My apologies to all if this is an old subject; however we are facing increasing
pressure to provide PC facilities that can be used flexibly for a variety of
requirements including PC-based online examinations as well as normal
It is my impression at this point in time that the ideal computer environment to
conduct examinations is one that is segregated from the main network (with
either no internet access or access to specific exam sites only), with only the
software that is required for the exams installed. Additionally, in the ideal
world software would be used to lock-out access to removable media and USB
However, dedicating enough computing resource in this manner is difficult - at
least in our environment.
I have been considering the used of tagged VLAN switch-ports, in combination
with multiple OS partitions, and NIC drivers on PCs capable of tagging
packets - such that when booted in the 'exams' OS partition, only a
segregated 'exams' VLAN is available; and whilst in the 'classroom' partition,
the PC is a able to communicate normally on the network. Thus a single PC
with a reboot can be used in entirely different network/software environments.
If you have five minutes to jot down an email, I'd like to know the approaches
and experiences of my colleagues at other colleges in the region.