Monday, August 24, 2009

Test Proctoring for Minnesota Online

The question shown below was sent to the MnSCU Deans list this morning at the start of the Fall 2009 semester.
We are receiving more and more request for proctoring, some of them from students at four-year institutions. What is your policy with respect to proctoring examinations for students taking online courses from other institutions?
My answer to the list appears below. I decided to post it to the blog so that I can simply point to it in the future when this question comes up again.
Never a dull moment when it comes to test proctoring for online students. This question comes up several times each year. Gary gets the prize for being the first one to ask during the fall term.

All MnSCU schools are part of Minnesota Online. As members, all are expected to provide test proctoring for local students taking online classes from other MnSCU students. In return, your distance students who live in other areas of the state should expect the same service from their local MnSCU institution.

As you'll see from the list linked above, not everyone chooses to play in the same sandbox. The MnOnline Council decided several years ago that all schools should provide this service as an integral part of being a "system." This is still the expectation as far as I know.

On a personal note: this is one of the many factors that led to a great deal of frustration on my part when involved with the MnOnline Council. Test proctoring is the poster-child example of how some schools are more cooperative than others when it comes to matters related to Minnesota Online. In my opinion, there still needs to be more of a mandate for schools to cooperate in situations such as these. However, as long as there is no penalty for non-compliance, some schools will continue to be less system-oriented than others.

In closing, I'll try to anticipate the next question about proctoring. NO, you cannot charge a MnSCU student a fee for test proctoring. All fees need to be on the board-approved list, and there is no such fee for test proctoring. It is appropriate to charge a fee for test proctoring (locally decided amount) for a student from a non-MnSCU school.

This has been the standard answer for the past several years, to the best of my understanding. If things have changed, or if I have misstated anything, please feel free to issue a correction.

Best wishes with the start of a new term, Barry
(Flickr CC photo by psd)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"It also helps to set the stage for a partnership of learning between student and instructor"

If that is the kind of relationship you want to foster with your students you may want to eliminate statements like:

"Please note, it is difficult, although not impossible, to earn above a 90 or below an 80 in this course."

Graduate level courses should be challenging, but achievable. If I can't work hard, do all the work, rewrite if necessary and get an A in your class then I think something is wrong with your course design. Don't misunderstand. I expect to work and work hard. I am Ivy League educated and have never had anything less than an A since undergrad. Your statement was a complete turn off and I think does not follow what we learn about Adult Learning Theory.

Feeling demotivated at the beginning of a semester...thanks.