requirement to Students (See: Sample Letter)
- Provide Forms and Guidelines (See: Alternate Proctored Location Form)
- Approve/Deny Requests
- Coordinate Testing Rules and Procedures with Remote Proctors
1. Communicate the Requirement to Students
It’s crucial that students know of the proctoring requirement as they are registering for a class. We recommend that faculty list the in-person requirement in the Notes section of StudentAdmin. Also, send an additional reminder to all enrolled students shortly before the class begins to reiterate the requirement so that students that cannot meet the requirements are able to make other arrangements or drop the class.
Ideally, the syllabus will contain all of the pertinent information about the proctored exam requirements. It should contain clear instructions on proctoring options and should allow ample time for the students to identify a test location as well as time for you to coordinate and approve such services. This information is also crucial for students in determining whether to register for the course or if they need to drop the course.
- Determine the requirements
- Typical: In-person proctoring at a primary campus location, coordinated by the faculty member; In-person proctoring at a secondary campus location(s) coordinated by the departments and staff; In-person proctoring at testing centers/services (Sylvan, Prometric, other universities). See NCTA’s site for possible facilities.
- Dates and times
- Deadline for instructor approval
- Include the information in StudentAdmin Notes
- Sample: “This online class will require in person proctored exams for the midterms and final. The exams will be held from 12:00pm to 2:00pm on Thursday, June 7th, Wednesday June 20th and Friday, June 29th in Monteith, Room 104.”
- Include the information on on the syllabus
- Reinforce at the start of class in an announcement and/or the discussion board
- Sample Letter Document (.docx)
2. Provide Forms and Guidelines
Provide standard forms for students to seek out on acceptable proctors. Make sure to provide a deadline for returning that form and make that deadline early enough to allow for making other arrangements or dropping the class.
- Sample Alternate Proctoring Location Form (.docx)
3. Approve/Deny Requests
Provide quick turnaround on approvals/denials.
4. Coordinate Testing Rules and Procedures with Remote Proctors
Once an alternate proctor and location has been approved, work with the proctor to discuss expectations, test delivery, test integrity, test-taking rules, submission procedures, and whom to contact for questions or if an incident occurs.
You’ll need to be very specific about the exam rules and determine permitted and prohibited resources– things like textbooks, written notes, scratch paper, software, calculators, cell phones, access to other materials, and even bathroom breaks.
Typically, the same exam is administered at remote locations as at the primary location and synchronized with the start time at the primary location. You may need to reconsider and adjust if the situation calls for it.
Paper or Online in HuskyCT?
Since the exam is to be administered in-person you have the choice of using traditional paper exams or you could decide to present the test in Blackboard (aka, HuskyCT). If you use HuskyCT for all or part of the exam, you may want to consider using Respondus Lockdown Browser to prevent students from accessing outside websites or resources on their computer. This will, however, depend on the testing solution and location. The Educational Technologies team can assist with using Respondus Lockdown browser.
Other Recommended Resources:
- Using Online Proctoring with eCampus and ProctorU
- Guidelines for the Authentication of Students in Online Courses