Distance learning students enrolled in online Anatomy and Physiology courses at Amarillo College have been subjected to a new testing method; a webcam test monitoring program called Respondus Monitor. AC science students enrolled in online A&P courses are required to test via the Respondus Monitor program, which records audio and video during the duration of tests. The testing method was piloted by Dr. Amanda Pendleton, an assistant professor of biological sciences, at AC in spring 2015. It has since been applied to only online A&P summer and fall 2015 courses. The idea for the new testing method was established to secure a fair testing balance for online students and their instructor counterparts. Test administrators can feel confident that there are no unauthorized materials out and make sure that there is exam integrity during at-home testing, Pendleton said. “We want students coming out of an online course to feel really confident that they got the same (education) as any other student did,” she said. AC students unfamiliar with Respondus Monitor should know that it is a companion product for Respondus LockDown Browser. LockDown Browser is a browser similar to Chrome or Firefox that allows students to access course exams through Blackboard but limits the user’s ability to print, copy or use outside URL sources while testing. Respondus Monitor adds audio and video recording to the exam session. Once a student has logged into Respondus Monitor, he or she is expected to agree to the terms of the testing method. The terms include: taking a photo of themselves with a valid form of identification such as an AC identification card or driver’s license, a brief video scan of their testing environment and agreeing not to speak with anyone during the duration of the test. Students are required to set the external webcam aside where it can accurately record video of the computer screen, the students’ face and the students’ lap area, ensuring that no notes are being used and that the student testing is authorized to take the exam.Students with privacy concerns regarding the online method have other options available.“We’ve set it up so that they can instead go down to the Science Testing Center and take their exams,” Pendleton said. Respondus Monitor provides students who opt for the online testing method with strict and transparent answers to their concerns. The student will “clearly know” how long the video will be stored and who has access to the video, Pendleton said. Students expressed mixed opinions regarding the testing method. Sammy Hernandez, a pre-nursing major, said he likes the new method. “I think it’s a good idea. A lot of people who take online exams are tempted to cheat,” Hernandez said. “Testing this way puts the pressure all on you.” Other students think it might cause extra stress for the students.“I think it distracts you from paying attention more because you’re worrying about what if I do something wrong on accident,” said architecture and interior design major Eduardo Acero.“They’ll think I cheated. I feel like it’s just going to create more problems in the end for more students.” Students taking online A&P courses received a full disclosure in their course syllabus regarding the grievance process and concerns for appealing any exam penalties. Currently, no other academic departments have plans to implement the webcam test method. However, course comparison and evaluations for the method may factor into that decision in the future. The testing method is meant to strike a balance for an online environment. The idea behind the testing method is to ensure that the students “feel proud of the course and their grade,” Pendleton said.