We are pleased to announce that CUNY has secured the use of Respondus LockDown Browser™. This online proctoring tool is a customized browser that increases the security of test delivery in Blackboard (Bb).

Unlike previous remote proctoring solutions evaluated by CUNY, Respondus LockDown Browser simply restricts what students can access on their computers during online Blackboard quizzes, tests, and examinations. The Lockdown Browser does not modify the browser on the student’s computer, but rather installs a separate program that displays a custom browser and creates an environment in which students are unable to print, copy, go to another URL, or access other applications on their devices. Respondus LockDown Browser does not include real-time or recorded remote proctoring via video, access user content on the computer, or record user activity for later inspection or use by CUNY.

Starting Tuesday, Mar. 23, the Faculty Center will begin holding information sessions daily for those interested in learning about and possibly using Respondus Lockdown Browser (please see the online schedule for exact dates and times these sessions will be held). After attending an Information session, if you determine that Respondus LockDown Browser is suitable for your examination(s), you will be provided with the resources needed to successfully activate and utilize the Respondus LockDown Browser within your CSI course(s) in Blackboard and obtain training assistance for your students. 

PLEASE NOTE, that while the Respondus Lockdown Browser tool is available for use at CSI as of Mar. 22, it cannot be required this semester. Additionally, it cannot be required in future semesters unless the course description and course syllabus notes that one might be used, thereby allowing students the ability to make an informed decision about enrolling in courses using the tool. As a result of these notification requirements, students cannot be compelled to agree to use of the Lockdown Browser at this time, and if used, alternative access to assessments must be provided as per the guidance provided by CUNYs Office of General Counsel regarding this matter:

“The Office of Legal Affairs (OGC) has reviewed the Terms and Conditions of several online testing application services and it is OGC’s guidance that faculty cannot compel students to accept the corresponding tools’ “Terms and Conditions” and that in the event students do not accept the terms, faculty must provide students reasonable assessment accommodations to demonstrate they meet the course learning requirements.”

When in doubt please refer to the University’s Guidance on Academic Continuity: Remote Proctoring Solutions.

Additional Information for CUNY Faculty on Academic Continuity: Faculty Related Academic Continuity Guidance.

For additional information and technical specification items for the Respondus LockDown Browser, please see Faculty Center’s Respondus Lockdown information page.

Virtual Drop-in Sessions:

In addition to our Respondus Lockdown Browser information sessions, this week, the Faculty Center will continue to offer increased Drop-in Center hours in response to your requests for more flexible and ongoing assistance. All of our Drop-in and training sessions can be accessed by using the Virtual Drop-in Center buttons located on the main page of the Faculty Center Info Hub (CSI) Bb Organization available to all teaching faculty at CSI.

For more information or questions about any of the workshops, courses, or assistance sessions offered by the Faculty Center for Professional Development at CSI, please contact Faculty Center Training Program Coordinator, Kristen Lindtvedt directly at kristen.kindtvedt@csi.cuny.edu.

Have a great week.

By Kristen Lindtvedt