I'd also encourage anyone who is investigating large scale high stakes
testing to visit with us at Weber State University. We've been
investing over half a million dollars a year for over fifteen years in
infrastructure and software development that caters to this need and
we're confident that our solutions are state of the art. We run eight
year-around proctored testing centers on campus that deliver over
110,000 high stakes to students every semester. In addition to the
needs Ed identifies, extensible high stakes testing software should
also allow schools to do the following:
-Allow proctors to check in students into testing terminals without
having to walk back to a terminal and enter a password.
-Allow instructors to easily specify whether an exam is a high stakes
test and to specify which testing centers the test is available at
-Allow test personnel to anticipate peak load times during the
semester so as to schedule resources effectively.
-Allow test personnel to easily expand and contract the number of
secure testing stations in a center.
-Enable grades from an exam to easily feed into your LMS gradebook.
-Allow scantron tests results to be fed into the testing system.
-Allow a remote proctor administrator to manage a network of remote
proctors and to disseminate test passwords to these proctors in an
automated and secure fashion.
-Provide a secure browser that enables an instructor to white list
particular resources/domains/urls on the web while still ensuring a
secure testing experience.
On Thu, Jun 12, 2014 at 6:00 AM, Ed Garay <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Good morning.
> I thought, I give you an update on my email of April 2012 that you are
> referring to:
> I continue to advise against using an LMS for large-scale high-stakes
> testing. These systems are not well architected to sustain many hundreds to
> thousands of students taking tests for extended periods of time. Also, all
> the LMSs I know and follow don’t have even elementary institutional test
> administrative dashboards nor tools for managing and scheduling tests.
> I recommend using a dedicated, preferably, Cloud-based or SaaS testing
> systems from Examsoft, QuestionMark, Pearson or some such. I follow these
> as well and I am most fond of Examsoft.
> Independent of the examination server/software, administrating large-scale
> high-stakes computer-based tests via Wi-Fi and BYOD are two recipes for
> disaster, in my opinion, and please note that I am a mobile-first ubiquitous
> Teaching & Learning wireless everything evangelist.
> The couple of two large CBT applications at UIC that tried using Wi-Fi and
> student owned laptops failed miserably. In theory, you would think adequate
> excess Wi-Fi capacity could be allocated and sustained, but at least in all
> the cases that I know of, with 80 or more students involved, it just has not
> Colleges and departments have switched to university-owned hardwired Windows
> laptops. These laptops need not be overly expensive either, $500/each or so
> work fine. The biggest benefit of using university-owned laptops, of course,
> is having full control on the configuration of the computers, thereby
> significantly eliminating tech support needs and major headaches during
> time-sensitive online examinations.
> Even though university-owned laptops can be fully charged prior to exams,
> make sure your testing center labs and classrooms have plenty of power
> outlets :: two outlets per student at minimum, if possible. Some of the
> high-scale high-stake exams in the Health Sciences at UIC are long: from two
> to three hours, unfortunately.
> Also, most faculty like to request that the laptops be equipped with a mouse
> (which further moves away from my personal wireless Utopia. ☹).
> Regardless of CBT application size, make sure to have facilities and extra
> time to accommodate people with disabilities.
> As for proctored exam assistance software, Respondus Lockdown Browser or
> similar software works well, but you may want to explore locking down the
> laptops using AD’s Group Policy Objects or similar OS management options.
> Likewise, see that the laptops have the best Web browser version for the
> examination software that you use. Typically, a recent but not the latest
> version of Firefox is most reliable.
> Lastly, in general, schedule load-test simulations of your examination rooms
> and classrooms on a regular basis, to make sure all associated technology is
> working correctly.
> Depending on the size of your CBT facility projects, you may want to
> consider visiting some exemplary CBT testing centers -- I would recommend
> those at Penn State and Louisiana State, but there are many others now. The
> UIC College of Medicine has three large classroom remodeling projects
> underway; among other things, these classrooms will serve as high-scale
> high-stakes MBME examinations for its typical class of 180 medical students.
> The auditorium and classroom remodeling should be completed by Mid Fall.
> Kind Regards,
> --- Ed Garay
> University of Illinois at Chicago
> Google+: google.com/+EdGaray
> *** Check The Pulse of UIC (and most University of Illinois-related
> information) on Twitter at http://twitter.com/garay/lists/uic
> Sent from Surface Pro Windows tablet
> From: John Fritz
> Sent: Monday, June 9, 2014 8:43 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Hi Folks,
> Can anyone share recent, actual experiences (pro or con) using an LMS
> equipped with Respondus Lockdown Browser or similar software in a proctored
> F2F lecture hall as an alternative to paper-based Scantrons for high stakes
> (midterm or final) assessments?
> A quick scan of this list reveals some relevant topics from a few years ago:
> Replacing Scantron, Mike Scheuermann, Drexel (3/12/12)
> Large group online testing via wifi, Ed Garay, UIC (4/17/12)
> I also recall seeing, but can't find now, a query about 3rd party support
> for Scantron. One school replied and said they'd come up empty.
> Ed provides a useful summary of the things that "can and will go wrong,"
> including wifi saturation and the LMS melting on simultaneous exam
> processing. But I'm just wondering if anyone has actually tried to use the
> LMS for large-scale, synchronous testing in a proctored environment (wired
> or wifi), perhaps in a large lecture hall with student laptops.
> We've got some profs who are interested in trying this with Respondus vs.
> Scantron, but I want to provide good advice and a measured pilot path to
> determine if and how we can do it. Any advice or lessons learned are
> John Fritz
> Asst. VP, Instructional Technology
> UMBC Division of Information Technology
> 410.455.6596 | [log in to unmask] | FYI: Tech Support Tips
> ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE
> Constituent Group discussion list can be found at
Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/discuss.