LMS Governance Committee Recommends Avoiding Online Proctoring Solutions

The LMS Team have had several requests to launch online proctoring tools.  We researched the issue and presented the options to the LMS Governance Committee.  The committee, after consideration of the market leader, Respondus, put forward the following recommendations related to proctoring tools.

 After discussing the advantages and disadvantages of these products and remote proctoring at large, the LMS Governance Committee voted unanimously to not adopt the Respondus Lock-down Browser and Respondus Monitor with the following justification: 

Respondus Lock-Down Browser is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment within a learning management system.  It is used for securing online exams in classrooms and proctored environments.  

Analysis and Conclusions

  • Not an appropriate solution for online exams given at a distance as it only locks down the browser on one device. 
  • Does not prevent using multiple devices to look up information and collaborate with others using another device. 
  • Does not encourage authentic assessment. 

Respondus Monitor uses a student’s webcam to video them taking the exam.  

Analysis and Conclusions

  • More resource-intensive to implement – The LMS team will not be able to have this in place immediately. 
  • Will create duplicative work – will need to pay for the continued license and will have to go through the implementation again with the new LMS. 
  • Student privacy concerns – Students did not ask to go online or agree to video themselves. There are ethical concerns about student privacy.
  • Bandwidth resources concerns – We are already hearing of students having bandwidth issues and issues of exams being submitted as incomplete when students are using their phones to take exams in Blackboard; this will increase when they are also recording themselves. 
  • No budget to extend usageRespondus is offering their tools for free only through July of 2020. 
  • Ignores Academic Integrity Task Force recommendation. 
  • Does not encourage authentic assessment.

The LMS Governance Committee also voted unanimously on March 27, 2020 to deliver the following message concerning any type of video remote proctoring: 

 The LMS Governance Committee strongly advises all faculty to NOT require that any students record themselves taking any assessment.  This includes not using Zoom, Panopto, Youtube or Blackboard Collaborate for recording. The Coulter Faculty Commons is assembling resources on how to create alternative assessments that can be used in various disciplines. 

LMS Governance Committee 

Jonathan Wade – Senior Educational Technologist, Chair
Amy Davis – LMS Analyst
Annette Littrell – Associate Chief Information Officer / Academic Engagement & IT Governance
Eli Collins-Brown – Director, Coulter Faculty Commons
Jon Marvel – School Director EMPM/Professor
Kenneth Chapman – Tech Support Specialist
Lee Nickels – Director Assessment & Instruction Technology, CEAP
Scott Barlowe – Associate Professor
Siham Lekchiri – Assistant Professor 

Getting Started with Microsoft Teams for Education

Getting Started with Microsoft Teams for Education

A series of free, live, online training classes designed to get you up and running quickly

Microsoft is excited to host a series of free, live, online training classes designed to get you up and running with Teams. If you’re a faculty, admin, IT Pro, or student, you’ll find a class that’s right for you. Join us to see Teams in action, get your questions answered, and interact with our live instructors. For more training opportunities, including on-demand versions of live training, check out our on-demand end-user training.

Click a session below to sign up:

Say hello to Microsoft Teams: What is Microsoft Teams? Join us for this 30-minute orientation to discover what Teams is and how it can work for you.
Run effective meetings with Teams: Learn how you can leverage Teams for your pre, during, and post meetings experience.


Using Microsoft Teams

Did you know that you have one of the most advanced collaboration suites available to use with your students?

The WCU license of Microsoft Teams allows you to create a collaborative classroom light space that your students can access through their Smartphones or their computers.

Every part of Teams other than synchronous video chat does not rely upon a persistent and strong connection and so can be a part of a low-bandwidth continuity of instruction plan.

If you want an overview of how Teams works there is a great on-demand video available from Microsoft here.

Microsoft also offers faculty training on the Microsoft Educator Center including Transform Learning with Microsoft Teams


Call for Presentations is open for the Summer Institute for Teaching & Learning (SITL)

People meeting and brainstorming

The Coulter Faculty Commons invites all faculty and instructional staff to submit a proposal to present at the Summer Institute of Teaching & Learning, to be held in Hunter Library May 19 – 21, 2020.




Call for Proposals is open February 3 and closes February 28, 2020

The theme of this year’s event is Student Engagement with three sub-themes (tracks); Inclusive Pedagogy, Engaging the Online Learner, and Active Engagement in the Classroom.

  • Inclusive Pedagogy will include a nationally known keynote speaker and workshop facilitator, as well as possible opportunities for 75 minute sessions or 2.5 hour sessions.
  • Engaging the Online Learner will be a 1.5 day workshop (May 20 – 21) led by Dr. Eli Collins-Brown, director of the CFC. We have opportunities for a panel of experienced online faculty (including adjuncts) to share best practices the afternoon of May 20.
  • Active Engagement in the Classroom is open to all faculty and instructional staff to submit proposals for 75 minute and 2.5 hour workshops.

We have room for 2 – 3 spaces for each session time frame. There are three formats:

  • 2.5 hour workshop
  • 75 minute presentation/workshop
  • A panel of Expert Online Instructors (part of the Engaging the Online Learner track)

This is a great opportunity to share the excellent work you have been doing in the ‘classroom’. Questions? Contact Dr. Eli Collins-Brown.

Submit Proposal

Call of Proposals is open February 3 and closes February 28, 2020

Quick Course Diagnostic Review – October 2019

October was a busy month for educational development at the CFC for Excellence in Teaching and Learning as we provided one of our primary teaching and learning services: a Quick Course Diagnostic for 16 different courses across the university with class sizes ranging from under 18 to over 200 and faculty in every stage of their career. It can be hard to know how to meet your students where they are at. Sometimes the only indication there is a problem can be an apparent lack of engagement in the classroom or poor performance on assignments. Is this the student? Is it the course? Is it the teacher? It can be hard to tell, which is why the Coulter Faculty Commons offers a Quick Course Diagnostic in the middle of every semester. The QCD helps to peel back the layers of course design, student motivation, etc… to find out where a change can happen to make the course meet the needs of the students. 

Whenever faculty request a QCD, a team from the CFC comes to visit the classroom to collect data from the students. In an anonymous survey, students rank their course experience from best to worst and describe why they made their selection. As might be expected, most courses end up somewhere in the middle of the scale with an average score just slightly above a 3.5 on a scale of 1-5. One of the reasons these courses tend to score above average is that the faculty who ask for the QCD are the kind of teachers who are responsive to the needs of their students, who want to learn, and who are willing to adapt in order to create a high-quality learning environment.  

Student insights range from observations about testing, reading load, clarity of assignments, accessibility of the professor, and even systematic issues that go beyond the individual classroom. It is no surprise that students usually know more than they let on and are very happy for the chance to contribute to the value of their learning experience. Often their reports align with hunches the professor already had, but now there is real data to work with and the CFC can partner with the faculty to develop creative solutions to learning challenges that are now clearly defined.  

In addition to describing their experience with the course, its content, the activities, readings, tests, technology, etc., students indicate what they are doing to contribute to their own success and imagine what they could do to support their own learning more effectively. Studies have shown that taking just a few minutes to reflect on their participation in the learning process helps students to recognize that education is a partnership between faculty and students, and many times this question by itself can help to increase engagement with learning (Hurney, Harris, Prins, & Kruck, 2014). 

After the data collection process is complete, another team at the CFC transfers the information into a digital format, runs some statistical tests, and performs a basic qualitative analysis of student responses. We take hundreds of pieces of data collected from your classroom and transform it into useful charts, insights, and suggestions for how you can take another step toward excellence in teaching and learning All of this folds into a report for the faculty that includes a selection of the data alongside key recommendations from the educational development team at the CFC. When the report is ready, the faculty and the education specialist from the CFC meet to review the results and explore potential strategies for moving forward. 

In March we will be offering 12-16 faculty the chance to participate in a quick course diagnostic. These weeks represent the midpoint of the semester, which gives you a chance to revisit your course design and facilitation strategy and make some changes mid-semester. If you think you will be interested in this service, reserve your space today by submitting a few details about your spring course using the link below. 



Hurney, C. A., Harris, N. L., Prins, S. C. B., & Kruck, S. E. (2014). The Impact of a Learner-Centered, Mid-Semester Course Evaluation on Students. The Journal of Faculty Development; Stillwater, 28(3), 55–61. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1696856596/abstract/58BDCD459BA472EPQ/1 



SiTL 2019 recap

On December 2, about a dozen faculty from across the university joined the Coulter Faculty Commons team for a SiTL appreciation lunch. In case you haven’t seen the acronym before, SiTL stands for the Summer Institute for Teaching and Learning, which is hosted every year the first or second week after finals end in May. Faculty attend this gathering to learn about new teaching methods, tackle changing technology, and get help with course design/redesign for the upcoming year.

It’s a good time to bring all your ideas questions from the semester into a lively community of growing scholars, teachers, and experts in learning, technology, and research. 

The SiTL experience includes a variety of sessions along with opportunities for networking or solo working on ideas you want to implement in your own teaching. Depending on your needs and interests, you can choose from a variety of short sessions, or join a more in-depth training that extends over several days of the event. Faculty feedback indicates a value for the option and variety, but also notes the benefit of a more focused track, which allows space in between sessions to reflect and apply what you’ve been learning.  

Last year the summer institute included a focused track on Team Based Learning (TBL), which was hosted by a cross-disciplinary team of faculty from physical therapy, nursing, nutrition, parks and rec, and social work. At the end of three days, faculty were excited and equipped to bring this model to their fall courses. 

More important than what happens at SiTL, though, is what happens afterward. The stories faculty told at the lunch meeting about student engagement and performance are the reason the CFC hosts this event for faculty every year. Some of the faculty who implemented Team Based Learning after this event are seeing the highest levels of student engagement in twenty years!  

Next month, we will share more details on Team Based Learning and how it has transformed the teaching experience for at least two faculty members at WCU. Meanwhile, if you’re curious about what’s in store for SiTL 2020, visit our event page from 2019 to get an idea of what will be on offer and then be sure you are subscribed to our newsletter for the latest updates and details. More information will be coming soon.