By the end of Spring Semester 2015, the testing center will have implemented 72 tablets to increase the capacity to administer online tests.
Seth Deming, the Testing Center director, said mobility and efficiency are the key factors for the new addition.
“The tablets have made a huge difference already with lines,” Deming said. “For example the lines during finals last semester were almost non existent.”
Deming said even when the Testing Center did have lines they moved quickly. Usually the computer exams have the longest lines and the tablets have helped reduce them.
“There are a limited amount of computers for online exams,” said Claire Brooks, a sophomore studying elementary education. “My husband is an accounting major and spends three hours on a computer exam. So I think tablets will help move the lines for those who are going for a quick quiz.”
Not all students are agree that tablets should replace the written exams.
“I prefer pencil-and-paper exams because they are more comfortable and trusting,” said Mitch Gibb, a freshman studying business management.
Madi Shucart, a sophomore studying child development, said it would depend on the class for her to replace her pencil-and-paper exams with tablets.
Gibb said he would choose the tablet over the computer.
“I prefer the tablet for computer exams,” said Joseph Tice, a senior majoring in International Studies. “I like to sit by the windows, so with the tablet, that would make it easier.”
Deming said that in the past, students could only take their computer exams in the main room, but now they can take them in the music room too.
“I like that I can go into the music room to take a computer exam,” Kyanna Jacobson, a freshman studying accounting said. “The music helps me to focus because it is not so quiet.”
Shucart said she likes that music room because it is less distracting.
Deming said the tablets will eventually begin to take the place of pencil-and-paper exams as well.
Deming said both the computers and the tablets are locked down. The testing center can also see everything students do on them.
“We are implementing a new system that is a lockdown browser,” Deming said. “When students start their exam, they cannot go anywhere on the browser until they are finished.”
But Deming said there is no plan to replace the computers; however, there are more online tests than paper tests, and tablets help the testing center expand the number of online tests it can administer.
Deming said there are 36 tablets in the testing center and 36 more on their way. The Testing Center plans to get more in the future.
The Testing Center started using tablets for computer exams starting Winter semester 2015.
Deming said the Testing Center looked at many different options to help with computer exams.
He said the testing center looked at computers, but computers would take too much money and work to set them up. Laptops were the next choice, but would not last long enough with their battery life.
“We wanted something that would last all day,” Deming said.
Deming said the tablets in the Testing Center are from Dell and come with a keyboard that has an additional battery. The battery lasts about 14 hours.