Security Features for Delivering eClass Quizzes
Article Last Updated January 2019
Security features for online exams are important to ensure quiz integrity. eClass offers a range of features that provide varying levels of security and which meet different needs. With the exception of Respondus Lockdown browser, most of the features listed below can be used in combination. In addition to these options, any high-stakes, summative testing scenarios (midterms and finals), especially in campus labs, should also include some form of proctoring.
This option requires that every student taking a quiz checks off a statement confirming the University of Alberta's academic integrity standards. This setting is enabled in the 'Extra Restrictions on attempts' section of the quiz settings by setting Require students to accept academic honesty statement to 'Must be acknowledged':
When presented to students, the statement looks like this:
The required check serves as a visible reminder to students that quiz security must be respected and violations will be addressed.
Shuffling Questions and Answer Order
Randomizing the order of questions and answers are common mechanisms to prevent students from sharing their work.
At the simplest level, it is possible to randomize the order of the possible answers. This is only possible for question types where multiple answers are possible like multiple choice or matching. To do this:
Shuffling the overall question order can be accomplished by checking Shuffle box at the top of the 'Edit quiz' page. This option is also available for any sub-sections of a quiz:
Both of these mechanisms ensure that every student receives all the same questions which may be necessary for some scenarios.
Randomizing Question Selection
It is also possible to deliver each student a quiz containing random questions derived from a broader set of questions. This functionality requires that questions have already been constructed and grouped into categories in the course questions bank (see Using the Question Bank.)
To add random questions, access the 'Edit quiz' page and select Add > a random question:
In the dialog that opens, select the question bank category containing the wider question set and then specify how many questions from within the category each student should receive:
The resulting 'edit quiz' view will show a placeholder slot for each random question added identified by a dice icon and containing a link to view all the available questions within the category:
Note that using this method does not guarantee that every student will receive the same questions.
Limiting Access to Quizzes
For higher stakes exams, especially in large enrollment classes where not all students can complete the quiz at the same time, it is possible to limit access to the quiz in 'Extra restrictions on attempts':
Doing this launches the quiz in a new browser tab that covers the full screen and removes all the regular eClass navigation elements from the quiz as well as any browser toolbars and navigation features:
The browser tab can be re-sized and function normally but starting all attempts at full screen can assist proctors. This feature can be an effective way of ensuring that students cannot easily navigate away from the quiz attempt. Note that the absence of browser navigation features would impact access to and from external websites where that is required as a part of a quiz.
Quizzes can also be configured to be delivered only via the Respondus Lockdown Browser (RLDB), a separate browser that further limits students taking attempts. This tool forces students to stay in the quiz until they submit it and blocks their machine from running a range of other software during the quiz including web browsers, printing utilities, and screen capture programs. For more information see Using Respondus Lockdown browser.
Please note: starting in July 2019, RLDB will no longer be available as a quiz security mechanism at the U of A. During the Winter 2019 term, RLDB is still available for use on students personal machines and in non-IST managed labs.
For users in IST managed labs for the Winter 2019 term and after July 2019, the eClass team has developed a replacement solution called ExamLock to deliver quizzes securely. Any instructors formerly using RLDB in campus computing labs can contact IST eClass support by email or phone for further details about using this solution.