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Respondus Helps Curtail Cheating while Protecting Privacy

Supported tools to address your high stakes assessment needs

As technology continues to advance, traditional classroom practices are enhanced with technologies. In-class assessments that used to take up valuable time are often administered through Blackboard, allowing for more efficient use of class time. However, while at-home activities have their benefits, they can be compromised by various internet resources like Chegg, CourseHero, and ChatGPT, which may help students misrepresent their academic abilities.

Respondus Lockdown Browser (RLDB) is a tool designed to reduce students' opportunities for academic misconduct during assessments, including high-stakes testing offered through Blackboard. The application disables a test taker's computer from performing certain actions, including taking screenshots, opening additional web pages or search engines, accessing particular network traffic, and generally restricting the opportunities for students to receive outside help.

RLDB can also operate in conjunction with Respondus Monitor, which leverages an end user's computer camera and AI for real-time proctoring. Monitor can be viewed live by the instructor through a web conferencing platform, or the system records the student taking the test so the instructor can view later.

There are four simple steps to take to turn on the Lockdown Browser:
  1. Create the assessment, whether test or assignment
  2. Enable the settings via the Respondus Lockdown Browser dashboard for the specific assessment
  3. Select Respondus Lockdown Browser for the assessment
  4. Save the settings

Once enabled, the Blackboard assessment will require students to use LockDown Browser. They will need to download a specific installation of the Lockdown Browser that is unique to UMBC. NOTE: Despite rumors to the contrary, RLDB is not malware and Monitor is designed to safeguard users' privacy.

Depending on your course, students will access the quiz directly from Blackboard (Ultra) or the Lockdown Browser (Original). TIP: If your assessment requires students to write a lengthy response, the answer window can be enlarged.

Although they're not for everyone, the Respondus Tools can be a game-changer for instructors. Both of these tools help reduce the opportunity for cheating, in much the same way one walking around their classroom keeps students' eyes on their own tests. They are not, however, panacea, as students set on circumventing measures to support academic honesty will surely always find ways around one's best laid plans even and perhaps particularly in face-to-face settings. It is important to note, though, that both of these tools are supported by the UMBC's Division of Information Technology (DoIT).

In the lead-up to mid-term season, but also throughout the year, please remember that consulting and design support from DoIT staff are only an RT ticket away.

* Image by storyset on Freepik

Posted: April 10, 2023, 8:57 AM