Posts Tagged ‘proctoring’

Exam integrity considerations during mock and proctored written exams in the LRC

The easiest way to hold a mock or proctor a written exam in the LRC is provide the students a printout of the exam. For larger classes preparing, and under some circumstances (writing impediment due to injury), providing the MS-Word file on a computer to the student would seem a more convenient solution.

However, the LRC prides itself in the large collection of MS-Office proofing tools it has installed and preconfigured – accessing which from within MS-Word could be construed as cheating during a writing exam. As a matter of fact, since MS-Word auto-detects language, under-waving of misspelled words and incorrect Grammar provides unsolicited and unavoidable extra help.

MS-Office proofing tools could be turned off by using a special MS-word template as the basis for the exam. Easier and quicker is using the SANAKO which can not only block internet access of the examined students, but also block use of entire applications like MS-Word.

Instead of in MS-Word, your students could write their responses in an application that is not part of the proofing tools infrastructure, like Notepad. Western language diacritics can easily be written  in any application on LRC PCs thanks to US-International keyboard layout, and non-Western characters even easier than on paper.

For full security, the best environment for exams we can offer remains Respondus lockdown browser, integrated with Moodle, but this requires converting the exam to into a Moodle quiz (which Respondus has tools to facilitate).  In certain cases, it might be easiest to create a “dummy” quiz with one long text input field, which your students could type everything in, without having access to any other resources (internet, proofing tools, chat, what not…). However, this quiz still would have to be  in your Moodle course so that your students can access access, and their results get put into your gradebook.

Outside of Moodle – if you do not want to go down the Respondus-path – , you can rely on the SANAKO homework collection feature and my langlabemailer to receive the results.

How the LRC can help you proctoring your computer-based make-up exams

  1. We are testing
    1. whether we can offer proctored make-up exams for students that missed scheduled (publisher website- or Moodle-based)  computerized exams that were held in the LRC. We have not been given additional resources for this service, so we have to set it up as smoothly as possible – as you and your students will desire also.
    2. Alternatively, you could administer your exam in your office, like you used to, but now using your office computer (where presumably you tested the exam in the first place – the LRC can temporarily borrow you a headset
    3. or we could group schedule all remaining students  for a make-up in the main LRC classroom maybe during class meeting (likely more secure and quicker, but taking away from contact hours). Both the presence of the teacher and the lrc director may be required.
  2. The teacher  gives
    1. to  the studentthe exam’s
        1.  step-by-step instructions (depends on your exam website, look at my example here regarding mylanguagelab  tests (version 2012-10):,
        2. or, if the exam is self-explanatory to the student (nothing ever seems to be, so if you want to go this route, please be prepared to troubleshoot with your students, the LRC can only help with making step-by-step guides beforehand), the link, i.e. login (e.g. mygermanlab: and exact location  of exam (either path for  manual browsing  or (preferably, if at all possible) a direct link);
        3. duration
        4. deadline
    2. to the LRC coordinator the exam password.  The LRC coordinator publishes the password in LRC Moodle forum “sticky notes” (to which only LRC staff has access).
  3. The student
    1. From her NINERMAILcalendar
      1. prepares a new/meeting request,
        1. “subject: [your course number] make-up exam”,
        2. to “resource:” lrcroomcoed433c AND, our small group rooms,
        3. uses the tab:”scheduling assistant” to find a free (= white, not-blocked) time-slot with the exam duration and before the exam deadline,
        4. and deletes that group room that s/he does not need before actual sending the meeting request (For the quietest experience, s/he should also stir clear of tutoring hours, subject:”up to ####” in the other group room ).
        5. The student can get help withmaking this meeting request at the LRC reception desk, including booking the room on the fly, but no group room may be immediately available for walk-in clients).
      2. cancels the meeting request if s/he changes her mind, to make the room available to other (we record the check-in time to report offenders who prevent other students from taking their make-up exams). Only in our 2 group rooms next to the reception desk the student can be (loosely) monitored by LRC assistants serving as proctors from behind the reception desk. We can test before term start if your website can use additional security features like Sanako controlled web browsing or Respondus Lockdown browser.
    2. comes to the LRC  shortly before her scheduled time slot,
      1. logs in on the computer in her group room first (to speed things up);
      2. opens her meeting request on the reception desk computer to receive a check-in code from the LRC assistant into the meeting request and “sends update”;
      3. places any personal possession behind the reception desk;
      4. opens the exam instructions (e.g. on the group room computer;
      5. Following instructions therein, goes to the exam website on the group room computer, opens the exam, so that the LRC assistant can type in the password from the LRC Moodle forum “sticky notes” without letting the examinee know the password.
      6. TBA: Will we require  students to get a checkout code? The LRC assistants are not in a position to enforce exam deadlines; your testing software likely should be.