Tuesday, August 6 2013, 03:20 PM MDT
Western Governors University Institutes Online Proctoring
By: Holly Menino
(KUTV) Taking a test in the comfort of your own home is not just wishful thinking
"I think this online proctoring has caught on with 10 or 20 institutions, but certainly not broadly," said Bob Mendenhall the President of Western Governors University.
No more testing centers for students at Western Governors University; students take their exams at home.
"It used to be we have students go to secured proctor testing centers to take their tests, so we could ensure they were taking their test," said Mendenhall.
Mendenhall says online proctoring is better for his students.
"It saves a lot of time driving to and from testing centers, much more flexible to schedule, and lower cost," said Mendenhall.
Before a student at the online university can even take a test they have to do biometric enrollment, which has two parts: facial recognition and keystroke analytics.
"Interestingly enough people keyboard differently just like our handwriting is different, so we capture their keyboarding style," said Mendenhall.
Keystroke analytics measures a student's typing pattern.
"It measures the time you spend pressing down on a letter. It also measures the time between two letters separate letters," said Adel Lelo Assessment Delivery Project Coordinator
That typing pattern is as unique as a fingerprint.
"Once we set this up whenever someone logs into the assessment we're 100% confident that it is the same person," said Lelo.
Once logged in the test is proctored live by an instructor watching the student via a 360 degree webcam.
"There's heuristics built into the software that kind of tracks student behaviors and alerts the proctor if something doesn't look right. It actually stops the test," said Mendenhall.
WGU tested online proctoring in parallel with testing centers for about a year. Mendenhall says they found no real difference in terms of security and test scores, but he says it's much more convenient for students.
"We have to ensure that our tests are valid and reliable and secure because we're granting degrees based on those tests," said Mendenhall.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)