Exam mode in Rstudio Cloud or is Rstudio Server the only option?


At our institution, we have an ongoing discussion on how we could simplify our exams in R. The exam is conducted on a locked down (kiosk-setup) computer where the students get to use R/Rstudio and have access to a fixed setup of R packages. We recently used Rstudio Cloud to teach the same course and I wanted to ask if there has been any thought on "exam-modes"/kiosk-setups in Rstudio Cloud?

Such a mode would only include access to a single base project which would be prepared by the instructor and not being able to install new packages. Our idea was to use Safe Exam browser and let students access rstudio.cloud, log in and do the exam. The issue that we see is that it would not be impossible for the student to enter the room, start the exam, leave and then log in to continue do the exam from home/outside of the exam room.

Is this something outside the scope of Rstudio Cloud or something that is/might be in the pipeline? We could of course do a Rstudio Server which can only be accessed from the desired computers though that would require more maintenance from our side.

Thanks in advance!

Here's what you could do, given the current features in Cloud:

  • Create a space for the exam
  • Create an assignment project that is the starting point for the exam, with whatever packages you want the students to use
  • Add the students to the space with the Contributor role via a Sharing Link (from the space's Members page)
  • To take the exam, have each student join the space and click on the exam project (this will give each student their own copy of the exam project to work on)
  • When the exam period is over, change the students' roles in the space to Viewer - this will prevent them from opening/making any changes to their project

We don't currently have a way to prevent students from making additional projects in the space from scratch via the New Project button, or from installing new packages into their exam project. The first feature (preventing students from creating additional projects from scratch) could be relatively straightforward to add. The second (preventing package installation) might be more of a challenge for us. We'd love to hear how critical those features are for your case ... and if the approach outlined above sounds workable to you.


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