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New tool for exam scanning saves time and resources

Since rolling out a new exam-scanning system in Fall 2017, ITS reduced the average wait time for instructors and ITS’ own staff time by 50 percent.





InstructorTools by DigitalDesk also has drastically reduced the number of printed reports, which decreases printing costs. ITS’ estimated annual savings on labor and printing costs provides complete funding for DigitalDesk’s $7,000 maintenance fee. During final exams, the average wait time for faculty is 15 to 30 minutes with the new system compared to 45 minutes to one hour with the old system.

The new system pulls instructor and student information from ConnectCarolina, providing greater accuracy in data reporting compared with the previous system’s heavy reliance on entering this data manually. The system consists of a web application front-end for instructors, an independent student grade portal, a database backend and two client stations used by the Classroom Hotline for scanning.

InstructorTools provides all reports to instructors online, which has all but eliminated printed reports. The web interface enables instructors to make corrections, update answer keys, customize reports and release grades to students without requiring ITS staff assistance.

InstructorTools replaces a 35-year-old system developed at Carolina. During the previous system’s last year of use in 2016-2017, more than 100,000 pages of reports were printed and distributed to faculty.

Abi Winegarden, Technology Support Analyst with Teaching & Learning, operates an exam scanner

Teaching & Learning staff members worked for more than a year with the vendor and several different ITS groups to prepare for the new service. The ITS Systems group provisioned the application servers. ITS Middleware hosts the database, and CloudApps hosts the student portal. The application requires regular reports of the data from ConnectCarolina. ITS Enterprise Applications runs those regular exports of the information.

ITS also worked with the Office of the Registrar to obtain the necessary access and rights for information to feed into the new system and with instructors who tested the new system.

Instructors have provided positive feedback. They appreciate the faster turnaround because it enables them to get the information to their departments and to their students in a timely manner. They also like the freedom and flexibility to release grades and make corrections to exams on their own.

Key Partner(s): Carolina CloudApps, ConnectCarolina, Enterprise Applications, ITS Systems, Middleware Services, Office of the University Registrar
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