Guidelines and Supports

Teaching and Learning Resources

In conjunction with the Academic Operations Working Group, the following resources and sets of guidelines have been developed to assist Faculty and Departments.

The guidelines are intended to be a baseline for Faculties and Schools to further develop in accordance with their own unique needs and circumstances.

Questions related to the guideline and resource documents below can be directed to vptl@queensu.ca 

 

 

Remote Proctoring Tools

Guidelines for the use of Remote Proctoring Tools

Last Updated: September 25, 2020

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Background

Remote proctoring allows students to take an assessment at a remote location while ensuring the integrity of the exam.  The objectives of remote proctoring tools are first, to verify the identities of the students being assessed, and second, to protect the academic integrity of the assessments.

The University is developing guidelines and processes to support instructors in conducting assessments in the remote teaching environment.  When instructors are considering the use of remote-proctored exams in their classes, they should pay attention to the following before making this decision:

Remote proctoring technology is complex for both instructors and students;

Careful preparation is required by instructors in the set-up of the exams; and

Considerable oversight of the remote proctoring tool by instructors is required while the exam is being written.

Therefore it is strongly recommended that instructors limit the number of assessments that will require remote proctoring in their classes this Fall in order to reduce the administrative burden and technical resources required to support remote proctoring.  In many cases the use of take-home or alternative assignments may be a better approach to assessment and instructors are encouraged to consult their Faculty/School for resources to support remote assessment of students.

However, remote proctoring may be the best approach to reliably evaluate student learning in the following situations:

Large classes with a prescribed set of knowledge requirements that must be demonstrated individually;

Classes in which it is important to protect confidentiality of exam content, e.g. where it is not possible to use open-ended questions or scenario questions, a randomized set of questions, or other alternative approaches to assessment; and

Classes in which the ability for students to collaborate, or to use outside resources, must be limited in order to fairly evaluate knowledge.

Queen’s has completed a privacy and security assessment of two commercial tools and entered into legally binding agreements to provide remote proctoring using Examity and Proctortrack.  These are third-party, cloud-based services that enable the completion of a proctored exam or test from an off-campus location, through onQ or Elentra, using a computer that meets the technical requirements listed on the Exams Office website. 

These services provide three types of remote proctoring designed to monitor student behaviour during the writing of exams, to both promote a commitment to academic integrity on the part of the student and also to protect the integrity of the exam by flagging/recording suspicious behaviour that may indicate a departure from academic integrity. 

Live proctoring involves a live proctor who observes and communicates with students through a webcam while they complete their exams.  The proctor leads students through an authentication process to verify their identities and view their exam space, and observes and records the students throughout the writing of the exam, including noting any breaks taken.

Live authentication combined with automated proctoring involves a live proctor who communicates with students through a webcam only during the authentication process to verify their identities and view their exam space.  The proctor then exits the exam session and the rest of the session is recorded.  The recording is then reviewed by trained auditors.

Automated proctoring does not involve a live proctor.  Students go through the authentication process themselves by enabling screen-sharing and webcam access for the exam, using their webcam to take pictures of themselves and their student card ID to confirm their identity, and scanning their exam space before beginning the exam.  The session is recorded and reviewed by trained auditors.

In all cases, the recordings of the students during the exam are reviewed by the proctoring service to flag any behaviours that should be noted and are made available to the instructor after the exam session for investigation.

The following guidelines are provided for instructors who decide to make use of a remote proctoring tool.

Access

1. All remote proctoring of tests and exams must be conducted with tools that are authorized and supported by the University.

2. The Faculty/School will determine if an authorized remote proctoring tool will be made available for a class.

3. If a remote proctoring tool is made available, the instructor will make the final decision whether to use the specific tool. 

4. Instructors may not install or use remote proctoring tools on their own.  Use of remote proctoring tools must be supervised by the technical support service in the instructor’s Faculty or School.

Academic Integrity

5. Remote proctoring tools assist in detecting departures from academic integrity.  They do not determine if a departure has occurred.  Therefore, instructors must exercise their independent professional judgment in, and assume responsibility for, determining whether a departure from academic integrity has taken place.  This will involve a review of both the recording that is flagged by the proctoring service and the student’s exam itself, determining whether there is evidence of a gain of advantage within the exam.  The decision to begin an investigation should be based on the wholistic evaluation of all evidence in the exam environment and associated materials.

6. Instructors are encouraged to provide clear communication to students regarding departures from academic integrity and the related consequences.  The following statement should be included at the beginning of each remote-proctored exam:

Departures from academic integrity include plagiarism, use of unauthorized materials or services, facilitation, forgery, falsification, unauthorized use of intellectual property, and collaboration, and are antithetical to the development of an academic community at Queen’s.  Given the seriousness of these matters, actions which contravene the regulation on academic integrity carry sanctions that can range from a warning or the loss of grades on an assignment to the failure of a course to a requirement to withdraw from the University.  In the case of online exams, impersonating another student, copying from another student, making information available to another student about the exam questions or possible answers, communicating with another person during an exam or about an exam during the exam window, or accessing unauthorized materials, including smart devices, are actions in contravention of academic integrity.

Communication and Privacy

7. All students must be informed at the start of the course that the instructor will be using a remote proctoring tool.  In addition, it is recommended that instructors also address the use of the chosen remote proctoring tool at the outset of the course, whether the proctoring will be live or recorded, and the importance of academic integrity with students.

8. The course syllabus must therefore contain the following statement for students:

The final exam and some tests/quizzes in this course will use remote proctoring provided by a third-party, cloud-based service that enables the completion of a proctored exam or test from an off-campus location, through onQ or Elentra.  This online proctoring solution was chosen as part of the approach to maintaining academic integrity in online assessment.  Precise details about how remote proctoring will be used in this course can be found in the “Getting Started with Remote Proctoring” content module in onQ or will be provided by the instructor.

When writing tests/exams using remote proctoring, you are connecting to the third-party service.  Queen’s has conducted a privacy and security review of the services in accordance with Ontario’s privacy legislation.

You should also take measures yourself to protect your information by keeping your NetID password and challenge questions private, closing all applications prior to starting an exam/test, and ensuring your device is updated and safeguarded against malware.

For more information about remote proctoring, see the Student FAQs on the OUR Exams resource page for remote proctoring:

http://www.queensu.ca/registrar/students/examinations/exams-office-services/remote-proctoring

Academic Accommodations

9. The University recognizes its responsibility to implement academic accommodations for students with disabilities as authorized in their Letter of Accommodation issued by Queen’s Student Accessibility Services (QSAS).  Students must provide their Letter of Accommodation to the instructor at the start of the term.  Instructors will ensure that accommodations related to the writing of tests and exams are communicated to the Exams Office by the specified deadline each term.  Exams Office staff will ensure that the accommodations are incorporated into the Examity/Proctortrack exam session.

The course syllabus must contain the following statement for students who require academic accommodations in their exams as authorized by QSAS:

To have your accommodations applied to a remote-proctored exam please follow the instructions for the course, as outlined on the QSAS website.  Your exam accommodations, as authorized by your Letter of Accommodation, will be incorporated into your Examity/ Proctortrack exam session.  Please note that exam accommodations that are uploaded for a specific exam are only visible to students once they begin their exam in the Exam Portal.

Academic Consideration

10. The University is committed to providing academic consideration to students experiencing extenuating circumstances that are beyond their control and are interfering with their ability to complete academic requirements related to a course for a short period of time.  Each Faculty or School has developed a protocol to provide a consistent and equitable approach in dealing with requests for academic consideration for students facing extenuating circumstances.

Unforeseen technological and workspace disruptions that occur while students are attempting to write a remote proctored exam are situations that should be administered under the Faculty protocols for academic consideration.  However, academic consideration is not provided for chronic technological difficulties or workspace disruptions, such as long-term hardware/ software failure, prolonged poor internet coverage, lack of planning or knowledge of program software/onQ, missing notifications/reminders, use of unsupported/out-of-date software, or other persistent technological challenges.

Guidelines for Online Live-Proctoring

Last Updated: October 29, 2020

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This document is intended as a guideline for students and instructors participating in online live-proctored exams and applies to exams in both fully online classes and to online exams in classes offered through remote teaching and learning.

Exams in online classes are normally taken remotely (away from the Queen’s campus) using a computer that meets the technical requirements listed in section 3 below.  Live proctors observe and communicate with students through a webcam while they complete their exams.  Live proctoring of students writing online exams provides the same monitoring of students that occurs with face-to-face exams; both forms of proctoring authenticate student identities and protect the integrity of the exams.

1. Academic Integrity

Departures from academic integrity are considered entirely unacceptable within the University community.  Depending on the severity of the offence, students who engage in behaviors that compromise the integrity of their exam, whether during the exam or after, will face a sanction ranging from a written warning to a failure in the course to a requirement to withdraw from the University.

The following are some examples of activities that are prohibited during an exam or exam window that constitute a departure from academic integrity:

  • impersonating another student;
  • copying from another student;
  • making information available to another student about the exam questions or possible answers;
  • communicating with another person during an exam or about an exam during an exam window; or
  • accessing unauthorized materials, including smart devices, and unauthorized services, including online tutoring services.

Each exam will have an authentication process to ensure that the academic integrity of the exam is maintained.

Include an Academic Integrity Statement

Instructors are encouraged to provide clear communication to students regarding departures from academic integrity and the related consequences.

The following statement should be included at the beginning of each exam:

Departures from academic integrity include plagiarism, use of unauthorized materials or services, facilitation, forgery and falsification, unauthorized use of intellectual property, and are antithetical to the development of an academic community at Queen’s. Given the seriousness of these matters, actions which contravene the regulation on academic integrity carry sanctions that can range from a warning or the loss of grades on an assignment to the failure of a course to a requirement to withdraw from the university. In the case of online exams, impersonating another student, copying from another student, making information available to another student about the exam questions or possible answers, communicating with another person during an exam or about an exam during the exam window, or accessing unauthorized materials, including smart devices are actions in contravention of academic integrity.

2. Exam Setup

The online Proctor will take students through the following steps:

  • Verification of identity by asking the student to display a valid Queen’s Student Photo ID or government-issued photo ID to the webcam so the Proctor can see both the student’s name and photo clearly
  • Review of the exam rules (course dependent)
  • Inspection of the desk, under the desk, and the immediate exam space through a 360-degree room pan and desk sweep to ensure the workspace is clear of any materials not authorized by the instructor
  • Review of any exam accommodations that have been implemented as authorized by the student’s Letter of Accommodation from Queen’s Student Accessibility Services (QSAS)
  • Students are expected to show their entire device by holding up a mirror or reflective surface in front of the webcam

3. Time Zones

The majority of students will write their exams at the time and day scheduled by the Exams Office or their instructor. However, students in time zones outside of Eastern Daylight/Standard Time will not be expected to write an exam at the scheduled time if it requires the student to begin an exam before 6 am or complete an exam after 10 pm in their local time zone. All students writing time-limited exams in time zones outside of North America must have the opportunity to write an exam at an alternate time. That may be accomplished by setting the exam at a single time that corresponds to 5 am – 8 am the next morning Eastern Daylight/Standard Time, as that may allow for technical support. For the vast majority of students this time will fall within 6 am to 10 pm in their local time zone.

Note that the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences (DBMS) and the Faculty of Law include the three-hour window (consecutive) but allow a 24-hour period for completion. These Guidelines do not override these types of established Faculty practices.

Accommodated students will write their exams at the normally scheduled time and be given additional time if required by their accommodation. If the exam conflicts with their local time zone at the time of writing, they must coordinate with their instructor to find a resolution.

Instructors must survey students and ask them to declare any time zone conflicts by a certain date prior to the normally scheduled exam.

Language within this document should specify if/when instructors may be available, recognizing that they may or may not be available, particularly for a 24-hour window.

4. ID Requirements

Students must have a Queen’s Student Photo ID Card or government-issued photo ID that must be shown to the webcam at the beginning of the exam session.

Students without either of these accepted ID formats will not be permitted to proceed with the exam. Questions regarding student identification and how to replace lost or stolen cards can be found here: http://www.queensu.ca/registrar/studentid

5. Room Setup and Technical Requirements

Students must be alone in the room for the duration of the exam. It is the student’s responsibility to notify others that they should not enter the room during the exam.

The desk and immediate exam writing area must be cleared of books, papers, and other items that might compromise the integrity of the exam writing.

Students must have the following requirements in place before the exam begins:

  • Webcam
  • Microphone
  • Speakers
  • Internet connection
  • The particular web browser required by the online exam (e.g. Firefox or Chrome)

Other technologies (e.g., phones, internet-connected watches, etc.) must be removed from the space or placed at a distance from the immediate exam-writing space.

Include a Statement Related to Electronic Monitoring

Class syllabi should include wording indicating to students that they will be monitored electronically when writing tests and exams in the class:

The final exam and some tests/quizzes in this course will use remote proctoring provided by a third-party, cloud-based service that enables the completion of a proctored exam or test from an off-campus location, through onQ or Elentra.  This online proctoring solution was chosen as part of the approach to maintaining academic integrity in online assessment.  Precise details about how remote proctoring will be used in this course can be found in the “Getting Started with Remote Proctoring” content module in onQ or will be provided by the instructor.

When writing tests/exams using remote proctoring, you are connecting to the third-party service.  Queen’s has conducted a privacy and security review of the services in accordance with Ontario’s privacy legislation.

You should also take measures yourself to protect your information by keeping your NetID password and challenge questions private, closing all applications prior to starting an exam/test, and ensuring your device is updated and safeguarded against malware.

For more information about remote proctoring, see the Student FAQs on the OUR Exams resource page for remote proctoring:

http://www.queensu.ca/registrar/students/examinations/exams-office-services/remote-proctoring

6. Student Questions

Questions about exam content cannot be answered by the proctor during the exam session and instructors are encouraged to provide guidance to students on how questions will be addressed. If the instructor wishes to take questions from students during the exam, the proctor may relay any exam related questions to instructors in the fashion communicated by the instructor. Otherwise, students are encouraged to document any questions or concerns in the exam space, where possible.

7. Students with Academic Accommodations

The University recognizes its responsibility to implement academic accommodations for students with disabilities as authorized in their Letter of Accommodation issued by Queen’s Student Accessibility Services (QSAS).  In some cases, the processes outlined in these guidelines will have to be adapted to ensure that academic accommodation needs are met for individual students.

Students with authorized exam accommodations must confirm these arrangements with the proctor at the start of the exam (e.g., confirm that extra time has been added).

8. Washroom Breaks

During exams greater than one-hour, brief washroom breaks will be permitted and noted by the proctor for instructor review. However, it is recommended that students take any required breaks prior to the start of the exam.

Normally students will be expected to remain in view of the webcam for the duration of the exam or until they have completed the exam. After returning from a washroom break, students must allow the proctor to perform a new room scan including a re-inspection of the desk, and the immediate exam space through a 360-degree room pan and desk sweep.

These guidelines may be superseded by an authorized Letter of Accommodation.

9. Submitting Exams

At the conclusion of the exam, proctors will ensure students have submitted all exam materials and have deleted any duplicates and/or cleared their device’s clipboard.

10. Emergency Issues

a. Students who experience sudden serious illness during the course of writing an exam, that prevents them from completing the exam, should notify the proctor prior to exiting the online exam session.

b. i. If an exam interruption due to unforeseen technical disruptions can be resolved reasonably quickly, the exam will continue. It is important when establishing the duration of online exams that instructors provide a ‘buffer zone’ into the time period allotted to account for technical disruptions, since the proctor is not normally empowered to extend the exam period.

   ii. If the technical disruption cannot easily be resolved, the exam will be discontinued. 

Instructors will be notified as soon as possible of all disruptions. However, the named exam support email/tech support person is normally the best person for a student to contact to facilitate adjustments because they have the capacity to deal with the interruption and its effect on the exam. The adjustments will only be made according to protocols approved by the instructor.

If an exam is discontinued due to a sudden serious illness or a prolonged technical disruption, the student will be notified by the Faculty/School or the instructor whether the exam attempt is considered valid.  If it is determined that the exam attempt is not valid, the student will be able to re-write the exam.

Privacy and Security Terms Negotiated by Queen's University with Examity

Last Updated: October 26

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Queen’s negotiated an agreement, dated 29 June 2020, with Examity for the use of its remote proctoring service. The terms negotiated are more stringent than, and modify, the Privacy Policy posted on the Examity website.

Privacy Policy (http://examity.com/product-privacy-policy/) updated 24 September 2020

The following outlines the privacy and security terms negotiated by Queen’s with Examity with respect to students’ use of Examity.

 

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Queen's Terms in Negotiated Agreement

Definition of “personal information”

“Personal information” includes any information relating to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified in particular by reference to an identifier (including an identification number, location data or online identifier such as an IP address or a cookie identifier).

Collection of personal information Examity shall not directly or indirectly collect any personal information for any purposes not authorized by Queen’s. Personal information submitted to or created by Examity under this Agreement is owned in its entirety by Queen’s.
Use of personal information Examity will use the personal information for the purpose of supplying the Services and for no other purpose.
Disclosure of personal information

Examity will not disclose personal information for any purpose not authorized by Queen’s.  Only those employees and agents of
Examity who require access to personal information to fulfill the services under the agreement shall have access to such information, and all such employees and agents shall have entered into a confidentiality agreement with Examity.

Storage location Data is stored in Canada in a Rogers data centre.
Retention and disposal Exam recordings are made available to Queen’s for 30 days and archived for an additional 30 days, except for red-flagged exams which will be archived for an additional year.  After these timeframes, recordings will be permanently and irretrievably destroyed in a secure manner.
Destruction of data At any time during the agreement, including upon termination or expiration, Queen’s can request that Examity permanently and irretrievably destroy all personal information (including, but not limited to, student profile/registration information) held by Examity in any format no later than 30 days following such request.
Governing law The governing law is Ontario and Canada. All parties agree to comply with all laws, including without limitation the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Ontario) and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (Canada).
Security standards

Examity shall, in accordance with industry best practices, implement, use and maintain the most appropriate administrative, physical and technological security measures and procedures to fulfill its obligations with respect to ensuring the security and integrity of the personal information. These measures and procedures will be extended by contract to all subcontractors used by Examity.

Security audits Examity will conduct annual independent third party audits of its security measures and information handling practices, and upon request, provide the results to Queen’s.
Breach notification

Examity must notify Queen’s of a breach within 24 hours.

Insurance Examity warrants it has computer security and privacy liability insurance.
Assignment

Examity cannot assign the agreement without the prior written consent of Queen’s.

 

 

Privacy and Security Terms Negotiated by Queen's University with Verificient for Proctortrack

Last Updated: October 26

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Queen’s negotiated an agreement, dated 28 August 2020, with Verificient for the use of its Proctortrack remote proctoring service.  Included in the agreement is a requirement that Verificient update its legal documentation by 15 September 2020, notifying students that the terms published on its website might differ from those negotiated with the student’s institution.  Accordingly, the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy include the following language:

Terms of Service (https://www.proctortrack.com/terms-of-service/) updated 15 September 2020

  • “Unless your Test Sponsor – Academic Institution or other Sponsor Organization, has negotiated separate Terms, (please check with them if you are unsure), the Terms contained in this document are the Terms which apply to your use of our services.”

Privacy Policy (https://www.proctortrack.com/privacy-policy/) updated 15 September 2020

  • “Unless your sponsor institution or organization has arranged separate terms and provided you those terms in writing, or you have been provided different terms in writing by us, the terms of this policy apply to you and your relationship with us.”

Furthermore, Queen’s agreement with Verificient includes the following clause: “Where there is a discrepancy between what is on the website, and what is on this document, this document will govern.”

The following outlines the privacy and security terms negotiated by Queen’s with Verificient with respect to students’ use of Proctortrack.

 

Item

Queen's Terms in Negotiated Agreement

Definition of “personal information”

Personal information is defined as “any information relating to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified in particular by reference to an identifier (including an identification number, location data or online identifier such as an IP address or a cookie identifier).” (Note:  Privacy Policy defines personal information as “any information, such as name or email address, that identifies or can be used to identify the person to whom such information pertains, or is associated with a person.”)
Collection of personal information Verificient shall not directly or indirectly collect any personal information for any purposes not authorized by Queen’s. Verificient has no ownership of the personal information.
Use of personal information Verificient will use the personal information for the purpose of supplying the Services and for no other purpose. 
Disclosure of personal information Verificient will not disclose personal information for any purpose not authorized by Queen’s.  Only those employees and agents of
Verificient who require access to personal information to fulfill the services under the agreement shall have access to such information, and all such employees and agents shall have entered into a confidentiality agreement with Verificient.
Storage location Data is stored in Canada in a Google Canada data centre.
Retention and disposal Exam data / identity verification sessions are retained for 60 days after which they will be automatically purged, and permanently and irretrievably destroyed in a secure manner.  Baseline profile data including biometric data will be retained for up to 365 days and purged after that duration.  (Note:  Terms of Service say exam data / identity verification sessions held for 180 days after which it will be automatically purged.)
Destruction of data Queen’s can request destruction of any Client data any time prior to the scheduled purge date and Verificient will permanently and irretrievably destroy all personal information (including, but not limited to, student profile/ registration information) held in any format no later than 30 days following such request.
Governing law The governing law is Ontario and Canada.  Verificient must abide by privacy laws including Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), and must assist Queen’s meet its obligations under Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).
Security standards Verificient, and its subcontractors, shall, in accordance with industry best practices, implement, use and maintain the most appropriate administrative, physical and technological security measures and procedures to fulfill its obligations with respect to ensuring the security and integrity of the personal information.
Security audits

Verificient will conduct annual independent third party audits of its security measures and information handling practices, and upon

request, provide the results to Queen’s. Verificient is required to prepare an annual Type II System and Organization Controls Report (SOC2).

Breach notification Verificient must notify Queen’s of a breach within 24 hours.
Use of de-identified data Verificient cannot use de-identified personal information for its own purposes unless it removes all direct and indirect personal identifiers including, but not limited to, name, ID numbers, demographic information, biometric information, and location information. Verificient cannot attempt to re-identify de-identified data or transfer de-identified data to any party unless that party agrees not to attempt re-identification. (Note: Verificient has not indicated any intention to use de-identified data but Queen’s included this clause as a precaution.)
Insurance Verificient warrants it has computer security and privacy liability insurance.
Assignment Verificient cannot assign the agreement without the prior written consent of Queen’s.

 

 

Remote Proctoring Syllabus Statements

Last Updated: September 2020

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Include this text in the course syllabus if a remote proctoring service will be used in this course:

Remote Proctoring

The final exam and some tests/quizzes in this course will use remote proctoring provided by a third-party, cloud-based service that enables the completion of a proctored exam or test from an off-campus location, through onQ or Elentra. This online proctoring solution was chosen as part of the approach to maintaining academic integrity in online assessment. Precise details about how remote proctoring will be used in this course can be found in the “Getting Started with Remote Proctoring” content module in onQ or will be provided by the instructor.

When writing tests/exams using remote proctoring, you are connecting to the third-party service. Queen’s has conducted a privacy and security review of the services in accordance with Ontario’s privacy legislation.

You should also take measures yourself to protect your information by keeping your NetID password and challenge questions private, closing all applications prior to starting an exam/test, and ensuring your device is updated and safeguarded against malware.

For more information about remote proctoring, see the Student FAQs on the OUR Exams resource page for remote proctoring: http://www.queensu.ca/registrar/students/examinations/exams-office-services/remote-proctoring

Include the following statement in the course syllabus if you plan to record your synchronous (live) classes or meetings and make the recordings available to students in your class afterwards:

Recording Synchronous (Live) Classes

Synchronous (live) classes will be delivered in this course through a video conferencing platform supported by the University [MS Teams, Zoom].  Steps have been taken by the University to configure these platforms in a secure manner.  Classes will be recorded with video and audio (and in some cases transcription) and will be made available to students in the course for the duration of the term.  The recordings may capture your name, image or voice through the video and audio recordings.  By attending these live classes, you are consenting to the collection of this information for the purposes of administering the class and associated coursework.  If you are concerned about the collection of your name and other personal information in the class, please contact the course instructor to identify possible alternatives.

To learn more about how your personal information is collected, used and disclosed by Queen’s University, please see the general Notice of Collection, Use and Disclosure of Personal Information.

Guideline on Retention of Video Recordings from Online Proctoring Tools

Last Updated: August 18, 2020

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Video recordings created by online proctoring tools may constitute important evidence in an academic integrity investigation.  Faculties/Schools should include instructions in their academic integrity procedures for the proper management of this video evidence, ensuring due regard for privacy and security.  Faculties/Schools may wish to tailor their instructions based on how a particular proctoring tool functions, but should address the activities described below.

Reviewing and Requesting Videos

1. Videos of student assessments are made available on an instructor dashboard.  If a student assessment is flagged in an online proctoring tool, instructors should review the report and videos on the instructor dashboard and determine whether a potential departure from academic integrity has occurred.  Videos should not be downloaded unless there is a real possibility of an investigation.

2. Where an instructor determines an investigation is warranted, it will be necessary to obtain a copy of the video for evidence.  (Note that there may be additional evidence provided by the remote proctoring vendor, such as an email flagging where a potential departure from academic integrity has taken place.  Treat such additional documentation in accordance with this guidance on videos.)  Include instructions for how an instructor can obtain the video.  This could involve making a request to the exam proctoring service, or it could involve making a request to a Faculty/School support unit who liaises with the exam proctoring service.  It is strongly recommended that the downloading be handled by a central Faculty unit.

Downloading and Storing Videos

3. If a copy of the video is required, download and store it in a secure manner by using a Queen’s managed file share.  Do not download it to a personal device, and do not store it on any computer’s local hard drive.  Download it to:

a) the instructor’s own One Drive for Business; or

b) the instructor’s own file share on Active Directory (e.g., the H drive); or

c) a departmental/Faculty/School Teams site to which only authorized individuals have access; or

d) a departmental/Faculty/School file share on Active Directory to which only authorized individuals have access.

It is strongly recommended that the storage of video evidence be handled by a central Faculty unit.

Sharing Videos

4. If it is necessary to share the video with others who do not have permission to the file share (e.g., the student), do not send it via email.  Rather, send a link to the video using One Drive for Business or other MS functionality. 

Retaining and Deleting Videos

5. If after investigating the matter it is concluded that the student has not departed from academic integrity, all documentation, including any video recordings, must be deleted/destroyed as soon as possible.  A simple delete is sufficient for disposal of a video recording.  Academic integrity officers may wish to develop a checklist with sign-off to assist instructors/support units in fulfilling this requirement.

6. Where there is a finding of departure from academic integrity, the video recording will be retained along with other evidence and documentation by the Faculty/School office having carriage of academic integrity matters.  If the video recording has been stored on an instructor’s or support unit’s file share, it should be moved to the Faculty/School file share and deleted from the others.

7. Procedures should articulate the authorized retention periods.  For example, in the Faculty of Arts and Science, academic integrity files are retained as follows:

a) For a Level I finding, until the student’s graduation.

b) For a Level II finding, for 10 years after the student’s graduation

c) For all findings, the video will be retained until the student’s avenues of appeal have been exhausted.

Remote Proctoring Instructional Videos

Last Updated: November 26, 2020

 

Proctoring Tools at Queen's University

 

Preparing to use Proctoring Tools at Queen's University

Open-Book Exam Guidelines for Instructors

Last Updated: January 2021

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These guidelines are intended to assist instructors who want to offer open-book exams in their classes.

1. Create an exam with questions that require integration and synthesis

Effective open-book exams require synthesis, analysis, and application, rather than memorization.  This means that open-book exams generally require higher-order thinking requiring students to make connections or extensions upon course concepts and ideas.  For example, create questions that require students to integrate course concepts together or questions that require extrapolating, explaining, or evaluating concepts.

2. Clarify expectations with students

Be specific on the length of time being granted to students as they write the exam.  Do you need to complete the exam in one chunk?  Or can you take a break and come back to it later?

What information will you provide to students ahead of time with regard to the types of questions, content areas of focus, or format of the exam?  For example, you might clarify for students if the exam is multiple choice, short answer, essay or a combination.

What types of support, if any, will be available to students as they write the exam?  Can they ask for clarification once they start writing?  Who should they contact and how?

Finally, be specific on material that is allowed and not allowed.  The following questions can be used to guide the development of a list that clarifies for students what they are encouraged to access or are prevented from accessing during the open book exam:

  • What specific materials or resources are students allowed to use during their exam?  Or in other words, what resources are they restricted to?  Possible specifics include resources used during the course and available in onQ: textbook, PowerPoints, e-reserve material, etc.
  • Are students allowed to use search engines such as Google or other online resources?  Are there specific websites that are to be explicitly excluded from student use?
  • Are students expected to work independently or are students permitted to work collaboratively?  For example, is it acceptable for them to use social media, texting, online chatting, email, etc.?

3. Develop a cover page

Drawing on your clarified expectations, develop a cover page for the open-book exam, referred to as an exam wrapper, that clearly outlines the expectations of performance.  The following template can be adapted as appropriate to the class.

Exam Wrapper Template

This exam is ‘open book’.  This means [provide a definition or description of your open book exam].

You are permitted to exclusively use the following materials and resources: [list materials and resources clarified in section 2, e.g. onQ course page: textbook, PowerPoints, e-reserve material, etc.]  All other online resources are not allowed.

[OR]

You are permitted to use the following materials: [list appropriate materials].  However, the following resources are not permitted for use: [list restrictions].

In addition, the final exam must be completed independently, and you are not permitted to work in groups or to get assistance from any other person.  You are not permitted to use social media, texting, online chatting, or email to share questions/answers or to collaborate with anyone during the exam on any platform.

[OR]

In addition, it is permissible for this exam to be completed collaboratively.  You are permitted to use [social media, texting, online chatting, email] to discuss answers or collaborate with others while engaging in the exam.

Any possible departures from these rules and from all principles of academic integrity will be investigated.  Please refer to the following website for information related to Academic Integrity: [insert link to Faculty-appropriate Academic Integrity page]

[Consider including other statements in your wrapper that remind students:

  • How much time they have to write the exam
  • If they can contact the instructor, TA’s or others for support, providing relevant contact information
  • If they must complete the exam in one sitting or if it can be paused and revisited.]

Teaching Guidelines

The guidelines listed below are intended to help instructors during COVID-19 and beyond.

Guiding Principles for Effective Synchronous Teaching

Last Updated: May 2020

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Synchronous and asynchronous methods of teaching serve significantly different purposes.

Asynchronous learning means that the instructor and the students in the course all engage with the course content at different times and from different locations. The instructor provides students with a variety of course materials that the students move through on a flexible timeline, as guided by the instructor. Learning units might make use of a variety of media (video, audio, text, images, etc.), assigned readings, online quizzes, discussion boards, and more. The instructor sets guidelines, provides students with feedback, and assesses them as needed.

Synchronous learning means that the instructor and the students come together at the same time - either face-to-face or digitally. If participants are remote, synchronous events are typically mediated by digital tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams - tools that allow for livestreaming of audio, video, and presentations, such as live classes or meetings, live conversations, simultaneous document editing, and more.

In remote and online environments, students will be accessing the course from different locations, time zones, and with different life situations beyond the course itself (e.g., work and family obligations). A synchronous approach to remote instruction presents many obstacles and challenges. Therefore, asynchronous approaches are recommended wherever possible. More on synchronous and asynchronous approaches is provided in the CTL Transforming Teaching Toolkit.

The following considerations are designed to help the instructor determine if synchronous instruction is merited and to provide exemplary practices in its implementation:

Restrict Synchronous Events to the Essential

Synchronous events should be limited to the occasions where it is necessitated over asynchronous alternatives. Synchronous classes will be best suited for certain forms of engagement such as discussion and debate, hosting office hours, facilitating active learning with immediate feedback, bringing in consultants and guest speakers, building a community, or enhancing interaction between students (Martin & Parker, 2014). Synchronous events are not ideal for content delivery, deep critical thinking, and group work.

Build in Contingencies to Overcome Barriers to Learning

The most significant limitation of a synchronous approach is the heightened number of barriers faced to accessible and equitable access. Many barriers are likely including:

  • time zone differences (instructors should ensure that students in different time zones are not required to be present for synchronous events at unreasonable times);
  • competing demands [i.e. childcare, arranging a quiet remote space (see Wyman, 2020)];
  • failure of technology;
  • required accommodation for sensory and learning disabilities;
  • language barriers (i.e. ESL students facing greater comprehension challenges); and
  • differences in the way students process information and feel comfortable participating online.

Instructors opting for a synchronous approach will need to address these barriers by planning for appropriate contingencies. One common approach is to record the live session so it can be posted and accessed again/later with added accessibility measures in place (such as closed captioning), although this takes time and effort for instructors to coordinate.

Alternatively, asynchronous approaches offer greater flexibility, differentiated forms of media, and easier accommodation for differences in learning that address the barriers often caused by synchronous approaches.

Consider Length of Events and Student Engagement

Careful consideration needs to be given to the overall length of a synchronous event and just how engaging that event is for participants. There are no clear guidelines for how long a synchronous event ought to be or how long is too long. However, an hour of listening to a speaker is never going to be ideal. In addition, frequent virtual meetings are resulting in significant fatigue - as many of us have now experienced (see Zoom Fatigue - e.g. Schroeder, 2020; Skylar, 2020).

Synchronous events, of any length, are particularly prone to loss of attention – extra attention to active learning strategies will be required. There is evidence that students’ attention span in any lecture context is only 10-15 minutes long (Bradbury, 2016) and that mind wandering increases when watching pre-recorded lectures (see Wammes et al., 2019). Active learning strategies can reinvigorate attention by changing the form of engagement every 10 minutes or so as attention is waning (Jing et al, 2016). Examples of this include intermittent testing of understanding, or pausing and ask all students to take 2 minutes to write down their ideas. Instructors will need to plan for and facilitate these regular active learning components in essential synchronous lessons.

Asynchronous approaches offer diversified options for engaging students in a variety of activities. Videos of 5-7 minutes in length can intersperse other forms of engagement such readings, discussions, quizzes, opportunities for feedback, and other online activities (Darby, 2019).  

Select Consistent Technologies that are Secure, Reliable, and User-Friendly for the Class Size

Instructors will need to select a limited number of appropriate technologies and stick with them to facilitate synchronous learning. Using multiple types of technology introduces confusion and prevents users from gaining a degree of familiarity and comfort with the tool. Technologies must be secure (as highlighted with recent Zoombombing concerns), reliable, and user-friendly for both instructors and students alike. Technologies that are institutionally supported (e.g. Microsoft Teams) should be prioritized over other third-party tools as institutional tools have been properly vetted (e.g. for privacy and security concerns) and are available to the Queen’s community free of charge.

Synchronous technologies pose limitations to class size and capacity. Many class sizes exceed the maximum capacity of synchronous technologies. For example, Zoom supports a capacity of 100-500 participants depending on the license, while Teams supports 250 participants at a time. Instructors should choose the technology that best accommodates the size of the class for essential synchronous sessions.

Follow Best Practices of the Technology Itself

Instructors will need to plan for and develop skills related to effective management of the remote synchronous classroom. In light of all these best practices, there remain additional considerations for hosting a synchronous event. Important considerations include:

  • orienting students to the tool with clear instructions;
  • requesting that participants mute their microphones;
  • effectively managing an online discussion; and
  • enabling fair and balanced participation (see Zoom, n.d.).

References

Acosta-Tello, E. (2015). Enhacing the online class: Effective use of synchronous interactive online instruction. Journal of Instructional Pedagogies, 17. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1102879.pdf

Bradbury, N. A. (2016). Attention span during lectures: 8 seconds, 10 minutes, or more? Advances in Psychology Education, 40(4), https://doi.org/10.1152/advan.00109.2016

Darby, F. (2019). Small teaching online: Applying learning science in online classes. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco.

Jing, H. G., Szpunar, K. K., & Schacter, D. L. (2016). Interpolated testing influences focused attention and improves integration of information during a video-recorded lecture. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 22(3), 305–318. https://doi-org.proxy.queensu.ca/10.1037/xap0000087

Martin, F. & Parker, M. A. (2014). Use of synchronous classrooms: Why, who, and how? MERLOT Journal of Online Learning & Teaching, 10(2), https://jolt.merlot.org/vol10no2/martin_0614.pdf

Schroeder, R. (2020, May 6). Are you a victim of zoom fatigue? Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/blogs/online-trending-no...

Skylar, J. (2020, April 24). ‘Zoom fatigue’ is taxing the brain. Here’s why that happens. National Geographic, Retrieved from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/04/coronavirus-zoom-fati...

Wammes, J.D., Ralph, B.C.W., Mills, C., Bosch, N., Duncan, T.L., Smilek, D., 2019. Disengagement during lectures: Media multitasking and mind wandering in university classrooms. Computers & Education 132, 76–89. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2018.12.007

Wyman, C. (2020, May). Difficult home lives and the other side of educational access. Inside Higher Ed. https://insidehighered.com/advice/2020/05/14/teaching-students-difficult...

Zoom, (n.d). Meeting and Webinar Best Practices and Resources. Retrieved from https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/209743263-Meeting-and-Webinar-...

Guidelines for Academic Accommodations and Accessibility

Last Updated: June 2020

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All students at Queen’s University have a right to equal access and equal opportunity to participate in the academic experience. This statement is particularly applicable for students with disabilities. It also applies universally, in recognizing the broad diversity of learner needs for successful access, participation, and equal opportunity.

Accommodation planning for remote teaching has the same goal as any other teaching context: ensuring equitable access for all. Students with disabilities, in particular, will continue to need academic accommodation in classes offered by remote instruction and/or online. However, the barriers students face are likely to be different or confounded (e.g., increased anxiety about change, ability to cope, uncertainty about accommodation when not in the usual learning environment etc.). The solutions we employ must be equally responsive and adaptable to this new environment. The following guidelines offer strategies for built-in and automatic accessibility, meeting a diversity of student needs. Further, they elaborate where particular strategies might address a targeted need for accommodation, given identified barriers specific to student disabilities.  

Remote instruction is new for most instructors, and the guidelines also offer advice on how to design a course incorporating support for documented student accommodations. Keep in mind that while accommodations may require that the student complete an assessment in a different form or manner, the essential academic requirements of the course must be met, whether these requirements are expressed as learning outcomes, competencies, or other specifications on the course syllabus. In addition, principles of academic integrity continue to apply to assignments adapted to a student’s accommodation.  

Select technologies with accessibility in mind

Technologies can both reduce barriers and contribute to them. When considering technologies for teaching, technologies must be reviewed for compliance with accessibility standards and compatibility with adaptive technologies. This is particularly important when considering third-party tools that are not institutionally supported. Once a technology is confirmed to broadly meet accessibility standards, an instructor should:

  • Limit the number of technological platforms/tools used for a course, judiciously restricting use to a select few tools that meet course needs
  • Activate functions afforded by the tool that serve to increase accessibility (i.e. closed captioning, multiple forms of communication)
  • Opt for asynchronous forms of engagement whenever possible (see Guiding Principles for Effective Synchronous Teaching)
  • List selected course technologies in the syllabus and provide students with information on how they can receive support (i.e. access to support documentation, tutorials, and IT contacts)
  • Ensure that any videos used for instruction are closed captioned; otherwise, provide a transcript of the video section required for instruction

Work with your students to understand their needs

It can be helpful to check in with students and work with them as partners in addressing their experiences in the course. Ask students to complete an introductory survey so that you can get to know a bit more about them. For example, if you have some flexibility with scheduling course activities, you’ll benefit from learning what time zone your students are in and when the majority plan to be active in the course. Talk to your students about accessibility, their needs, and explore together how to implement their accommodation. Clarify your role, their role, and the role of other units and supports across campus.

Offer guidance to students and communicate expectations

Prepare students as early as possible for remote instruction. Advanced knowledge of what to expect is the key to success by allowing students time to plan and put their supports in place, thus decreasing anxiety. Strategies include:

  • Add a statement in the syllabus providing detail on the required/recommended resources and technologies students will need for successful engagement in the course
  • Add a statement in the syllabus providing detail on the types of assessment that will be used in the course
  • Offer information, supports, and strategies that students can implement to be successful in a class offered by remote instruction (see Student Learning during COVID Pandemic: Preparing for Remote Learning)

Students with disabilities are expected to work with their QSAS advisor to identify potential barriers to their learning and jointly determine the arrangements or accommodations needed to meet their access needs. Students are also expected to communicate with their instructor and their QSAS advisor if their access needs are not met, even with these accommodations or arrangements.

Design and plan courses for accessibility

Incorporate considerations of accessibility into your process of (re)designing your course and planning for course delivery. Many of the above considerations can be readily addressed through a planning process that incorporates elements of accessible pedagogy and universal design for learning. This guideline connects to the next section of seeking support. Through the supports listed below, guidance is available to instructors through a variety of means.

Seek support

Success with academic accommodations and accessibility is a team effort. Instructors, students, and campus support units each play an integral role. The responsibility is never yours alone – supports are available. Suggested strategies include:

  • Connect with Queen’s Student Accessibility Services (QSAS) for detailed supports and additional guidelines, such as the QSAS guidelines for arranging exam accommodations in remote and online instruction classes
  • If you have questions about how to implement a student’s accommodation, contact the QSAS advisor named on the Letter of Accommodation for support
  • Take a class/workshop and/or access resources provided by your Faculty/School and the CTL to support action on the above mentioned guidelines.

Campus Units Supporting Academic Accommodation and Accessibility

Queen’s Student Accessibility Services (QSAS)

For students with disabilities, Queen’s Student Accessibility Services (QSAS) Advisors work with students to determine what barriers they are experiencing specific to their disability and what accommodations would equalize the learning environment for them. Students with accommodations must meet all the academic requirements and standards of their courses, however, it’s important to recognize that academic accommodations are put in place to equalize learning opportunities and access to the academic environment for students with disabilities.

Adaptive Technology Centre

The adaptive technology centre provides a range of services, specialized software, computers, and assistive devices for students with disabilities.

Accessibility Hub

The Accessibility Hub is a central online resource for accessibility at Queen’s. It serves as an online community for those seeking information on disability and accessibility issues on campus.

Equity and Human Rights Offices

The Equity Office works with other members of the Queen's community to ensure equity and accessibility is achieved throughout the University. The Human Rights Office is mandated to ensure the community’s needs in the area of human rights are being addressed adequately.

Library Services for Students with Disabilities

Queen’s University Library is committed to providing equal access to its services and collections. Library Services for Students with Disabilities (LSSD) assists students with disabilities with research skill development, library material retrieval, photocopy support and extended loan arrangements, as needed. 

Incorporating Faith Dates While Planning Academic Year Activities 

Last Updated August 31, 2021

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As Queen’s embarks upon the 2021-22 academic year, there are many faith-based dates to consider while planning academic activities such as assignments, meetings, and testing.

When students return to classes the first week of September, members of the Jewish community will be observing Rosh Hashana (September 6, 7, and 8), followed by Yom Kippur (September 15 and 16).

Also observed during the first week of September is the Buddhist Holy Day of September 7, celebrating the birthday of H.H. Sakya Trizin.

In consideration of the large number of faith dates throughout the fall and winter terms, consulting the Multifaith Calendar, will ensure those who observe any of the listed dates will receive the appropriate accommodation.

To assist with planning academic activities and provide a welcoming environment for everyone, please refer to the Multifaith Calendar hosted by Faith and Spiritual Life Queen’s.