In-Class, Online Testing | Computing for Arts + Sciences

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In-Class, Online Testing

Beginning Spring 2019 CAS began offering a mobile testing solution for faculty in MATH and PSCI departments. This new service allowed large-enrollment classes to conduct online exams (using UNT's learning management system, currently Canvas) in their normal classrooms instead of reserving space in the Sage Hall Testing Center.

Beginning Fall 2019, CAS is making this mobile testing service available to additional faculty who are teaching large-enrollment classes in other COS, CLASS, and Mayborn School of Journalism departments.

Testing Environment

All mobile testing devices are set to use the Respondus LockDown Browser (LDB), which prevents students from access websites outside the testing environment:

  • When a laptop is turned on, the Respondus LDB automatically launches.
  • When an iPad is turned on, the only app available is the Respondus LDB.

All exams using our mobile testing service must be configured in Canvas to use the Respondus LDB. For help properly configuring exams in Canvas, please contact CLEAR at CLEARhelp@unt.edu or call 940-369-7394. In addition, exams taken using mobile testing's iPads must be configured to allow the use of Respondus LDB on iPad. Instructions on configuring your exam in Canvas to use Respondus LDB on iPads can be found in Step 5 of the "Preparing a Quiz" section of Respondus's Quick Start Guide:

http://www.respondus.com/downloads/RLDB-QuickStartGuide-Instructor-Instructure.pdf

Scheduling Your Exams

Exams are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to the principal adopters of the mobile testing service. Because we must schedule student employees to be available to deliver multiple carts to your classroom location, we need to have all exams scheduled before the start of the semester.

To request our mobile testing service for your class, please use our online request form:

Schedule Mobile Testing

Testing Capacity

We offer two different solutions for mobile testing:

EQUIPMENT TYPE QUANTITY OF DEVICES FOR EXAM TYPES...
MacBook Air laptop computer 115 Long-answer or essay questions, exams that require multiple active windows.
iPad tablet computer 500 Multiple choice or short-answer questions.

How does it work?

For each exam, we have staff on hand to deliver and distribute computers to students, and to provide any technical assistance at the beginning of the exam. We also leave some staff on duty to collect devices once exams are complete.

Please note:

We do not provide proctoring for exams or answer course-related questions for students. We're IT folks, and we lack the expertise to provide these services. For large-enrollment classes, we recommend your department provide TAs or other additional support staff for proctoring and assisting students with questions during the exam.

When a student raises his or her hand, it's typically for help with the exam. Therefore, the instructor or a TA should be the first one to respond, and if technical assistance is required, the instructor/TA can call over one of our tech staff for additional assistance.

MacBook laptop exams in Curry Hall 103

For these exams, MATH has found it works best to hold students outside the classroom until our staff has place a laptop computer at each seat in the classroom. Once the laptops have been distributed, the instructor admits students into the room one at a time, giving each student an instruction sheet and scratch paper. When a student completes their exam, they leave the laptop in place and exit the room. To avoid disturbing students during the exam, laptops are not collected until the end of the class period.

iPad Tablets

As part of our process (to limit risk of equipment loss), we scan each student's UNT ID card when we issue them an iPad for testing, and we scan their ID again when they return the iPad at the end of the test. For FERPA reasons, we will not scan a student's driver's license; there's too much additional data read from driver's licenses, including student's name and home address.

Because we have less than 10 minutes between classes to distribute up to 500 iPads to students for the exams, our staff won't have time to deal with "special circumstances". So it is up to the instructor to decide how to deal with students who forget their IDs on exam dates, but options could include:

  • Sending them to the Sage Hall Testing Center
  • Having your TAs take responsibility for an iPad, recording student's name and the assigned device's inventory number, then making the student sit in a designated area of the classroom so the TA can watch them like a hawk

When a student finishes the exam:

  • the student will return the iPad and their UNT ID card to one of our staff members
  • our staff member will check IN the iPad and scan the student's ID to show they returned it

Having a Backup Plan

Even with the most careful planning, things can go wrong. And it's possible for things to go wrong just before, or even during, your online exam. Examples include:

  • your online testing resource (Canvas, Pearson, etc.) becomes unreachable
  • builing or campus network problems
  • building power outage
  • fire alarm or other forced building evacuation
  • severe weather forcing classes to seek shelter elsewhere in the building

So, it's imperative that you anticipate such a problem on a testing date and have a back-up plan (also called a Business Continuity Plan, or BCP) for what you'll do instead. That BCP could be one of several options, including but not limited to:

  • trying to reschedule the exam for the next class period
  • handing out paper tests instead (feasible for small classes)
  • having students complete the exam later in the day (from home or an on-campus lab). Could make the exam "timed" to discourage cheating.

As an example, we had an exam scheduled for a 500-student class in the Lyceum in Spring 2019, and just as the exam was starting, students began having problems logging into Canvas. Only about 100 of the 500 students were able to login to take the exam. While the outage only lasted about 10 - 15 minutes, the instructor was worried about the level of test anxiety caused by the outage and had students complete the exam on their own later that day.

Important Notes:

  • Students should be instructed (by you or your TAs) to turn off all their personal smart devices (phones, tablets, etc), to limit the number of devices connecting to the wireless network during the test. Failure to do so could slow down login times for students taking the exam.
  • Students should NOT have a classmate return an iPad for them; their ID won't get scanned a second time (second scan proves they turned one back in), and if an iPad turns up missing they could be held financially responsible.