Distance Learning | News
McGraw-Hill Ed Releases Stand-Alone Online Exam Proctoring Service
- By Dian Schaffhauser
McGraw-Hill Education's Tegrity division has launched a stand-alone version of a service for secure online exam administration. McGraw-Hill Tegrity Remote Proctoring allows students to take exams from home or any other Internet-enabled location. The service uses Lockdown, software from Respondus, a company that develops assessment tools. The proctoring service previously was a function within the full Tegrity Campus product, which provides automated lecture capture.
The proctoring service runs on a PC or Mac and requires a webcam, microphone, and Internet connection. When students are ready to take a proctored exam, they click "Test" on the Tegrity interface. The student is then taken through a simple workflow that asks them to agree to the testing policy. Then they prove their identity by holding up a student ID card or some other form of identification to a webcam. They click a button to capture a still image of the ID.
Next, they begin the exam. Tegrity records video of the student taking the test, along with the associated screen activity. The test-taker can't pause the recording process. When the exam is completed, the recording is immediately uploaded to the appropriate course for instructors to review at a speed that runs up to eight times faster than real-time. The company said most instructors don't review every minute of the recording. They spot-check it to confirm that cheating hasn't taken place.
Laramie County Community College in Wyoming has used the remote testing application in multiple programs, including nursing, public speaking, business management, and exercise science courses. "Remote Proctoring has provided our students much more flexibility to complete exams on their schedule, without having to travel far distances to proctored class environments, while still maintaining the integrity of course assessments and curriculum," noted nursing instructor Valerie Millsap.
The use of the remote proctoring system has inspired some of the college's teachers to go beyond multiple choice questions and add assessment items that ask the student to use audio and visual assets.
"Remote proctoring offers instructors a new world of possibilities for exams and assessments and we're seeing a number of universities create unique curricula based around Web tools like remote proctoring and video-based lecture capture," said Tom Malek, vice president of Learning Solutions and Services for McGraw-Hill Higher Education. "We've heard from deans and faculty alike that remote proctoring also provides students greater flexibility to complete exams on their own schedule without having to travel long distances or worry about fees associated with proctored sites. This is especially important as today's student body includes more and more non-traditional students, balancing work, family, and other responsibilities."
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.