Here’s a YouTube video on ExamTools – some of this will change in Tier 2, but this is what we have now:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSH4baDNs48
Before the session:
- Apply for permission to run a session. If you already have permission, obtain a Session Number from the VEC. To apply to run a session, go to this page: Application to Conduct an Exam
- List the session on ExamTools (refer to the YouTube video).
Once you have permission from the VEC to administer remote exams, the VEC will request that you be given permission to list the exam on ExamTools.
This requires having email@example.com give you Coordinating VE (Session Owner) access. Make sure to limit the number of people signing up the number you can handle. Note that the time for the session is just the start time – remote sessions often take a few hours to administer. Use the Notes to explain to examinees what you need them to do.
Put the Session #, Your Call Sign, and Remote in the title of the Session. For example: #5173 WB6OHW Remote Testing
- Set up a way to pay, like a PayPal link, Venmo, Zelle, or sending you checks. The Session Owner for the session is responsible for collecting the exam fees, filling out the expense report and sending the exam fees to the VEC.
- Collect the emails, names and phone number of the examinees that sign up for the session. You can generate a CSV file from ExamTools by using Export/Applicant List.
- Get a paid version of Zoom, since the free versions are limited to 40 minutes, which will probably not be enough time for more than a single examinee.
- Invite examinees to the Zoom sessions. For security, we usually do this only a day or two before the exam, so the links don’t get into the hands of anyone except the examinee. There are other security precautions to take with Zoom, like generating a unique password each time. Please observe all the security precautions for using Zoom.
You can Export the Applicant List from ExamTools. That includes PINs, email addresses, license classes, call signs and more. You can use that to create a mailing list to send out the Zoom invitations and to send invoices for the exam fees.
- Invite VEs to the Zoom session. For small sessions, this can be just a blind-copy (bcc) email message. Please do not expose email addresses to everyone. For larger sessions, you might need to use a mailing list program. Some teams use MailChimp. Avoid getting tagged as a spammer. Also note that bulk emails can be tagged as spam.
- Some teams create spreadsheets to keep track of VEs and Examinees who are committed to attending their sessions – the information can be accumulated in ExamTools by adding VEs to the session – the examinees appear in the session when they register.
Before the exam:
- Activate the Session
- Add the signing VEs to the Session Manifest – these are the ones who will be authenticating to start and stop the exams. You can do that in advance of activating the session, but you can’t do anything without having VEs added to the session. You can assign roles after the VEs are added to the session.
- Start the Zoom session early to coordinate with VEs before letting the examinees into the Zoom session. Larger sessions will require more time.
- You can conduct all the exams in the Main Room, or use breakout rooms. Some teams have created a Welcome Room, Pre-check Room and Exam Rooms.
Note: without breakout rooms, you can only test about 3 examinees per hour.
- Either have the Host bring all examinees into the Welcome Room (first into the Main Room, then move to Welcome), or leave them outside the Zoom meeting in the Waiting Room. In both cases, prioritize the examinees by noting the order that they joined the Zoom Meeting and rename them so you know everything you need. One way is PIN Last, First. Example: 1234 Goodkin, Norm. You might also indicate side camera, or anything else your VEs should see, like special needs. Another way is to just use the PIN, and notify the applicants that they can shorten their waiting time by joining later, according to their PIN.
Administer the exams (you’ve probably seen this part if you’ve participated in a session). If not, get someone to work with you on beta.examtools.dev and watch the available videos. Some teams will invite VEs to observe sessions prior to having them actively participate.
If you record the session, please get the parent’s approval if the examinee is a minor (under 18).
Verify that for under-13s, the parent has completed the COPPA form during Registration. If they say they have, you can take their word for it.
If the under-13 doesn’t have a student ID or passport, the adult can vouch for the identify of the minor. Our preference is to see a school ID card.
It’s not a requirement for the parent to be in the room during the exam for under-13s, but it’s permissible. Please admonish the parent to stay back and have no interaction with the child during the exam. Explain that any interaction might be cause for the VEs to invalidate the exam and terminate the session. The VEs can use their own judgement as to whether or not any interaction is cause for invalidating the exam.
After the session
In ExamTools, review the session results, then mark each examinee Complete. Then Finalize the session.
Make sure every successful applicant has received a CSCE, or go through the Applicant List and email each applicant their CSCE. It is a requirement that every successful applicant be given a CSCE – that is the responsibility of the Session Owner. An alternative, if Chat is enabled during the Zoom Session, to use Zoom Chat to send the CSCE file to the applicant – the VEs in the room can do that.
Export the following from ExamTools: EBF File, All Forms, and print each to a PDF file.
Upload the exported files to the Google Drive set up for you by the VEC. Create a folder for each session you upload. Also upload any documents used to verify previous licenses or CSCE credit for elements passed. This could be copies of licenses, images of Call Book entries… whatever convinced the VE team to grant credit for an Element in lieu of passing an exam during the session. Please rename the .dat file by placing the Session Number between the F and the Call Sign. For example, here is session 1259: F1259AD7MP05222021.dat
File Out this Form to give VE’s session credit: http://glaarg.org/submit-ve-participation/