Astro: Again, this was really good. Questions on the exam were doable and long enough to ensure that the best teams would be able to finish on time. The ES made the hardest math question (Tulley-Fisher) doable by splitting the question into multiple parts, which I appreciated. One thing I noticed was that the supervisors never checked our computers for airplane mode. I'm not sure if they just forgot us, or just didn't check anybody's computer during the event (or maybe I just missed them as they walked by, lol). I feel like the majority of the teams would follow the honor code, so it's not that big of a deal. - 9.0/10
thanks for the feedback. Yeah we kinda just peered at screens for any obvious signs of web browser activity. Just felt that doing an actual airplane mode check would be too intrusive. What would you suggest be done next time?
It’s not easy, so I’m just going to throw out some ideas. Maybe checking for airplane mode in the beginning? Taking the time to check for airplane mode once, even if it's only in the beginning, might be enough to scare teams planning on cheating.
The auditorium setup probably made it harder for you guys to see our screens. If its something under your control, maybe try a room where everyone sits level? This might make it easier to see everyone at once, so you guys could stay more or less in the same area for the entire exam. Walking around can give teams opportunities to look something up when a supervisor is the other side of the room, but staying in one place and being able to see everyone's screens makes it more difficult to cheat.
Another strategy could be to seat teams a tiny bit closer - not too close that they can easily see each others screens or hear what others teams are whispering, but enough to make cheating appear riskier. Again, this would also make it easier to see everyone’s screen at once. The right distance would be tough to figure out though.
I talked to my partner, who was a bit more aware of his surroundings during the test, and he said you guys did a better job than most supervisors at other invitationals when checking screens. I wouldn’t worry too much about it - just maintain the same test quality you guys had, and Astro should continue to run smoothly.