Pandemic-induced remote instruction practices have brought new challenges for protecting the integrity of student assessments. If you can’t administer your exam in the classroom and can’t use the services of the Michigan Tech Testing Center (students not campus-based) there are other options.
Michigan Tech instructors have had access to Respondus LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor to support online assessments for some time. Now a third option called Respondus Live Proctoring is available. To review, LockDown Browser is a dedicated browser designed to confine the testing environment to Canvas. A companion tool called Respondus Monitor builds on this by leveraging student webcams and video analytics to help deter cheating in non-proctored environments. Instructor Live Proctoring adds to the Respondus toolbox by working in conjunction with LockDown Browser and Zoom to allow instructors to proctor exams live (via a Zoom meeting) for small classes (Respondus recommends up to 25). Let’s take a closer look at this new option.
To use Respondus Live Proctoring instructors create a Canvas assessment using the Quiz tool and then enable Respondus LockDown Browser and Live Proctoring from the LockDown Browser dashboard available in the Canvas course navigation.
To avoid test day complications make sure students have previously installed LockDown Browser on the computer they will be taking the exam on. At test time students join the Zoom meeting for last minute instructions, attendance, and a start code that will allow them to open the exam from LockDown Browser. Canvas Classic Quizzes (used by most MTU instructors currently) require students to first open LockDown Browser, log in to the Canvas course, and then open the quiz. Once the quiz is opened in LockDown Browser, students are confined to the quiz environment, but the Zoom meeting is still active in the background. This allows the instructor to proctor students via their webcams in the Zoom meeting.
The CTL recently tested the Live Proctoring feature and offers the following observations and guidance.
Test, test, test
It’s important to test this workflow before an actual exam. Creating a simple Canvas test quiz with the Live Proctoring feature enabled will allow for this. Students will have an opportunity to install LockDown Browser and open the test quiz to confirm that their system is working properly. This also gives you a chance to experience what Live Proctoring “looks like” from a Zoom meeting. As noted earlier, Respondus recommends this feature for small class sizes (no more than 25).
Limited communication during quiz
Once the Canvas quiz is underway the instructor maintains full access to the Zoom meeting while students have NO ACCESS to the Zoom meeting. As long as students leave their webcam and microphone on before starting the quiz the instructor will still be able to see and hear them. This also means that other students can hear them as well. As the instructor, you get to decide how to manage any potential distraction that may arise. You could ask students to mute their microphone before they open the quiz in LockDown Browser. Or you could ask students to leave their microphone on, but complete the exam in a quiet space to avoid distractions. You could also mute individual student microphones from your Zoom controls if distractions arise during the quiz.
It is technically possible for instructors to make an announcement in the Zoom meeting during the quiz, but students would not see the instructor. One option might be to inform students in advance that you will ask for questions at a predetermined time so students know there will be an opportunity to ask a question at some point. All students would hear any discussion between any one student and the instructor.
Live Proctoring is different that Monitor
The Live Proctoring feature does not record students during the test and does not provide instructors with any alerts of suspicious activity during exam time. That’s the job of the instructor. Automated recording and alerts is only available in the automated Respondus Monitor proctoring solution.
Contact the elearning support team in the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning if you have questions about Canvas, Huskycast, Zoom or other educational technology tools.
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