If you are using Blackboard for college, you may be curious if this platform can detect cheating on exams or assignments. What kind of behavior will you be penalized for?
Here, you will determine all the tools and software that Blackboard uses to pinpoint cheating:
Is Blackboard Able to Detect Cheating?
As a standalone platform, Blackboard is unable to detect cheating – it is only when the website is used with features such as Lockdown Browser or Respondus Monitor that it will be able to limit or monitor activity related to cheating.
Can Blackboard Detect Cheating On Its Own?
As mentioned, Blackboard largely relies on third-party software and programs to detect cheating. However, the site does include one feature that professors can use during exams.
This is the IP Filtering feature. Here, your professor will be able to restrict the IP addresses that can access the exam. As a result, you have to be at a designated location for you to be able to take your test.
With this feature, your professor will likely choose a particular testing field on campus. They may also include other instructions that you have to bring a signed form and student ID with you into the exam room.
In doing so, the professor can be certain that it is really you who is taking the test and that you only are accessing the exam at that point.
How Does Blackboard Use Lockdown Browser?
Keep in mind that your professor has to choose to use this feature. Therefore, they must activate it themselves or those restrictions will not be applied to your exam.
If the Lockdown Browser feature is activated, then there will be limits on what you can access on your computer during your exam.
To begin with, you will only be able to stay on the browser and the tab that the Blackboard platform is open on. After the exam starts you will not be able to open any other browsers or tabs on the same browser.
Any attempt to do so is taken note of and reported to your professor.
The Lockdown Browser also locks down other applications. As a result, you can’t access any other tools that are on your computer. This includes third party messaging applications, other software, etc.
It is only once you submit your test that these restrictions will be lifted.
How Does Blackboard Use Respondus Monitor?
The Respondus Monitor is a video and audio proctoring service. This means that it will be recording both video and sound while you take your exam.
The footage is monitored by the Respondus team. If they notice certain behaviors, then these behaviors will be flagged and sections of this footage or audio will be sent to your professor.
It is then up to your professor to determine if you were cheating or not.
Respondus Monitor is actually quite sophisticated. The software uses facial recognition to ensure that it is only you who is taking the exam for the duration of that period.
The software also tracks gaze and facial movements. Therefore, if your gaze or your head is not directed at the screen for more than a certain period, this will be flagged.
The same goes for if the webcam detects any other person in the room or if you leave your exam at any point.
The audio picks up all ambient noise and listens out for other voices apart from your own.
In some instances, one feature of this program may be able to record your monitor as well. Not only will your professor know what parts of your computer you are accessing, but they will also be able to see the manner in which you are taking the test.
Just because your facial movements are flagged, however, this doesn’t mean that you will be automatically accused of cheating. Instead, your professor will have the opportunity to review the information and determine if it is suspicious or not.
In most cases, the professor tends to be more lenient than the software.
Can Blackboard Use Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor at the Same Time?
Once again, this does depend on your professor. They may choose to use one proctoring service or the other or they may use both together.
This choice will largely depend on your school as well. For instance, there may be certain rules or guidelines stating that every professor has to use these programs for every exam.
It can be a lot more difficult to cheat when both of these programs are in play. This is because every aspect of your work is being monitored. Even looking away from your screen for too long can get you caught.
Depending on the features enabled by Blackboard, you may also find features such as keyboard logging. In this case, the program monitors how long you go without typing. If it is more than a certain period, then this is flagged and the information is shared with your professor.
Of course, there are students that still try to circumvent these rules by using smartphones, projectors, and other means to cheat on their exams.
Can Blackboard Monitor or Record You Without You Knowing?
No, as scary as this thought maybe, this will not happen. Every exam will mention whether or not you have to use Respondus Monitor or not.
If you are required to use this feature, then you have to activate the program. After this, you have to follow a few different steps to make sure that your webcam and microphone are in working order.
Once this has been established, then the exam will begin. When the recording starts, there will be an icon indicating that you are being recorded. The moment that you submit your exam, the recording will end immediately.
It may be possible for you to disable both Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor if they make you feel uncomfortable. However, you will need to download both services again before any exam that you take.
Can Blackboard Detect Cheating on Assignments?
Yes, Blackboard is able to detect cheating on assignments without any external programs. This is done via a program known as SafeAssign. It is available on the Blackboard platform.
Your professor may require you to directly submit your assignment to this service. Once you do this, your assignment is run through a plagiarism checker and your professor is provided with a report.
In some instances, your professor may allow you to upload the assignment more than once. If this is the case, you will be able to see your plagiarism score before submitting your assignment to your professor.
This gives you the opportunity to make the necessary changes before re-submitting the assignment.
If the professor has not made this feature available, then you can only submit the paper once and it will be directly sent to the plagiarism checker and then your professor.
This program is quite sophisticated and will compare your assignment to various texts and databases to determine how similar two pieces of work may be.
Can Blackboard Detect Signs of Cheating?
It is possible for Blackboard to tell that you are cheating but the level of accuracy will depend on the exact features being used – in most cases, Blackboard will use Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor to determine if you are cheating on an exam.