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The ACE 
Framework

A guide for decision-making and professional development planning during times of crisis.

Exam-Intense Learning & Proctoring

Resources for classes that use high-stakes testing, particularly to prepare students for real-world and certification exams.

Complications & Connections

Complications: It’s easy to have a closed-book exam in a classroom where you can easily set parameters, and where students aren’t always already connected to the internet. In online courses, it can be hard to lock students out of the internet, and it can feel inauthentic even to try (why should students pretend there is no internet when they have to use it just to access the exam?).

Connections to ACE: Part of being adaptable is not just replicating your face-to-face course online, but truly adapting it. This means rethinking assessment, not just uploading your assessments. As you work to build connection with your students and encourage them to connect with their world, consider the cost of demonstrating distrust via the use of proctoring software and the cost of closing down the internet’s ability to link them out of the classroom; these costs may run counter to your pedagogical aims. In a time where surveillance and policing are clearly violent and alienating to many of our students, especially students of color, we should use the lens of equity to examine the approaches we take in the name of curtailing cheating.

Alternatives to Surveillance-Oriented Assessment

One way to avoid surveillant assessments is to redesign your assessments so they are more authentic. Understanding the ways that surveillance affects your classroom dynamics and the ethics of the software companies that you use in your courses is a good start; even better is learning how to design assessments that allow your students to continue learning as they engage in them. The following resources will help you learn more about the pitfalls of surveillant edtech and get started on designing more authentic assessments.

If You Still Need Remote Proctoring

There are many software programs (such as Proctorio and Respondus) designed to prevent cheating on exams, and many other platforms (such as Turn-it-In) that focus on plagiarism or other kinds of academic dishonesty. Plymouth State (for example) has institutional accounts with some of these. If you don’t plan to retool your curriculum to make these technologies irrelevant, contact an academic technologist at your institution for help finding and learning the software that is best for your situation.

About the Workbook

The Workbook is an online space for you to record your reflections and assignments for the Workshop.

Participants at PSU will be using an Office 365 Word Document (available via the “Files” section of the “General” channel in the ACE Workshop Teams space).

Participants at other institutions should check with their Workshop Facilitator(s) about where to work on their Workbook.

About the Discussion Forum

The Discussion Forum is an online space where all the members of the Workshop can share ideas and reflections and build community

Participants at PSU will be using the ACE Workshop Teams space).

Participants at other institutions should check with their Workshop Facilitator(s) about where to access their Discussion Forum.

About the VidSpace

The VidSpace is an online space for synchronous video meetings among participants (that can also be recorded and shared for asynchronous access).

Participants at PSU will be using Zoom (available via the Zoom tab in the ACE Workshop Teams space).

Participants at other institutions should check with their Workshop Facilitator(s) about where to access their VidSpace. 

About the ACE “Institutional Level”

The ACE Framework is primarily designed for faculty who are readjusting their curriculum during times of regional, national, or global crisis. But in order for the work that faculty do with their assignments and courses to be most effective, it should be aligned with the institutional mission, which should guide policy and structural planning related to curriculum and teaching.

The institutional level of the framework is a reminder to faculty that if their adjustments at the assignment- or course-level are difficult to operationalize successfully, it could be due to larger policies and structures that are mis-aligned with the ACE Framework; advocacy may be warranted to bring the institution into alignment.

The institutional level of the framework is also a call to university policy-making committees, administrators, Boards of Trustees, and legislators that there is much work to be done to prepare university policies and structures to support students and faculty who are learning and teaching through challenging times.