Take an Exam with LockDown Browser + Monitor

Taking exams while being videotaped can be stressful for many students, but by following these tips, you can relax and concentrate on showing your knowledge.

LockDown Browser is a browser that you set up on your computer that, once you’re inside it, you cannot access anything else on your computer for the duration of the text. Monitor is an additional tool that uses your webcam and microphone to record you while taking the test, picking up the sounds in the room and your environment.

If your instructor is using Monitor in addition to the Lockdown Browser, you will have to go through a pre-exam setup. While some settings may vary, you’ll want to have a photo ID handy (we recommend your AllCard) and use a webcam or device that is easy to maneuver.

Part of the set up process will be doing an “environment sweep” to show that your environment is free from any potential cheating resources. The sweep should be thorough and a full 360 degrees of the room, showing all of the space between arms’ reach as well as showing the room beyond the computer that you would be able to view. Take your time. It may feel awkward, but pan slowly so that it’s clear that you are not obscuring the view or hiding anything.

A screnshot showing lockdown browser and the various steps of the set up, including the terms of use, webcam check, additional instructions, guidelines and tips, student photo, show ID, environment check and the facial detection check.

This image shows a potential “no-no” with a pad of paper and pens, as well as a cell phone within easy reach.

Some Tips for Test Time

Take advantage of the practice quiz. Your instructor should offer a low-stakes quiz with LDB at the beginning of the semester to allow you some familiarity and ensure that your current system will work when it comes to exam time. This is an opportunity for you to troubleshoot your environment and get feedback from your instructor if they require you to adjust your position or activities.

Optimize your location. Take the exam while sitting at a desk or table and avoid taking it while sitting on your bed. While you want to be comfortable, too much shifting around, like one might do on their bed, can cause your face to disappear from the camera and your video to be flagged.

Find good lighting. If you have to borrow a lamp from another room, do so to make sure your face is well-lit from the front and your eyes can be seen by your webcam at all times.

Take care of business before you begin. This means eat a decent meal, get your water or beverage, use the facilities, and do what you can to be able to stay in one position for the duration. If you have a disability that prevents this, notify your instructor in advance.

Find some privacy. If you share the house with roommates or family, let them know ahead of time that you need to take the test undisturbed. If you do get interrupted, again, contact your instructor immediately once you have finished the test.

Clear the room of distractions. Your space should have only the bare minimum as explicitly allowed by your instructor. If they allow one piece of scratch paper and a pencil, then stick to that alone. Put your books and phone away out of reach.

Scan your environment carefully. Part of the monitor set up requires you to scan your environment in a full 360 degrees. Take your time and do it slow to show that your space is clear and you don’t have any items forbidden to have once you start the exam.  

Notify your instructor immediately! If something happens, such as getting kicked out of the exam browser or losing your internet connection, contact your instructor immediately! Use their preferred method, but sending an email sets the timestamp, which can reinforce your claim if there is no record of your activities.


Common Myths and Facts

Myth: Chromebook should work with LockDown Browser.

Fact: While this is being tested and worked on by Respondus, there are currently several limitations to this that are beyond your instructor’s power. That may soon change, but if you have a Chromebook currently, you can arrange a loan from the Techbar. Contact the Helpdesk.  

Myth: No one watches those videos.

Fact: Instructors do indeed watch them and there have been several instances of cheating caught at NKU through the use of Respondus Monitor.

Myth: If I’m flagged, my instructor will think I’m cheating, even if I’m not.

Fact: Your instructor should watch the video carefully to make the decision based on what the video actually shows. The flags are not an indicator of cheating, and your instructor makes the final call. If you have been accused of academic misconduct that you feel is unjustified, you have the right to appeal that decision.  


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Article ID: 128367
Fri 2/19/21 1:59 PM
Mon 3/8/21 11:28 AM