Online Test Proctoring Tools

Before deciding to use proctoring for an online test, please consider the following:

  • There are many alternatives to proctoring an online exam that may be more effective at determining whether students have met your course objectives. 

  • There are other strategies to address academic integrity, including considering the common causes of misconduct, designing activities that promote integrity, and utilizing strategies to prevent cheating.

  • Students may find online proctoring to be invasive and creepy, particularly with a live proctor watching them. This will likely be reflected on course evaluations.

  • Students may not have an appropriate computer and webcam for proctoring. They also may not have an environment that is quiet and free from interruptions by other members of their household. 

  • Per the Higher Learning Consortium, our accrediting body, any fees associated with online test proctoring must be disclosed to students before the course begins, so that they can make an informed decision as to whether they can afford them. This does not need to be an exact amount, as that may not be possible to determine, but at least an estimate should be provided while students still have the ability to drop the course with no penalty.

Test Proctoring Tools

There are currently two proctoring tools that NIU has an active agreement for, Respondus Browser/Monitor and ProctorU. A third, Examity, is in the procurement process and should be available July 1, 2020. All require that students use a laptop or desktop computer running Windows or MacOS, that they have a webcam and microphone and a reliable Internet connection. Students also need a clean, quiet place to take a proctored test and a form of identification.

Feature Respondus Examity ProctorU
Live Proctoring No Yes Yes
Live Support Available Chat only Yes Yes
Automated Violation Detection Yes Yes Yes
Blackboard Integration Yes Yes Yes
Students must schedule an appointment to take their test No Yes, with live authentication or proctoring Yes
Test session recording available to instructor Yes Yes Yes
Fully automated solution available (no live interaction) Yes Yes No*
Faculty can access violation reports and video to review Yes Yes Yes
Proctoring session reviewed by human for violations No Yes, in top tier option Yes, in top tier option
Browser Lockdown Yes No No
Identity Verification Yes Yes Yes
Cost NIU site license through June 2021, no cost to students $4-$29 per student per exam $10-$42.50 per student per exam
Student Pay Available Yes Yes Yes
Institution Pay Available Yes Yes Yes

*ProctorU has an automated solution, it does not integrate properly with Blackboard

Respondus Browser/Monitor (Current NIU Site License, no cost to students)

Respondus Monitor is a proctoring solution that is built upon an in-person proctoring solution called Respondus LockDown Browser. Respondus LockDown Browser is a proprietary web browser (i.e. an alternative to Chrome, Firefox, etc.) that strictly limits students' ability to do anything but take an exam in the browser/PC. Monitor adds an automated proctoring service to the Respondus LockDown Browser in place of the in-person proctor. The University has a site license with Respondus through June 2021 that allows unlimited use of Respondus Monitor. While available at no cost students and functional, Respondus Monitor is particularly susceptible to technical, software, and Internet connectivity issues. Frequent online training sessions are available and highly encouraged for any faculty considering use of Respondus.

Examity (Department Pay or Student Pay available, service available after July 1)

Examity also offers two primary solutions, live proctoring and fully automated proctoring. The cost for Examity proctored exam costs range from $4-$29 per exam depending on length and type of exam. Each solution has a standard option and a premium option with more features. A contract with Examity is currently the procurement process as it was selected by an academic unit to replace ProctorU, it will be available after July 1, 2020.

Examity Live Proctoring

Test Duration Cost (Per student per test)
60 Minutes or Less​ $12.00-$15.00
Each Additional Hour $5.00-$7.00

Examity Automated Proctoring

Test Duration Cost (Per student per test)
Any Duration $4-$6

ProctorU (Department Pay or Student Pay available)

ProctorU offers two solutions that work at NIU, live proctoring and a hybrid live/automated proctoring. The cost ranges from $10-$42.50 per exam depending on the length and type of exam. They do not appear to be currently offering any discounts. NIU does have an active contract with ProctorU. Service and support have been an issue, with at least one academic unit moving away from ProctorU in Fall 2020.

If automatic proctoring is acceptable, consider using Respondus Monitor, as it is fully funded and does not incur additional cost to the student or the institution. If live proctoring is not needed until after July 1, consider using Examity.

ProctorU Live+ (Live Proctoring)

Test Duration Cost (Per student per test)
60 Minutes or Less​ $17.50
61-120 Minutes $25.00
121-180 Minutes $33.75
181 Minutes or More $42.50

ProctorU Auto with Live Launch (Automated Proctoring)

Test Duration Cost (Per student per test)
60 Minutes or Less​ $10.00
Each Additional Hour $4.00

Learn More

Online test proctoring is just one of many options for delivering exams via virtual instruction. For more details on all the options available or to discuss further on how to implement online test proctoring in your course, reach out to the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning, citl@niu.edu.

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