July 10, 2019

Online Test Proctoring Guidelines

Online Test Proctoring Guidelines

Students enrolled in online courses at George Mason University may be required to take their exams using Blackboard integrated test options, or may require proctored examinations. It is the instructor’s responsibility to communicate with students how exams will be administered in online courses, and if there are any fees associated that are the responsibility of the student.

Ideally, this information should be in the course note viewable by the student during course registration. Other methods of notification include: the course syllabus, a Blackboard announcement, or an email. Examples of student communication.

Proctoring Forms

All students that require testing accommodations need to be registered for services through the Office of Disability Services. Please contact the Office of Disability Services for additional information: 703-993-2474.

Note: The George Mason University Honor Code and Code of Student Conduct applies to all proctoring arrangements for Mason students regardless of location. It is expected that all violations of the code be brought to the Office Academic Integrity. Policy, procedures, and prevention and response tips can be found on the Academic Integrity page of the OAI website. Failure to follow the code guidelines threatens the academic integrity of George Mason University. Additionally, all users of the George Mason University network must adhere to University Policy Number 1301: Responsible Use of Computing.

Testing in Online Courses: Options

There are a number of options for testing in online courses. These options may include, but are not limited to:

Blackboard Integrated Test Options (in order of testing security) Proctored Test Options
Blackboard testing settings GMU’s College of Science (COS) Testing Center
Respondus Lockdown Browser GMU’s Office of Academic Integrity
Respondus Lockdown Browser with Monitor Other local testing center or location
Examity’s Online Proctoring Solution

Testing Accommodation Selection

 

RESPONDUS LOCKDOWN BROWSER (& MONITOR)

Respondus LockDown Browser is a custom web browser that locks down the testing environment within Blackboard/Courses. Instructors can choose to require the Respondus LockDown browser for any existing deployed test in their course. When a student uses Respondus LockDown Browser they are unable to print, copy, go to another website, or access other applications on their computer. When an assessment is started, students are locked into the test until submitted for grading.

Respondus Monitor is an additional option that records webcam audio and video of the student taking the test. This ensures student identity and that the instructor’s requirements such as a closed book or working alone are followed. By default, Respondus Monitor will record both video and ambient sound. Instructors can review the video after the test is complete.

Who may use it? George Mason University has a University wide license with Respondus. Respondus Lockdown is already integrated into every Blackboard course.

Cost? There is no charge for this service.

EXAMITY

Examity is a virtual proctoring service that is integrated with Blackboard.

Who may use it? Examity is currently only available to courses and programs in the Stearns Online Undergraduate Program ReDesign (SOUPR) initiative. Examity may be available to test students from other courses upon an arrangement in advance between the course instructor and the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning. For additional information, please contact stearns@gmu.edu.

Cost? Currently, all costs associated with Examity’s test proctoring service are paid for by the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning.

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S OFFICE OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

The Office of Academic Integrity aims to provide a secure environment for instructors that have specific concerns related to academic integrity. Exams are proctored by members of the Honor Committee. The testing center is located in SUB I Suite 4100 and is open from 9am-5pm Monday-Friday.

Who may use it? The center also available to test students in courses by an arrangement in advance between the course instructor and the Office of Academic Integrity. For additional information, please contact the OAI Director, Dr. LaShonda Anthony. Reservations may be made online through the Office of Academic Integrity.

Cost? There is no charge for this service.

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S COS TESTING CENTER

The testing center aims to provide a secure environment for testing involving primarily the use of technology to provide the material tested. The testing center is located in Planetary Hall room 2 and is open about 50 hours per week including some hours on Saturday and Sunday.

The center is composed of 48 computers. The conventional way of giving tests is to write one using Blackboard and to make it available to students using the “Respondus lockdown browser”. Students only have access to the examination if they use the password given by Respondus. Occasionally, if an instructor requests, students are allowed given a paper examination, but arrangements with the testing center manager must be made several days prior to the need to give one.

Who may use it? The center is primarily used by Astronomy, Chemistry and Physics students. It is also available to test students from other courses upon an arrangement in advance between the course instructor and the testing center manager. For additional information, please contact the TTC Supervisor, Mario Gliozzi.

Cost? The center is run collaboratively by the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and of Physics and Astronomy. Faculty members from either of these two departments do not need to arrange to have any payment to the testing center. Members of other departments should arrange to have $15 per student for the semester transferred to the TTC account to use the testing center. Students from other universities wanting to use the facility will be charged $25/examination plus additional fees to cover wages for a monitor if requested when the testing center is closed.

Other Testing Center or Location

 

Finding a Testing Center

In some instances, the course testing requirements are not possible for the online student due to their distance from the institution, or if the student has a documented disability that requires specific testing accommodations. This may be the case if the course requires in-person exams, or if Mason’s COS Testing Center is the location identified by the faculty for proctored exams. If the course testing requirements cannot meet the needs of the online student, the student may request that a testing center be approved for their exams. If approved by the instructor, students may select a local proctor, such as public libraries, university or college testing centers, and tutoring centers.

Exams must be administered at an educational facility or place of business where the proctor is employed. Exams are never to be proctored at a personal residence including either the student’s or proctor’s home. The Consortium of College Testing Centers (CCTC) is a referral service provided by the National College Testing Association (NCTA) to facilitate distance learning. Any CCTC testing facility can serve as an eligible testing venue for George Mason students. If you are having difficulty locating a proctor in your area and need assistance in finding an eligible testing center or proctor, please contact Mason Online.

Procedures for Administering Distance Education Tests by Proctor

  • The student submits a request for a proctored examination to the instructor within the period and by the means specified by the instructor.
  • The instructor approves or disapproves the request within three business days.
  • The student contacts the proposed proctor to verify his or her willingness to serve as proctor. After the identified proctor agrees to the responsibilities, the student and proctor complete the “Online Proctor Request Form” and submit to the instructor for approval two (2) weeks prior to the exam date. The instructor may contact the proctor as needed to verify the suitability of the individual as a test proctor.
  • The instructor sends test materials (e.g., cover letter, instructions, test and return information) to the proctor. Test materials should be provided either in hard copy or accessed through a link to a secure website.
  • The proctor returns the “Proctor Attestation Form”, completed test, and testing materials to the instructor (as applicable).
  • The instructor confirms receipt of the test with the proctor and the student within three business days.
  • The instructor grades test and submits grade.
  • The instructor posts grade and provides feedback to student as appropriate.

Eligible Proctors

  • Full-time member of the teaching faculty or educational administrator of a regionally accredited institution of higher education
  • Full-time staff member at a local college and/or a professional testing center
  • Corporate educational/training officer
  • Embassy education officer
  • Military base/station education officer, commissioned officer of higher rank than student, commander or a librarian

Ineligible Proctors

  • Relatives or friends with whom you have a personal relationship outside of school or business
  • Athletic coach or member of coaching staff
  • Previous (unless meets above eligibility qualifications and not a friend or relative) or current Mason students
  • Coworkers, employers or supervisors
  • Spouse or significant other

Instructor Responsibilities

  Before the Exam During the Exam After the Exam
Instructor Responsibilities Communicate with students how exams will be administered in online courses, and if there are any fees associated that are the responsibility of the student.

Understand the George Mason University Honor Code and Code of Student Conduct which applies to all proctoring arrangements for Mason students regardless of location.

Announce examination dates in the course syllabus and confirm the examination date two (2) weeks prior to the actual examination date. This will allow time for scheduling of proctors.

Establish specific guidelines for examinations, listing allotted time frame and approved materials students are allowed to use during the examination (i.e., calculators, books, notes, formulas, dictionary, etc.) and/or unapproved materials (closed book, no notes, four-function calculator only, no cell phones or electronic devices, etc.).

If you are scheduling proctoring for students taking paper/pencil exams with documented accommodations, collaborate with the Office of Disability Services.

Approve or deny any student request for external proctors within three (3) business days after receiving a request.

If approved for test proctoring, review and approve the Online Proctor Request Form at least two weeks before exam date. Instructors have the discretion to approve or disapprove the proctor and/or the testing environment.

Provide proctors with appropriate testing materials one (1) week prior to the date exams open for students. This includes but is not limited to the following:

GMU’s Proctor Attestation Form
• Electronic copy of any paper examinations or passwords for electronic
examinations
• Testing guidelines and instructions
• Statement of Academic Honesty
• Contact information during the testing time frame for questions or
concerns

Respond, whenever possible, to any phone calls received from the proctor or student during the exam. Review any proctor reports of student indiscretions.

Report any violations of the Honor Code to the Office Academic Integrity.

Notify students of exam grades within the established time frame.

Student Responsibilities

  Before the Exam During the Exam After the Exam
Student Responsibilities Review the individual exam guidelines and the examination dates in the course syllabus to determine if a proctor is required.

Discuss the need for remote proctoring and submit a request for a proctored examination to the instructor within the period and by the means specified by the instructor.

If approved, review any specific requirements given by the instructor regarding the proctor and location. Identify an eligible proctor and location. Review the Proctor Guidelines to determine who is considered an eligible proctor.

Confirm that the proctor will agree to the proctor responsibilities, if there are any associated fees, and that the location has the following items:

• Computer
• Reliable high-speed Internet access
• Ability to access the Blackboard course site
• Ability to download MP3 files, if exam has audio components
• Ability to download and print Adobe PDF documents, if exam requires
• Access to a fax machine or document scanner, if exam requires

After the identified proctor agrees to the responsibilities, the student and proctor complete the “Online Proctor Request Form” and submit to the instructor for approval two (2) weeks prior to the exam date. The instructor may contact the proctor as needed to verify the suitability of the individual as a test proctor.

Work with the proctor to schedule a time to complete the exam. Date must be within the date range defined by the course instructor for each exam.

Arrive early for the exam with the applicable testing materials (i.e., paper, writing utensils, reference sheets, calculators, books or other instructor-approved materials) and present official photo identification to the proctor.

Official photo identification consists of one of the following:
• George Mason University student ID card
• State-issued driver’s license or ID card
• Passport

Pay for all applicable proctoring fees. This may include providing an overnight shipping envelope to the proctor to ensure return of the exam to the instructor by the deadline.

Turn off cell phones and other electronic devices. Surrender any and all unauthorized materials to the proctor.
Only instructor-approved materials are allowed in the testing area.

Thoroughly read all the exam instructions before starting the exam.

Electronic exams. Fully exit the testing website and notify the proctor of completion before accessing any other area of the course website, including viewing grades. Surrender any scratch paper to the proctor.

Paper exams. Ensure your name is listed on the exam and deliver all exam materials including any scratch paper to the proctor.

Proctor Responsibilities

  Before the Exam During the Exam After the Exam
Proctor Responsibilities Review and agree to the proctor responsibilities outlined in the Proctor Request form.

Communicate with the instructor to receive exam instructions and information.

Work with the student to schedule a time to complete the exam. If unable to proctor the exam, contact the instructor as soon as possible to enable certification of another proctor. Do not give the exam to another person or to the student without authorization.

Verify student identity using one of the following forms of official photo identification:
• George Mason University student ID card
• State-issued driver’s license or ID card
• Passport

Keep exam materials and/or access password secure until student is present and ready to begin the exam.

Collect any unauthorized objects from the student and store them in a secure location for the duration of the examination.

Review guidelines for the exam provided by the instructor and communicate these guidelines to the student prior to the start of the exam.

Administer the exam in an area that is conducive to test taking (few distractions) and has appropriate testing equipment if needed (i.e., computer and high speed Internet access).

Remain in the room with the student throughout the completion of the exam. Video and audio monitoring is allowed provided the student is aware of this prior to the exam and recording is only accessible to the proctor or testing center staff.

Do not provide any assistance to the student in completing the exam.

Make note of any indiscretions of the student relative to the examination and report them to the instructor. Be sure to include as much detail as possible, including but not limited to the time of the indiscretion, screenshots of web pages visited, description of behavior, etc. Examples of concerns include:

• Using unauthorized materials during the exam.
• Seeking assistance from another person during the exam without approval.
• Leaving the testing area without approval during the exam.
• Providing false identification or substituting for another person to take the exam
• Referencing notes or books not authorized by instructor
• Using an unauthorized electronic device
• Visiting unauthorized websites or using unauthorized computer programs

Collect and return the exam and the Proctor Attestation Form to the instructor.

Paper exams. If the exam is a paper copy only, allow the student the allotted amount of time. Collect the exam and any allowed materials (such as scratch paper or formula sheets) immediately at the end of the testing time frame. Make a copy of the exam, and return the completed exam to the instructor as soon as possible after completion. Retain the copy until receipt confirmation is received from the instructor. After confirmation is received, shred this copy.

Electronic exams. If the exam is electronic, there is no need to return the exam to the instructor. Ensure the student logs out of the exam completely before using the computer further.

Ensure students do not leave the testing area with either a copy of the exam or any of the allowed testing materials, such as scratch paper.

Online Test Proctoring Student Communications

Course Notes for Student Registration

Examples of course note if requiring students to be on campus for exams:

  1. [Course#] [Section#] is a distance education section. There may be additional fees for test proctoring services.
  2. [Course#] [Section#] is a distance education section. Students may be required to be on-campus for exams, or may be responsible for additional fees for test proctoring services.
  3. [Course#] [Section#] is a distance education section that will utilize online proctoring services for exams.

Syllabus Language

In-class exams OR proctoring:

All exams in this course will be administered at the Fairfax campus according to the dates provided in the syllabus. If you are unable to travel to campus to take exams, you may request to have your exams administered by a local proctor. Please see the instructor at least two weeks before any scheduled exams for proctored exam requests. All fees associated with local proctoring are the responsibility of the student. Additional Information about test proctoring [link].

Examity:

In this class you will take your tests remotely and they will be proctored by a service called Examity®.  A Student Quick Guide will be provided on how to use Examity®. Please log in as soon as possible to set up your profile.   You will not be able to schedule exams until your profile is complete. 

Students with disabilities can access Examity and will be expected to use Examity for required assignments. If you require any special testing accommodations, please inform your instructor.  

Examity® system requirements are: 

  • Desktop computer or laptop (not tablet) 
  • Webcam and microphone (built-in or external) – test your webcam at www.testmycam.com 
  • Connection to network with sufficient internet speed: at least 2 Mbps download speed and 2 Mbps upload – test internet speed at www.speedtest.net 
  • Operating systems:  Windows XP or newerMac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) – or newer 
  • Browser with pop-up blocker disabled:  Google Chrome v39 or later, Mozilla Firefox v34 or later, Internet Explorer v8 or laterMicrosoft EdgeApple Safari v6 or later 

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Examity’s technical support team 24/7 via email at support@examity.com or phone at (855)-392-6489.