Western University is committed to providing students the opportunity to complete courses during the pandemic while maintaining a high quality of education and the health, safety and well-being of our community. To assist with this, the centre for teaching and learning has provided alternative assessment ideas that could provide an alternative to an in person or synchronous assessment. However, in the event that a remote proctored assessment is required, remote proctoring through Proctortrack is being offered for the 2021 Spring/Summer term.

To prepare for the 2021 Spring/Summer term, the Office of the Registrar Exam Central Team requests that you identify how you will be assessing students. This allows us to ensure the capacity of Western's learning management system, OWL, and plan for support staff.

To identify your assessments, please log into the Extranet and add all assessments under the Assessments tile in Exam Central.

If you are considering the use of remote proctoring, please review the information provided below, along with the Remote Proctoring Notice and Guidelines located on the Extranet:

When is remote proctoring appropriate?

Remotely proctored examinations should be reserved for cases when alternative assessments alone cannot effectively assess student achievement of the learning outcomes of the course or there are additional requirements that warrant remote proctoring. Such cases largely fall into three broad categories:

  1. Proctored examinations are a requirement for accreditation by an external body.
  2. In an introductory course in which demonstration of the learning outcomes consist primarily of, e.g., recollection of basic facts and definitions, brief explanations of concepts, or demonstration of an ability to apply short procedures to solve a problem. In such cases, all correct answers look similar, making it difficult to determine whether a student submitted their own work or answers from a different source; moreover, the introduction of alternative assessments may inadvertently assess outcomes beyond those which are expected in the course.
  3. When accurately grading alternative assessments, such as term papers requiring a deeper level of understanding course material, would require a workload far exceeding the resources of the program.

In all cases, instructors should consider alternatives to proctored assessments and be able to clearly elucidate why a proctored assessment is the only viable means for evaluation for their particular course.

In cases where remote proctoring is employed, its use should be restricted to the final examination and one or two midterm tests.

Messaging to students?

When remote proctoring is to be employed, instructors must provide advance notice in the course outline, including a brief description of the system requirements and a link to resources for more information. Instructors are welcome to use the sample messaging and links to resources in the Remote Proctoring Guidelines.

In addition, it is strongly recommended that the instructor add a paragraph explaining why remote proctoring has been selected. If an instructor finds that they are unable to explain this, they should consider whether an alternative assessment would be possible. Instructors are welcome to use the sample messaging in the Remote Proctoring Guidelines as a starting point for their statement.

How does it work?

Proctortrack works in conjunction with your OWL or Gradescope test, offering an additional layer of security and proctoring services for your exams that allows you to ensure the integrity of an online assessment process. Specifically, Proctortrack verifies the identity of the student taking the exam, monitors the student during the exam and monitors the student's computer.

Setting up a test using Proctortrack

  1. Create your test.
  2. Link your test to Proctortrack and select configurations. You can select options for your test such as allowing calculators or text books to be used, allowing for notetaking, prohibiting copy/paste function or allowing certain applications and websites that the students require access to during the exam.
  3. You can also set up specific options for students that need an accommodation using the student settings tab in Proctortrack.
  4. Students will take the test and upload their proctoring video.
  5. Once the proctoring video is processed, which can take up to 72 hours, you are able to review sessions for academic integrity. Potential violations are flagged for your review and comments. Once you have reviewed the sessions, you can approve the test sessions and comfortably release grades to students through OWL gradebook.

Documentation and resources can be found in the Extranet under Exam Central and the Resources tile. Additional information on OWL and Proctortrack can be found at the link below.

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