Visit TLED’s Teaching Online Continuity Guide to find resources and support for transitioning courses to a virtual learning environment. Collegewide updates are available on the Austin Community College COVID-19 webpage.

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Teaching Online: Continuity Guide-Testing

We update the information on this Testing page as needed. If you have any questions not listed below, please submit it to tledwebsite@austincc.edu. Please also visit the ACC COVID-19 Update page for additional general information and the Employee Information page which has information specific to faculty.

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The Teaching & Learning Excellence Division (TLED) and the Office of Distance & Alternative Education (ODAE) provide comprehensive support in course design, technology tools for teaching, and other high-impact practices that contribute to our Guided Pathways model at Austin Community College (ACC). We are available for various types of consultations to provide just-in-time assistance and support for your teaching. Review our robust options by visiting:

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Overview: ACC Testing Comparison Chart

Please review the Guide to Online Tests and Proctoring for ACC Faculty for more details on the testing options listed.

Blackboard Testing Blackboard Testing w/Respondus LockDown Browser Blackboard Testing w/Respondus Monitor Blackboard Testing w/ACC Online Live Proctoring (Google Meet) Faculty-Led Proctoring Blackboard Testing w/ProctorU Alternative Assessments
iPad Compatible Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes
Chromebook Compatible Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes
Requires Advanced Scheduling No No No Yes Yes Yes No
Cost Free Free Free Free Free Paid by ACC Free

 

Guide to Online Tests and Proctoring for ACC Faculty

Austin Community College (ACC) currently recommends the following options for remote online testing:

1. Blackboard testing with no checks (open book tests).

2. Blackboard testing with Respondus LockDown Browser.

3. Blackboard testing with proctoring. Proctoring solutions will be outlined in the order of preference of the College and better student experience below.

4. Alternative assessments.

1) Online Tests can be given in Blackboard without any “checks.”

In effect, they become open-book tests (no proctoring). Faculty may set the test timer to limit the ability of students to look up every answer, and/or deliver questions randomly to students. Online tests in Blackboard are compatible with Windows and Mac desktop computers, laptops, iPads, and Chromebooks. Please email dlstaff@austincc.edu to request assistance on how to randomize test questions.

2) Online Tests can be given in Blackboard with Respondus LockDown Browser. 

Faculty can determine the time and day constraints by which students can take the test and Respondus prevents them from visiting other websites, accessing other browsers/tabs, copying, pasting, taking screen captures, using instant messaging programs, or accessing other applications (unless configured to allow access to specified external sites). No proctoring is required and this may be used as a stand-alone testing tool. Respondus LockDown Browser is compatible with iPads, as well as Windows or Mac desktop computers and laptops.

Chromebooks are not compatible with Respondus LockDown Browser. Please contact Distance Education staff (dlstaff@austincc.edu) if you have a student with a device that is not compatible with Respondus LockDown Browser. A staff member will assist in reformatting your test to accommodate the student device.

Faculty Instructions for Respondus LockDown Browser:

a. First, enable Respondus LockDown Browser: Enabling Respondus LockDown Browser

b. Next, choose how you want your students to use Respondus:

a. Go to: Test Availability Instructions for Online Exams

b. Select “I want my students to test using Respondus LockDown Browser at home” for detailed instructions.

c. Share information with your students about using Respondus. Go to the Respondus LockDown Browser Download for Students & Information to Add to Your Syllabus page for sample instructions that you can add to your syllabus. The information also includes a link to a quick start guide for students.

d. If you encounter any issues, please email dlstaff@austincc.edu to request assistance.

3a) Online Tests in Blackboard with Respondus Monitor Automated Proctoring.  

Online tests can be given in Blackboard, and faculty can require proctoring. The preferred proctoring option is Respondus Monitor. Respondus Monitor is used with Respondus LockDown Browser to add another level of security to the testing environment. Respondus Monitor records videos of the student using their webcam and microphone. It serves as a deterrent to students using secondary computers, phones, calculators, textbooks, or receiving assistance from other students.

Exams can be taken with Respondus Monitor without advanced scheduling and additional registration, thereby making it a friendly solution for students. It is automated and there is no human interaction at the time of the exam. Only the instructor can review video recordings and the results of the proctoring sessions.

Faculty may submit a request to dlstaff@austincc.edu for ACC Testing Center staff to review the recorded videos on their behalf.

Respondus Monitor is compatible with iPads, as well as Windows or Mac desktop computers, and laptops. Chromebooks are not compatible with Respondus LockDown Monitor.

Please contact the Distance Education department (dlstaff@austincc.edu) if you have a student with a device that is not compatible with Respondus Monitor. A distance education staff member will assist in reformatting your test to accommodate the student device.

Faculty Instructions for Respondus Monitor:

a. First, enable Respondus LockDown Browser: Enabling Respondus LockDown Browser

b. Next, choose how you want your students to use Respondus:

a. Go to: Test Availability Instructions for Online Exams

b. Select “I want my students to test using Respondus LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor at home” for detailed instructions.

c. Share information with your students about using Respondus. Go to the Respondus LockDown Browser Download for Students & Information to Add to Your Syllabus page for sample instructions that you can add to your syllabus. The information also includes a link to a quick start guide for students:

d. If you encounter any issues, please email dlstaff@austincc.edu to request assistance.

Student Requirements for Respondus Monitor:

1. Respondus Monitor records students during exams, so students must have a working webcam and microphone.

2. Students can download and install Respondus LockDown Browser from this link or the link provided by the faculty, and follow the onscreen instructions to install the browser.

Students will be required to close all programs and then click the Respondus LockDown Browser shortcut on the desktop to bring up the Blackboard login page. They will navigate to the Blackboard test and select it. Note that once the test has been started, students cannot exit until the “Submit” button is selected.

3. For assistance, students may contact the help desk at 512-223-8026 or email de@austincc.edu.

3b) The Second Preferred Proctoring Option is the ACC Online Live Proctoring Utilizing Google Meet.

ACC has developed an online live proctoring platform designed to accommodate Chromebook users, as well as students with Windows or Mac desktop computers, and laptops – the platform does not support iPad users at this time because of iPad split-screen sharing limitations. For students with iPads, Respondus Monitor is the preferred solution.

ACC Testing Center personnel will monitor the student live through Google Meet while the student takes the exam. ACC Online Live Proctoring should be the second choice of proctoring because it is also free for students and provides the added benefit of cost reduction for the College. This option is not available 24/7 and requires advance scheduling for faculty and students.

ACC Online Live Proctoring Hours of Operation:

Monday – Thursday: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm

Friday: 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Saturday: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

Sunday: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Faculty Requirements for ACC Online Live Proctoring (Google Meet):

a. Set up your test in Blackboard and assign a password in the Blackboard test options.

b. Set the Restriction Location in the test settings to “No Restrictions.” Do not activate the Respondus LockDown Browser requirement because it is not compatible with ACC Online Live Proctoring.

c. In order for Testing Center personnel to provide equitable service to students, please set a time limit of no more than two (2) hours per test.

d. Complete the Academic Test Transmittal form. The form will be transmitted directly to the ACC Testing Centers.

e. In accordance with ACC Testing Center Guidelines, faculty may request to proctor a maximum of six tests per course section for approved distance education courses – not normally available for regular face-to-face courses.

f. If you only plan to use ACC Online Live Proctoring for one student (or a limited number of students) with a Chromebook or who can’t otherwise use Respondus Monitor or ProctorU, you should clone your tests and use the Adaptive Release functionality so only those students can use that test version. Refer to Creating Online Exam Copies for ACC Online Live Proctoring for instructions or seek assistance from Distance Education staff at dlstaff@austincc.edu.

g. More information on how to set up your test is available in the faculty knowledgebase and on TLED’s Teaching Online Continuity Guide.

h. If you require assistance from Live Proctoring staff, contact us at accliveproctoring@austincc.edu.

Student Requirements for ACC Online Live Proctoring (Google Meet):

1. To prepare for proctoring, students must submit an Academic Exam Appointment form for each test they need to schedule. Requests must be submitted at least 72 hours (3 days) before the first test.

2. Within 48 hours (2 days) of the student request, an ACC proctor will send the student a Google Calendar invite to a test session in Google Meet. At the time of the appointment, the student will join the Google Meet session using the link in the Google Calendar and allow screen sharing so the proctor can see the student’s screen. The proctor will walk the student through a security check. The student will navigate to the test in Blackboard, and the proctor will allow access to the test. After the student completes the exam and logs out of Blackboard, the proctor will end the Google Meet session.

3. If students require assistance, contact us at accliveproctoring@austincc.edu.

3c) Online Tests in Blackboard with 3rd Party Proctoring – ProctorU. 

ProctorU is a third-party proctoring service that utilizes live proctors to monitor students online remotely. Students use the ProctorU website to schedule a day and time for their testing sessions. During the session, the proctor connects with the student via webcam, confirms the student’s identity, and monitors the student’s behavior throughout the exam. ProctorU is the College’s third preferred option for proctoring because of the cost the student must bear. Additionally, if the student must make any changes to a pre-scheduled exam, they may incur additional charges.

Faculty Requirements for 3rd Party Proctoring – ProctorU: 

(This option is the least preferred option because it normally costs the students money. ACC is picking up the ProctorU charges during the pandemic, but once ended, the costs will once again fall upon the students.)

a. Visit Test Availability Instructions for Online Exams and select “I want my students to test using ProctorU” for instructions to adjust your exam settings in Blackboard and for how to create your ProctorU account.

b. Then, create the test listings in the ACC ProctorU Portal system.

Student Requirements for 3rd Party Proctoring – ProctorU:

1. Students must log in through the ACC ProctorU Portal launch page and use their ACC email address to create their ProctorU account and schedule proctoring sessions.

2. Students must schedule their tests at least three (3) days in advance of their intended proctoring session. 

Important Note: ProctorU is experiencing unprecedented high usage during this emergency period. Faculty need to have their exams uploaded to the system a minimum of 3 weeks before the testing window opens. All exams need to have flexible exam windows as scheduling slots will become limited in the lead up to Finals.

ProctorU is recommended for higher stakes exams. Please consider using alternative testing methods for lower stakes tests and quizzes.

3d) Faculty-Led Proctoring.

Faculty who teach online can choose to proctor their own exams using Google Meet, Blackboard Collaborate, or any of the web conferencing tools supported by the College, or if they teach on-campus classes, proctor their exams in class. The benefit of faculty-led proctoring is that faculty exercise total control over the test and proctoring process.

4) Alternative Assessments.

Sometimes the best way to ensure test integrity is through proctoring because of the design of the assessment. But more often than not, there are assessments that are more engaging and interesting, and just as effective to allow your students the opportunity to show what they know.

Alternative assessments, often called authentic, comprehensive, or performance assessments, are usually designed by the faculty to gauge students’ understanding of the material. Examples of alternative assessment ideas that will tap into students’ different learning styles and get you the information you need to make sure they’re learning include: open-ended questions, written compositions, oral presentations, projects, experiments, portfolios of student work, blogs, and journals. When deciding on the best approach to assessment, please be mindful of equity concerns. Timed tests, for example, may place an undue burden on those with poor internet connections. Where possible and appropriate, faculty are encouraged to consider alternative assessments. Please visit the Equity in Assessment website for more information.

The Office of Faculty Development and the Distance and Alternative Education Department provide training opportunities and support on alternative assessments. Instructional designers provide pedagogical and best-practice advice to faculty in the online, hybrid, and on-campus learning environments. They can help answer questions about assessments such as:

        • What type of assessment will be best for my course?
        • How can I make the online assessment process work for me and my students (i.e. Submission, Grading, Feedback)?
        • How will this impact my students and how do I support them online?
        • How could this change my existing assessment management processes – grade allocation, moderation, extensions, re-grading – and how could I manage it?

The Teaching & Learning Excellence Division (TLED) and the Office of Distance & Alternative Education (ODAE) provide comprehensive support in course design, technology tools for teaching, and other high-impact practices that contribute to our Guided Pathways model at Austin Community College (ACC). Our teams are available for various types of consultations to provide just-in-time assistance and support to faculty for their teaching. Visit the Teaching Consultations & Support page to schedule a consultation.

 

The Future of Proctored Assessment at ACC: Fall 2020 and Beyond

Prior to the COVID-19 teaching and learning emergency, the responsibility of paying for proctoring was on students. This, as many faculty and staff have noted, created an equity issue for students. ACC picked up the cost of proctoring during the emergency so as not to put an undue burden on students and deepen the already existing inequity created by “student pay” proctoring.

In light of the enormous cost involved in proctoring, and to ensure equity, ACC intends to transition AWAY from third party proctoring (ProctorU) to the ACC Online Live Proctoring service managed by ACC Testing Center and Distance Education staff.

For any questions, please contact dlstaff@austincc.edu.