Online Testing at NU with Respondus

Faculty want the ability to test their students electronically (remotely, in a computer lab or in class using a laptop). Information Technology Services investigated the feasibility of electronic testing using Blackboard as the tool to administer online/electronic tests.

The concerns were:

  • Do we have enough wireless bandwidth for all students to connect their laptops?
  • Is there software that can assist faculty in creating online tests?
  • Is there software to secure the laptops from being able to access information (internet, notes, IM, etc.) outside of the test?

Based on testing and research, the wireless improvements have expanded bandwidth in classrooms making them capable of handling testing and two tools have been approved for enhanced test creation and secure testing. The software is described below.

Respondus 4 is a tool that provides a simple user interface for the creation of different types of exams and will upload directly into a Blackboard course. Exams can be created offline using a familiar Windows environment. The tool also provides easier creation of test pools that can be used across a discipline.

Respondus Lockdown Browser provides a means to secure the computer to block the student from going to other websites, accessing information on the hard drive or USB drive.

With the collaboration and financial contributions from College of Business, Bouvé College of Health Sciences and NUonline, both Respondus 4 and Respondus Lockdown Browser will be available to all of NU. This fall semester, faculty are piloting the products to develop some best practices and to identify hurdles that may offer challenges in the classroom. Respondus 4 will be made available soon for faculty to create enhanced test and the Lockdown Browser software will be an ongoing project throughout the 2011 academic year. In partnership with the pilot faculty, a website will be developed to provide information on how to successfully create, manage, and administer online quizzes in your class – eliminating bubble sheets and automatically populating the Blackboard grade book.

For more information, see the Software > Featured Software > Respondus page.

Posted in 2010 October IS Newsletter and tagged , , .