From computer lab exams to fully online events, several schools and instructors have piloted various proctoring tools at Northwestern over the past year. With some schools, this includes a service that is fully integrated with a program. In other cases, individual instructors or departments have seized the opportunity to pilot new software packages. Each use case carries shared goals of saving class time, reducing administrative tasks for instructors or TAs, and increasing academic integrity, with a special focus on keeping costs low.
Respondus LockDown Browser
Northwestern in Qatar first piloted LockDown Browser in 2015 before fully adopting the tool the following year. Since then, LockDown Browser usage has expanded to instructors in the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications and Feinberg School of Medicine.
In Feinberg, the use of LockDown Browser is coinciding with a larger effort of moving all of their in-class exams online to Canvas. While exams will still be taken in person, LockDown Browser provides that extra layer of security needed in an online exam setting.
Examity and Online Proctoring
Distance learning programs within SPS require a minimum number of proctored events as part of the accreditation process. These events require verification of the students’ identity along with webcam monitoring of the student while taking the exam. This added layer of security acts as a safeguard against incidents of cheating (related tools like Turnitin are also implemented in Canvas to discourage plagiarism).
Jackie Wickham, an instructional technologist with the School of Professional Studies, was heavily involved in the review of potential proctoring services.
“We chose Examity over other available proctoring vendors because of its flexibility,” said Wickham. “It offers five different levels of identity verification and exam proctoring – from automated identity verification to live proctoring, which is important for our fully online courses. We also appreciate the Canvas integration and their quick response to student and faculty questions.”
Examity is available in Canvas upon request across Northwestern. Instructors or units have the option of a student-paid or departmental-paid model.
Additional Proctoring Experiments
To learn more or pilot some of the tools discussed in this article, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.