During the course of your online education, you’re bound to have to take a few online exams. How can the school make sure you’re taking them fairly and that it’s you taking the test at all? There are a few major methods schools use to help ensure that tests are given out in an appropriate manner.
Tests are taken in person. Some schools don’t bother with all the technology when it comes to final exams. Instead, they have students come to campus or to an approved testing location so that the exam can be given out in person. This ensures that students can’t cheat and will also be able to ask any questions they might have about the exam.
Webcams monitor student testing. Some schools, including the University of West Florida, have opted for a different method, allowing students who may live at some distance from campus to take exams online by using a webcam to monitor what they’re doing. Students point the camera at themselves and professors or other test proctors monitor them to make sure no funny business is going on and that students are taking the test honestly.
Restrictions are put on time or technology. Whether students are monitored with web cams or not, most online exams will have time restrictions that make consulting outside materials next to impossible. Students will have to know their stuff in order to complete the questions or write an essay by the end of the exam. Other restrictive measures may make it impossible to open up a browser window or other program while taking the tests.
Students are allowed to use notes. Some professors simply allow students to use their notes to take an exam. The exam will usually still be timed, so students will still need to know the material and where to find references in their notes to do well.
Students will have to hire a proctor. If none of these other options are possible, students may have to hire an approved proctor at their own expense to give them the exam. Often the fees are fairly low ($15-$20) but students will have to travel to a testing location to take the exam.
Depending on your online school, one or possibly all of these methods will be used to give an online exam. If any of these would pose a problem for you, make sure to check with the school’s website before enrolling to see what methods they prefer to use.