CBTF Proctor Instructions

If you have already been officially hired as a paid proctor, please complete the onboarding orientation on this page. Onboarding is billable time so please track your hours in CalTime. The PrairieTest software (us.prairietest.com, where you should be able to login via CalNet) handles scheduling of proctors and students. Students show up at a predetermined appointment time; they themselves create and edit appointments. Proctors are on duty during different appointment times. As a proctor, you need to know how to navigate the UIs of this software prior to a testing session; how to behave during a proctoring session; what to do if you observe inappropriate student behavior during a session; and cases in which you as a proctor can intervene to extend a student’s exam time in exceptional situations. General note. Proctoring is an extremely important responsibility. Timeliness, reliability, and trustworthiness are paramount. With the exception of unforeseeable emergency circumstances, it is not acceptable to be late/no-show for a proctor shift or otherwise be less than 100% responsible and reliable, and is cause for immediate and permanent termination of a proctor position.

Onboarding/Preparation: before your first proctor shift

  1. You should have received an email from ERSO (Engineering Research Support) confirming your employment and asking you to complete a brief onboarding. Please see to that ASAP, as you cannot begin reporting hours until this step is complete. Once complete, please track any time you spend on the remaining steps below as billable time using CalTime.
  2. You access the service used to administer CBTF exams, called PrairieTest, with your CalNet login at us.prairietest.com. This service manages exam room scheduling, proctor scheduling, and student reservations. If the CBTF manager has invited you to have the proctor role, you will find that invitation for you to accept when you log into PrairieTest.
  3. You should have received an invitation to the Slack channel #cbtf-proctors on the ACELab Slack workspace. Please contact Armando if you haven’t received this invite.
  4. Watch the PrairieTest orientation video for a comprehensive tour of navigating the interfaces you’ll use to manage Course Sessions. Recommended! (Skip the part on ID cards. At the present time, the Course Sessions are configured to not require Proctors to check students in at all, not even the Proctor manual check-in method.)
  5. Watch this video starting from 2:34, some material is UIUC-specific but generally good hints. NOTE: This is primarily about how proctors and students interact with each other in the exam context. This video does not illustrate the operations that Proctors are required to perform within PrairieTest to manage a Session.
  6. Participate in a 30-minute orientation with Greg Merritt, the current CBTF program manager, to understand the logistical/IT aspects of your proctor duties (how to check students in to the exam room, “open” the exam for students, etc.) If this is impossible from a timing perspective, watch this recorded Zoom call (20 minutes) of a previous session.
  7. Review the Proctor Action Binder for other “what to do during an exam.” Some material is specific to University of Illinois, who kindly supplied it, but most of the advice is generically applicable.
  8. Communicate with the course staff to understand how to get physical access to the CBTF room you’ll be proctoring in, if applicable, and familiarize yourself with how to get to those facilities in time for the start of your shift. The two facilities currently used as CBTFs are Evans B3A, in the basement, and Wheeler 210, on the north side of the building.
  9. Be familiar with the instructions given to students taking exams in the CBTF.

Arriving at your shift

The facilities shared with RTL (Evans B3A, Wheeler 210) may often have student assistants on duty who work for RTL. (You can ask them if they work for Natalie Montañez.) These students do not have any roles/responsibilities in CBTF proctoring and are only there to “take care” of the room when nobody else is using it, so you should not ask them to do any proctor duties.
  1. The time of your shift as shown by PrairieTest is the time you should be ready to check in students. That means you have arrived, opened the room, unpacked your things, connected to WiFi, logged in to PrairieTest, connected to the #cbtf-proctors Slack channel, etc., etc., and at the shift start time you are ready to start. It is therefore highly advisable to arrive 5-10 minutes early. You will be paid for any time you arrive early or have to stay beyond the end of your assigned shift (e.g. if the next proctor is late), so please do track your arrival and departure time and note them precisely in CalTime.
  2. Arrive at least 5 minutes early for your shift if you’re relieving another proctor; 10 minutes if you’re opening up the room for the first shift of the day. Barring unforeseeable and documentable emergencies, there is a zero tolerance policy for being late to a shift. If the person relieving you isn’t showing up, message the #cbtf-proctors channel. Note that losing track of time, sleeping through an alarm, etc., are neither emergencies nor unforeseeable.
  3. Login to Slack and get into the #cbtf-proctors channel, so that you can report (and be aware of) any incidents during your shift.
  4. Checking students in (if enabled for the session) should only be done while in the room. Not remotely. As students arrive, check their Cal ID to make sure it’s them, and direct them to their assigned workstation (from PrairieTest).

During the exam session

Proctoring is not a passive activity. You cannot do other work during your shift—your attention must be focused on actively proctoring and walking around. Doing other work while proctoring undermines the purpose of proctoring, and is reason for termination.
  1. At the beginning of the scheduled exam shift in PrairieTest, click the “Start exam.” This will start the clock for every student who has reserved the current session in this location. Any student not logged in ready to start their exam when you click this button will have lost time, as the start time is the same for every student in the session, based on when you click that button.
  2. Walk around a lot and try to avoid predictable walking patterns. This is important as it shows students we are watching. Don’t just sit at the proctor desk and do your own work—we might as well not proctor. It’s also good exercise 🙂
  3. Proctors cannot give hints/answer questions about exam, even if they happen to be connected to the course. If a question seems buggy or ambiguous, instruct students to do their best to answer, then use the “Report issue about this question” button in PrairieLearn to notify the instructors directly.
  4. If a student workstation malfunctions, they should be able to log out, go to a different station, and start again. (We arranged scheduling so there are 3-4 free stations in each room during each shift) Any answers they had either “saved” or “saved & graded” will be preserved when they restart. Make a note of the malfunction and workstation number and report it to CBTF Manager after your shift ends.
  5. Other trouble? Message the #cbtf-proctors Slack channel.
  6. If a student arrives late: explain that you are not permitted to extend their exam time. Once you click the “Start exam” button, the clock starts ticking for everyone. Students will be made to understand this before the exam, but people forget, arrive late, etc. Their only recourse is to talk to the course staff. Make it clear that you have no say in this.

When exam session ends

  1. Collect all scratch paper and cheatsheets (if cheatsheets were allowed) from students before they leave to avoid the exam getting out into the wild.
  2. If another session is scheduled after yours, wait for the proctor(s) to arrive before you leave the exam room. If they are late, message #cbtf-proctors.
  3. Turn off all lights, and lock all lab doors behind you
    • Evans B3A: put keycard back in lock box
    • Wheeler 210: put keycard back in lock box

Other resources/help

  • Ask to join the PrairieLearn #pl-help channel on the PrairieLearn Slack. Armando or Greg can help.
  • PrairieLearn “open office hours” on Zoom every Thursday 1-2pm PT (3-4pm CT)