Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Instructor information

Proctoring for online classes

As an online instructor, we encourage you to consider which assessment strategies are appropriate for your subject matter, student population, and class materials. Proctoring your exams is an option for online classes, but certainly not a simple endeavor. Please take the time to consider your alternatives. If you aren’t sure that proctored exams are the right option for you, consult with your department leaders, your faculty mentor, and/or our instructional support staff. There are lots of strategies to consider if you are concerned about academic integrity for your exams.

Proctoring policies at PCC

As a guide for how to handle proctoring arrangements for online classes at PCC, we have some relevant policies and guidelines to consider:

EAC statement about proctoring roles

“It is the instructor’s primary responsibility to schedule and proctor in-person class exams when required. In situations where students cannot attend the class proctored exam time, referral to PCC Testing Centers or other professional proctors for make-up exam proctoring is appropriate and should be supported by the college with adequate resources.” (EAC DL Task Force)

Accreditation expectations around proctoring

“Expectations for any required face-to-face, on-ground work (e.g., internships, specialized laboratory work) are stated clearly;” (Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions Guidelines)

“In keeping with federal requirements, evaluators who visit an institution that offers distance education programs are asked to verify that the institution… notifies students at the time of registration and enrollment of any projected additional student charges associated with the verification procedures.” (Accreditation Handbook, NW Commission on Colleges and Universities)

To summarize:

  1. If you require proctored exams for your online classes, you are the primary proctor. You will offer alternatives to students who cannot attend your exam session, for which the college will provide support.
  2. The intent to require proctored exams (or any on-campus activities) for online classes must be stated clearly to students at the point of registration. Your course details page is the tool that provides this information.
  3. Students must be notified that proctoring (or other activities) for their online class may require them to pay additional fees at the point of registration. Please include this information on your course details page.
Proctoring training

If you choose to require proctoring for one or more exams for your online class, before you implement the requirement for the first time, you must complete a training session. Training must be completed prior to the start of the term during which the exam will take place. Please contact the Online Testing Coordinator to schedule a training session. At this training session, you will learn about

  • Instructor and student responsibilities
  • Proctoring options available to online students
  • Communication strategies
  • How virtual proctoring works and when to use it
  • How to work with the campus testing centers
  • How to keep your proctoring process organized

Keeping track of proctoring arrangements for several students can be complicated. There are a lot of details and contacts to track. This training will help you to schedule your proctoring related tasks throughout the term to ensure you, your students, and their proctors have a smooth experience.

Instructor expectations
  1. Complete the tasks outlined in the Proctoring Communications Guide
  2. If this is your first time requiring proctored exams for your online class, attend the proctoring training before registration begins for the term during which you plan to require proctoring.
  3. Once the term begins:
    1. Remind your students during the first week of the date/time/location of your on campus exam sessions.
    2. Explain that students who are unable to attend will have alternative options which may have associated additional costs.
    3. Share the dates during which you will allow alternative proctoring arrangements. Ideally, you can offer a 3 to 5 day span of options to allow for students who have scheduling conflicts.
    4. Refer students who need to make use of alternatives to the Proctored Exams for Online Classes – Student Information page.
Support from the Online Learning staff

Instructors who have noted their intention to require proctored exams in their course details page will be contacted by the Online Testing Coordinator prior to the beginning of the term to coordinate training if warranted.

Additionally, the Online Testing Coordinator will:

  • Assist students to locate an appropriate proctor
  • Help instructors to vet and approve student selected proctors
  • Assist instructors who have selected virtual proctoring tools with the logistical details