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Respondus Lockdown Browser


By and in Blackboard Learn, Musings on Technology, Tools on .

Cheating in school is a form of self-deception. We go to school to learn. We cheat ourselves when we coast on the efforts and scholarship of someone else. James E. Faust

In a recent meeting, faculty members and support consultants discussed the topic of plagiarism on examinations. As the discussion progressed, a faculty member from the mathematics department shared one of his experiences. He had given a take home examination which was mailed to students. In this particular case, some of international students enrolled in his course made a pact to cheat. Once the exam had been mailed, one of the members of this student group emailed the exam to a “math whiz” friend in their home country. The friend completed all of the problems on the exam and mailed the answers back to the group. The members of the student group “completed” and submitted their exams for grading. There was a glitch however. A disgruntled student, excluded from the group, came forward to tell of the professor of the incident. All of the students identified in this cheating incident failed the examination.

Cheating is not a new phenomenon on college campuses. Researchers have reported that a majority of college students have cheated over the course of their academic careers (Jones, Blankenship, & Hollier, 2013; Vandehey, Diekhoff, & LaBeff, 2007). When we turn our focus to cheating on examinations, we know that it is easier for faculty to monitor student behavior when they are present during the examination; watch the students, and have articulated exam policies, such as no books or notes, and observe the students. However, monitoring student behavior during an online examination is more of a challenge, due to the proximity between the faculty member and students, as well as the availability of Internet and other online resources (Jones, Blankenship, & Hollier, 2013).

Some faculty have the challenge of trying to deploy an exam in a very large lecture hall. Using paper or even Scantron answer sheets limit the test to questions and answers that can only be delivered on paper. They miss the immediate grading, question pools and multimedia questions possible when digital tools such as Blackboard are used to deploy tests.

One tool that Purdue University has implemented to curb the incidence of cheating on online examinations is Respondus Lockdown Browser (RLB). Respondus Lockdown Browser prevents students from printing, performing screen captures, or accessing web based resources when they take an exam.

Some of the benefits of Respondus Lockdown Browser include:

  • Forced Completion of Assessments:
    • Students cannot accidently (or intentionally) exit the exam.
  • Leveling the playing field:
    • By preventing students from using Internet resources and applications during the exam; ensuring that all students have an equal chance to be successful on the exam.
  • Hacker Tested
    • Respondus team continually monitors/addresses security issues as they arise.

A helpful addition some have used is Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor. The benefits of adding the Monitor addition allow students to:

  • Test remotely while still being secure.
  • Use the computers web cam to record the student taking the test.
  •  View thumbnail shots of each student taking the test.


  • Instructors can require students present their student ID to confirm the person taking the test is the person enrolled in the course.
  •  Ask students to perform an environment test where they record the entire surrounding area.

Implementing Respondus Lockdown Browser





For more information regarding product use, training, and support, please visit Respondus LockDown Browser information page.


Jones, I.S., Blankenship, D., & Hollier, G. (2013). Am I cheating? An analysis of online students’ perceptions of their behaviors and attitudes. Psychology Research, 3(5), 261-269.

King, C., Guyette, R., Piotrowski, C. (2009). Online exams and cheating: An empirical analysis of business students’s views. Journal of Educators Online, 6(1).

Vandehey, M., Diekhoff, G., & LaBeff, E. (2007). College cheating: A twenty-year follow-up and the addition of an honor code. Journal of College Student Development, 48(4), 468-480.

Varied Paths to a Common Goal


By and in Musings on Technology on .

Design and Development of Educational Technology  Wk 1 – Everything Old is New Again

MITx is offering a MOOC entitled Design and Development of Educational Technology on their EdX platform. Senior Educational Technologist, Wei Zakharov and Educational Technologist David Huckleberry are co-works on the Innovations in Technology and Learning team at Purdue University and both had decided on their own to take the course. During the next several weeks, they will be blogging on their experiences in the course. Wei and David come from completely different  backgrounds, with Wei being a younger, female born and raised in China, while David is older, male and raised in rural America. 2 starting points, drastically different, that led them to the same point and similar passions and goals at Purdue.  The blog will allow readers to compare and contrast their paths.

David: “ Week 1 was very interesting an nostalgic for me. The title of “Everything Old is New Again” seems unlikely when I think of EdTech and working on the cutting edge. But after watching the videos of B.F. Skinner and his Teaching Machine from 70 years ago, it was interesting that after such a long-time, we still consider real-time feedback on classwork as being innovative and transformative.

My path through EdTech began at Attica High School in Attica, Indiana USA in about 1985. Dr. Curtis Watson, Physics instructor there, purchased the first computer and brought it to what was our “Chess Club” meeting. It was the Tandy TRS-80 Model 4 (http://www.trs-80.org/model-4d/) For weeks we stared at that green and black screen, and really did little more than play Lunar Lander. But I remember the engagement I felt and the excitement of seeing something so foreign to me. Later in 1985, Dr. Bret Lewis, Industrial Arts teacher, assigned me my first Project-Based Learning assignment. I was to use the newly purchased Apple IIe (http://apple2history.org/history/ah07/  ) to create a Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD) program from scratch. I would be able to tell them computer what shape I wanted, what dimensions, and starting coordinates and it would draw the shape. I knew nothing about programming and was appalled he had given me an impossible project to complete. 9 weeks later, I proudly stood by as he entered data into my crude CAD system and watched him draw a house floor plan. This was my first success with using technology as a tool to teach myself. Looking back, that one project was likely the seed that bloomed into my career and my passion for EdTech.  By the time I was a senior, Attica had the first programming class, using the BASIC language and a lab of 25 TRS-80 4’s and I was learning logic, problem solving and critical thinking. The BASIC isn’t anything I use currently, but the other skills I use every day in some way.”


I was born in 1981 and raised up in a fast developing country, China. Educational Technology is quite a modern term actually. Initially, it was Electrifying Education which was introduced by 3 Chinese scholars from USA in 1930s. The term is still very popular among K12 information technology teachers nowadays in China.

During my K12, class size was 50-60 students every year, and instructors didn’t use educational technology tools, no LOGO, Sim City or CD-ROMS. At high school, I first had access to computers in the lab, probably Pentium 486. Before attending college in 1999, I didn’t know what this subject Educational Technology was about, same as majority of my classmates.  Interpreted from the name, along with the advent of personal computers, I assumed it’s something about using computers and other electronic equipment for teaching at school.

I had my first desktop in 2001. After one year working as a high school teacher in Educational Technology, I got my first laptop in 2004 from my work along with all other teachers. The same year, the high school I was working for wired all rooms for Internet, built school TV station, and equipped each classroom with TV, projector, and internet access.

China was established in 1949 and opened up in 1990s. Same as many families in China, my family doesn’t keep a long-history family tree. My grandparents and even my parents had very few photos when they were kids due to lack of cameras. In conclusion, as for Educational Technology, the same as other technologies development in a young and developing country, I feel we are so afraid of falling behind again and pay much more attention on hardware purchase than soft design process and educational resources development in the past.

Tools of the Trade: The INNOVATE Teaching with Technology Website

By in Classroom, Getting Started, Musings on Technology, Tools on .

One of the great benefits of the Internet Age has been the development of digital tools that will aid faculty in their ability to improve their teaching and engage students in learning. During a recent consultation, the faculty member with whom I was working was trying to make a decision about which tool to choose to best support student learning. He said, “It is good that we have a lot of tools, but how am I supposed to choose? There is so much I have to think about?…” This faculty member is not alone in his sentiments. Juniu (2005) noted that faculty often feel “overwhelmed by the twofold challenge of keeping abreast of a rapidly changing technological environment…and finding pedagogical strategies that allow for technology to be effectively integrated with their course content.”

In order to address this challenge, Instructional Development Center (ITaP) staff members developed the INNOVATE Teaching with Technology website. This website was designed to inform faculty understanding about tools supporting pedagogical strategies they want to implement in their course.


How Do I…?

One of the biggest questions faculty face when considering how to integrate digital tools into their course is where to start. In the “How Do I” section of the website, you will have the opportunity to review strategies that will enable you and your students to organize, present, assess/evaluate, or collaborate/communicate your work. When you select the “How Do I…?” selection, the following page will appear:


Some of the topics on this page include selecting the appropriate tool for blogging, managing student email, and creating video content. You will note that each of the sections found on the page are framed by a given color. These colors are visuals linking you back to the corresponding strategy found on the main page where you can learn more about the strategy itself.



The Seven Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education

The Seven Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education were used as one of the primary drivers underpinning  in the development of this website. These principles are:

Intended as guidelines for faculty members, students, and administrators with support from state agencies and trustees – to improve teaching and learning. They rest on 50 years of research on the way teachers teach and students learn, how students work and play with one another, and how students and faculty talk to each other. (Chickering & Gamson, 1987)


The Teaching, Learning, and Technology (TLT) group cited how digital technologies can be utilized to support the seven principles. There are number of Purdue tools that may be helpful in supporting these principles as well.

Tools_4  Strategies using Digital Tools 


When you select a given strategy, you will be presented with a page presenting examples of the strategy using Purdue Supported Tools; opportunities to Learn More, including tool synopsis and table highlighting which tools support the 7 Principles of Effective Instruction, information regarding how the strategy is linked to the 7 Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education, and a list of references grounding the pedagogical strategy. Strategies_5ACourse Design

If you are considering designing a new course or redesigning an existing course, the Interactive Course Re/Design (ICD)* model provides:

A sound, pedagogical approach to course design with links and resources that offer guidance on each step in the process… The ICD model is specifically designed to encourage development of active learning and supports the ‘backward design’ pedagogical concept of determining what you want to accomplish before deciding how you want to approach it.

(Source: http://www.itap.purdue.edu/learning/cdm/index.html)



(*This site /model was developed and written by Dr. Pat Reid, Dr. Frank Dooley, Clarence Maybee and Dr. David Nelson with contributions from IMPACT Support Team members)

If you would to schedule a consultation or would like to discuss any of the strategies or technological tools in more detail, please contact itap@purdue.edu.


Chickering, A. W., & Ehrmann, S. C. (1996, October). Implementing the seven principles: Technology as lever. AAHE Bulletin, 3-6. Retrieved from  http://www.tltgroup.org/programs/seven.html

Chickering, A. W., & Gamson, Z. F. (1987). Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education.” AAHE Bulletin, 39(7), 3-7.

Juniu, S. (2005). Digital democracy in higher education: Bridging the digital divide. Innovate Journal of Online Education, 2(1). Retrieved from http://www.oit.sfasu.edu/disted/DigitalDemocracy.pdf

Prepared by: Dr. Constance Harris, Educational Technologist

Teaching From the Test: Exam Wrappers

By in Classroom, Course Redesign, Getting Started, Musings on Technology on .

Picture of Graded exam

As an educational technologist, I have the opportunity to consult with faculty members who want to know how they can best help students prepare for upcoming examinations. During our discussions, faculty members comment that students focus (obsess) on their test score and not what they might have done differently to prepare for their exams.  When I attended the American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference in Philadelphia this past spring, I learned about a pedagogical tool faculty members utilize to help students learn from past exams and become more purposeful in the manner in which they prepare for future exams. This tool is known as exam wrappers.  Lovett (2013) described exam wrappers as, “structured reflection activities that prompt students to practice key metacognitive skills after they get back their graded exams” (p. 18).  Exam wrappers promote the development of self-regulated learning by prompting students to reflect, compare, and modify their learning strategies.

Exam wrappers pose three types of questions to students:

Question markWhat did they do to prepare for the exam? The purpose of this question is to prompt student reflection and help them evaluate the choices they made studying for the exam.  Questions posed to students include: How much time did you spend studying? and What exam preparation strategies did they use, such as, reviewing notes, studying in a group, working practice problems, or reading the course texts.) When faculty members present exam strategy choices, students are reminded of additional methods they can use to prepare.

Where did they make exam errors?  When exams are returned, students identify areas where they lost points and consider why the points were lost. For example, students may have lost points because they did not understand the question, did not understand how to apply a given concept or formula, or made careless mistakes.  Some instructors also incorporate open-ended questions so that students can identity other areas that affect exam performance, such as test anxiety.

What could they do differently to prepare for the next exam? This question is designed to encourage students to review their response to the first two exam wrapper questions and then list strategies that they could utilize to improve future performance.

Sample Exam Wrapper

 Figure 1. Sample Exam Wrapper

The Exam Wrapper Process

  1. Students utilize normal test taking strategies to prepare and take the first exam.
  2. The first exam is returned and students complete the exam wrapper either in class or online within a course management system, such as Blackboard Learn. (Instructors can either make the assignment required or award participation points for completion).
  3. The instructor collects the exam wrapper and reviews student comments.  This allows the instructor to assess student behavior patterns and determine whether the teaching staff needs to include additional teaching resources to support student learning.
  4. The exam wrapper is returned to students within a week or two before the next exam.  Students review their comments and then have the opportunity to follow their own advice for studying.

Benefits of Exam Wrappers

Exam wrappers:

  • Can be implemented without infringing on class time.
  • Are easy to complete by students.
  • Are repeatable and flexible. Faculty members can incorporate questions that address topics that are being covered in their curriculum.
  • Can be used to help faculty adjust their teaching strategies and assist students in achieving learning outcomes.
  • Help students develop metacognitive skills that faculty want them to learn. These skills include the ability to analyze their own strengths and weaknesses, identify study strategies that work for them, and adjust their learning strategies. (Lovett, 2013)

Blog Resources:

Bowen, J. (2013). Cognitive wrappers: Using metacognition and reflection to improve learning. Retrieved from http://josebowen.com/cognitive-wrappers-using-metacognition-and-reflection-to-improve-learning/

Ebbler, J. (2013, July 31). Exam wrappers. Retrieved from http://teachingwithoutpants.blogspot.com/2013/07/exam-wrappers.html

Pinchin, S. (2013, June 17). Exam wrappers: A novel way to review exams. Retrieved from http://meds.queensu.ca/blog/undergraduate/?p=653


Lovett, Marsha C. (2013). Make exams worth more than the grade: Using exam wrappers to promote metacognition. In M. Kaplan, N. Silver, D. LaVague-Manty, & D.  Meizlish (Eds.), Using reflection and metacognition to improve student learning: Across the disciplines, across the academy (pp. 18-52). Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Prepared by: Dr. Constance A. Harris