Moving exams online that have been delivered in a classroom or physical location can seem difficult enough. Add the pressure to do it extremely quickly and it’s no wonder that students and staff are feeling stressed. It’s a major adjustment that has only been intensified by the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Educational establishments have to identify and select a provider of online proctoring and then deliver exams with their new partner in a short space of time. And students are being asked to get accustomed to new technology and unexpected ways of working during what is already a very stressful time.
Making the transition from in-person to online proctored exams must be as smooth as possible – for both faculty and students. How your Learning Management System (LMS) integrates with online proctoring is an important part of this. To support the process, here are six things you need to know about online proctoring and LMS integration:
- Keep it Familiar: Against a backdrop of extreme change and uncertainty, it’s important to keep things as familiar as possible for your students. To increase comfort levels and reduce stress, students should be able to seamlessly access their exams in an environment they are used to. Choosing an online proctoring provider that is able to fully integrate with your LMS during every stage of the proctoring process will help students achieve a reassuring level of familiarity.
- Ensure System Compatibility: Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) is essential when it comes to assessing whether your provider can quickly integrate online proctoring with your LMS. If your LMS conforms to the LTI standard, it will use a standard protocol to communicate with external systems. When coupled with an online proctoring solution, integration is seamless, secure, fast, and easy. For example, if your LMS is an LTI consumer, it’s possible to be up and running with PSI’s online proctoring service in as little as 48 hours. This includes Moodle, Canvas, Blackboard, Desire2Learn, Sakai, and others. Check with your LMS provider if you aren’t sure.
- Reduce the Workload: Ease of use, flexibility, and comfort with new technology is just as important for staff as it is for students. A self-service experience where administrators and faculty are able to easily register and customize online proctored exams without leaving your LMS will support this.LTI integration allows faculty to manage all online proctoring settings and information directly within your LMS to customize exam profiles, exam rules, and lock-down security settings. What’s more, LMS administrators should only need to spend 30 minutes or less getting LTI integration setup in your LMS – all using existing LMS accounts, without having to sign up or create a new account for the proctoring system. This engages staff with the process, supports getting exams online quickly, and spreads the workload. All valuable ways to reduce stress.
- Keep it Secure: Now, more than ever, there is an increased focus and hyper–vigilance around student data privacy – and rightly so. Asking students to provide personally identifiable information (PII) and even demographic data is unnecessary and often unwanted. Good LTI integration eliminates the need for students to create a separate account and input PII into a proctoring system as well as your LMS. With LTI, necessary data is passed simply and securely between your LMS and online proctoring system. This eliminates potential concerns by leveraging the user’s LMS enrollment to avoid exposing additional PII. Learn more about data privacy in our recent blog.
- Remove Human Error: Errors during online exams will only increase stress levels for staff and students, particularly as they are getting used to new systems and technology. So, any possible steps should be taken to streamline processes and remove the potential for human error with robust APIs to pass information between the LMS and proctoring system.LTI integration should automatically retrieve your LMS exam information when a faculty member registers an online proctored exam, so they will never need to type it in manually using a separate web form. This removes the possibility of faculty mistyping exam passwords or other important details, which can create exam access problems and stress for students and staff further down the road.
- Review Results Easily: To complete the process following a seamless sign-in and online proctored exam, the results of exam reviews should also be easily accessible and readily available to faculty in your LMS. They should be able to see any flags or concerns raised by online proctors during live or record and review assessments, along with the outcomes of any further investigations. With LTI integration, the faculty will be able to view reports by exam, student, or whatever their preference as well as manage all settings and information directly within the LMS.
Any change or new technology can cause concerns or raise questions when it is being used for the first time. Equally, a level of apprehension is only to be expected with the introduction of online proctoring for exams that have traditionally been proctored on-site. Providing opportunities for practice exams is a great way to minimize stress and anxiety.
However, with LTI tools, online proctoring can be seamlessly integrated with your LMS, offering ease of access and a familiar environment for your students; a flexible and scalable solution for staff; and a secure, robust, consistent, and fair alternative to onsite examinations.