Proctoring Tools

Proctoring tools can help minimize academic dishonesty during exams. Learn more about how Respondus LockDown Browser, Respondus Monitor and Zoom can help.

Comparison of Online Proctoring Tools

It is best practice to have students do an environment scan before all online exams. Please see the updated guidance on environment scans.

  LockDown Browser Respondus Monitor Zoom* ProcterU Live+

What is this tool?

Custom browser that locks down the UBLearns test environment.

A webcam feature (used with LockDown Browser) that digitally records students online assessments.

A video communication tool that can be harnessed for online proctoring.

Live human proctoring backed by artificial intelligence for the duration of the assessment.

What does this tool prevent?

Any activity on the computer not related to the test: printing, taking screen shots, navigating to websites, opening applications, sending an email, etc.

Same as LockDown Browser, plus collaboration with others, use of another device, and use of hard copy resources.

Live viewing of exam helps identify forbidden or suspicious behaviors. Better angle for paper-pencil tests if use phone camera. Can use breakout rooms for small groups.

Any behaviors specified as not allowed by instructor at exam set-up. Suspicious behaviors are addressed in real time.

What are drawbacks of this tool?

Does not protect: student use of any other device, student access of hard copy materials, or collaboration with others.

Since cheating behaviors are reviewed after the fact, can be difficult to assess ambiguous behaviors for dishonesty.

Not designed as proctor tool. Must disable virtual backgrounds. Concerns for student privacy must be addressed. See updated guidance.

Costs money for each proctored exam. Check with your department for availability.

When is this tool recommended?

Lower-stakes assessments that only disallow online help.

Low-medium stakes assessments that dictate students work without resources or peer input.

Any assessment when a student has no webcam but has a cellphone with camera.

High-stakes (>15% of final grade), cumulative, objective assessments.

What alternatives are available?

Apply UBLearns tools such as question pools, randomizing question and answer order, and timing of assessment.

Same as LockDown Browser. Design alternative assessment.

Design alternative assessment requiring higher-level thought that makes cheating less attractive and less helpful.

Design alternative assessment requiring higher-level thought that makes cheating less attractive and less helpful.

What are the technical requirements?

Windows: 10, 8, 7 
Mac: OS X 10.10 to 10.15
iOS: 7.0+ (iPad only).

Same as LockDown Browser + Webcam and microphone. Broadband internet connection.

Webcam and microphone or phone with camera. Internet connection.

Chrome or Firefox with extension.

Webcam and microphone. Internet. See the ProctorU website for technical requirements.

Respondus LockDown Browser

Respondus LockDown Browser locks down a student’s computer during an assessment so that they cannot do anything else (e.g., take a screenshot, navigate to a web page, email a friend, etc.). However, it cannot account for student cell phones, other people in the room or other means of communication to which the student may have access. Respondus LockDown Browser will not keep students from collaborating, using class resources or using additional outside resources.

In addition to using Respondus LockDown Browser consider:

  • Adding an Academic Integrity statement to your assessment.
  • Randomizing test questions and answers.
  • Developing pools of questions so no two exams are the same.
  • Creating and administering different assessments.
  • Using the force completion/time function. 
  • Requiring everyone begin the assessment at the same time.

See the UBIT website for information on how to implement Respondus LockDown Browser.

Respondus Monitor

Respondus Monitor offers artificial intelligence monitoring of students during an assessment and flags suspicious behaviors for instructors to then view and analyze. This tool is excellent at preventing academic misconduct since students are less likely to risk dishonesty when they are being recorded. Respondus Monitor can keep students from collaborating, using class resources or using additional outside resources.

In lieu of using Respondus Monitor consider incorporating different formative and summative assessments (e.g., discussion boards, essays, group projects) into your course(s).

See the UBIT website for information on how to implement Respondus Monitor.


*Please read about the updated guidance for enviornment scans based on the outcome of the Ohio Supreme Court case (2022).

Zoom can also be used for proctoring. Though not designed as a proctoring tool, instructors at many national universities are virtually proctoring students through Zoom’s video communication tool. There are two options to consider when using Zoom as a proctoring tool:

  1. Using Zoom with Respondus LockDown Browser.
  2. Using Zoom on a second device (e.g., smartphone) monitoring the student taking the assessment.

Advantages of Using Zoom

  • Breakout rooms allow for a variety of class sizes (recommended: five to 10 students per room).
  • Students can take the assessment at the same time.
  • Gallery view (can see up to 49 students at a time) allows for all students to be proctored simultaneously.
  • Waiting room can be used to let one student in at a time so students can identify themselves and share their environment.
  • Has a remote control desktop option.
  • Can record sessions for further review.
  • Cost effective.

Disadvantages of Using Zoom

  • Concerns about student privacy as a result of the Ohio Supreme Court case (2022).
  • Large classes may need multiple faculty or teaching assistant proctors.
  • Cannot record breakout rooms unless the host is present in the individual room.
  • Virtual backgrounds can be used to hide the actual testing environment.
  • Students must have a webcam.
  • Students must have multiple devices (e.g., laptop and smartphone) if using zoom through phone.
  • Students may have privacy concerns (e.g., recording and/or sharing environment).
  • If used with Respondus LockDown Browser, freezing may occur.
  • Can't use with Respondus LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor on the same device.

Zoom Recommendations

  • To account for student privacy concerns it is now recommended to use focus mode for all Zoom proctoring sessions. You can find more information on the Zoom support website.
  • Create a quiz in UB Learns asking students to express consent for room scans as part of the proctoring process during any remote testing within the course.
  • Clearly outline assessment expectations to students prior to the assessment, including physical environment, faculty and TA roles, bathroom breaks, questions procedure, technical difficulties and unexpected emergencies.
  • Use in conjunction with a paper and pencil assessment or UBLearns assessment for a better viewing angle.
  • Provide a practice assessment.
  • Add additional time to the Zoom meeting for instructions and questions.
  • Clearly communicate a standard for students’ Zoom configurations, including mute upon entry, turn off virtual background, and both microphone and speaker audio are activated.
  • Turn off virtual backgrounds (navigate to Zoom profile settings, under In Meeting [Advanced]).
  • Be sure to utilize available accessibility features.

Additional Things to Remember While Using Zoom

  • Students have individual UB, SSO Zoom accounts.
  • There may be disparities in students' internet availability and bandwidth, in addition to other situational factors such as time zones, device diagnostics and compatibility.
  • Only 50 breakout rooms are available per Zoom session. Multiple Zoom sessions may be needed for larger classes. 
  • Breakout rooms are not recorded unless the host is present in the room.
  • Recordings of students in Zoom are subject to the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).