Does Lockdown Browser Record You (Audio And Video)
Exam proctoring is an essential part of summative and formative assessments in every institution. It enables teachers to adequately assess the knowledge and comprehension levels of a specific subject area.
One of the biggest challenges that came with the introduction of online learning was a way to deter students from cheating during online examinations as they were more likely to cheat in online examinations than in-person examinations.
Fortunately, modern technology has evolved to provide tools for various tasks including online proctoring. This is essential especially since some institutions leverage various forms of online learning including blended learning in their delivery.
Even in in-person lessons, examinations can be held online and an instructor may be present where necessary. To prevent students from misusing computers during online examinations to cheat, institutions resort to lockdown browsers.
What Is LockDown Browser And How Does It Work
One of the most popular names in the field of online proctoring is Respondus and LockDown Browser. Platforms like Blackboard leverage LockDown Browser as an automated proctoring tool.
While this article focuses primarily on LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor, other popular online proctoring tools include Honorlock, Proctorio, and ProctorU. Let’s take a look at what a lockdown browser is, and how it works to deter student cheating during online examinations.
LockDown Browser is a custom browser that locks the testing environment within learning management systems. As the name suggests, LockDown Browser prevents student cheating by locking down various activities on a user’s computer or tablet during test-taking.
It’s no secret that some students would always try to identify ingenious ways to cheat especially in online examinations taken at the convenience of their homes. The ability to restrict the level of activity on the student’s computer becomes useful for other students as well who may simply be tempted.
Installing LockDown Browser enables the software to gain some level of control of the user’s computer during test-taking and then restrict actions like copy-pasting, keyboard shortcuts, opening other applications, printing or even switching to another browser.
In spite of LockDown Browser blocking these features during online tests, some students have still identified certain approaches to circumventing these functionalities.
This has led to further extension of the LockDown Browser’s functionalities to prevent simple and more advanced means of cheating. LockDown Browser is now able to block the use of virtual machines, remote desktops, screen sharing, instant messaging, screen recording, browser cache exploits, and many more.
Assessments taken in LockDown Browser are displayed on full screen and students are unable to minimize these windows. Students are also prevented from exiting until the assessment has been submitted for grading. Tests that require a LockDown Browser cannot be taken with standard browsers.
Does LockDown Browser Record You
LockDown Browser alone does not monitor or record student audio or video without the Respondus Monitor also called Respondus LockDown Browser, but simply locks down the student’s testing environment within the learning management system restricting student actions like copy-pasting, printing, switching tabs, using keyboard shortcuts, and more.
The Respondus Monitor is built on top of the LockDown Browser to provide an automated proctoring solution to institutions. It builds on the functionalities of the LockDown Browser and provides a more secure testing environment by accessing the computer’s webcam and microphone to record ambient sound and video of the student’s testing environment.
Tips For Using LockDown Browser And Respondus Monitor
Tips For Using LockDown Browser
- As it is in the case of any examination, it’s necessary to ensure your environment provides very little distraction.
- Refrain from using a virtual machine for your examination
- Close all programs except ones used to access the internet
Tips For Using Respondus Monitor Or Respondus LockDown Browser
- Select a quiet environment with no distraction or movement in the background to avoid getting distracted from the computer screen. Note that any abnormalities in the background would trigger a flag as Respondus Monitor records both audio and video of the student and their environment during test-taking
- Ensure any permitted books and resources are within the field of view of the webcam during test-taking
- Advisable to sit for the examination instead of lying down even at home
- Any materials not explicitly permitted by your institution should be removed from the examination environment
- Remove all mobile devices from the area or desk on which your computer is positioned during the test
- Ensure your computer has a functional webcam and microphone before starting the examination
- Ensure your examination environment is well-lit as a dark room would make it difficult for the webcam to identify you during tests which can lead to getting flagged
- Place laptops on flat and stable surfaces during examination
- Remove any head coverings during proctored examinations
- Avoid moving your webcam if external during tests unless explicitly instructed to do so
- Ensure no animals or people are present in the learning environment to avoid getting flagged for potential cheating
How Does Lockdown Browser Detect Cheating
LockDown Browser on its own simply prevents cheating on the student’s computer but leverages Respondus Monitor also called Respondus LockDown Browser built on top of the LockDown Browser to further access the computer’s webcam and microphone to detect and flag any attempts at cheating at the candidate’s examination environment.
Since LockDown Browser on its own is only limited to preventing any actions that can be leveraged to cheat on the computer, it’s unable to detect students cheating with secondary devices as it doesn’t access the candidate’s environment.
Respondus Monitor builds on the functionality of the LockDown Monitor by including access to the candidate’s computer webcam and microphone. It is then able to identify and record identify any suspicious activities ongoing in the candidate’s examination environment and flag them.
How Does Lockdown Browser Detect Cheating Without Webcam
LockDown Browser alone does not access student webcam but Respondus Monitor or Respondus LockDown Browser built on top of the LockDown Browser requires students to have a functioning webcam and microphone before taking their test.
Respondus LockDown Browser also called Respondus Monitor works by accessing both the webcam and microphone of the candidate. Students writing an online test using the Respondus LockDown Browser are required to use computers with working webcams and microphones.
Does Respondus Monitor Eye Movement
Yes, Respondus LockDown Browser accesses student webcams to monitor student environment, activities, and eye movements during test-taking. Any prolonged movements of the face or eye away from the screen would be flagged as an attempt at cheating.
Does Respondus Flag Eye Movement
Yes, Respondus LockDown Browser tracks body, facial, and eye movement and automatically flags any activity that could be considered suspicious including any repeated eye movements in any direction.
Does Respondus Flag You For Talking To Yourself
Yes, Respondus flags any incidence deemed suspicious which includes talking to yourself. You should note that Respondus doesn’t flag students for cheating but only suspicious activities including talking to yourself or someone else.
Respondus LockDown Browser while advanced, still lacks the intelligence to differentiate between certain actions or activities that may not necessarily be considered cheating. As a result, the Respondus Monitor simply flags any and all suspicious activities to be reviewed by your instructor.
Does Respondus LockDown Browser Flag Audio
Yes, Respondus LockDown Browser uses the computer’s microphone to identify and flag any abnormal sounds in the candidate’s general examination environment.
It’s advisable to ensure the examination environment is quiet and void of any possible forms of distractions. Phones and other devices that could produce sound should also be removed from the examination area.
If you’ve got pets, it equally advisable they’re outside the exam environment as their presence would be flagged as a suspicious activity.