Making testing less trying: Lessons learned from operating a computer-based testing facility

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This Innovative Practice Full Paper describes lessons learned from and operational details of a full-scale Computer-Based Testing Facility (CBTF) over a period of almost 4 years. The CBTF has grown into a key resource for enabling the graceful scaling of many of the largest classes in our College of Engineering. In Fall 2017, the CBTF served 21 courses from seven different departments and over 6,000 unique students. Over 52,000 exams were delivered, including 3,500 final exams.This paper discusses five main aspects of our CBTF. First, we present the basic operation of the CBTF. Second, we discuss the precautions we take to maintain a secure exam environment. Third, we discuss how we support students that require testing accommodations like extra time and/or a distraction-reduced environment. Fourth, we discuss how we organize our policies to handle exceptional circumstances with minimal intervention by faculty. Finally, we discuss the cost of operating the CBTF and how it compares to traditional exams and online services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFrontiers in Education
Subtitle of host publicationFostering Innovation Through Diversity, FIE 2018 - Conference Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781538611739
StatePublished - Jul 2 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event48th Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2018 - San Jose, United States
Duration: Oct 3 2018Oct 6 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Conference48th Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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