As American colleges and universities offer more academic degree programs online, ensuring academic integrity in online testing has become a high priority. Since requiring students to come to campus to take online exams is typically not feasible, universities generally require that online exams be administered only by pre-approved “proctors,” who receive the exam from the instructor, verify the student’s identity, administer and submit the exam during a designated timeframe, and ensure that specified testing guidelines are followed. The process can be time-consuming for faculty and confusing and frustrating for students and proctors.

Next month, the 17-campus University of North Carolina will receive a 2013 WCET Outstanding Work (WOW) Award from the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education’s Cooperative for Educational Technologies for the development of a system-wide Online Proctoring Network that has standardized and streamlined the test proctoring process for students, faculty, and proctors. The network promotes academic integrity by providing online students across the UNC system with a pool of qualified local and remote proctors and testing centers. The secure “one-stop” system allows students, faculty, and proctors to schedule appointments, securely transfer exam documents or passwords, and receive automated reminders when an action is required. The network is already in use at ten UNC campuses, and two additional campuses will come on board in spring 2014. To date, nearly 13,000 students have used the system to schedule more than 60,000 exam appointments.

Through UNC Online (, UNC campuses currently offer 328 online programs—214 degree or degree-completion programs, plus 114 certificate and licensure programs. Students pursuing one of the 72 baccalaureate programs may enroll entirely online as juniors and seniors. A number of UNC campuses have articulation agreements that enable students to complete their first two years online at a regional community college and then seamlessly transfer into a UNC online program as a junior. Of the 137 programs offered at the master’s degree level, 56% are in education and health professions.

Established by WCET in 2004, the WOW Awards are presented annually to colleges, universities, and organizations for exceptionally creative, technology-based solutions to a significant problem or need in higher education. WOW awardees will be recognized during WCET’s 25th Annual Meeting in Denver, CO, November 13-15.

For more information, contact: Dr. Margaret (Maggie) O’Hara, UNC Director of E-Learning, 929-962-3910

Monday, February 3, 2014

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