Respondus LockDown Browser & Respondus Monitor - Virtual Proctoring

[ This is a reprint from a UNM webpage located here: http://online.unm.edu/help/learn/faculty/assessments/respondus-lockdown-browser/ ]

Respondus LockDown Browser & Respondus Monitor are virtual exam integrity tools available for tests given in UNM Learn. LockDown Browser is a custom browser that students install on their own computers that locks down the testing environment within UNM Learn (see compatibility details below). Monitor is a video monitoring tool which uses the student’s webcam and microphone to record their actions and environment during an exam, test or quiz.  Note: there are currently multiple virtual proctoring tools being offered for use in UNM Learn.  For a quick comparison of the two, see About Virtual Proctoring Tools.  

When students launch Respondus LockDown Browser to take an exam, they are presented with the UNM Learn login page. They then authenticate, navigate to their course and to the exam as normal, and begin. Depending on the settings you select, students may be required to use a webcam to record themselves during an exam. A "startup sequence" guides them through the requirements you have selected, such as showing identification or making a short video of the exam environment.

When exams have ‘Require Respondus Monitor for this exam’ enabled, the recorded sessions are machine-analyzed for facial detection, motion, and lighting to analyze the student and examination environment. The system also uses data from the computing device (keyboard activity, mouse movements, hardware changes, etc.) to identify patterns and anomalies associated with cheating. Finally, the student's interaction with the exam instrument itself is woven into the analysis, including question-by-question comparisons with other students who took the same exam.

When you review exams, you will see proctoring results ranked according to the risk that exam violations have occurred, providing meaningful results that help you know whether an exam session warrants deeper scrutiny. If desired, you can also can view the data contributing to the result on a video timeline, such as flagged events and key milestones.

  • Respondus LockDown Browser is an app your students need to download to their laptop or computer.  For computers, the link is institution-specific.  Let students know to use: 

    Note: The URL is included on the student page, which we recommend you add to your course:  Using Respondus LockDown Browser.

  • Technical Requirements for Students
    • Students must have a supported operating system.
    • Students must be able to log into their machines as an administrator:
      • For Windows /PC to install, update, and run LockDown Browser.
      • For Mac to install and update.  LockDown Browser can then be run as any type of user.
    • Additional device requirements/restrictions
      • Respondus LockDown Browser does NOT work on mobile devices, except iPads (This is up to your discretion. IF you choose to enable the setting and allow students to take tests on an iPad, they need to go to the App store to download and install Respondus LockDown Browser.) 
      • Respondus LockDown Browser is not available for Chromebooks at UNM.
    • If you require video monitoring, students will need a webcam.
    • Students must have a reliable and stable Internet connection.
  • Per the Provost’s office, you must ask your students as soon as possible whether they can access the equipment necessary to use Respondus. If a student cannot access the equipment necessary to meet the technical requirements for Respondus, you must offer an alternative assessment.

Important Notes:

  • Students must use the LockDown Browser to review test results afterwards.
  • Respondus LockDown Browser is required in order to use Respondus Monitor.
  • Regarding actual test content, LockDown Browser does NOT work with test questions that contain Flash media.
  • Give a practice test.
    The Provost’s Office has specifically requested that you give a practice test, e.g., a low-stakes test that your students are required to take. A practice test will give your students the opportunity to install and use the Respondus LockDown browser, see how the process works, test their equipment (e.g., webcam), network connection, etc. prior to taking a high-stakes test. This gives both you and your students time to troubleshoot in advance.
  • How to test video monitoring:  as an instructor, you can download the Respondus LockDown Browser and take the test using the “Student View” in Learn. However, no video record will be generated or uploaded to the Respondus Dashboard Class Results area. To test video monitoring, you can use the practice test you set up in your course and view video results after your students have taken the practice test.

For further information regarding the Respondus LockDown Browser please visit the website of its on-campus host, by clicking these words:

or visiting this URL:


Best Practices for using Zoom during an exam:

If you need to use Zoom during an exam, it is recommended to give the exam after 5 pm to avoid bandwidth issues.

UNM supports Proctorio (https://proctorio.com/). However, you are asked to provide dates and times to Brooke (brookezeno@unm.edu) prior to the beginning of the semester.

Proctorio is a flexible virtual proctoring tool that students purchase through the UNM Bookstore as a course material via Inclusive Access. Please click here to learn how to sign up to use Virtual Proctoring. And click here for general information about Virtual Proctoring.

As university and college campuses close, Top Hat is addressing the pressing challenge of administering tests and final exams remotely. Top Hat Announces Free Secure Remote Proctoring for Tests and Exams.

Comment from Dave Modisette:

This software is offered free to be used for the next month or so during the state lockdown. I have had a demonstration and Shoshana Postelnik would be very happy to provide a demonstration for you should you be interested.
Click this sentence for a link to Top Hat's online proctoring tool. Please take a look at the video and see what you think.

Comment from Dr. Tarief Mohamed Fawzy Elshafiey:

The instructor should design the exam based on open book/open notes criteria. None of the questions will be straight from the book, homework or notes.

The exam period should be very tight so the student won't seek help or spent time searching for the right answer: he/she will waste time and will never complete the exam.

Apply severe penalties for late submission depending on how late it is turned in. You can do normalization after grading to the final score based on the time limitation and based on the highest score achieved. Use the previous scores from a person's exams before the spring break as a cross reference for each student.

The Top Hat proctoring depends mainly on being monitored during the exam period by the web cam. At the end of the exam, the tool will give you a suspicious level % depending on the movement away from the web cam. The tool requires a lot of practicing from students and from instructors as well to be oriented on writing the exam on the tool and using the tool before, during and after the exam.

The Top Hat testing tool is not suitable for ECE type of courses and exams. It is most likely suitable for MCQ type of tests and humanity courses where the student answer on the screen directly. Our exams require the student to draw a circuit diagram, hand write equations, do calculations, and look for tables, references and appendices, all types of flexibility needed for the student to move away from the web cam.

Thanks and be safe,