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In order to offer additional proctoring solutions for your online students, the Sorrell College of Business has expanded the pilot project of ProctorU. The initial pilot of ProctorU was completed in term 09/T2 for three class sections with very good results. Sixty-five students used the service to complete their proctored exams. Due to that success, ProctorU is one of the approved proctoring options this term for the courses designated as formative. After the completion of this expanded pilot project this solution may be made available for all proctored exams for the Sorrell College of Business.
How ProctorU Works
ProctorU is a service provided by a company operating out of Birmingham, Alabama that allows a proctor to observe the student taking the formative exam via a webcam. If the student chooses this proctoring option and does not already have a webcam for their computer, they will be required to purchase and install one. (ProctorU has listed some suggested webcams on their web site, but any webcam with a built-in microphone should work.)
At least 3 days before the exam, the student will be required to self-register within the available time frame. No exam will be allowed to exceed a 2 hour time limit. The student provides payment to ProctorU at the time of registration.
The password for the exam will be supplied to the proctor at ProctorU and the proctor will key in the password for the student in order to launch the exam. The proctor will also be supplied the environmentals of the exam (i.e., closed book, no notes, time limit, etc.)
On the scheduled date and time, the student will log on to the ProctorU website. Students will be connected to their assigned proctor using the web cam and screen monitoring, answer four questions for student authentication, and then have the proctor launch their exam. During the exam the proctor will observe the student while he/she takes their exam. The proctor will note any problems or irregularities. If the proctor notices something that is outside of the regulations set for the exam, the student will receive a verbal warning one time only. If the action happens again, the proctor will collect as much data as possible (in the form of screen captures and camera shots) and provide the instructor with the information. ProctorU will contact the instructor proactively.
Each instructor will have a separate ID and password to log onto ProctorU to see which of their students has completed their exams. Instructors should review the proctor notes in case irregularities were observed. The instructor can then make a determination whether or not cheating occurred and take appropriate action. (The ProctorU web site will only list students who have taken the exam using the ProctorU service. Students using a TROY site, commercial testing center or military base will not be listed there.)
For Exams other than Sorrell College of Business formative exams: the instructor will need to remain available throughout the testing period in case an exam needs to be reset, etc.
Listed below are the problems encountered during the initial pilot on class sections for IS 2241 which used myitlab. Some of the issue were specifically related to the assessment tool used in IS 2241 (myitlab) and will be resolved simply by launching the exam from Blackboard instead of myitlab.
Recommendations for Instructors
These recommendations are based on the pilot and ongoing experiences using ProctorU.
- Encourage students to sign up for a time slot as soon as they can to ensure that their desired time is available (at least 7 days in advance).
- Instructors should provide a link to ProctorU in their Blackboard course shell.
- Instructors should stress to students when the exam will be available so that no student registers for a ProctorU timeslot before the exam can be taken, or after the exam period has ended.
- Instructors could encourage students to use Wimba Pronto with the instructor or each other to test webcam and microphone functionality.
- Review the demonstration video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OHqItx6uz8.
- When you receive your ProctorU username and password, log in at http://www.proctoru.com to ensure your username and password works.
The download link below is a handout for faculty prepared by ProctorU.
Faculty Handout (PDF)
Preserving academic integrity through proctored exams:
IS 2241 Term 2, 2009 Pilot Results
65 students across three class sections took their final exam using ProctorU’s services. All were successfully proctored but there were various problems and issues that the ProctorU personnel had to troubleshoot to make the proctored exam successful. Here is a summary of the issues:
- One student signed up under for a time slot using another university so that they could get the time they wanted, prior their TROY exam being available.
- Several students cancelled and rescheduled their exams at the last minute.
- Some students did not keep the link to ProctorU to begin the exam.
- Some students had not installed the webcam prior to beginning the exam.
- Some students did not have functioning web cameras and one web camera/PC did not have a microphone.
- One student could not answer the first set of authentication questions correctly and had to authenticate twice.
- There were a few cases of connections being dropped due to bandwidth but none required resetting the exam.
- Some students had severely underequipped computers. Generally the issue was too little RAM to execute myitlab alongside of a web cam and the remote monitoring software.
- Some students chose to use a different computer than the computer that had been being used for the class. And, the myitlab software was not loaded on the new computer. It needs to be emphasized to the student to stay on the same computer.
- Some students took their exam without the use of a webcam because they could not get it working. The proctor observed the exam session via the remote monitoring software only.