Exam and testing periods can be nerve-racking for both faculty and students, especially when having to proctor virtually.
Faculty may be worried they have set up tests incorrectly or that they don’t have the right tools to avoid academic dishonesty enabled.
Students are already anxious about performing well on the exam, but then must worry about browsers, monitoring software, citing accurately, and the dreaded online submission deadline. 😅
Global research from Canvas on "The State of Student Success and Engagement in Higher Education” also states that nearly 70% of students report that they are falling behind on their studies due to the pandemic. This means student concerns will be at an all-time high, and both faculty and tech support can become inundated with questions about digital testing.
You can ease the anxiety of your LMS users by using EesySoft strategically to focus on both faculty and students, making the digital transitions as smooth as possible. Here are three areas where you can improve virtual assessments with EesySoft messaging, monitoring, and support.
1) Online Multiple-Choice Exams
Using the testing feature within your LMS is the most common digital assessment option for faculty because multiple-choice tests easily translate to the platform. However, many instructors still want the security that comes with in-person proctoring to curb cheating. A common tool we see our customers use for test-taking is Respondus LockDown Browser. This browser locks down the testing environment within an LMS to secure a computer from deviating to another webpage during the exam. However, faculty must incorporate LockDown Browser into their test environment beforehand and students need to download the browser before testing time.
To guide LMS users and clarify what needs to be done to prepare for a test using LockDown Browser, EesySoft has an out-of-the-box campaign with messages and support articles specifically for Respondus LockDown Browser. Take a look at a walk-through of the campaign with Salus University!
You can find these messages in the EesySoft Universe as well as the accompanying support articles.
2) Essays and Written Assignments
Some courses need assessments that show a higher level of critical thinking and theoretical knowledge than a multiple-choice exam can test. This is where essays come in as the second most popular online assignment. One of the tricky points with written assignments is making sure the work has not been plagiarized, whether purposely or accidentally from poor citations. Academic integrity tools, like Turnitin and Unicheck, help comb through essays and alert faculty when assignments may have areas of plagiarism present. To inform users on how the tool works and ways to incorporate it into an assignment, we have messaging both for students and faculty:
"The messages can be adjusted and customized to any video software your university uses! Just because virtual classes do not meet in person does not mean instructors must eliminate presentation-based assignments."
3) Speeches, presentations, and debates
One assessment method that poses the most challenges when facilitating digital learning is presenting over video software. Some classes, like public speaking or argumentation courses, need in-person presentations to assess students’ ability to articulate their ideas. EesySoft can help make synchronous video assignments easier with our campaign to educate users on how to navigate their video software. Within our EesySoft Universe, we have several great examples of messaging about using Blackboard Collaborate and downloading videos—a great option to review for grading or have students self-evaluate. Our examples come from real use cases from San Jacinto College, Southern Cross University, and George Brown College!
While these examples highlighted Blackboard Collaborate, the messages can be adjusted and customized to any video software your university uses! Just because virtual classes do not meet in person does not mean instructors must eliminate presentation-based assignments.
Student Feedback and Evaluations
The last area to consider for testing times is a midterm evaluation. According to a 2019 article in the journal Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, authors Sozer, Zeybekoglu, and Kaya explain mid-semester course evaluations can give faculty feedback on the quality of learning happening both within the course, and at an institutional level. You can easily do this by embedding a survey tool into an EesySoft Systray, as seen in this video.
If your university does not provide standardized midterm evaluations, check out this helpful article from Tufts University with tips on how to gather formative feedback during remote learning. Additionally, you can create custom user groups with EesySoft to receive this survey to connect with a particular audience that is important to your institutional research. With the midterm season approaching, for universities who follow a semester schedule, these are great campaigns to consider when talking about semester goals with your Customer Success Manager at EesySoft.
Promoting tools that make testing and online exam processes more accessible, secure, and simple, will help faculty and students to breathe a little easier during testing times in the academic year. Do not let your LMS difficulties add to the stress of exams—use the EesySoft EdTech Adoption Platform to make the process clearer for all users!