We recommend prioritizing authentic forms of student assessment driven by course learning objectives.
We recommend prioritizing authentic forms of student assessment driven by course learning objectives. Assessments of this kind can include take-home, open-book, or open-note exams, final projects, or other demonstrations of learning. These assessments can easily be made asynchronous to reduce the likelihood of technical issues, decrease test anxiety associated with mediated and timed exams, and to more accurately assess course learning objectives. To learn more about authentic assessment and grade integrity in online environments, please review the CFI Teaching Toolbox on the subject authored by Andreas Broscheid and Emily O. Gravett, visit our Assessment, Exams, and Integrity page, and/or request a Libraries consultation.
If synchronous and secure exams are necessary, you can use Respondus LockDown browser and/or Respondus Monitor. However, we encourage you to be aware of challenges and ethical concerns associated with online proctoring, including:
More information on these concerns is available in Shea Swauger’s Our Bodies Encoded: Algorithmic Test Proctoring in Higher Education.
Practice exams give you and your students a chance to discover technology issues before the exam. They also help to reduce student anxiety about testing, proctoring, or monitoring technologies. For these reasons, practice exams are considered a best practice for online education.
Here are a few tips:
Respondus LockDown Browser™ is a secure browser for taking exams in Canvas.
It does not require a webcam or constitute “proctoring” software. It does, however, prevent students from copying and pasting, going to another URL, printing, or accessing other applications during an assessment. If a Canvas exam requires that Respondus LockDown Browser be used, students will not be able to take the test with a standard web browser. LockDown Browser does not work with Chromebooks.
If you plan to require or recommend the use of Lockdown Browser, we highly recommend you create a practice exam for students so they can test the technology and practice using it before taking the actual exam. This will help minimize technical problems, confusion, and anxiety during an exam.
If you are recommending that students use Respondus Lockdown Browser, please make sure they have the most recent instructions for downloading it, available on our student Guide to Hybrid & Online Learning.
Respondus LockDown Browser should only be used for Canvas tests or exams. It should not be used in other areas of Canvas. To learn more about creating an exam with Respondus LockDown Browser in Canvas follow this Quick Start Guide from Respondus or this set of instructions with screenshots.
To set up a quiz, test, or exam in Canvas that requires students to use LockDown Browser:
1. Create the quiz, test, or exam in your Canvas course.
2. From course navigation in Canvas, select LockDown Browser. See the three arrows on the screenshot below:
3. A list of quizzes in the course will be displayed.
You may additionally require that LockDown Browser be used to view quiz feedback and results.
Optionally you may create an access code that students must enter to start the quiz. LockDown Browser will prompt students to enter the instructor-provided code before proceeding with the quiz.
Getting help with LockDown Browser
What is Respondus Monitor?
Respondus Monitor is an online test proctoring software system integrated into Canvas. It is an additional feature of Lockdown Browser that uses a webcam to provide synchronous test proctoring. When Respondus Monitor is enabled for a quiz or exam, students are required to use a webcam and microphone with Lockdown Browser. After the quiz or exam is complete, an instructor can review details, even the recorded videos.
Challenges and concerns with online proctoring
Although we recommend the use of authentic or alternative forms of assessment in online or hybrid classes, if you need to create an online proctored exam and the lower-tech approach of self-proctoring through WebEx or Zoom is not possible, Respondus Monitor may be helpful.
If synchronous and secure exams are necessary, we encourage you to be aware of the challenges and ethical concerns associated with online proctoring, such as data privacy concerns, student discomfort, inability to meet accommodations for student with disabilities, and more.
As shared in a September 25th memo from the Registrar and Provost’s Office, Guidance for Final Exams, Fall 2020, “diversity and inclusion concerns… should be carefully weighed before choosing to use algorithmic proctoring platforms.” The memo also states:
Where synchronous and/or secure online final exams are necessary, faculty are encouraged to use the functions currently available within Canvas. These include time limitations, random item order, multiple forms of tests, quiz log, the Respondus LockDown browser, and other features.
Using Respondus Monitor
Reviewing student webcam videos
If students were required to use Respondus Monitor (webcam feature) with the quiz, you as instructor can access information about the quiz sessions and can review the recorded videos. Note that Respondus Monitor is intended to be a deterrent, so it's up to the instructor to determine the level of review warranted.
To review student webcam videos:
1. Visit the LockDown Browser dashboard in your Canvas course.
2. Click the down arrow at the left of the quiz title and select Class Results. See screenshot below.
3. You will see a roster of students in the course, along with the date, time, duration, review, priority, and grade for the quiz.
4. Click [+] to expand the section for a student.
5. Details of the startup sequence and the exam session are shown in thumbnails. Click a thumbnail to view the video from the time indicated. Videos can be marked as reviewed. You can also add comments.
For more information about reviewing webcam videos, view this guide from Respondus.
Tips for faculty planning to use Respondus Monitor
For additional Respondus Monitor information and support:
Respondus Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor make providing accommodations from ODS difficult or impossible. If you must proctor an exam for a student with accommodations, an alternative approach may be necessary.
WebEx or Zoom can be used for do-it-yourself online proctoring. A WebEx or Zoom meeting session through Canvas can display student videos during the exam. Visit our Zoom and Webex pages for more information on scheduling and recording Zoom and Webex sessions.
Note: for online self-proctoring with WebEx or Zoom, the students will need to have a webcam. This will need advanced setup time before the exam.
For recordings and video conferencing involving observing clinical sessions, telemedicine activities, discussing patient information, etc., please refer to subject-specific HIPAA guidelines.
Find more topics in this guide on the A-Z Page List or in the menu.