University of Utah grows proctoring services with LanSchool
Administering exams to a classroom full of students can be challenging work. It involves verifying student identities, giving clear directions, fielding questions without disrupting test-takers, monitoring students to ensure fairness and integrity are upheld, and – in the case of digital exams – troubleshooting technology issues along the way. In many schools today, on-campus testing centers host proctoring technology that enables teachers, exam proctors, or a combination of the two to administer digital exams more efficiently and effectively.
The online proctoring market is expected to grow from its $1.68 billion pre-pandemic size to a $4.41 billion industry by 2028. Digital exams offer a number of benefits for educators and students, including convenience, interactivity, and easier test collection and scoring. However, administering digital exams can also create new student-monitoring challenges for proctors, increasing the importance of deploying robust proctoring software.
At the University of Utah, a group of educators and other staff came together to solve these challenges for their school. Placed under the supervision of librarians, this proctoring team’s first task was finding a location on campus where they could administer tests to large groups of students. One campus location soon became the university’s official testing center, and Operations Manager Stanford Clements began overseeing its operation.
As exams evolved from paper-based to digital, Clements needed a technology-driven way for multiple proctors to monitor more than 100 test takers. He was also interested in finding a way for proctors to enter students’ access codes without having to leave their proctoring station. He researched several video conferencing and virtual learning platform options to leverage as potential solutions. However, he found it difficult to find a solution that addressed all the center’s needs.
Clements’ research finally led to LanSchool, a classroom management software typically used to guide digital learning in K-12 schools. LanSchool Classic’s robust features — including screen monitoring, chat, blank screen, and remote power and control — aligned with the testing center’s needs. Clements realized that, not only would it enable his team to observe students’ screens as they worked, but it would also enable them to temporarily take remote control of students’ devices in order to enter their access codes upon arrival.
With the help of the LanSchool customer support team, the university successfully launched LanSchool Classic. Clements and his team worked with LanSchool’s support team to tailor certain features to their needs, ultimately ending up with a robust solution that delivers more value than the proctoring center originally anticipated.
Proctors can accurately identify and deter unwanted behaviors — and can also discreetly sign in, direct, and communicate with students digitally, reducing distractions in the testing environment. Further, proctors can blank students’ screens to redirect attention or end a test.
Today, the testing center can support up to 110 test takers. It employs four student employees and a full-time manager, in addition to Clements. Using LanSchool has significantly increased the number of students each proctor can manage.
In addition, using LanSchool is simple enough that existing proctors can train new proctoring staff, creating further efficiencies. New proctors who start on a Monday can become proficient enough to administer tests by that Friday.
Leveraging LanSchool has proved to be transformative for Clements and his team. The software enabled Clements to optimize the proctoring process, which in turn, excited faculty and increased the testing center’s word-of-mouth referrals. Clements was then able to expand his team’s proctoring services to a second testing center on another campus. Now, Clements is in talks to provide proctoring services to a nearby community college, and he has future plans to add six to eight additional testing centers.
“Today, we basically have a system that is right up there with our scheduling and exam management tools in terms of helping us proctor at the level that we do. At least 50% of the cheating and issues we catch, we do it through LanSchool, if not more. It has helped deter cheating and improved efficiency tremendously.” – Stanford Clements, Operations Manager, University of Utah
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