InQsit labs change to be walk-in only

The Daily News

Computers line tables in the Robert Bell inQsit testing lab during the start of the Fall Semester. Ball State has done away with the lab scheduling making all labs walk-in testing. DN PHOTO JONATHAN MIKSANEK
Computers line tables in the Robert Bell inQsit testing lab during the start of the Fall Semester. Ball State has done away with the lab scheduling making all labs walk-in testing. DN PHOTO JONATHAN MIKSANEK

Frantically signing up for an inQsit lab and finding them completely booked has become a thing of the past.


Beginning this week all testing labs will become walk-in only, said Dan Lutz, director of unified technology support, citing empty seats as the main driving force. 


“[Unified Technology] was seeing a 28 to 25 percent missed rate of scheduled lab time,” Lutz said. 


Not only were students failing to take tests at their scheduled time but when a student reserved a spot for the maximum two hours and left after half an hour, it took the spot away from someone who could otherwise be taking a test. 


Junior Blake Campbell has worked as a proctor since his first year at Ball State. He said he has seen the contrasting problem, students signing up for 15-minute time slots and taking two hours. 


The department decided to open the Bracken Library testing lab for walk-ins during midterms and finals during the 2012 academic year. 


“It shouldn’t be a huge amount of difference. Last finals were walk-in so people are getting used to it,” Campbell said. 


One of the drawbacks to scheduled times is the influx of students during busy or convenient test-taking hours but Lutz said there is a system in place to deal with any lines. 


When a student arrives at a busy testing lab they have one of two options: take a number and wait outside, or a monitor will be able to direct the student to a less crowded lab. 


“Most of the students just opt to wait outside, maybe study a little more,” Lutz said.


Currently Campbell said he is seeing students wait because of the new check-in system. 


“The process [within inQsit] of signing people in is new, and it still has a few bugs, but once the kinks are worked out and it is up and running, people will be in and out of here quickly,” he said. 


Unified Media has also released an app, available under bConnected, that will allow smartphone users to see the percentage of seats currently available at all Ball State labs. 


Another change being made this semester to the Whitinger Business testing area will allow students to bring in notes, books and calculators to be used with their professor’s permission. 

However, beginning spring semester, all labs will ban all assisting materials, Lutz said. 


This change in lab policy comes on the heels of another large technological change, the dropping of Gradebook and inQsit in favor of exclusively using Blackboard, which should be finalized at the conclusion of the Spring 2014 semester. 


“There is a path for faculty and we have created some tools to help them be able to do that,” Lutz said.


Lutz said the change is in the best interest of students looking to maximize the use of proctored computer labs, and ensure some flexibility as well. 


“We have had a very positive experience with it and obviously at a time of change we are listening to anything we hear and trying to act on it,” Lutz said.

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