[Note: Bert Kimura is a professor at Kansai University and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He's fully online at Manoa. As coordinator of an annual, completely online international conference, he's also in the process of releasing a call for presentation proposals. See preliminary details for TCC 2013 in the right sidebar of this page. I emailed these questions to him earlier this week. -Editor]
ETCJ: Would a typical college or school district be able to set up a video capture system such as Tegrity?
BK: I would contract Tegrity if interested rather than setting up my own system. Support costs, especially personnel, need to be included to determine if it is worthwhile to do your own. I would assume that Tegrity hosts an application and database on their servers to perform this service. I think that this is one of the services that becomes economical with a large number of users.
It is not clear to me whether a person has to be monitoring the video in real-time as well; or if it is monitored in real-time, whether the monitor views several video streams at once. In the end, I would think that someone has to review each recording to make sure there wasn’t any suspicious behavior. Therein lies added costs.
ETCJ: How and what would it require to set up a video capture system such as this?
BK: A server, databases, applications and a web based application for starters. Probably some form of added security to prevent hacking or tampering with the system.
ETCJ: Can you think of ways students intent on cheating might still beat this system?
BK: Not offhand. However, if you ask your students, I’m sure that they can think of ways to beat the system. Oh, here’s one possibility — someone could sign the answers from off camera or hold up a card with answers based on body language signals given by the test taker.
ETCJ: Any further thoughts?
BK: I must say that the concept is novel and worth testing. It would be great if Tegrity would publish some basic research data on it. That will ease the minds of faculty who would be the people that, I think, need convincing the most.
On the other hand, the issue may need review by people involved with student privacy concerns. I presume Tegrity has looked at this, but, clearly, students would need to be fully informed of their rights and privileges, if any, in using this system. For example, what if a student swears or bangs on the camera? Would it affect the student’s reputation or credibility?
My last thought is this: If paper and pencil testing is absolutely required in a class, it probably shouldn’t be offered as a DE class. Not today anyway.
I believe that student learning can be assessed through writing assignments, presentations, projects, and other creative methods of expression in virtually any class. Faculty would need to make the adjustments to do so.
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