COLRS has recently received several reports of students
experiencing issues when attempting to take a Canvas quiz using Respondus
LockDown Browser. Recent security updates on Mac and Windows may be the cause
of most common issues with LockDown Browser, and are explained in greater
When LockDown Browser starts, it must be permitted to access this server: static-public-downloads-cloud.respondus.com
LockDown Browser accesses this server in order to check if an update has been issued by Respondus. If your computer and/or network is blocking access to this server, the LockDown Browser session will not be permitted to continue.
It’s possible that your computer’s security settings are blocking access, or you possibly have a firewall or anti-virus software running on your computer or network that is causing the block.
When this issue occurs, students may encounter Error Code a4 or the following warning: “Update server is not supplying information, or the connection to update server is blocked.” Information on how students can resolve this issue can be found in the Respondus Knowledgebase for Mac users and Windows users. Please share these resources with your students if you receive any reports of issues.
If students are experiencing other problems while using Respondus, such as the lack of the required webcam, Information Technology Services may be able to help by allowing students to borrow hardware. Students should contact ITS Client Services at 217-206-6000 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on this program and hardware availability.
If you wish to use Examity as a proctoring choice in your class, please contact COLRS at email@example.com and provide your course department, number, and section. We will contact Examity and have them add your course. Your course must be published for it to be added to Examity.
1. Using Examity® with Canvas
You will access Examity® through Canvas. All of the data relevant to your exams will be imported automatically daily into Examity®, and Examity® will not change anything about the way you currently use Canvas.
Add Examity Link to Course
To use Examity in your class, you must first link to the Examity tool in your Canvas Modules page.
Go to Modules.
Click on the + (Add) button for a Module.
In the “Add” drop down list, select “External Tool.”
Click on “Examity Sign In” from the list of tools, and then check the box for “Load in new tab.”
Click on “Add item” to add the Examity Sign In tool to your module.
Access Canvas Dashboard
To get to your Examity® Dashboard, click on the “Examity® Sign In” link. You will see a screen that says “click here to login”—by clicking that button, you log into Examity® with your Blackboard user information.
Once you click it, you will be taken directly to your Examity® Instructor Dashboard. You may be prompted to login as an Exam Instructor or Student. Select Exam Instructor.
Please note: there may be a one-day delay in seeing your dashboard after enabling the Examity tool for your class, as the data link between Blackboard and Examity refreshes once per day.
2. Viewing the Examity® Dashboard
You can get to all four areas of Examity® from your dashboard by clicking on either the links at the top of the navigation bar or the icons you see when you log in.
Clicking on the EXAM STATUS button will enable you to see the status of your students’ exams (scheduled, pending at auditor, approved/rejected by auditor, or cancelled/incomplete). This is the button to click if you want to review videos once they have been approved by our auditing team.
Clicking on STUDENT enables you to search for individual students. If a student needs special accommodations for an exam, such as double time for the exam, that information may be entered here.
Clicking on the REPORTS button displays all the exams that are associated with you. You can filter by class, or student name, and download Excel and PDF versions of these reports to help you keep track of your students.
Clicking on COURSES/EXAMS takes you to a list of all your classes. You can edit courses here.
Please Note: The first time you visit Examity, you will need to set up your profile. It is important for you to set up your correct time zone so that Examity knows from what time zone you are teaching.
3. Setting Up an Exam & Adding Customized Rules
The first step in setting up an exam with Examity is to make sure the exam is published in Canvas. The exam should also have a password. Exams that are published will be directly imported into our system.
Once an exam has been imported, you can enter the Examity dashboard and edit the settings of each course and exam by clicking the pencil icon under the “Action” tab. Click the arrow left of the course name to find and edit each exam for that course.
The first part of the box asks you to fill in several items:
Exam Name: Midterm, Quiz 1, etc.
FairExam Level: this is the desired level of proctoring service required. Examity offers four levels of service. As the instructor, you can select which level of service you want for your exam.
Level 0 – authenticate & record all tests
Level 1 – authenticate & record all tests, review a random sample of tests
Level 2 – authenticate & record all tests, review all tests
Level 3 – authenticate & record all tests, live proctor monitors & reviews all tests
Duration of the Exam: the length of time students get to complete the exam (1 hour)
Link to Access the Exam: In most cases, this will be bb.uis.edu
Exam Start Date: the first day in which the student can take the exam
Exam End Date: the last day in which the student can take the exam
Upload a File: If you need to provide your students with a document for their exam, such as a supplemental case study or a formula sheet, you may upload it here
Exam Password: If your Blackboard exam has a password, you may share the password with the proctor here. He/she will enter the password for the student on Blackboard.
Extended Time/Special Accommodations: If you have a student who needs special accommodations for the exam, select Yes. Please note: after setting up your exam, you will need to select the student(s) who needs special accommodations in the Student section of the Dashboard and enter the details of the student’s accommodation.
Student Upload File: If your students need to upload a file when they finish their exam, select yes.
The second part of the box establishes the rules for the exam environment. You can add special instructions here.
Examity provides standard rules, as listed above. To insert customized rules, such as the test is open book or that students are permitted to use a calculator, you may add them here by clicking the checkbox. Additional rules and special instructions may be inserted in the text box (click save after entering). Click Save Exam to finalize the exam’s arrangements with Examity.
Once you have added an exam, you can see the arrangements and make changes by clicking on the arrow next to the course in your Courses/Exam section of your Examity Dashboard.
Once an exam has been arranged with Examity, students may begin scheduling their exams directly with Examity. A sample letter for faculty to send to students about the scheduling their exam with Examity can be found on the COLRS’ website at go.uis.edu/examityemail .
**Please note: Exams will be pulled in automatically within 24 hours once the “Make the Link Available” link in Blackboard is marked to yes. To prevent students from seeing the exam before the exam date, set the Display After and Display Until dates for the testing period.
4. Tracking Exam Status
The Exam Status section of the Examity Dashboard allows instructors to view whether students have scheduled their exams and when those exams will take place. If a student has completed an exam, the status of the exam will indicate what stage the exam is currently in (in progress, pending at auditor, approved by auditor).
If the exam has been approved by the auditor, you will see at least two alert flags.
Green flags indicate no violations. If a student is authenticated and completes the exam with no violations, he/she will have two green alert flags.
Yellow flags indicate possible violations. These suggest that a violation of the rules has occurred, but the student was likely not cheating. For example, if the students’ young child runs into the room during the exam session, the auditor will flag the violation with a yellow flag.
Red flags indicate violation. A violation of the exam rules has occurred. When a student receives a red flag violation, the instructor will also receive an e-mail about the incident.
Instructors can view details of the alerts and watch the exam video by clicking on the View link next to the students’ flag alerts. Videos will remain available for 30 days, after which it is deleted from the Examity system.
5. Reaching Examity Support
Support is available 24 hours a day.
Call: 1-(855)-392-6489 or 1-(855)-EXAMITY
Live Chat: Click the tab on the bottom of your screen
If you rely on a paper-based final exam for your face-to-face courses, Blackboard can be used to administer your exam remotely. The COLRS blog has instructions on creating exams and posting exams in Blackboard. If your exam currently existing in Word or another software program, you’ll need to convert it into a Blackboard exam. Depending on the length of your exam, the simplest and fastest approach to convert your exam to Blackboard may be to copy and paste your questions from Word into a Blackboard test. Respondus can be used to convert more lengthy exams for Blackboard. Formatting an exam for Respondus can take time, so you’ll want to consider whether its use is worth the time to download and use it. COLRS can help you determine which approach may be easier for your course.
As Provost Papini mentioned in his e-mail to faculty yesterday, UIS recommends two proctoring solutions for remote courses. The first solution is Respondus Monitor with LockDown Browser . Respondus Monitor is a fully- automated tool that uses a student’s webcam to record the exam session. Suspicious testing behavior is automatically flagged by the software, and instructors are alerted to preview the alert flags. Respondus Monitor is free for faculty and students to use and it is integrated with Blackboard. LockDown Browser must be used to use Respondus Monitor. To use Respondus Monitor, follow the directions for preparing a test for LockDown browser. After selecting Respondus LockDown browser, also select the Respondus Monitor option. Students will be required to download and use LockDown browser for the exam.
The second proctoring solution is Examity Online Proctoring. Through the student’s webcam, Examity uses live proctors to observe and record the exam session. There is a fee for students to use Examity. Unfortunately, Examity’s proctoring facility has been shutdown because of COVID-19. Presently, they expect to be closed for a couple more weeks. If you hope to use Examity, you must e-mail COLRS to let us know the course that will have a proctored exam. Examity provides us with weekly updates on when they expect live, online proctoring to resume. We are hoping they will be resuming live, online proctoring by finals week, but there is a chance that might not be the case. In the event that live, online proctoring will not be available in time, COLRS will work with you to move to Respondus Monitor.
Respondus Monitor is a new tool available to faculty at UIS who want to enhance the integrity of low-stakes exams in online classes. While Examity remains the recommended option for high-stakes exams like midterms and final exams because of its ability to provide live, real-time proctoring, Respondus Monitor is a good option for faculty members who want to improve the integrity of low-stakes exams like weekly quizzes.
It uses a student’s webcam to record the testing environment. Suspicious testing behavior is automatically flagged by the software, and instructors are alerted to preview the alert flags. Respondus Monitor is free for faculty and students to use and it is integrated with Blackboard. Respondus LockDown Browser must be used to use Respondus Monitor. To use Respondus Monitor, follow the directions for using Respondus LockDown browser. After selecting Respondus LockDown browser, also select the Respondus Monitor option.
You can access Examity® through your course on Canvas. Click on the Examity link within the course.
Click to login to Examity.
This will take you to your Examity dashboard.
From here you can edit your profile, schedule exams, and make changes if you need to cancel or change a test time. Most importantly, this is where you’ll go to start your exams.
2. Getting Started
Setting Up Your Profile: To get started, update your Examity® profile by clicking in the My Profile section of the Dashboard. You will need to upload a picture of your UIS Student ID or a government issued photo ID, select your time zone, and set your security questions.
Please note the importance of selecting the correct time zone. This will be used in scheduling your test with the proctoring center. You can confirm your selected time zone by looking at the time in the upper right hand corner.
Once you have set up your profile, you can bypass this step for future exams.
Scheduling Your Exam: When you are ready to schedule an exam, click “Schedule Exam” on your dashboard or on the top navigation bar.
You will see a calendar. If you are scheduling your test more than 24 hours in advance, you can just select the date and time you want. If you are scheduling it less than 24 hours in advance, make sure the on-demand scheduling option is enabled in the top right-hand side of the screen.
Paying for Exam Proctoring: You will pay for your exam proctoring session at the time you schedule the exam. Rates for the proctoring session vary based on the length of the exam and the level of proctoring service selected by the instructor. Additional fees apply if you use on-demand scheduling (exam occurs within 24 hours).
Rescheduling or Canceling Your Exam: If you need to change or cancel your test appointment, click Reschedule/Cancel, and select the exam you want to change from the menu that appears.
3. Taking Your Exam
To take your exam, make sure you have your webcam and microphone set-up on your computer. Sign into Canvas, then your class. Return to the Examity® Dashboard by clicking on the Examity sign-on link within your class.
Click to login to Examity.
This will take you to your Examity dashboard.
Once on the Examity dashboard, click “Begin Scheduled Exam”, and select your exam. You will then be connected to your proctor. Note: MAKE SURE YOUR POP-UP BLOCKER IS DISABLED otherwise you will not be able to connect with your proctor!
Your proctor will walk you through the test authentication process, which will include verifying your identity, going over the exam rules, scanning your work area and desk, answering your security questions, and agreeing to the User Agreement.
Once you have finished the authentication process, you will see a screen that says “Begin Exam”, and your exam will open. If your test is password protected, your proctor will tell you the password when the prompt to enter it appears.
4. Reaching Examity Support.
Support is available 24 hours a day.
Call: 1 (855) EXAMITY or 1 (855) 392-6489
Live Chat: Click the tab on the bottom of your screen
The Timing – A barrier for course evaluation completion is timing the evaluation close to finals (Cottreau & Hatfield 2001). At UIS, course evaluations become available three weeks prior to the end of the semester. Thus, begin asking for feedback earlier in the semester!
You might be concerned that that timing may be too early to get accurate feedback from students, as not all activities and assignments have yet been completed. Research has shown, however, that the results of course evaluations completed earlier in a course are highly correlated with results of course evaluations completed finals week or after (McNulty et al. 2010). Not only do you increase the likelihood of having a higher response rate, students completing evaluations earlier provided more qualitative feedback than students completing evaluations later (McNulty et al. 2010). At UIS, these additional (write-in) comments are provided only to the instructor and are not added to the instructor’s faculty file.
The Frequency – For online course evaluations, post announcements as many times and in as many places as you can:
Post the link in your syllabus.
Create a specific announcement about the evaluation.
Sample Announcement – Course evaluations are open online. These are very important in improving the quality of classes at UIS. They also are an important instrument used in the promotion and tenure process for faculty members. Please take a few moments to fill out the evaluations for this class and any others you may be taking that have online evaluations: https://uisapp-s.uis.edu/courseevals/login.aspx. These evaluations are available only through Saturday, May 4.Faculty members do not see the results of course evaluations until after final grades are submitted for the term. Thanks for taking the time to fill them out!
Include the link to the evaluation in emails and announcements until the end date (And remember the course evaluation is available at x until x date).
Add as an item to the course calendar
Tell Students Why It’s Important – Remind students why course evalutions are important at UIS and remind them that you cannot see the feedback until after final grades are due and that it will not impact their grade in any way. Students are more likely to respond if they knew how their evaluations will be used and what decisions their responses will influence (Kidd & Latif 2003, Anderson et al. 2005; Cottreau & Hatfield 2001; Hatfield & Coyle 2013). The largest factor for not completing evaluations is that students believe the evaluations will not result in change or would not benefit them (Hatfield & Coyle 2013).
The Method – For on-campus classes at UIS, faculty have the choice of having online or in-class evaluations. Research is mixed on whether online or paper evaluations result in higher response rate, as shown below:
Compared with paper surveys, online evaluations have been associated with increased response rates (Barnett & Matthews 2009; Anderson et al. 2005; Thorpe 2002; Hatfield & Coyle 2013).
Online ratings produce a lower response rate than in-class ratings (Avery, Bryant, Mathios, Kang, & Bell, 2006; Benton, Webster, Gross, & Pallett, 2010 ; IDEA, 2011; Nulti, 2008).
Your class’s typical attendance rate should be considered when deciding whether the in-class or online evaluation will be more effective.
Goal #1 of the UIS Strategic Plan states that “UIS will achieve academic excellence through excellence in teaching and learning and excellence in scholarship.” Action Step #4 of the UIS Strategic Plan states that UIS will “Improve the assessment of learning outcomes and of teaching; use aggregated information from course evaluations to inform faculty development programming: a) Establish and fund a program to support improvements in the assessment of learning outcomes and program review. b) Adopt a new course evaluation instrument. c) Implement a multidimensional approach to teaching evaluation. d) Use the data from the improved teaching evaluation approach as the basis for issues addressed in faculty development programs.”
Presently, course evaluations are used for retention and promotion decisions and for course improvement. Completion of student course evaluations is imperative in evaluating curricular trends and teaching effectiveness, particularly if no other assessment methods are performed (Hatfield & Coyle 2013).
Research suggestions that student ratings of courses and faculty are a reliable and useful method of evaluating teaching and course effectiveness (Kidd & Latif 2003). In fact, student evaluations are as reliable as peer evaluations, provided that response rates are good (Paulsen 2002). However, course evaluations should be used in conjunction with other evaluation tools, such as the peer evaluation and a teaching portfolio, when evaluating the effectiveness of an instructor. Research has found that faculty members receiving the best evaluations are not always the most effective teachers according to students (Surratt & Desselle 2007). The Dr. Fox Effect, as seen in the following video, suggests that a highly expressive presenter can earn high evaluations even when the content presented is nonsensical.
The UIS online supplemental evaluation system allows faculty to administer anonymous surveys to their students. Faculty choose up to ten questions from a bank of 64 questions. Students log into the supplemental evaluation site with their UIS NetID and take the survey. If the survey is administered prior to the last two weeks of the semester, instructors see the anonymous student feedback immediately. If the survey is administered during the final two weeks of the semester, faculty may see the feedback after grades are posted. View the full description of the supplemental evaluation system.
If your evaluation ends prior to the last two weeks of the semester, you may log in to see results immediately. If your evaluation ends during the last two weeks of the semester, you will be able to access the results after final grades are posted.