Secure Online Testing

About Secure Online Testing

While engaged in remote instruction, it may be necessary for students to take course exams through an online platform. If you feel extra precaution against academic dishonesty is necessary, there are two tools available for use in your Canvas courses: 

  • Honorlock is an online proctoring tool available by request. 
  • Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor is a cheating deterrent that is available to everyone in the Canvas environment.

No matter which tool you decide to use, there are limitations and considerations to take into account. Please review our Secure Online Testing Tools for Faculty guide for more information about both tools.

The rapidly shifting social and educational landscape resulting from COVID-19 has necessitated significant alterations to the way in which your students will be engaging in the learning and assessment process. With these changes comes the need to consider some challenges students may be facing that are generally absent during in-person instruction. 

  • Unless already planned as an online course, students did not sign up to take your course in an online environment. As such, they were under no obligation to have the hardware, software, or connectivity now being required of them.
  • Some students may be in countries, areas, or residences where internet access is restricted, limited, or unavailable.
  • Students may have limited data plans and/or data speeds that are prohibitive to consistent connectivity, streaming video, or downloading large files.
  • Access to public locations where the internet would normally be available are currently off limits.
  • Synchronous (real time) work can be a challenge for students in other time zones.
  • Students may have limited technology resources at home and may be sharing those resources with other family members.
  • Specifically with regard to the use of Honorlock and Respondus:
    • Students may not have a private or quiet space in which to work. They may also experience frequent disruptions from others in the household.
    • Screen monitoring tools can be triggered by other family members and/or pets, creating false positives.

With the understanding that not all students may have the technology required to use these tools, please consider whether the use of additional secure testing tools is warranted and necessary. If you believe that one of these tools are necessary, there are two options supported by UTech. We suggest the following:

Use Respondus directly from your Canvas course for low-stakes assessments such as

  • regular (weekly/biweekly) in-class quizzes
  • unit tests

Use Honorlock for high-stakes assessments such as

  • midterm exams
  • final exams
  • tests which an accrediting body requires to be delivered in a proctored environment

For more information on selecting the best tool for your needs, as well as considerations about testing equity, see the Secure Online Testing Tools Faculty guide.

Respondus LockDown Browser secures a student’s computer while taking Quizzes in Canvas. LockDown Browser prevents students from accessing other applications or internet browser windows during a quiz, and also disables options for copying, pasting, and printing on-screen information. Students will need to download LockDown Browser to their computer. After a one-time setup, they will be able to launch LockDown-enabled quizzes directly from their Canvas courses.

Respondus Monitor is an additional feature, integrated into LockDown Browser, that uses the camera and microphone on the student’s computer to further ensure a secure testing environment. With Respondus Monitor, you can require students to show identification and/or make a quick video of where they are taking the exam. Students continue to record themselves while they complete the exam. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI), Respondus Monitor will flag potential test security violations, sort them for severity, and forward them on to you to review.

LockDown Browser can be enabled on its own, but Monitor can only be used with LockDown Browser.

Learn More about Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor

Honorlock use is encouraged for midterms, finals, and similar high-stakes exams. It is available to you in Canvas by submitting a usage request. While Honorlock provides a robustly monitored environment, there is a per student, per test cost to the university. As such we recommend that quizzes and other lower-stake testing be performed using Respondus. 

Learn More about Honorlock