Personnel at Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) continue to make advances in acquiring and applying educational technology that serves students and the community. The college, for example, now has added software that permits students to take most online courses entirely from their homes or at an off-campus location.
This was achieved as a result of the college purchasing the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) for online course delivery as well as new online resources such as Respondus LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor. This new delivery software changes the way tests and quizzes are administered for online courses. These tools, along with changes to the NACC online testing policy, will enhance the overall online learning experience for students beginning with the Fall 2017 semester.
Perhaps the most exciting change for the coming fall semester is that students will no longer be required to come to campus to complete exams for online courses. The previous online testing policy required at least one exam be given on campus. In most cases, students enrolled in online courses at NACC will now have the choice to complete examinations or assignments either on campus with a proctor or off campus through Respondus Monitor.
As mentioned, Respondus Monitor is the online monitoring tool that students may use to complete exams for their online courses. Students will use either an external web camera or a built in camera on their computer to monitor their testing session. The testing session will be recorded for each student and available for the instructor to review at any time. Respondus Monitor has built in capabilities to flag irregularities during the testing session and will alert the instructor if issues should arise during the recorded session.
“Respondus Monitor is very simple to use on the part of the student,” said Director of Extended Day and Distance Education, Chad Gorham. Many students are unable to commute to campus because of distance to and/or time limitations due to busy lifestyles; however, Respondus Monitor may allow these students to complete courses that they might have been unable to complete otherwise. Gorham indicated that he felt that the changes to the online program would be very beneficial to students moving forward. “The changes that were made and the additions to our online learning management system were done with the student in mind. We asked ourselves, ‘What will be best for our online students and what will help them to be more successful?’”
Regardless of whether a student chooses to test on campus or away from campus, a photo identification must be presented prior to completing the examination or assignment. “Having students prove their identity by providing photo identification for on-campus and/or Respondus Monitor testing sessions will help to ensure the integrity of our online program and meet Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) requirements,” stated Chad Gorham, Director of Extended Day/Distance Education at NACC.
“Our staff has worked very hard to acquire just the right software for our online courses,” stated Dr. David Campbell, NACC President. “Our faculty and staff have worked with Mrs. Patricia Combs and staff in our Educational Technology Division and with Mr. Gorham to learn how to implement and deliver online courses through these systems. In this day and age, it is imperative to provide quality online education through the most convenient and effective delivery systems that are available. We have achieved this and now we are better able to serve our students. I am very proud of the work that our staff has done.”
For more information about online courses and/or testing, contact Gorham at 256-638-4418 or 256-228-6001, ext. 2294, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information about NACC, go to www.nacc.edu or download the free NACC App at the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Fall semester early registration is going on now. Regular registration is August 23. Classes begin August 24 and registration ends on August 25. All classes, including online, can be found on our website and App.