Do I Need to Use Online Monitoring or Proctoring?

If your course typically has timed, in-person, proctored exams, there are a number of options to consider if you wish to use online proctoring tools. These options range from technologically simple to more complex and the appropriate solution will depend on your course assessment needs and requirements. Realize that as these options become more complex, there is more potential for technical issues, student anxiety, and need for individual accommodation.

Please note that it may be possible for you to use alternative assessment strategies or use existing Canvas Quiz settings to address any academic integrity questions you may have.  For ideas and examples of alternate forms of online assessment and Canvas Quiz tool options, see Create Online Assessments.

Before employing additional online monitoring or proctoring, please carefully consider the following:

Using Respondus LockDown Browser

Respondus LockDown Browser is an application that can lock down a browser while students are taking a quiz: students are not allowed to print, capture the screen’s questions/answers, go to other websites, see the names of illustrations embedded in the exam, or access other applications on their computers.  It does not, of course, ensure that students are not using another device or notes.

You will need to enable the Lockdown browser option on a Canvas course site, and download and install the LockDown Browser. Find instructions on the Respondus LockDown Browser page.

Using Proctorio E-proctoring

Proctorio is an e-proctoring tool that is available to University of Minnesota colleges and departments. This tool has video and audio options to monitor and record student behavior, as well as the space where an exam is being administered. It also has lock-down browser options that prevent students from browsing the internet, printing or taking screenshots of questions/answers, and accessing other applications or folders.

Proctorio is a more robust proctoring tool but also a complex technology application, both for instructors to set up and for students to use. Generally, using Proctorio for online assessments requires a dedicated internet connection and a software plug-in that needs to be installed in advance. Proctorio can be technologically challenging for students and instructors. The decision to use Proctorio should be made with caution. Review Proctorio Use Considerations.

If it is critical for you to use Proctorio for online assessment, e.g., because of licensing or accreditation requirements, please be aware of the Proctorio requirements and limitations listed below.

Technology Requirements

  • To use Proctorio, students MUST have the following equipment:
    • A webcam
    • A microphone
    • Google Chrome browser
    • Install the Proctorio Extension for Chrome. It needs to be installed on the computer used to take the exam. 
    • A reliable/dedicated internet connection. For the best experience, we recommend using a hard-wired connection with at least .75 Mbps.
  • Proctorio must be enabled within a Canvas course site.
  • The U of MN licensing for Proctorio does not cover the use of mobile devices.

Accessibility Limitations

Using Proctorio presents challenges for users of assistive technology:

  • Video tracking options flag students with visual impairment because it can't track eye focus (instructors would need to ignore these “false positives” when reviewing exam recordings).
  • The use of other advanced exam settings could present “false positives” as well

Network Limitations

  • Computers owned by companies, especially those that utilize firewalls, may not permit access to certain course materials or systems due to security restrictions
  • If slower satellite or cellular internet connections are used, it may cause delayed response or errors (timeouts, access problems)
  • Using computers and the slower internet connection found in public places (e.g., coffee shops, libraries) may also cause delayed responses or errors (timeouts or access problems).

Canvas and Geographic Limitations

  • For international students, due to firewalls or government restrictions blocking the Canvas LMS, may have difficulty accessing with proctoring tools. Review International Access For Proctored Online Exams.
  • Students who are traveling to China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, or the region of Crimea may have difficulty accessing online course content when in these areas.

Recommended Practices

Below is the list of suggestions that you might find useful when setting up exams with Proctorio options.

Be Selective with Proctorio Settings

  • Unless you need the most rigorous proctoring, whenever possible, consider not enabling video options to track and monitor students.
    • Avoid the setting "Record Room" since students will be asked at a random moment during the test to provide a panoramic view by moving their webcam - which can be disrupting.
  • Enable all options under "Lock Down Options" except "Force completion" as it can lead to numerous and distracting requests to reset examinations.
  • Set the severity of suspicion as lenient to start with. If needed, you can change the severity level to moderate or severe even after a quiz is over, and it will immediately "re-grade" the suspicion score of student submissions.
  • Whenever possible, allow “Re-entry.” If for technical reasons a student can not continue with the exam (e.g., connection drops, computer shuts down, etc.), only Proctorio staff (and only if “re-entry with agent” has been selected by the instructor) can reset the exam and allow a new attempt.
  • Create and require all students to take a practice test first (not for points) so they can identify and resolve any technical issues before the real exam.
  • See also Recommended and Not Recommended Use Cases for using Proctorio.

Keep Your Students Informed

Include a statement in your course syllabus or exam description that outlines expectations regarding the use of online proctoring.

Example: 

All students must review the syllabus and the requirements including the online terms and video testing requirements to determine if they wish to remain in the course. Enrollment in the course is an agreement to abide by and accept all terms.

Online exams and quizzes within this course may require online proctoring. Therefore, students will be required to have a webcam (USB or internal) with a microphone when taking an exam or quiz. Students understand that this remote recording device is purchased and controlled by the student and that recordings from any private residence must be done with the permission of any person residing in the residence. To avoid any concerns in this regard, students should select private spaces for the testing. Students with concerns may discuss the location of an appropriate space for the recordings with their instructor or advisor. Students must ensure that any recordings do not invade any third-party privacy rights and accept all responsibility and liability for violations of any third-party privacy concerns. Setup information will be provided prior to taking the proctored exam. For additional information about online proctoring, review the Proctorio: Student Guide.

Provide Help Resources for Students

  • Share the Proctorio: Student Guide with your students 
  • Students can contact Proctorio (https://proctorio.com/support#support) and most of the time Proctorio is able to get the student back into the exam.
  • Students can Live Chat, email, or call Proctorio. Proctorio’s contact info can be found in the Exams modules and by clicking on the gray shield in the upper right corner of Chrome.

Materials adapted from the University of Iowa and the University of South Florida.