A Sandbox Approach to Online Exam Administration

A Sandbox Approach to Online Exam Administration

Stu Westin (College of Business Administration, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, USA)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/ijopcd.2012100104


This paper describes eTAP (electronic Test Administration Platform), an innovative software system that is designed to facilitate the administration of Web-based tests and exams. The purpose of the paper is to share the success of the approach, and to promote its further development and use in the e-learning milieu. The eTAP system has been developed by the author for use in their own multi-section, Web-based course in response to the author’s perceived needs in this setting. The software addresses issues of monitoring and attendance, academic honesty (e-cheating), and activity logging in the electronic testing environment. The testing platform provided by eTAP uses a software sandbox approach to exam integrity. That is, once the program is started, the user is limited to specific sanctioned computer functionality and is restricted to a well-defined, relevant region of the Web.
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Introduction And Background

This paper describes a software platform that is designed to support the administration of online examinations in a Web-based course environment. A primary focus of the software system is reduction of the opportunity to commit acts of cheating. The current section of the paper establishes the context and nomenclature by briefly describing the environments and accompanying challenges in which electronic exams are administered today. The ideas presented herein are based on the relevant literature on the topics. The discussion will be primarily from the perspective of university-level education, but many of the concepts can be applied to other education and testing settings.

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