Proctoring procedures during the pandemic

Adam Rubin

Academic testing at WSU is available with a new, cutting-edge program for fall semester 2020, and while the testing options are unique to each faculty member’s course material, there has been preparation to ensure that WSU students maintain their academic integrity while test-taking at home or on campus.

Testing Center in Tracy Hall on WSU's main campus.
Testing Center in Tracy Hall on WSU's main campus. Photo credit: The Signpost Archives

On campus or off, testing has been a concern of WSU faculty members and staff since summer.

According to WSU’s Assistant Provost Eric Amsel, there are two options for taking tests this semester. Many students have already used the artificial intelligence-oriented program, Proctorio. And, depending on the needs of the faculty member’s course material, traditional testing centers will also be open for students.

“One option is to use the testing centers, themselves, have students sit at socially-distanced seats and take their tests as they always have,” Amsel said. “However, there are other electronic testing options through Proctorio — if there are any noted behaviors that were suspicious it will raise a flag, then the exam videos themselves will be reviewed and evaluated, if there are any further concerns, the faculty member will be notified and asked to evaluate and make a final decision.”

Proctorio can flag activity as inconsequential as dropping a pencil or making a rapid movement, but that’s where the review process comes in to ensure there’s no cheating.

Tracey Smith, director of Testing Services at WSU, shed some light on how the on-campus testing centers, and Proctorio, are operating this year—as well as when and where testing can be taken.

“There are four testing centers at the Ogden campus which are open, one at Davis and one at Morgan,” Smith said. “Some faculty prefer face-to-face proctoring for their particular exam types; some students prefer this as well.”

Physical testing centers on campus are open. They have been used more this semester for paper-based exams, although Proctorio can process paper exams.

The testing centers on campus are operating at less than one-half of the regular occupancy space. They are regulated by a strict cleaning mandate, ensuring that every testing space is clean and ready for the next student to use. Additionally, there’s some limited access.

“No testing centers are open on Sunday this semester,” Smith said. “The HUBs are closed as those exams are now on Proctorio, testing centers are open the same hours as previous semesters on Saturdays, while Proctorio is available all weekend.”

WSU has made a joint effort to keep traditional testing centers open for student accessibility. There are some aspects of the Proctorio testing program that may add additional perks, like saving commuter time and allowing for students to take tests just about anywhere that they can access Wi-Fi.