University of North Carolina Press Release: http://ow.ly/didUU
CHAPEL HILL – For the fall 2012 semester, the 17-campus University of North Carolina system is introducing ProctorU, a service that enables students enrolled in UNC Online courses to complete their exams from any location they choose.
The education industry’s largest online proctoring company, ProctorU today released an Application Programming Interface, or API, that will be featured at UNC Online.
ProctorU, which monitors tens of thousands of online exams for over 200 partner institutions using webcams and screen-sharing technology, has teamed up with the statewide University of North Carolina system, which includes 17 campuses. UNC Online’s general administration team partnered with ProctorU in the development of this API. The service, which is being rolled out in the Tar Heel state in time for the Fall 2012 semester, will enable students enrolled in UNC Online courses to complete their exams from any location they choose by connecting to a live proctor over the Internet. The only requirements include a computer, a reliable Internet connection, a webcam and a microphone.
ProctorU’s API allows students to use the online proctoring service without leaving their institution’s website or learning management system. The API also gives educators an additional set of tools to use in this continuously growing segment of higher education. Instead of having students login to separate websites – one for their university’s coursework and then another to take a proctored exam – the API allows test takers to interact with ProctorU from within their institution’s website. When students using the UNC Online website select ProctorU, that website communicates with ProctorU.com and automatically creates an appointment when the examinee chooses a time to take their test. The API was developed without additional cost to UNC Online, and can be adapted for use by any school or training organization.
“With the release of our API, ProctorU can now integrate with our partner institutions allowing for a seamless experience with test takers,” said ProctorU Vice President of Business Development Jarrod Morgan. “This is a huge step forward for our organization because simplicity is a core pillar for our company and this API exemplifies that ideal.”
Currently, ProctorU is 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. Future plans include expanding to all 17 campuses.
Though UNC has offered 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, said ProctorU introduces the kind of accessibility and flexibility needed for an increasingly mobile culture. 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.
“ProctorU allows our students to take exams anytime during the testing window set up by their instructor,” O’Hara 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.
“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 a demonstration webinar for faculty and administrators on August 30, from 11 a.m. to noon. Additional statewide webinars will be scheduled soon. For more information, contact ProctorU Media Coordinator Franklin Hayes at 205-289-1383, or [email protected] or visit ProctorU.com.
ProctorU provides distance proctoring services for colleges, universities and certification organizations that offer examinations online. The service allows students to take their exams from anywhere in a secured environment. ProctorU uses a patent-pending three-step process that confirms that the student who registered for the exam is the student who is taking the exam and is following the institution’s testing requirements. ProctorU proctors monitor the entire process in order to ensure that a high level of integrity is maintained throughout. ProctorU offers live, person to person, real time monitoring to more than 200 colleges, universities and certification organizations, including the University of Florida, the University of Alabama and Northwestern University. ProctorU operates dedicated proctoring centers in San Francisco and Birmingham, Ala. For more information, visit www.proctoru.com.
About UNC Online
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.