An increasing number of colleges are using Respondus Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor to conduct examinations. However, do these applications actually record you while you are taking your exam? If so, how much of the exam is recorded?
You can have these questions, and more, answered for you below:
Does Respondus Record You During Your Exam?
This depends on the settings activated by your professor – however, if Respondus Monitor has been activated, then you will be recorded via your webcam for the duration of the exam – this software tracks and records both video and audio stimuli.
Does Respondus Always Record You?
There is a fair amount of proctoring software available on the market. Due to this, there is often some confusion between each option and how they function.
In reality, Respondus is a bit of an umbrella term for a group of software that your college can use. This includes Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor.
Now, the teacher has the option to activate only the Lockdown Browser or activate Respondus Monitor as well.
If your professor selects Lockdown Browser alone, then this will only work to lock down your computer so that you can only use one website on a single browser. You will also not be allowed to print, copy, or open other applications on your computer.
However, the professor will not be able to record you.
It is only if they activate Respondus Monitor as well that the software will start recording you at the beginning of your exam.
When Does Respondus Begin Recording You?
You have to go through a few steps before the software begins recording you. Respondus Monitor will often have you check your webcam to ensure that it is working properly before you can get started with the test.
It is only once the examination begins that the software will start recording you. A recording icon will appear at the top of the screen to let you know that you are being monitored.
After you have completed the exam or have decided to hand in the exam, the recording will finish.
What Movements Does the Software Track?
The thing to remember is that Respondus simply records you taking the test via your webcam. This means that the software can only record whatever the webcam is aimed at.
That being said, the software has been designed to flag various events. You will not be aware of these flagged events but the sections that have been flagged will be sent to your professor.
One of the things that the Respondus Monitor software tracks is eye movement. If your eyes move away from your screen too often or look away from the screen for too long, this could be a cause for you to be flagged.
Your head and facial movements are also tracked. If you move in a way that may suggest that you are cheating, then this section of the video will be flagged.
This will also happen if your face is not visible due to poor lighting, a too bright light aimed at the webcam, or even head or facial coverings.
If you leave your computer for any period of time or if your face isn’t recorded for any moment, then this will also be flagged.
You also have to be the only person in the room. If the video records anybody else entering the room or appearing next to you, then this would be a cause for the video to be flagged.
Does Respondus Know If You Use Your Phone?
If only Lockdown Browser is activated, then no, your examiner will not be able to know if you use your phone. This software is only activated on one device at a time.
If you have to use Respondus Monitor, though, then it is likely that you will get flagged using your phone.
This is true even if the video will be unable to pick up the phone itself. Remember, if you look down at your lap for too long and if it seems like your hands are clutching a phone, the section of the video will be flagged.
Even if you keep your phone to the side, you will likely need to use at least one hand for the phone. Not to mention, you will be looking away from the screen for an extended period of time.
How Much Audio is Recorded by Respondus?
Respondus Monitor uses your microphone to record ambient recording. If any part of your examination requires you to record audio or to speak to the professor directly, this will not be recorded.
However, if you simply speak out loud, if there is a noise in your room, if someone else is speaking, then this is recorded.
Now, a lot of students are discomfited by this idea. After all, it isn’t unusual for people to read certain questions out loud or to even talk to themselves while taking an exam.
So, if this happens will it be counted against you?
Well, as mentioned, Respondus Monitor will only record the ambient noise in your room. Talking to yourself may cause you to be flagged.
However, this recording will be passed on to your professor and they will have to make the final call here.
Does Respondus Record the Screen?
No, the Respondus Monitor software uses your webcam to record you. Due to this, the software is only able to record whatever it is pointed at.
That being said, you should be mindful of the fact that your professor may have activated Lockdown Browser in the settings as well.
In this case, your computer and screen are being monitored – you just don’t know it. Not to mention, various applications, tools, and browsers may be disabled and you will not be able to use them.
However, just because certain applications and browsers aren’t disabled doesn’t mean that you aren’t being monitored. Your professor may still receive reports of you using tools that you weren’t supposed to.
Not every tool will get you the same level of flagging. Applications that can’t really be used for cheating will be likely given a pass. On the other hand, if you use a browser or tool that can enable cheating, then this may earn you a serious strike.
Will All Flagged Sections of the Video Count as Cheating?
While Respondus Monitor is a sophisticated piece of technology, it is far from perfect. This is why all flagged sections of the video are sent to your professor for further verification.
It will be up to your professor to determine if cheating really has taken place.
After all, in an ideal world, while your eyes may need to remain glued to the screen for the duration of the exam, this isn’t always possible for students to maintain. It doesn’t mean that cheating is taking place, however.
The same goes for audio – you can’t really be faulted for reading a question out loud or even having a discussion by yourself.
Does Respondus Have a Record Feature?
Yes, Respondus does have a record feature that can monitor your video and audio throughout the exam – however, this will only work if Respondus Monitor is activated – if only Lockdown Browser is activated then you will not be monitored while taking your test.