The Walker Center for Teaching & Learning has been highly involved in developing policy for new online and distance program offerings and helping departments make those courses available. There is growing excitement for developing and offering these courses, but while developing, we need to consider many important things before UTC can offer its stamp of approval. One of the major considerations is student accountability when it comes to test taking.
A new product makes it possible to let a device and software serve as proctor for students and allows them to take those tests on their own time and from their home. This product is called Remote Proctor NOW (http://www.softwaresecure.com/solution/RemoteProctorNow.aspx?CSS&utm_source=EduBrief+%7C+March+26%2C+2013&utm_campaign=EduBrief+Newsletter+3.12.2013&utm_medium=email) and is developed by a company called Software Secure. This software and hardware package authenticates the test taker as the student by photo ID and by login credentials. Then, the student would take the exam through their LMS. During the exam, the webcam of the student’s computer is recorded with audio. The screen that the student is taking the test on is also recorded and linked with the audio. This way, any peaks in audio, such as someone coming into the room, a phone call, or a conversation, can be easily pinpointed so instructors and reviewers can go back to that moment and see what the student was doing at that time.
Another benefit of this system is that each exam recording can be viewed by multiple Certified Review Specialists who review the authentication of the student, the video and audio of the student, and the desktop of the student. The recordings are also available to faculty for review. This software has already been adopted by several top schools, including Troy University (http://www.troy.edu/newsPR/remote_proctor.pdf), Mississippi State Center for Distance Education (http://www.distance.msstate.edu/pdf/SecureExam.pdf) and Vanderbilt School of Nursing (http://www.nursing.vanderbilt.edu/tools/securexam.html).
What impact could a technology like this have for online and distance classes at UTC?
Do you think it would maintain integrity for online and distance classes? Why or why not?
Distance Learning Technology Specialist
Center for Online and Distance Learning