Testing information for faculty

Thank you for using the University Testing Center. We are committed to providing the best possible testing services for you and your students. For spring 2021, we will continue to operate according to the directives of federal, state, and local health officials as well as University leadership. We learned much from the fall 2020 semester, and we have made several updates to our faculty guide for spring 2021 to reflect best practices in both testing services and in operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is important that faculty review our policies and procedures before submitting requests for their exams to be administered at the University Testing Center. We have prepared this guide as a resource for University faculty, to answer the most commonly asked questions about our policies and procedures.

Unless otherwise stated, the policies and procedures in this guide pertain to full-class testing, which is defined as “exams which every student enrolled in the course are expected to take within a specified period of time.”  Exceptions for make-up testing and other special situations are discussed separately.

For questions not addressed in this faculty guide, please contact Justin Kavanagh, University Testing Center Coordinator, at (775) 682-9940 or jkavanagh@unr.edu.

University Testing Center Overview

The University Testing Center is located in the William J. Raggio Building, Room 1003. Our two testing rooms have a combined total of 42 computer workstations. Workstations in both testing rooms comply with social distancing guidelines. The number of available seats on a given day must comply with state and University limitations on the size of gatherings in effect, which may reduce our operating capacity.

Operating hours and planned closures

The University Testing Center’s operating hours are set semester-by-semester based on the anticipated demand for our services and staffing availability. Please refer to our hours of operation page for the most updated hours and planned closures.

 

Administration requirements

  • Format and delivery method

    The University Testing Center administers exams built in WebCampus (Canvas), Pearson MyLab, WebAssign, or another similar web-based learning management system (LMS). We are not equipped for full-class testing on paper; however, we can administer a limited number of paper make-up exams on a case-by-case basis (see “Make-up exams” below).

    Due to the complications they present to maintaining a secure testing environment, we are unable to administer the following types of exams:

    • Open book, open notes, or open internet exams. If outside resources are required, faculty can select from the list of pre-approved materials/aids on their request form (see approved test materials), or consider alternate methods of assessment to a proctored exam.
    • Exams that require students to use desktop or web-based applications outside of the LMS (e.g., Microsoft Excel, Google Docs, etc.).

  • Advance notice

    Exam requests must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the exam date. Ideally, faculty should submit all of their exams by noon on the second Friday of the semester (for spring 2021, this date is Friday, February 5, 2021).

    During peak weeks when the Testing Center is likely to book up, exam requests will be approved on a first-come, first-served basis. Professors may be asked to be flexible with their exam dates to ensure scheduling availability for students.

  • Peak, semi-peak and off-peak weeks for spring 2021

    Testing Center Weeks: Spring 2021

    Week Number

    Week Beginning

    Designation

    1

    January 25, 2021

    Off-peak

    2

    February 1, 2021

    Off-peak

    3

    February 8, 2021

    Off-peak

    4

    February 15, 2021

    Semi-peak

    5

    February 22, 2021

    Peak

    6

    March 1, 2021

    Semi-peak

    7

    March 8, 2021

    Off-peak

    8

    March 15, 2021

    Semi-peak

    9

    March 22, 2021

    Peak

    10

    March 29, 2021

    Semi-peak

    11

    April 5, 2021

    Off-peak

    12

    April 12, 2021

    Semi-peak

    13

    April 19, 2021

    Peak

    14

    April 26, 2021

    Off-peak

    15

    May 3, 2021

    Peak (Finals)

    16

    May 10, 2021

    Peak (Finals)

  • Request form

    Exam requests are submitted using our Request for Exam Services form. Faculty members must log in with their NetID and password to access the form. Faculty must also add the Testing Center Coordinator, Justin Kavanagh at jkavanagh@unr.edu, to their WebCampus course as a TA prior to their exam request being processed.

    Please allow two business days’ processing time. You will be contacted by email when your exam request has been approved, or if we require additional information to process the request.

  • Student appointments

    Student appointments are not optional. Regardless of class size, all students must schedule an appointment. We recommend that students schedule appointments at least one week in advance, as our most popular times (Thursday afternoons, Fridays, and Saturdays) tend to book up first. Students can schedule appointments at any time using our online registration form.

    For spring 2021, last-minute scheduling and walk-in testing will not be offered, and students without an appointment will not be admitted. This is necessary to comply with state and University limitations on the size of gatherings, and to keep an accurate accounting of test takers for contact tracing of COVID-19 cases.

    If your syllabus or WebCampus announcements include information on exam scheduling, please ensure that testing appointments are not misrepresented. They are not optional.

  • Exam availability

    Exams must be made available for at least seven consecutive calendar days.  Students may schedule an appointment for any available time during that week. Students test asynchronously. Given the number of available seats and the anticipated demand for testing services, it is not possible for an entire class to test at the same time. Faculty are welcome to encourage students to schedule appointments for a given day and time, but this is subject to seating availability and cannot be guaranteed by the Testing Center.

    Faculty members who have concerns about exam security with students testing asynchronously may consider the following options:

    • Randomizing the order of exam questions and multiple choice answer-choices.
    • Creating a test bank, with each student receiving a randomized selection of questions.

    If students testing synchronously is an integral part of the exam, faculty can consider using Proctorio, the University’s approved remote proctoring solution, or alternative methods of assessment to a proctored exam. For more information, please refer to our testing security policies and information.

  • Allotted time

    For spring 2021, there is a limit on allotted time of 90 minutes per exam. The settings must be configured so that the exam is submitted when the allotted time expires. Students are responsible for managing their own testing time, and Testing Center staff will not give students reminders or warnings that their testing time is about to expire. There are large clocks on the wall to assist students in keeping track of the time.

    All exams must be submitted at the Testing Center’s posted closing time every day, even if the student’s time has not expired. Our appointment system prevents students from scheduling late enough in the day that they would not be given their full allotted time. However, if a student is late to their appointment, they may still be admitted at the discretion of Testing Center staff, but must sign a waiver forfeiting any allotted time remaining at the Testing Center’s posted closing time.

  • Deployment/publishing

    Exams must be published in WebCampus (or the equivalent action in another LMS) on or before the first day of testing. The starting date, ending date, launch code, and allotted time must match the information given when the exam request was submitted to the Testing Center. If changes are required after the exam request has been approved, please email testingcenter@unr.edu at the earliest opportunity so we can update our records.

  • Exam launch codes

    Exams must be protected by a launch code (password) either selected by the faculty member or auto-generated by Proctorio (if applicable). If you are selecting the launch code, please choose one that is difficult for your students to guess, but also easy for our proctors to enter correctly.

    Exam launch codes are entered remotely from the proctor workstation once the student is ready to begin testing.  They are never seen or used by students. Please do not share your exam launch code with your students under any circumstances.  If you believe your exam launch code has been compromised, please change it and notify the Testing Center immediately.

 

Support and troubleshooting

  • Exam access issues

    If issues related to the exam’s settings in the LMS affect a student’s ability to access the exam, a Testing Center staff member will attempt to resolve the problem and follow up with the faculty member. Adding the Testing Center Coordinator, Justin Kavanagh, to your WebCampus course as a TA will allow us to fix many minor technical issues without needing to contact you.

  • If the exam isn't published

    By publishing the exam to the WebCampus course (or the equivalent action in another LMS), the faculty member is communicating to us that the exam is ready to be administered. We will not publish or administer an unpublished exam without first verifying with the faculty member that the exam is ready.  Under these circumstances, administration of that exam will be suspended until the faculty member can be contacted to resolve the issue.

  • Exam content issues

    Testing Center staff are not permitted to assist students with any issues relating to exam content, including identifying words or symbols, or providing clarifications or interpretations of any kind. Students who report errors or ambiguities will be asked to continue working on the exam to the best of their ability and follow up with their instructor after the exam.

  • Planned and unplanned clsures

    The Testing Center is closed on all University holidays, and is also periodically closed for certain national testing days, e.g., administration of the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), the GRE Subject Test, and other standardized tests administered by University colleges and departments. These dates are posted to our hours of operation page as soon as they are known.

    Although rare, the Testing Center will close whenever a full-campus closure is ordered due to inclement weather or another reason, or when the William J. Raggio Building is closed, for example, due to an unexpected utility failure.  Every reasonable attempt will be made to notify students of the unplanned closure as soon as possible, and students will be contacted by email to reschedule when the Testing Center reopens.

    In the event the COVID-19 pandemic or other force majeure necessitates a campus-wide closure for an extended period of time, the Testing Center will work with faculty to the extent practicable to provide alternative testing services.

 

Scratch paper and exam materials/aids

  • Scratch paper

    Faculty must indicate whether scratch paper is approved for the exam; it is not provided automatically.  If scratch paper is approved, students will be provided two sheets of watermarked paper and two pencils (pens available on request). Student are required to use the paper and writing utensils provided by the Testing Center.

  • Materials/aids

    The Testing Center aims to strike a balance between the need for a uniformly secure testing environment and the individual preferences of professors. In addition to scratch paper, we have developed a list of approved materials/aids that professors can permit students to use on their exams. Please pay close attention to your selection(s) to ensure that you have chosen the intended materials/aids.

    All materials will be inspected by a proctor prior to the student being admitted to the exam. The Testing Center reserves the right to reject a student’s materials if they do not comply with the professor’s instructions or the Testing Center’s policies. Students whose materials are rejected will have the option to test without the rejected materials or to reschedule (contingent upon availability).

  • Handling of materials

    All written materials used during the exam, including handouts, scratch paper, and notes will be collected at the end of the student’s exam. If students wish to keep their notes for future reference, they should be advised to make a copy of them prior to the exam.

    Starting in spring 2021, faculty have the option of requesting that the Testing Center hold students’ written materials for pickup. If this option is selected, these materials will be retained for 7 days following the exam’s closing date.  Faculty can pick up the items themselves or designate a graduate assistant or other staff member from their department to collect them. Photo ID and a signature are required.

    If the hold-for-pickup option is not selected, or the items are not collected within 7 days following the exam’s closing date, they will be shredded.

 

Communication

  • Between the professor and the Testing Center

    The primary method of communication between the faculty member and the Testing Center is email.  Please use your University email account for all communication with the Testing Center. The exam request form asks for your phone number; however, this is only used in the event of an urgent problem with the exam that the Testing Center is unable to solve.

    If you require any changes after your exam request has been submitted, please notify us in writing to testingcenter@unr.edu rather than re-submitting the request form. This will ensure that all staff members are made aware of the desired change.

  • Between the professor and the student

    As the students’ most immediate point of contact, it falls to the faculty member to ensure that students are aware of the following:

    • Exam details, including dates, approved materials/aids, and other requirements.
    • Appointments are not optional and students without an appointment will not be admitted.
    • Exams must be submitted at the Testing Center’s posted closing time, and any allotted time remaining is forfeited. Students will not be permitted to return the next day to finish an exam.
    • A WolfCard or valid government-issued photo ID is required for all testing.
    • Students must know their NetID and password to log into WebCampus (or their equivalent access credentials for another LMS).
  • Between the student and the Testing Center

    Our know-before-you-go page provides valuable information about what to expect when taking an exam at the Testing Center. Students may contact the Testing Center for questions about exam scheduling and re-scheduling, and general inquiries about our operations.

 

Exceptions for special circumstances

  • Students with accommodations for disabilities

    The University Testing Center works closely with the Disability Resource Center (DRC) to ensure that students with accommodations have access to them.  Depending on the nature of the accommodation, the student may test at the University Testing Center or at the DRC. Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact the DRC as soon as possible to ensure that their accommodations will be approved in advance of their first exam.

  • Non-local students

    Non-local students live outside of a reasonable commuting distance to the University campus. For spring 2021, we anticipate an increased number University students attending class remotely from other cities and states, and requiring special testing arrangements.

    When submitting an exam request, faculty will indicate how they prefer to handle special arrangements for non-local students, with the following options given:

    • Non-local students must use Proctorio (Please work with TLT to ensure your exam is configured properly for Proctorio).
    • Non-local students must find a testing center or approved proctor in their area.
    • Non-local students may use either of the above options.
    • Other (specify), e.g., if the faculty member will make arrangements with these students directly.
  • Finding a testing center or approved proctor

    If the faculty member allows non-local students to take the exam with a testing center or an approved proctor in their area, it is the student’s responsibility to initiate this process.

    The student must submit the request form at least 2 weeks prior to the exam date. In this form, the student must provide contact information of a testing center or, if no testing center exists within a reasonable commuting distance, an individual who fulfills the University Testing Center’s criteria for a proctor.

    The University Testing Center will make arrangements with the testing center or proctor for the exam to be administered, communicate instructions, and send necessary materials. Non-local centers and proctors must verify that they meet the criteria to administer exams for the student, and that they will uphold the integrity of the testing process.

    It is the student’s responsibility to schedule the exam with their chosen testing center or proctor directly, and to pay any fees they may charge for their services.

  • Make-up testing

    The University Testing Center can administer make-up exams for students who missed a scheduled exam date in class, and to whom the faculty member has granted an extension. There is a limit of 5 students or 5% of the class’ enrollment (whichever is greater) per make-up exam.

    We prefer all exams to be delivered in WebCampus or another LMS; however, we will administer paper make-up exams. To mitigate our staff’s risk of exposure to COVID-19, paper exams will be stored for at least 72 hours, then scanned and emailed back to the faculty member. Once the faculty member confirms receipt, the exam papers will be shredded.

    Because make-up exams involve only a handful of students, we can be flexible in many of our administration requirements to suit the exam in question. Please contact us for more information.

  • Student employees

    The Testing Center employs undergraduate students as testing room proctors.  All students undergo proctor training and are aware that their position requires them to commit to the highest standards of academic integrity.

    If a student employee is enrolled in a class whose exams are administered in the University Testing Center, the student is required to take the exam on the first day it is available, and is not permitted to work in the testing room prior to having taken the exam.

Questions?

If you have any questions about any of the information in this faculty guide, please contact the University Testing Center Coordinator, Justin Kavanagh, at jkavanagh@unr.edu or (775) 682-9940.