5 GCC’s Testing Center
Instructors who teach online or hybrid classes can utilize the campus’s testing center. The Testing Services is easy to work with. Students have to show an i.d., and their testing is monitored by a proctor. This service is free for GCC students. Testing is conducted Monday-Thursday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm and Fridays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. For more information on how to use this service, contact the GCC Testing Services.
4 Proctor U
Some instructors on campus use Proctor U as an online monitored test taking option for students who cannot come to the testing center. Using Proctor U is easy though there is a cost to the student for using it. The cost varies, depending on how far in advance they schedule the test and how long the test takes (determined by the instructor). The cost also varies depending on the level of proctoring an instructor wishes. In all cases, the instructor has access to the recorded test session for each student. Costs are as low as $2 per test (AI) and up to $30.25 (a three hour proctored exam). A 30 minute, fully proctored exam is $8.75. Chris Miller, Math faculty, said, “It’s been fairly simple to use and a great solution for students who have unusual circumstances such as unexpected travel [or] changes to work schedules.” Instructors who are interested in this option should contact Proctor U to register for an instructor account. At that point, a faculty rep will reach out to guide the instructor in setting up their tests. Exam set up is straightforward, and recycling the exams for future semesters is quite easy.
3 Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor
Some instructors on campus use Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor. This service is available through our LMS in the Apps section. Similar to Proctor U, students would go through a start up sequence where they snap a picture of their face and i.d. and then make a video showing their surrounding environment. Instructors can add any additional testing requirements they wish (no other people in the room, no leaving the room, etc.). The student’s browser is locked, and the exam is recorded via the student’s webcam. The instructor can then review the recorded exam. There is no cost to the student, but they will have to have a computer with the ability to record both video and audio. Lynn Newman, Social Sciences faculty, said, “It gives students an alternative so that they are able to complete the course without having to come to campus at all (and no extra fees).” Lynn cautions that there is some set up involved (more setup if you have a large class), but the time invested is worth having the exam’s integrity maintained. Instructors who are interested in this option should check the videos at http://www.respondus.com/products/lockdown-browser/demos.shtml to see how Lockdown Browser works with Canvas.
2 Tests Designed Where Cheating is More Difficult
This suggestion does not check a student’s identity prior to taking a test. And, this option may not be available in all disciplines or courses. To design a test that won’t permit cheating is probably more time-consuming. Scoring the test might even require more time. In a literature class, like I teach, I can have students compare point of view in two stories, and it would be hard to find that exact question posed online from which to borrow ideas. Tests in Canvas can also be timed, and while that might be disadvantageous for non-native speakers, it does discourage students from spending time looking for answers online. Dr. John Solis, from Baylor, has some additional tips for minimizing cheating online.
1 Encourage an Atmosphere of Academic Integrity
Encouraging an atmosphere of academic integrity is maybe like waving a magic wand and hoping it will work. It won’t discourage all cheating, but it does approach cheating from a proactive and positive place involving ethics, it speaks to some of our students, it affirms our own values, and it tells students a way to be in the world. Encouragement can start in a course syllabus with an integrity statement. Quizzes and tests can include reminders about the importance of integrity, examples about integrity in the workplace, quotes from historical figures who modeled integrity, and an instructor’s own ideas about integrity. For sure by the end of the course, students will know what integrity means and its value beyond just the classroom. Penn’s Center for Teaching and Learning has some advice on creating an atmosphere of academic integrity if you’re looking for more information.