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After thorough discussion, evaluation and review, a cross-campus steering committee has recommended a campus-preferred online proctoring solution. McMaster has licensed and integrated Respondus Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor into Avenue to Learn. 

What is Respondus Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor?

Respondus Lockdown Browser prevents students from visiting other websites, copying, printing or accessing other applications during an online assessment. Note that some of the restrictions can be customized to allow limited access. Respondus Monitor adds webcam and microphone functionality to LockDown Browser to document students during online quizzes and exams.  

What to consider before using Respondus:

Respondus monitors students while they are completing online assessments with an aim to ensure academic integrity. However, the decision to use Respondus should not be taken lightly. Please ensure you have considered the following: 

  • Rationale: do you really need to use online proctoring? Unless a proctored assessment is a requirement for a professional certification, you should consider alternate assessments or, if you rely on quizzes and tests, refer to our Guide to Tests and Exams Using Avenue to Learn on how you can configure tests and quizzes to increase fidelity without having to use a proctoring technology. 
  • Communication: have you included a statement as to your rationale and use of online proctoring in your course syllabus? Will you ensure instructions on how to use are provided to students along with a practice quiz? 
  • Accommodation: Quizzes that use Respondus can be configured on Avenue to Learn for accommodation purposes, but you will also need to develop a Plan B for certain accommodations or if technical/connection issues arise. 
  • Mental health and well-being of your students: consider the added layer of anxiety online proctoring can promote and how to support students through this. 

The MacPherson Institute recommends first exploring alternatives to proctored quizzes and exams online such as:  

  • Take-home exams 
  • Projects 
  • Reflections 
  • Group work 
  • Guided online discussions 
  • Peer-reviewed activities

Please review the Assessments information on our website for more assessment strategies and their descriptions. 

Find even more information here:

How to Access and Use Respondus:

Guidance on Respondus Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor and how to obtain and use in your course can be found on the Avenue to Learn Knowledge Base: