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Do Teachers Actually Check Lockdown Browser? Is It Safe, Legal?

The use of proctoring solutions for remote invigilation is becoming common in recent years. Tools like the Lockdown Browser are now leveraged across multiple educational institutions for remote proctoring.

Respondus Lockdown Browser, also known as Respondus Monitor, builds on Lockdown Browser by allowing access to the student’s computer camera and microphone during online examinations in order to detect any efforts to cheat.

These tools are known to the students taking these online assessments, but do the professors truly look at the Lockdown Browser, or are they just there to frighten the students?

Yes, although most professors may not be able to check Lockdown Browser in real-time during tests, Respondus Lockdown Browser flags and record any suspicious activities which is then reviewed by professors.

To put it simply, even when professors are unable to actively monitor activities during proctored tests, the Respondus Lockdown Browser will snitch on students who attempt to cheat.

It’ll show teachers exactly where some background noise was heard or recorded some form of activity. The professor would then assess and determine whether the activity constitutes cheating.

Additionally, some professors may either relegate the role of invigilation to their teaching assistants who would actively monitor the Lockdown Browser in real-time.

What Do Teachers See On Lockdown Browser

Teachers can see the amount of time taken to complete the quiz, number of flagged events and color-code severity (green to red), and the percentage of quiz time where facial recognition was successful.

Keep in mind that Lockdown Browsers themselves are unable to determine whether the student cheated or not. They simply flag and log any suspicious activity and present it to the teacher for review.

The teacher can then review these logs to determine whether students attempted to cheat or not. A typical example is Lockdown Browser flagging a pet who enters the examination environment.

While this cannot be considered cheating or an attempt to do so, Lockdown Browser would still flag this event for the teacher to review.

That said, there have been reported instances where people attempted to cheat by tying notes and answers to their pets. These offenders were caught and penalized after teachers reviewed the flagged event.

Can Professors See You On Lockdown Browser

Yes, but only if Respondus Lockdown Browser, also known as Respondus Monitor, is used. Respondus Lockdown Browser builds on the functionalities of the Lockdown Browser by leveraging the computer webcam and microphone to monitor the student and their environment, activities, and eye movements during test-taking.

Some professors would dedicate time to monitoring ongoing tests themselves. In cases where they’re unable to monitor the examination themselves, teaching assistants may be assigned the tasks of monitoring students during tests.

That said, Respondus Lockdown Browser will flag and log any suspicious activities for the professor or teaching assistant to review. This includes video and audio recordings of any flagged activity.

Keep in mind that breach of academic integrity policies is a serious offense in every educational institution. Students caught cheating could have their papers canceled or even expelled from the institution.

How Do You Know If You Get Flagged On Lockdown Browser

You don’t. Events flagged by Lockdown Browser are only available to instructors for review. Students are not notified when these flagged events as Lockdown Browser merely flags and logs any suspicious activity.

Keep in mind that Lockdown Browser does not identify cheating but serves as a tool that logs suspicious activities for instructors to review.

Students have no idea when they are flagged but instructors are alerted and presented with a recording to determine whether the activity constitutes an attempt to cheat.

What Happens If You Get Caught Cheating On Respondus

Unlike traditional invigilation where teachers/invigilators are present to ensure that students adhere to the school’s academic integrity policies, online examinations are difficult to invigilate.

Students are also more likely to cheat in a non-proctored online examination than they are to cheat in an in-person examination. Even with Lockdown Browsers, students could still leverage other devices including their phones to cheat in their online examinations.

This is why Respondus Monitor, also called Respondus Lockdown Browser serves an important need for educational institutions worldwide.

Depending on the educational institution’s academic integrity policies, students caught cheating on Respondus Monitor could face punishments ranging from paper cancelation to dismissal from the school.

Additionally, Respondus can store video sessions of examinations, flagging information, and other relevant data for up to five years, depending on the school’s requirements. This means educational institutions can review previous examinations, should a student be accused of cheating in future examinations.

How Good Is Respondus At Catching Cheating

No system is perfect, and while it may be possible to cheat on any system, Respondus Monitor employs machine learning and artificial intelligence to efficiently flag and log suspicious activity for review.

By using the computer webcam and microphone to identify any suspicious activities and using Lockdown Browser to restrict student activities like copy-paste, new tab, minimizing, screenshot, and shortcut keys on the computer, Respondus Lockdown Browser is an effective means of remote proctoring.

Any suspicious activities are flagged and recorded for review by your instructor. Depending on the severity, the instructor would be able to adequately determine whether the activity constitutes cheating.

Unlike in-person proctoring where you may be able to steal a glance when the invigilator is distracted, Respondus Monitor would continue to record any action you perform.

It also leverages machine learning and artificial learning to identify suspicious activities and records them for teachers to review. This information is readily available for up to 5 years for review by the school in the event of a future incident.

Is Lockdown Browser Safe

Yes, Lockdown Browser is safe as it does not cache student data nor does it run in the background once a test has ended. However, care should be taken to ensure that the software is downloaded from a genuine source to avoid malicious code getting introduced to the computer.

The software should only be downloaded from the link in Canvas to ensure that students get access to the genuine software. Keep in mind that Lockdown Browser gains some level of control over various functionalities of the computer during tests.

Should students download the software from a malicious source, they stand the risk of exposing their personal data to third parties.

And while there’re fears of Lockdown Browser running in the background of the student’s computer once a test has ended, the software does not store user data after usage.

However, unconvinced students should uninstall the application from their devices and reinstall it again from a genuine source whenever needed.

If you choose to keep the software on your device after a test, it’s advisable to keep it updated to ensure that there are no bugs that need to be fixed.

Is Respondus Monitor Legal

Yes, despite the fact that some may consider using Respondus Monitor to be an invasion of privacy, users must formally grant access to their computer’s webcams and microphones in order for it to be lawful.

Keeping in mind that Respondus Monitor isn’t spying on you, but simply serving as a remote invigilator that requires your permission. Unfortunately, you most certainly can’t afford to deny permission as you’d fail the examination.

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