eLearning Technology Blog

A Whole New (Virtual) World

by WSU Online 27. September 2013 15:18



The first thing I notice when I walk into Global Campus Proctoring Services isn’t how high-tech the computers are, or how glossy the new monitors appear, it’s the quiet chatter among the proctors as they bustle about their stations. 

The proctors sit comfortably, like osprey tucked into their nests of computer monitors – with a bird’s eye view of everything going on around them, and a close-up view of a video stream of multiple students taking exams.  Some of the students are already knee-deep in Criminal Justice, Anthropology, or Psychology exams; their face’s intense, their forehead’s furrowed as they concentrate.  Kerri Hill, manager of the proctoring center, finishes up a proctoring session with a cheerful “thank you” to the student, sets down her headset, and greets me at the door.

There’s no denying that cheating is—and probably always will be—an issue in higher education. There is a lot at stake, and whether classes are held face to face or online, opportunities abound for students to cheat.  In fact, just recently I received spam email from a website titled, “I’ll do your work for you.”  Indeed, cheating as an activity (and some would say business venture), is always evolving to meet the demands of their clientele.  There is no empirical evidence that suggests cheating is more prevalent in online courses, but online programs often bear more scrutiny. We are often asked how we know that the student enrolled in the course or program is in fact the student doing the work. Thanks to Global Campus Proctoring, we can say, we do know!

We are encouraging every instructor to include at least one proctored activity in their online course. Through proctored exams or activities we ensure the academic integrity of the course, program, and degree.  Proctoring ensures the validity of exam scores, and by extension, the validity of the degree. In other words, WSU’s academic integrity policies mean that our diplomas will be respected wherever they go.

And yes, with new ideas, come questions.  Kerri Hill will be the first to admit that she couldn’t picture how virtual proctoring would work when she was first approached about starting the center.  She laughs a little at her initial quandary, “virtual proctoring is much simpler than you may think. It’s just people, not so different from traditional proctoring; only it’s keeping up with technology.”  We walk briskly through the entire center (no bigger than a large classroom). “I’m convinced of the need – and our ability to meet that need with a positive experience.”

If you’re curious about the security of online exams, online proctoring, or just what Global Campus has been up to in the realm of proctoring, consider attending our open house on October 1st.  The Proctoring Center will be open from noon to 3pm and we would love to show you around and introduce you to the proctors. The Proctoring Center is located in the Engineering Laboratory Building, Room 101.

Learn more about Virtual Proctoring Here: http://elearning.wsu.edu/OnlineCourses/virtual_proctor.aspx

Rebecca L Stull

Get a Great Start

by WSU Online 12. September 2013 15:18

...by Setting up Online Exams for Students who have Time Extension Accommodations

Your fall exams may seem a long-ways off, but they’ll be creeping up on your before you know it. Get a great start to the semester, and avoid future headaches, by following just a few simple guidelines – provided to us by our in-house Web Accessibility Coordinator, Wendy Steele.

1.    Ready: You’ll likely be receiving an accommodation request from a student or two in your courses.  Many students who need accommodations will require additional time (e.g.,double time) to take their online exams or quizzes. It is the instructor’s responsibility to set up time extensions for online exams before a student takes an exam.  If you aren’t sure how to put these special requirements into place –  use these helpful tutorials from the elearning.wsu.edu website:

Note: If you have paper-based exams, or online exams that are not using a timer, you should not have to do anything.

2.    Set:  Kill two birds with one stone by setting up a student’s time extensions for all of your exams at the same time. This should be done preferably at the start of the semester, or at least one week before an exam opens. This way, you won’t have to remember what you have or haven’t done already, and you can rest assured that things are taken care of, for students, when exam number two, three, and even four opens.

3.    Go: Double check your work and make sure the settings you changed are functioning properly by conferring with the Global Campus Faculty Support team.   They are happy to help, and can take a look at the settings of your exams to verify that everything is in place properly and ready to go.  They are also happy to answer any general questions you have about running exams online or using Angel in general. Reach them directly at wsuonline.support@wsu.edu  or 509-335-3557 or 800-222-4978.

If you have questions about what the accommodation request means, or you aren’t sure how to translate the specific information included in the Accommodation Form into your exam’s format, we recommend contacting the appropriate WSU Access Center directly. The appropriate Access Center contact information should be listed on the student’s Accommodation Form that they sent you directly.

Also, if you do not receive a Disability Accommodation Form from a student that is requesting an accommodation from you, please refer the student to the Access Center. The student will need to contact the Access Center even if the student received accommodations from a previous school or from WSU during a previous term.

In no time at all this semester will be distant memory, and with a little preparation, it will be a positive memory at that.

Rebecca L Stull

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