Instructors who have scheduled final exams are asked to carefully consider how to proceed when teaching remotely.

Conducting all exams remotely can be a new—and stressful—experience for both instructors and students. The Center for Learning Innovation is available to help navigate this challenge. Working with the Office of the Registrar, the University Faculty Council, and the Center for Disability Resources, the Center for Learning Innovation encourages the following:

  • Should you need to adjust your exam time(s), ensure that the adjustment works for everyone; adjusted exam times should not impinge on any student’s commitments to other courses or any other exams they may have in the published final exam period.
  • Please notify your students and the Office of the Registrar if you do adjust your exam time
  • Go back to the basics and review your courses’ learning objectives; think outside the box to remotely assess student achievement of these goals
  • Delivering a traditional exam securely online with remote proctoring may not be feasible due to the extensive preparation, support, and costs involved to the instructors, the students, and the university
  • Consider a variety of alternatives; to address concerns about test security, online exam options could include a final project; open-book/open-notes exam; shorter, more frequent, lower stakes assessments using Blackboard’s test feature; or even an oral exam through Collaborate Ultra or Google Meet—scheduled in individual 20–30 minute appointments
  • Participate in the Center for Learning Innovation's workshops to help you use the online tools available in Blackboard Learn to their fullest; the center offers workshops and classes to help utilize these tools, which can be found on this page
  • With everything online, students need to know that they are connected to you and the university
  • Communication cannot be overemphasized. Communicating with your students can help reduce anxiety and the understandable fear of the unknown, especially with respect to exams. Make sure that they have any and all information necessary for a successful exam experience
  • Flexibility is key. Disruptions during the semester may limit students' access to resources. Be ready to adapt and change expectations based on the limitations remote learning can impose
  • Work with the Center for Disability Resources to ensure that all accommodation requests are addressed appropriately
  • With or without a formal accommodations request on file, make sure that your exams are inclusive and accessible for all students by using principles of universal design for learning; one example is giving an extended time period for all students in which to complete an exam

Respondus LockDown Browser is a custom web browser that locks down the testing environment within Blackboard. After a one-time download, Respondus LockDown Browser will launch directly from Blackboard. When students use Respondus LockDown Browser, they are unable to print, copy, go to another URL, or access other applications (unless the instructor has allowed these functions when setting up the exam in Blackboard). When an assessment is started, students are locked into it until they submit it for grading.

Respondus Monitor is a tool that works directly with Respondus LockDown Browser using the student’s webcam and artificial intelligence analytics to prevent cheating during non-proctored exams. After a quick one-time installation, Respondus Monitor will auto-launch from the student's browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, IE) whenever the exam settings require it. Students are then guided through a pre-exam sequence, including a webcam check. Students access exams within the LMS as they normally would. Instructors do everything within the LMS too, including the post-exam review of proctoring results.

In order to use either Respondus LockDown Browser or Respondus Monitor, instructors must build exam questions in Blackboard, or import exams into Blackboard.

For local students who do not have access to a computer or a webcam, the Galvin Library has laptops and webcams available for check out. Please contact them (, 312-567-3616) for details.

Unfortunately, there is not a version of Respondus Lockdown Browser that is compatible with Chromebooks at this time. Respondus is working on an update for Chromebooks, but it is not currently available.