Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Test Proctoring - Part Two

Yesterday I posted the first installment about an email exchange on the MnSCU Deans list about test proctoring for online students. This is another reply received on that thread.
As of this fall '09, (a college) is not testing our own online students in the on campus Testing Center due to space and proctoring personnel limitations. Consequently we will not be testing online students from any other campus either.
To which I replied with the following:
It's me again. Something that (colleague) said triggered a thought that I should have put into the first email.

At LSC, we have NEVER had a policy of providing an exam proctoring service on-campus for students taking LSC online classes from us. Just like faculty who teach in the classroom, if an online faculty member wants to give a proctored exam, then that faculty member is expected to make arrangements for a space and time on campus when he/she will proctor (probably not even the right word when they are giving their own exam) the exam. We do not pay faculty to teach and then turn around and also pay staff members to give exams for those faculty members. Notable exceptions include certain accommodations for disabilities services and the occasional extenuating circumstance.

I think any institution would be making a big mistake in encouraging (or permitting) online faculty to assign examinations that must be proctored, but then expecting other people to do all the proctoring work. Of course I could be wrong. Let's just call that a strong opinion that is deeply held.

One more note about test proctoring for online courses at LSC. Test proctoring is required in something less than 10% of our online courses. We constantly encourage faculty members to choose assessment techniques that will not require substantial proctoring, but a few faculty members do choose to go down the proctoring road.

So far I have heard one dissenting opinion from a Dean who thinks that it is perfectly fine for staff to give exams for faculty members who teach online. They have a multi-campus environment which might make it difficult for one faculty members to proctor "on-campus"exams in multiple places. Still, I think it is a slippery slope to establish the precedent of giving exams for faculty - whether they teach online, on-ground, or both. YMMV.

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