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Secure Delivery of Electronic Homework & Exams

At the University of Massachusetts Amherst, we are exploring new ways to securely deliver placement exams, homework and exams online, along with remote proctoring solutions.

Online Web-based Learning (OWL)

owl-128OWL is a homework tool developed at UMass Amherst that allows students to complete assignments, quizzes, and tests online.

To learn more about OWL, contact owl-it-help@it.umass.edu

Secure testing solutions

examsoft-logoExamSoft is a complete assessment-management solution that is being evaluated by the UMass Amherst College of Nursing as part of their college-wide iPad pilot. In addition to allowing secure testing on student-owned iPads and laptops, ExamSoft tests can be taken without an active internet connection. Examsoft supports the entire testing process, including exam creation, administration, delivery, scoring, and analysis. ExamSoft is designed to prevent cheating during exams. Researchers have found that 65% of college students admit to cheating. ExamSoft is used by 43 of 76 dental schools in North America and 217 nursing programs in the United States.

University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Nursing Professor Cynthia Gaudet piloted ExamSoft in Spring 2016, with 96 sophomore nursing students enrolled in N390S, Pathophysiology/Pharmacology in Nursing, Part I.  She notes that this product provided:

  •  Security –randomized exam questions and each question’s responses, locked down computers preventing texting, exam snapshots, access to the internet or word documents (i.e. notes), and generated test logs which provided data about each electronic device’s activity.
  • Reporting – exam question categories and detailed performance metrics
  • Feedback – to faculty and students

The product is designed to work on the portable electronic device of the student’s choice (but not cellphones).  In Spring 2016 the students in N390S used this product on a variety of personal devices ranging for Macs, PCs, and I-Pads.  The complications were minimal, with some assistance required by IT personal to help students install the product and revert the changes that the device the activates during an exam. (Please note that installation is a one-time occurrence, this takes less than 5 minutes).  ExamSoft strongly recommends that IT play an active role in supporting and collaborating with faculty and students.

Professor Gaudet notes that ExamSoft provided her with security in knowing that each student was responsible for their knowledge of the material and the exam performance metrics were ready in 15 minutes. The students can receive feedback immediately after the exam or at a scheduled time.  She also found that is really easy to use. The pilot will be expanded in Fall 2016 to include additional courses in the College of Nursing.

To read more about how ExamSoft is being used to deliver exams on iPads at Ohio State University, see: http://learn.examsoft.com/news/offline-testing-for-iPad