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U North Carolina Teams with ProctorU on Online Proctoring API

With the use of a new API, the campuses of the University of North Carolina will be able to let their students take proctored tests from within their institution's Web site. ProctorU teamed up with U North Carolina, which has 17 campuses, to create the application programming interface in time for the fall 2012 semester.

Through the use of webcams and screen-sharing technology ProctorU delivers a proctoring service that allows schools to deliver exams securely online. The only requirements for the student are a computer, a reliable Internet connection, a webcam, and a microphone.

The new API allows test-takers to use the online proctoring service without leaving their school's Web site or learning management system. The students using the UNC Online Web site select ProctorU, which sets off a communication with the company and automatically creates an appointment when the student specifies a time to take the test. Fees for the service start at $25 for a two-hour exam and are paid when the student finishes the appointment; the university itself doesn't receive those funds; they're paid to the service provider.

Previously, UNC students had to report in person to appointed locations to take exams. Maggie O'Hara, UNC's director of e-learning, said ProctorU's service allows students to take exams anytime during the testing window set up by their instructor. "More importantly," she added, given that so many of our students are working adults or in the military, having ProctorU as an approved proctor gives students the flexibility and convenience of taking their exams at home, at work, or while traveling."

The company said the API was developed without additional cost to UNC Online; now it's available to be adapted for use by other institutions and training organizations.

Currently, ProctorU is available at eight UNC institutions; but future plans call for expanding to the remaining campuses.

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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