Ohio University

OHIO IT offers instructor tips for a smooth final exam season

Published: November 19, 2020 Author: Staff reports

Conducting exams remotely this fall 2020 semester may have you and your students using technology in ways you haven't before. Ensure you're ready with these tips from OHIO IT.

General tips

Many students may be traveling home or somewhere else for the remainder of the semester, which can result in changes to their testing environments.

  • Be thoughtful about the time restrictions you put on exams. While having all students take an exam at the same time might help maintain test security, some students may be traveling to different time zones or may be sharing space or internet bandwidth with others. You can still administer a timed exam but offer a wider range of time to complete it—for example, assign a two-hour exam but provide a six-hour window for students to complete it.
    • Even if you aren't using online proctoring, the proctored exam section of our Developing Summative Assessments toolbox offers an overview of various Blackboard settings you can use to secure your exams. (The rest of the toolbox also gives some ideas on how to make your exams more rigorous and meaningful.)
    • Be available during your exam window. A technical difficulty during a high-stakes exam can quickly send students into panic. Ease students' nerves by communicating exactly how students can get in touch with you should something unexpected happen during your exam.
    • Communicate your expectations early and often. Students will need some time to prepare their testing environments. Give students both written and verbal communications about what they'll need in order to be successful. Keep in mind:
    • High bandwidth isn't always a given: Students without consistent access to broadband internet need time to prepare for high-bandwidth activities like viewing videos or giving a live presentation. You may want to have students complete an internet speed test (a simple internet search will bring one up) and compare the results to Teams' bandwidth requirements.
    • Students may be sharing space: A consistently quiet, uninterrupted testing environment might be difficult to achieve around young family members or needy pets. If you are using Proctortrack, consider these realities when configuring your test settings and reviewing proctoring reports.
    • OHIO has many resources to help students. Review and share the reminders and resources shared at the bottom of this article.
    • OHIO IT can help before things go wrong, too. Schedule a consultation with us and we will be happy to review your exam setup with you.
    • Prepare to be flexible. Sometimes plans just don't work as expected. If something happens, contact the IT Service Desk and we'll be ready to assist.


Tips if you're using Proctortrack

If you have not yet used Proctortrack, there is a moderate amount of setup. Reduce stress for yourself and your students by following these steps:

  1. Ensure your students complete the onboarding process as soon as possible. Students who are first-time users will need at least 24 hours to complete this process before taking their first proctored exam.
  2. Review the step-by-step Instructor Guide document to get everything set up properly.
  3. Share the step-by-step Student Guide document so students know what to expect.

In addition to instructor tech tips, OHIO IT also has published a comprehensive list of resources & tips for students.