We update the information on this page as needed. The Testing Guide provides information for testing options during COVID-19. Please also visit the ACC COVID-19 Update page for additional general information.
For any questions about the content on this page, please contact email@example.com.
February 21, 2022: Respondus Instructor Live Proctoring – Available starting February 21, 2022, a new extension of the Respondus LockDown Browser allows faculty to administer a Respondus-required exam in coordination with Zoom.
Respondus Student Help: If students need technical support on updating Respondus LockDown Browser, they can contact Student Technology Services.
Important: ACC phased out ProctorU at the end of Fall 2021. Learn More
Overview: ACC Testing Comparison Chart
Please review the Guide to Online Tests and Proctoring for ACC Faculty for more details on the testing options listed.
|Blackboard Testing||Blackboard Testing w/Respondus LockDown Browser||Blackboard Testing w/Respondus Monitor||Blackboard Testing w/Distance Education Proctoring||Faculty-Led Proctoring||Alternative Assessments|
|Requires Advanced Scheduling||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||No|
Guide to Online Tests and Proctoring for ACC Faculty
Austin Community College (ACC) currently recommends the following options for remote online testing:
1) Online Tests can be given in Blackboard without any “checks”
In effect, they become open-book tests (no proctoring). Faculty may set the test timer to limit the ability of students to look up every answer, and/or deliver questions randomly to students. Online tests in Blackboard are compatible with Windows and Mac desktop computers, laptops, iPads, and Chromebooks. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request assistance on how to randomize test questions.
2) Online Tests can be given in Blackboard with Respondus LockDown Browser
Faculty can determine the time and day constraints by which students can take the test and Respondus prevents them from visiting other websites, accessing other browsers/tabs, copying, pasting, taking screen captures, using instant messaging programs, or accessing other applications (unless configured to allow access to specified external sites). No proctoring is required and this may be used as a stand-alone testing tool.
Respondus LockDown Browser is compatible with iPads, as well as Windows or Mac desktop computers and laptops, and Chromebooks.
Faculty Instructions for Respondus LockDown Browser:
a. First, enable Respondus LockDown Browser: Enabling Respondus LockDown Browser
b. Next, choose how you want your students to use Respondus:
b. Select “I want my students to test using Respondus LockDown Browser at home” for detailed instructions.
c. Share information with your students about using Respondus. Go to the Respondus LockDown Browser Download for Students & Information to Add to Your Syllabus page for sample instructions that you can add to your syllabus. The information also includes a link to a quick start guide for students.
d. If you encounter any issues, please email email@example.com to request assistance.
3a) Online Tests in Blackboard with Respondus Monitor Automated Proctoring
Online tests can be given in Blackboard, and faculty can require proctoring. The preferred proctoring option is Respondus Monitor. Respondus Monitor is used with Respondus LockDown Browser to add another level of security to the testing environment. Respondus Monitor records videos of the student using their webcam and microphone. It serves as a deterrent to students using secondary computers, phones, calculators, textbooks, or receiving assistance from other students.
Exams can be taken with Respondus Monitor without advanced scheduling and additional registration, thereby making it a friendly solution for students. It is automated and there is no human interaction at the time of the exam. Only the instructor can review video recordings and the results of the proctoring sessions.
Faculty may submit a request to firstname.lastname@example.org for ACC Testing Center staff to review the recorded videos on their behalf.
Respondus Monitor is compatible with iPads, as well as Windows or Mac desktop computers, and laptops, and Chromebooks. Please note that, as of August 23, 2021, the Respondus Chromebook app has several features that are not yet fully implemented.
Review these Chromebook-specific features’ caveats below:
- Quiz passwords (specified via the “optional password” field in the LockDown Browser Dashboard) are not currently supported for exams that use only LockDown Browser. For exams requiring Respondus Monitor, the optional password field is supported.
- LockDown Browser’s Calculator and Spreadsheet features are not currently supported.
- The extended keyboard functions (for adding symbols and special characters) are not currently available.
- LockDown Browser’s “Help Center” is currently unavailable.
- “Allow access to specific external web domains” option is not currently supported
If you have a student with a device that is not compatible with Respondus Monitor, then you will need to either select one of the alternate proctoring methods listed on “Test Availability Instructions for Online Exams” or proctor the test yourself. Editing the test is not necessary. It is recommended that you set up access privileges so that only the selected student can access this alternate test version through the test options or adaptive release settings. A full guide on how to clone your test for such a student is available here. If you need further assistance, please contact the Distance Education department (email@example.com).
Faculty Instructions for Respondus Monitor:
- First, enable Respondus LockDown Browser: Enabling Respondus LockDown Browser
- Next, choose how you want your students to use Respondus:
- Go to: Test Availability Instructions for Online Exams
- Select “I want my students to test using Respondus LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor at home” for detailed instructions.
- Share information with your students about using Respondus. Go to the Respondus LockDown Browser Download for Students & Information to Add to Your Syllabus page for sample instructions that you can add to your syllabus. The information also includes a link to a quick start guide for students:
- If you encounter any issues, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request assistance.
Student Requirements for Respondus Monitor:
1. Respondus Monitor records students during exams, so students must have a working webcam and microphone.
2. Students can download and install Respondus LockDown Browser from this link or the link provided by the faculty, and follow the onscreen instructions to install the browser. Students will be required to close all programs and then click the Respondus LockDown Browser shortcut on the desktop to bring up the Blackboard login page. They will navigate to the Blackboard test and select it. Note that once the test has been started, students cannot exit until the “Submit” button is selected.
3. For assistance, students may contact the help desk at 512-223-4636 or submit a Student Technology Services Email Request Form.
3b) Faculty-Led Proctoring (NEW for Spring 2022)
Faculty who teach online can choose to proctor their own exams using Google Meet, Blackboard Collaborate, Class for Zoom, Respondus Instructor Live Proctoring, or any of the web conferencing tools supported by the College. If the faculty member is teaching an on-campus, face-to-face instruction course, proctoring will need to be conducted by the instructor during that class time. The benefit of faculty-led proctoring is that faculty exercise total control over the test and proctoring process.
Faculty are recommended to review the capabilities of each live conferencing tool on the Web Conferencing Comparison Chart.
Google Meet: ACC students, faculty, and staff have full access to the Google Meet tool. Google Meet is best used for one-on-one proctoring as it is capable of displaying one student’s screen and their webcam.
Blackboard Collaborate: Integrated into Blackboard, instructors can conduct live conferencing with students directly within the online course page. Note: Collaborate recordings are automatically deleted after 120 days.
Class for Zoom: Available starting January 27, 2022, faculty now have access to a new third-party tool built upon the Zoom platform. Class for Zoom contains a proctoring mode that allows live proctoring of multiple students’ computer screens and webcams at the same time. Class for Zoom is a separate application install and is not part of Zoom and is launched through Blackboard. Faculty should poll their students to determine if any of them are dual credit as Chromebook issued by school districts may be locked down and not allow any third-party software installations.
Respondus Instructor Live Proctoring: Available starting February 21, 2022, a new extension of the Respondus LockDown Browser allows faculty to administer a Respondus-required exam in coordination with Zoom. When enabled in the Respondus settings menu in Blackboard, faculty can use Zoom (recommended), Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams to monitor students’ webcams while they test using Respondus LockDown Browser. The instructor can also share an access code with the students so that they may all start the test simultaneously. Detailed information about Instructor Live Proctoring is available on the Teaching & Learning Knowledgebase.
3c) Distance Education Proctoring (Class for Zoom) for Online Courses
Effective with the Fall 2021 semester, ACC Testing Centers will no longer offer instructional test proctoring. The department of Distance & Alternative Education will now be providing this service. Distance Education personnel will monitor the student live through Class for Zoom while the student takes the exam. Distance Education (DE) Proctoring is only available for ONL and HYD courses, and should be the THIRD proctoring choice. This option is unavailable 24/7 and requires advance scheduling for faculty and students. For assistance with DE Proctoring, please contact email@example.com or call (512) 223-1372.
- Familiarize yourself with the DE Proctoring Overview. It contains detailed information and step-by-step instructions for faculty.
- Following ACC Testing Center Guidelines, faculty may request DE Proctoring to proctor a maximum of six tests per course section for approved distance education courses – not ordinarily available for regular face-to-face courses.
- For DE Proctoring personnel to provide equitable service to students, please set a time limit of no more than 1.5 hours per test.
- Set up your test in Blackboard and assign a password in the Blackboard test options. Distance Education Instructional Designers are available to help you create your exams to be compatible with DE Proctoring.
- Set the Restriction Location in the test settings to “No Restrictions.” Do not activate the Respondus LockDown Browser requirement because it is incompatible with Distance Education Proctoring.
- If you only plan to use Distance Education Proctoring for one student (or a limited number of students), you should clone your tests and use the Adaptive Release functionality so only those students can use that test version. Refer to this Teaching & Learning Knowledgebase article for instructions. Distance Education Instructional Designers are available to help you create your exams to be compatible with DE Proctoring.
- Complete the Academic Test Transmittal Form. Once your transmittal form(s) have been received and approved, we will send you a confirmation email containing the link to the ACC Session Scheduling Form, which you will need to provide to your students. Please allow up to 48hrs for processing transmittal forms (M-F only).
- Exams MUST be in Blackboard PRIOR to submitting the Academic Test Transmittal
- Due to the volume of exams, we are proctoring we require two days’ notice. We can not accommodate same-day or next-day appointments.
- Encourage your students to test BEFORE the deadline.
- While we have many proctors, we also have many instructors. There is a possibility that the number of appointment requests for a particular date may outnumber the appointments available. This is especially true during finals.
- Be flexible with your deadline.
- Some students try to submit appointment requests the day the exam is due, although we cannot do same-day or next-day testing.
If you or your students require assistance from DE Proctoring staff, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Requirements for Distance Education Proctoring (Class for Zoom):
Your professor will provide you with the link to the ACC Session Scheduling Form once the exam is available for scheduling.
Please note the following:
- You must use your ACC email address to access the form.
- A two-day’s notice is needed to organize the test session. We cannot accommodate same-day or next-day testing.
- Upon submitting an appointment request, you will immediately get an appointment confirmation email containing important instructions that you MUST do BEFORE the appointment.
- You will receive the link to the testing session via email the day before the appointment. The email comes from Class and has “You’ve been invited to join a class!” in the subject line. Click on the email’s blue “Join Your Class” meeting link at the appointment time. You will be directed to a page with two options. They simply click “Launch Class for Web” to be directed to the Class web-based portal.
If you have questions regarding the exam itself, please contact your instructor.
If you have questions regarding DE Proctoring, contact email@example.com or call (512) 223-1372.
4) Alternative Assessments
Sometimes the best way to ensure test integrity is through proctoring because of the design of the assessment. But more often than not, there are assessments that are more engaging and interesting, and just as effective to allow your students the opportunity to show what they know.
Alternative assessments, often called authentic, comprehensive, or performance assessments, are usually designed by the faculty to gauge students’ understanding of the material. Examples of alternative assessment ideas that will tap into students’ different learning styles and get you the information you need to make sure they’re learning include: open-ended questions, written compositions, oral presentations, projects, experiments, portfolios of student work, blogs, and journals. When deciding on the best approach to assessment, please be mindful of equity concerns. Timed tests, for example, may place an undue burden on those with poor internet connections. Where possible and appropriate, faculty are encouraged to consider alternative assessments. Please visit the Equity in Assessment website for more information.
The Office of Faculty Development and the Distance and Alternative Education Department provide training opportunities and support on alternative assessments. Instructional designers provide pedagogical and best-practice advice to faculty in the online, hybrid, and on-campus learning environments. They can help answer questions about assessments such as:
- What type of assessment will be best for my course?
- How can I make the online assessment process work for me and my students (i.e. Submission, Grading, Feedback)?
- How will this impact my students and how do I support them online?
- How could this change my existing assessment management processes – grade allocation, moderation, extensions, re-grading – and how could I manage it?
The Teaching & Learning Excellence Division (TLED) and the Office of Distance & Alternative Education (ODAE) provide comprehensive support in course design, technology tools for teaching, and other high-impact practices that contribute to our Guided Pathways model at Austin Community College (ACC). Our teams are available for various types of consultations to provide just-in-time assistance and support to faculty for their teaching. Visit the Teaching Consultations & Support page to schedule a consultation.
The Future of Proctored Assessment at ACC
Prior to the COVID-19 teaching and learning emergency, the responsibility of paying for third-party proctoring was on students. This, as many faculty and staff have noted, created an equity issue for students. ACC picked up the cost of proctoring during the emergency so as not to put an undue burden on students and deepen the already existing inequity created by “student pay” proctoring.
In light of the enormous cost involved in proctoring, and to ensure equity, starting in Spring 2022 ACC has transitioned AWAY from third-party proctoring (ProctorU) to the Distance Education Proctoring service managed by Distance & Alternative Education staff.
For any questions about the content on this page, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.