Cheating and Online Exam Proctoring

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and learning about online exam proctoring, to prepare to act as the “business lead” for an online exam proctoring project that ramps up this week, aiming to have a pilot in the summer and a tool available for use (as a last resort) in the fall. It’s a complicated solution to a complicated problem. Not all courses are able to adjust assessment away from high stakes exams, and those don’t translate online in all contexts without some form of proctoring. Read More

Automating Creating New Content in Hugo

I’ve been using Hugo for about 6 months now, and it’s been working really really well for me. But the one thing that’s been bugging me is how clumsy it is to create new posts. For example, here’s the command line stuff that would have created this post: cd ~/Documents/Blog/blog hugo new posts/2020/ All posts are plaintext markdown files, organized in folders within a content directory. The Hugo application has a command line tool to create content - but, almost every single time, I need to look up the syntax so I don’t goof it up. Read More

Projects and Squiggles

When we talk about processes, there’s a balance between traditional Projectâ„¢ “waterfall” approaches - dependencies, critical paths, charters, etc. and what happens in practice - rapid prototypes, DIY experimentation, communities and networks, and emergent designs to support practice. LMS Upgrade Plan Gantt a traditional project management overview of the steps involved in implementing a learning management system compared with Damian Newman: The Design Squiggle The Process of Design Squiggle by Damien Newman, thedesignsquiggle. Read More

COVID Online Pivot Learning Technologies Stats

Now that the Winter 2020 semester is wrapping up, I took a look at the stats for our various online learning technologies to see what effects the whole COVID-19 Online Pivot had on our technology stack. Each platform has their own sets of data to describe activity within the software, and they’re not directly comparable. A simple “logins” comparison wouldn’t capture activity in some platforms where only instructors login and students are anonymous (like YuJa). Read More


Since we launched Zoom as a campus platform on March 13, 2020, there have been 36,439 meetings conducted by our community. And 3 reports of ZoomBombing (so far). There may have been others, but we have only 3 reported cases at this time1. We have spent much time and effort adjusting the configuration of our campus Zoom account to address security and privacy concerns. Default settings for meetings have been modified, making it more difficult (if not impossible) for intruders to barge into a meeting/class and ZoomBomb it. Read More

Online Exam Proctoring

I drafted this as a briefing doc to help with decision making related to how we handle online exams for courses that are now being conducted remotely as a result COVID-19. It was circulated for feedback, so it may be useful to have a copy for reference here. I wrote it based on information gathered from the various vendors' websites, and from conversations with colleagues. The doc was intended to give a high level overview of online exam proctoring software without delving into technical aspects. Read More

Zoom Online Exam Proctoring Demo

We’ve been getting questions from instructors who would like to use Zoom to conduct online exam proctoring, for up to 800 students. I mean. Golly. That’s just not a great idea. Aside from the philosophical issues involved with using a videoconferencing tool to surveil students during an exam, there are technical issues. How would 800 streams of video be recorded? How would that be viewed? Also. The video feed isn’t necessary trustworthy. Read More
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How to Turn Off Attention Tracking in Zoom Campus Accounts

An article by Mehreen Kasana on Input Magazine made the rounds, talking about the “attention tracking” feature in Zoom, and how creepy and invasive it is. It is. But it can also be disabled for any account - and if disabled for a campus account, it can also be locked out for all users. — "Whether you have Zoom account or not," the company's privacy page states, "we may collect Personal Data from or about you when you use or otherwise interact with our Products. Read More

On preparing a university for a COVID rapid shift to online teaching

With the COVID pandemic still picking up steam in North America, all universities had to make a rapid shift to online teaching as campuses were closed. Mine was no different. We’d been talking about possible pandemic planning since mid-february, but at the time it was all speculative and seemingly so far in the future. Things started to get real around March 11, 2020. There were local cases of COVID (although all travel-related), and it was time to start moving classes online - or cancel the semester outright. Read More

Intro to Curriculum Links

One of the major projects our team1 has been working on for the last couple of years is the University of Calgary’s Curriculum Links application. From the project website overview: It’s an application that supports curriculum design and review - an entire program can be designed before it’s submitted to a faculty for approval, allowing for pre-flight testing of the program. Do all of the claimed program-level outcomes get incorporated appropriately? Read More
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