CHAPEL HILL – For the fall 2012 semester, the 17-campus University of North Carolina is introducing ProctorU, a service that enables students enrolled in UNC Online courses to complete their exams from any location they choose. The only requirements include a computer, a reliable Internet connection, and a web camera and microphone.
Featuring more than 270 online programs offered by 16 constituent universities, UNC Online is designed to extend the benefits of higher education to students whose work and family obligations prevent them from enrolling in a campus-based program.
The ProctorU service is currently available at eight UNC institutions, including Appalachian State University, UNC Asheville, NC Central University, UNC Charlotte, East Carolina University, Fayetteville State University, Western Carolina University, and UNC Wilmington.
Though UNC has offered online exam proctors since 2009, previous options have required that students report in person to appointed locations to take exams. Maggie O’Hara, UNC’s director of e-learning, says ProctorU introduces the kind of accessibility and flexibility needed for an increasingly mobile culture.
“ProctorU allows our students to take exams anytime during the testing window set up by their instructor,” she said. “More importantly, given that so many of our students are working adults, or in the military, having ProctorU as an approved proctor gives students the flexibility and convenience of taking their exams at home, at work or while traveling.”
From initial check-in through the completion of the exam, ProctorU associates monitor the entire process in real time via streaming video and audio, and thanks to a “one-stop-shop” interface developed through a collaboration between ProctorU and UNC, students can use one login code to search for classes, research available proctors, schedule a test appointment or take a proctored exam online. Fees for the service start at $25 for a two-hour exam and must be paid upon completion of an appointment (UNC and its constituent campuses do not receive funds from the service).
“This is the first time an online proctoring company has seamlessly integrated with an entire state’s unified university system,” said ProctorU’s Vice President of Operations Matt Jaeh, who spearheaded the project. “An interface had to be developed between ProctorU and UNC to make the online testing experience completely uniform, using only one set of login credentials per student.”
“The University of North Carolina was critical to the success of this project,” said Jaeh. “Their partnership and organization throughout the entire process helped speed up development, and without them, I’m not certain we would have been able to anticipate all the client-side needs. They came prepared with several different ideas on how to move forward.”
UNC and ProctorU will host demonstration webinars for faculty and administrators on August 28 and August 30, from 11 a.m.- noon both days. Additional statewide webinars will be scheduled soon. For more information, contact Maggie O’Hara, director of e-learning at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Mandy Dough, UNC proctoring coordinator at email@example.com. For additional details about ProctorU, visit www.proctoru.com.
The oldest public university in the nation, the University of North Carolina enrolls more than 220,000 students and encompasses all 16 of North Carolina’s public institutions that grant baccalaureate degrees, as well as the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the nation’s first public residential high school for gifted students. UNC campuses support a broad array of distinguished liberal-arts programs, two medical schools and one teaching hospital, two law schools, a veterinary school, a school of pharmacy, 11 nursing programs, 15 schools of education, three schools of engineering, and a specialized school for performing artists. The UNC Center for Public Television, with its 11-station statewide broadcast network, is also under the University umbrella.