“Oh, Not Our Students!” : Developing Cost Effective Measures for Secure Online Testing in Distance APRN Programs

Friday, April 24, 2015
Key Ballroom 11-12 (Hilton Baltimore)
Grace Sun, MSN, RN, FNP-BC1, Steven Wayne Branham, PhD, RN, ACNP, FNP, FAANP2, Kellie Bruce, PhD, RN, FNP-BC3, Tara C. Hilliard, MSN, RN, ACNP, BC3 and Emily Sue Merrill, PhD, RN, FNP, BC, CNE, FAANP4, (1)SON, Graduate Studies, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX, (2)School of Nursing, Texas Tech University School of Nursing, Lubbock, TX, (3)APRN Programs, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing, Lubbock, TX, (4)APRN Programs, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, School of Nursing, Lubbock, TX
The development of the distance education format to provide APRN education has experienced tremendous growth in the last decade.  Technological advances have greatly improved this mission, but often, infrastructures which have evolved did not build safeguards against potential breeches of academic integrity.  The topic of online test security is an area which has been questioned even by regulatory and credentialing bodies.  A plethora of measures have been developed to assist in this mission including:  use of testing centers, proprietary monitoring during testing, and biometric methods to improve test taking validity.  Each of these methods has distinct advantages and disadvantages, but the commonality is that each increases cost and adds other challenges to universities and students.    However, in addition to these methods, there are simple low cost alternatives which can be employed to reduce the likelihood of online testing security breaches. Despite a wide range of testing validity options, the most common infractions can be overcome by implementing a low cost alternative before escalating to more costly options.  In this session, we will address the most common types of testing security breaches identified, common safeguards that are currently utilized, outline the experiences we have had, as well as propose a potential low cost solution that was recently implemented at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing.