We recently ran our second iteration of the PCOA exam, and managed to administer the exam very well electronically. Students were asked to bring their laptops with them to the exam with a web-lock browser pre-installed. IT technicians were on hand to handle any issues that could would inevitably arise. While we had several hiccups, such as individual student machine problems, as well as a low University wireless signal, we were able to have all students complete the exam in the allotted time without any major issues.
Next year, we know we’d like to continue to work with our IT department, as they were instrumental in monitoring the network and troubleshooting student machines during the process. We also need to stress that students bring their University-issued laptops with them, as personal laptops had more issues than University-provided machines. IT has also assured us that we can request to have an additional 10 IT laptops on hand for students that are having computer issues. This will speed the entire process up.
It will be interesting to see how the results look as compared to last year’ paper and pencil version of the exam. Going forward, we’d like to continue with the electronic method, keeping in mind the issues we had, and the things we’ve discussed to avoid them in the future.