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Securing Microsoft Windows® For On Line Testing

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Web-Based & Distance Instruction

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1098.1 - 10.1098.9

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Paper Authors

author page

Fred Weber

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Securing Microsoft Windows® for On-line Testing

Dr. Fred Weber

Department of Chemical Engineering The University of Tennessee


Beginning in fall of 2002 the Chemical Engineering department at The University of Tennessee required all sophomores to bring a laptop computer to class. One use of the computer was on-line testing in the classroom. This paper focuses on techniques for securing the windows operating system (NT or later) for on-line assessment.

Criteria for the project included:

• As secure as traditional paper and pencil testing • No additional applications installed on the student’s computer • Inexpensive • Easy to implement

The solution consisted of having students login to a Windows domain server. During the logon process, the student’s computer is configured to only allow access to selected laptop and web resources during the assessment. There is no additional cost involved if a Windows domain server is available. Finally, this system is easy to implement.

Introduction Beginning in Fall 2002, all sophomores were required to bring a laptop computer to their chemical engineering classes. One of the first applications of laptops in the classroom was on- line assessment. There are many pedagogical advantages to using on-line assessments in class. For example, students receive immediate feedback on the exam. They not only see their grade as soon as they finish the exam, but with a properly designed assessment, they also have feedback on what they did wrong on a given problem. Although it requires more time to develop an on- line assessment, the instructor does not need to grade it.

Current on-line assessment systems only allow for multiple-choice, true/false, fill in the blank, and similar types of questions. Many engineering educators argue that these types of questions are not appropriate for engineering education since they are unable to grade a numerical answer to an acceptable range. One application where existing tools are adequate is assessing student mastery of a concept.1 For this type of assessment, the instructor and students get immediate feedback on whether or not the material has been mastered. It is important to secure the testing environment in this application so that the instructor can trust the results. In addition, the author

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Weber, F. (2005, June), Securing Microsoft Windows® For On Line Testing Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon.

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