Why Proctored Exams Are So Important
Temple's program continues to set the standard for academic courses in RAQA throughout the world. To maintain the reputation of our program for our graduates, current students, and future participants, we require that all of our courses hold at least one proctored exam every semester.
The pharmaceutical industry goes to great lengths to validate various procedures, including computers and the cleaning of equipment involved in manufacturing. The basic tenet behind the GMP regulations is how critical it is for industry personnel to understand and follow Standard Operating Procedures, so that the quality, purity, effectiveness, and safety of drug and device products can be replicated countless times.
These same principles are mirrored in why proctored exams are now required in Temple's RAQA graduate program.
Proctoring does not mean that every exam is "closed book" with students memorizing material, nor does it imply that a school does not "trust" students.
Proctoring simply means that an instructor, RAQA staff member, or other credible source (such as an official testing site or library) will attest that a student took an exam and followed the given protocols (or SOPs). A proctored exam can be open or closed book, multiple choice, essay, true/false, fill-in-the-blank or any combination of testing techniques.
Proctoring also means that the exam was administered on a "level playing field" where all of the students in a given course received the same type of exam, were given the same amount of time to complete it, and followed identical directions.
The RAQA program requires at least one proctored exam in every course for several reasons:
- Pharmaceutical and related companies often provide generous tuition reimbursement programs to their employees. HR departments ask us how we verify that the students who attend classes are actually doing the work. Proctored exams enable us to validate this request.
- When online learning first burst on the scene, many "for-profit" schools emerged that offered questionable degrees that were not accredited by external agencies. No safeguards were put in place to verify who was actually taking exams for a course. Though students received "degrees," over time employers found that the graduates from these schools had never truly learned anything, so the credentials were meaningless. These types of programs continue to multiply, discrediting education in general and RA programs in particular.
- We care about our students and the value of the certificates and degrees that they earn. We want to assure that their Temple degree has meaning and will continue to do so many years to come, providing a font of knowledge that will propel their future business decisions.
Proctoring exams takes an enormous amount of time on the part of the RAQA office staff. In particular, two staff members spend nearly 6 weeks organizing exam arrangements with students and proctors every semester. We are willing to make this commitment to make sure that your degree from Temple continues to be recognized as the best of its kind and serves you well in your future career.
The dates of proctored exams are posted on the RAQA schedules on the program's homepage.
When registering for courses, students are responsible for checking their schedule to make sure that they are able to attend proctored exams at the designated time with the rest of their class colleagues.
If a conflict exists, students should take the course during another semester and select a different course when possible. Keep in mind that excuses such as weddings, vacations, not having the course book, etc., are not acceptable reasons for missing a scheduled exam. Only unanticipated, extenuating circumstances will be considered acceptable reasons for scheduling make-ups.
The following RAQA program policy regarding make-up exams applies to all RAQA courses, whether or not it is stipulated on a course syllabus:
Makeup exams will ONLY be approved under extenuating circumstances. The format and questions on the makeup exam are up to the discretion of the instructor.
The RAQA program will consider makeup exams ONLY for unexpected and documented emergencies.
Students must pay a $25 fee to take a makeup exam, regardless of the location. In subsequent semesters, that fee increases to $50 per makeup exam, and then $100. Again, please review the schedule and proctored exam date to make sure you can attend all classes and tests.
All makeup exams must be made up no later than 10 days of the original exam date, or the grade for the exam will be an automatic 0. This policy holds for both proctored and non-proctored exams.
The RAQA Office provides proctors at no charge at the Fort Washington Campus on the date and time of the original proctored exam. The Office does not provide free proctoring for makeup exams and will ask the student to go to an outside testing company (such as Sylvan Learning Center) or a library to take the makeup exam. The fees for makeup exams taken at Fort Washington are still enforced ($25.00 for the first makeup exam, $50 for the second time a makeup is required, and $100 per exam thereafter.) The fees are also charged if a student takes the makeup exam at an alternate site (such as a library).
Proctoring Procedures (PDF) (must be included with Registration Form for Online Courses)