Administering Final Exams in Spring 2020

Dear Colleagues,

As we near the end of the semester, many of you are asking about how to offer final exams remotely in a fair and secure way. Because providers of live proctoring for high stakes tests are unable to meet demand due to COVID-19, we were left with only one solution to the issue of online proctoring of exams. This tool is particularly helpful for academic areas and courses where traditional, closed-book, exams are needed.

UIC has purchased a license for Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor. This is an online proctoring tool to help ensure academic integrity of exams. It is available now and for the rest of the semester, without cost, for all courses in Blackboard. If your college or department is offering alternative solutions for exam taking and monitoring, you may of course utilize those options.

The key features of Respondus are:

  • It limits what can be done on the computer during the test, and
  • It can proctor the student with the use of a web camera and video recording during the exam.

As you consider this solution, please be aware of the following:

  • Respondus requires a computer or laptop. Students cannot use Chromebook or a tablet.
  • A camera and stable WiFi is required.
  • Respondus may not work well with access technology that students with Letters of Accommodation use, like screen readers or voice-to-text software. If you choose to use this tool, please provide enough notice to your students so that they can seek assistance with solutions through the Disability Resource Center and/or work with you about how to best implement approved accommodations in this format.

I invite you to attend a webinar on how to use and create exams in Blackboard and how to use Respondus for online testing at

Many of you have elected to give final exams that carry less weight and have more built-in flexibility, like “take-home” exams, final papers, problem sets, etc. I encourage you to continue to be flexible whenever possible.

Here is a link to assist in exploring alternative assessments like group projects and recorded video presentations.

Please feel free to contact ACCC at with questions.

I appreciate your continuing to be adaptive and innovative in educating and assessing our students this semester. Your efforts are deeply appreciated.


Susan Poser
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Print Friendly, PDF & Email