The East Carolina University (ECU) Proctoring Center continues to operate under the University of North Carolina (UNC) System’s online proctoring center to provide in-person resources to students in Greenville, North Carolina, while ECU works to reimburse proctor fees for students.
“There's sites throughout the state and they (students) can find out what available times are available there to get their exams proctored,” Miller said.
Miller said when the ECU Proctoring Center is full, students can sign up the UNC online Proctoring System through Examity, where virtual proctors assess exams. The online proctoring systems charges $11 for the first hour and $6 for every additional hour, he said.
Amid COVID-19, ECU completed a proposal that helps fund students who have to use the UNC Systems online proctor, with a reimbursement to students who take exams through examity, Miller said.
“We (the ECU proctoring center) received one-time funding approval to reimburse students required to pay for proctoring scheduled through UNC Online during spring 2021. Students will be reimbursed at the end of the spring semester via a check,” an email from the ECU Proctoring Center sent to students required to use a proctor said.
ECU’s Proctoring Center Coordinator Rachel Gaskins said because of COVID-19, the center has reduced the capacity of seats, included extra sanitation of desks, calculators and writing utensils, the center no longer allows scratch paper or personal laptops and has housekeepers clean the facility.
Gaskins said she has worked her way through the proctoring center since she was an undergraduate student at ECU. She said she fell in love with the job and said the center is always there for students.
“We serve the students and we also have graduate assistants that help us out, we’re here for them,” Gaskins said. “Especially during this pandemic, we’re trying to make sure that all the students that want to test with us are able to do so.”
Gaskins said professors sometimes require proctors in their curriculum due to academic integrity.
ECU School of Communication Professor Cindy Elmore said she wishes she didn't have to require a proctor because it’s unfair to students who don't cheat, as well as the cost involved.
“I know that there's a cost involved, and I hate that there's a cost involved, but academic integrity has been an issue since the pandemic,” Elmore said. “When I think about issues of academic integrity I think about the good students, to be honest, and how unfair it is for students who would never cheat and work hard to maybe get the same grade as someone who wasn't honest.”
Elmore said most professors can't have face-to-face classes to give a traditional test, but a proctor is one of the only ways she can ensure academic integrity and the value of a college education.
When Elmore decided to require a proctor for two out of the four tests her COMM3390 International News class is required to take, she took into consideration the cost of a proctor as well as the cost of the textbook required for the course, she said.
“If it was free I would've done all four. I was trying to not make the cost be too much of a burden and I did take into consideration that the book I assigned was very low cost,” Elmore said.
Elmore said examples of issues with academic integrity include Chegg, a company that provides online resources to students, Groupme, an online messaging service and the internet, where students can search answers to test questions.
Students should make appointments for a proctor as soon as they know they need to because they can fill up quickly, Elmore said. She said the UNC Systems proctors is a careful system.
“There's things you’ll have to provide during an examity proctoring session, for instance, you have to show them an ID,” Elmore said. “I think you have to have a mirror, because they're going to want you to shine that mirror so that they can see all around the student so the students don't have things on their desk or on the wall.”
Freshman sports studies major Savanna Fowler said her experience with online proctors depended on who she was assigned. She said one of her proctors was disruptive, but another was fine.
Fowler said professors require proctors because online school encourages students to cheat and she has been in group chats where students would send test answers, though she does not think proctors that cost money should be required.
“I do not think they (professors) should require proctoring that you have to pay for. We already pay tuition, we already pay for textbooks, we already pay for everything else we have to pay for,” Fowler said. “I should not have to pay to take a test.”
The ECU Proctoring Center is currently open from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday and can be scheduled through the UNC Proctoring Network.