Assessment

Troy University Adds ProctorU Service to Online Courses

Troy University has added ProctorU to its list of approved proctors for some classes. As a result of that win and others, the company, which provides exam monitoring for students taking online courses, said it expects to grow its business tenfold over the next year, from 3,000 exams in 2009 to between 20,000 and 30,000 tests in 2010. The university has a student headcount of 29,505 and 60 campuses in 11 countries and 17 states.

The service was originally developed for internal use at Andrew Jackson University, an online institution in Birmingham, AL, in early 2008. "Students were complaining of the inconvenience and high cost of locating a proctor and traveling to the proctor's location for their final exams," said vice president Jarrod Morgan. "So the school where I was director of technology decided to develop an online exam proctoring system in early 2008 to accommodate its students."

The university decided to commercialize the service and spun it off as a separate corporation.

Morgan said his company currently has about 20 colleges and universities as customers, including some in China and Germany.

Students pay about $30 for the service, which uses a combination of software, a Webcam, microphones, and a human being to perform the monitoring.

"Our students absolutely love the online exam proctors and the convenience the service offers," said Tammy Kassner, director of admissions at Andrew Jackson U. "They might be intimidated a bit taking their first exam online as an exam is critical to the computation of their grade for the course. But when they see how professional and helpful the proctors are, they relax."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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