Thomas Edison State College is partnering with the online proctoring service, ProctorU, to enable thousands of its students to take exams online in their homes or a location of their choice at times that work around their schedules.
Seth Karl Goehring is one of them. ProctorU enables the busy father of three young children and active member of the Minnesota National Guard to take his final exams at his Crookston, Minn., home while completing his Associate in Applied Science degree at Thomas Edison State College.
“Online proctoring means I don’t have to travel to a test site,” said Goehring. “I was a little nervous before my first experience, but I soon realized that there was nothing to worry about. After the initial set-up, I forgot the proctor was even there.”
The convenience is a boon for nontraditional students. Prior to online proctoring, students like Goehring had to schedule exams at testing sites with a live proctor who was preapproved by the college.
“At ProctorU we offer flexible proctoring options to people that may not otherwise be able to complete their degrees,” said ProctorU Executive Vice President Jarrod Morgan. “In our collaboration with Thomas Edison State College, we’ve seen active duty military take their exams from the front lines of Afghanistan and Iraq along with thousands of other students who have been able to pursue their college education thanks to our partnership.”
Online proctoring was introduced to Thomas Edison State College students in 2010 to allow them to take exams from the convenience of their home or office using any computer equipped with a webcam and high-speed Internet access. Since then, ProctorU has monitored nearly 50,000 exams for the college’s students.
Students connect to a live proctor that they can see on their computer screen when it is time to take their exam. Students complete an ID authentication process and receive real-time assistance from the proctor if they encounter technical difficulties.
“I already have a variety of day-to-day stresses,” said Goehring. “The ability to have my exams proctored online, seven days a week, alleviates one of them.”
Goehring has been a member of the Minnesota Army National Guard for nearly 11 years and currently holds the rank of sergeant first class. He joined the U.S. Army in 2003 after graduating from high school and was able to attend college for one year before deploying to Iraq for 22 months. When he returned home to a full-time job, he said he had to put earning his degree on the back burner.
“After years of thinking that I would never finish college, I researched several military-friendly institutions that offered online degree programs,” said Goehring who plans to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program at the college once he completes the degree requirements for his associate degree. “I could not be happier with my choice and finding the balance to complete my courses has been easier than I expected. Now that I’m completing my AAS degree, I’ll continue on to pursue my Bachelor of Science degree in homeland security and emergency preparedness. It might take a little longer to reach my goal, but I like to believe that I am proof that anyone can do this.”
To find out more, visit www.proctoru.com/tesc.