Online Proctoring Overview and Instructor FAQ

Proctoring allows you to offer high stakes exams at distance locations for online students. The ISU Testing Center facilitates the proctoring process for online distance students using an online proctoring system which is a free service. However, distance online students will need to work with individual proctors/centers on specific charges or fees.

Proctoring is a great option for online students when you are concerned about high stakes testing and you are concerned about students sharing answers with peers or looking up answers. The ISU Proctoring system can accommodate written exams although online assessment via Canvas is encouraged.

Can you begin by explaining the process from a high level?

  1. The instructor adds their online course to the proctoring system prior to the first day of classes.
  2. Instructor puts language in syllabus and tells students first day to find a proctor; ELO also puts information in Canvas for ELO live capture courses.
  3. After reviewing information on Canvas, students fill out proctoring form.
  4. An initial email is sent to potential proctor to accept or deny.
  5. If the proctor accepts, the ISU Testing Center checks suitability of proctor and confirms or denies. Information is sent to proctor and student on confirmation.
  6. Instructor uploads exam or puts in exam details as soon as they are able (ideally at start of semester)
  • If this is a Canvas quiz, instructor enters password and exam details. Instructors should review best practices for Canvas exams.
  • For written exams, proctor scans and uploads exams. Instructor downloads zip from system to grade exams. ELO scans and emails back exams after graded by instructors

What do I need to know before getting started?

  • Review ISU Testing Center requirements
  • Finals must be given during the finals week at times as specified by registrar
  • You cannot assume that online students can take the exam at the time you give it to on-campus students
  • Finals must be given during finals week as dictated by finals schedule
  • Because of allocating resources, instructors must include a span of 3 business days over which to take the test in the testing center for Ames-area online students
  • If you create a quiz within Canvas, it is important to set a time limit
  • The testing center is only open during the week so do not assume support on the weekends (other than during finals)
  • Online students (XW, XV sections) who live on campus must take their exam in the testing center

What are my responsibilities as an instructor?

Can I have my on-campus students (non-online) students take exams in the testing center too?

  • You can have your on-campus students take exams in the ISU Testing Center ONLY if you are delivering an exam in Canvas (cannot be written/paper-and-pencil)
  • Any Ames area online students can actually also take the test in your classroom if you have the space to accommodate them during test time, but cannot be required

What proctoring considerations affect my online students?

  • Cost (there may be associated fees for students who are “true” distance students
  • Allow time for working professionals to students with jobs to take exams in a range of times since they will likely not be available at test time
  • For students with accommodation needs, information is provided on the ISU Testing Center page

Are there additional things I need to know about written exams for local online students?

  • Gilman 2552 is the only location where online Ames-area students can take written exams
  • Must be scheduled by students taking the exam in the testing center at least 12 hours in advance
  • Must be scheduled through Appointy to set up a time because there is more oversight/manual work for testing center (information will be provided to the student when they add their proctor and is mentioned in the Canvas page)

You should not use proctoring for these instances

  • Low enrollment classes
  • Multiple choice exams or exams easily delivered and scored within Canvas – create as a Canvas quiz instead
  • Open book/open note exams can be easily created in Canvas
  • If you want to avoid additional costs and inconvenience for your online students; there may be fees depending on where the student has to take the test and it may be difficult to find an open location to take a test if they are working professionals (grad students)

What are alternatives to proctoring?

  • Authentic real-life projects
  • Presentations
  • Have students submit a paper
  • Multiple low-stakes exams combined with options above
  • Handle proctoring yourself (especially low enrollment – talk to ELO with questions)
  • Question banks built in Canvas – create multiple sets of questions


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