Testing Services

flow chartThe Provost has called on all instructors to be flexible in support of students who may have technical or scheduling constraints that interfere with their ability to participate in synchronous class activities. Adopting methods of assessing student learning other than proctored exams is strongly encouraged. Where exams are the only feasible way to assess student learning outcomes, ideally they should be offered asynchronously online and without direct student monitoring.

Alternatives to Monitored Exams

In determining how to handle your exams, the first decision is whether you can replace them with alternative assessments or eliminate them entirely. This listing from Berkeley gives some ideas for non-exam activities. For larger classes, activities that rely on groups or peer review can reduce instructor load. If you would like assistance with identifying and refining ideas for non-exam assessment activities, please contact learntech@ncsu.edu.

If you deem an exam necessary, the second question is whether an unmonitored exam is feasible. Open-book tests, collaborative tests, or tests that allow for notes are some suggestions from this list of assessment options from Minnesota. If you would like assistance with defining or refining an alternate exam strategy, please contact learntech@ncsu.edu.

Once you’ve considered all alternatives, if you need to monitor your students while they take their exam, you have several choices. As you’ll see, none of them is perfect.

Using Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor in Moodle

If your exam is in Moodle, or you can move it to Moodle, you can take advantage of Respondus LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor.

DELTA has an article with some considerations and concerns raised by faculty and students about exam monitoring and particularly with Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor.


Respondus LockDown Browser is an application that is launched from a Moodle Quiz; when using it, students are unable to print, copy, go to another URL, or access other applications while taking their exam. Respondus Monitor is a webcam feature for LockDown Browser that records students during the exam. After the exam, Respondus Monitor generates Review Priority values based on three sources of data: the webcam video of the test taker, the computing device & network used for the assessment, and the student’s interaction with the assessment itself.

Requirements and Limitations:

  • The exam must be in Moodle.
  • Students must have a broadband internet connection.
  • Students must have a webcam to use Respondus Monitor, but not to use Respondus LockDown Browser. The Libraries expects to have a limited number of webcams available for long term loan by May 28 (the original date was April 9 but delivery is delayed).
  • Students must be able to download and install the Respondus LockDown Browser. (This will happen the first time they open a Quiz with Respondus LockDown Browser enabled or they may download Respondus LockDown Browser using this preconfigured link.)
  • Students must use a Windows or Mac computer with a compatible operating system. iPads may be allowed by instructors. Linux is not a supported platform.
  • Respondus Lockdown Browse cannot be run on a virtual machine, thus will not work with the NC State Virtual Computing Lab (our campus’s virtual computing environment).
  • Respondus LockDown Browser can only prevent the use of applications on the device where the student is taking the exam. Use of other devices is unaffected.
  • Not all screen readers are supported by Respondus LockDown Browser, but NVDA, JAWS, and VoiceOver are all supported.
  • Some limits on allowable materials cannot be enforced (e.g. # of pages of notes).
  • Although the audio and video from the webcam will be monitored, there are things the camera cannot see or hear.
  • Respondus LockDown Browser can only prevent the use of applications on the device where the student is taking the exam. Use of other devices is unaffected.
  • You are responsible for activating and configuring Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor in Moodle.
  • You are responsible for reviewing your own exam recordings and interpreting Review Priority values. DELTA cannot assist with interpreting Review Priority values or determining that an academic integrity violation has occurred.
  • Recordings are usually available 8 to 24 hours after the exam is finished.
  • Use of allowed materials (e.g. notes) will be flagged as anomalous student behavior if using Respondus Monitor.

To Move Forward:

Using Zoom to Observe Students Taking a Paper Exam

You may choose to observe your students through Zoom while they take their paper exam.


Zoom allows you to view a student through their webcam. Using Gallery View, you can see up to 49 students at one time (depending on your monitor size).

Requirements and Limitations:

To Move Forward:

Consult with DELTA Testing Services

If you have an online exam in a system other than Moodle and it cannot be converted to Moodle, or if you have some other exam situation that isn’t covered by the options above, please get in touch with DELTA Testing Services and we’ll consult with you about possibilities.