Documentation for course staff

Exam tips

General guidelines for computer-based testing

This page collects our insights and best practices for proctored computer-based testing, both for in-person and online exams. They are listed below following a FAQ format.

Should I use proctors for my online exams?

Here are some of the benefits from using the proctored format using Zoom meetings:

  • Proctors will verify student identities.
  • If students have questions, technical difficulties, etc., proctors are there to help troubleshoot and alert instructors about incidents if needed.
  • Proctors enforce the course policies for academic integrity. They observe, correct, and record suspicious and non-compliant behavior. They can remove student's access to the exam and report infractions to the instructors.

How many students should be in each zoom session?

Based on our experience, no more than 50 students should be assigned to one Zoom meeting. Ideally, you should assign about 40 students per Zoom meeting.

Is it better to require check-in before the start of the exam?

For online exams: If you have a large number of students (more than 10) in each Zoom meeting, we recommend NOT requiring check-in to start the exam, since this can cause delay in the exam start time. It is better to let students start the exam at the Exam Start time. Proctors can start the check-in process once the students start working on their exams. They will match the student Zoom name with their exam reservation in PrairieTest, and confirm their check-in. Students that start the exam but are not found in the Zoom session can get their exam access removed and be reported for cheating. Required check-in can be used in Zoom meetings with small number of students. In this mode, proctors will have to check-in the students as they join the room (similar to students arriving in a classroom). Students will only have access to their exams at the start time if they were checked-in.

For in-person exams: It is easier to check students in before they enter the classroom or computer lab. You can use a card reader to automate the process of checking students' identification, or you can just check their ID manually. Once the students are checked-in, they will have access to their exam after the start time. However, if you don't have a card reader and you have a large number of students (more than about 20) then it might be easier to start the exam without check-in and then go around the room and confirm IDs and check-in while the exam is running.