As yet another semester comes to a close, administrators at schools across the country are evaluating what’s working (and what isn’t) in their context. If you’re among them, you’re not just measuring this semester against your institution’s goals — you’re also looking toward next year, setting new goals, and looking for technological solutions that will help you get where you need to go.
Of course, in order to find tools to help meet goals, first you need to know your priorities. When we hear from schools, they usually tell us that they’re thinking about three primary factors: accreditation, student success, and growing their programs. Whether they’re a technically savvy campus or are just getting started in educational tech, the right software can make all the difference.
Tech to Protect Accreditation
Whenever online proctoring comes up in conversations, one of the first concerns is about academic integrity. You don’t want to put your institution’s reputation on the line, but your students are looking for convenience and a streamlined experience. How can you provide the best of both worlds?
Selecting the right online proctor is vital — it’s the best way you can protect the peace of mind for your faculty and administration. By choosing a proctoring software that effectively monitors students and prevents cheating, you can provide online courses with the same level of quality as in-class experiences.
By making academic dishonesty a fruitless path, you motivate students to pay attention, engage with the material, and study well. In the end, this ensures that your graduates are well-educated and ready to meet the expectations of their future employers. Thoughtful, engaged, competent graduates are the best testament to your reputation. By providing rigorous online assessments, you increase the effectiveness of your program and may even find yourself worrying less about accreditation.
Online Exams for Student Success
Ensuring the quality of your online exams isn’t just a question of accreditation or reputation, however. You also want to set your students up for success — from day one of freshman year through graduation and beyond. And most of the students who enroll in your program want exactly the same thing. Whether they’re online or on campus, they’re in class because they want to learn, and you can help them do that.
The right online exam system will offer your students two key things — convenience and academic rigor. Online exams are, of course, necessary for students who are part of a completely digital program, but they also offer incredible flexibility to students on campus. By providing them with the freedom to take their exams anytime, anywhere, you help them make sure they’re prepared and in the very best frame of mind possible, increasing the chances that they’ll do well.
Online proctoring also gives you the opportunity to, with the right parameters, make academic dishonesty incredibly difficult. From preventing copying/pasting to locking down browsers to detecting attempts to use mobile devices to access information, these systems help motivate your students to study by making that the easiest and most rewarding route. At the same time, you can take advantage of developments like artificial intelligence to help honest students have a positive testing experience without the feeling that they’re being watched the entire time.
Digital Solutions to Scale Your Program
Once you’re comfortable with using online proctoring to secure your reputation and help your students succeed, you can turn your attention to growing your program — an ever-present goal for all institutions. Whether you want to increase online or on-campus enrollment, the right proctoring system can help you get there.
Of course, it’s especially important for growing online programs. Without the tech infrastructure, your students and faculty will struggle. When the right tools are in place, however, students can thrive from anywhere in the world, and their rewarding experience and high-quality education will equip you to continue growing.
In addition, when you can proctor exams online that you know are accurately reflecting student learning, you take an immense load off your faculty’s shoulders. They no longer have to worry about exam proctoring and can instead focus on teaching — and, in many cases, teaching more students because they’re dealing with one fewer administrative hurdle. This also lets them keep class time 100% focused on the content they’re teaching without losing valuable lecture time to exams.
What to Look For: Online Proctoring to Meet Your Goals
Now that you’re thinking about your goals — and how online proctoring can help you get there — you may be considering what to look for when it’s time to pick a system. The best solution for you will come down to your unique needs and context, but there are several questions that can help you narrow your options.
- Does it protect academic integrity? Is the system equipped with the tools you and your faculty need to monitor student behavior and encourage adherence to your school’s policies? Does it make it difficult to cheat and easier to engage with the course material?
- Does it provide a comfortable, convenient testing environment? Can students take exams whenever and wherever they would like? Does it offer flexibility so that dishonesty is discouraged but honest students don’t have to worry about being watched — a feature like Honorlock’s Live Pop-In?
- Does it take work off your faculty’s plates? Does the system make it easier for your faculty to administer and grade exams so you can grow your program? Or does it create more hurdles due to technical difficulties?
Once you’ve defined your goals and answered these questions, you’re ready to consider options and decide what will best help you continue to provide high-quality education — both online and in person. With the right proctoring solution, you’ll be ready to grow by leaps and bounds next semester, next year, and beyond.