Using Respondus Lockdown Browser for Online Exams

respondus-flyer

Many tech-savvy professors want to move away from giving paper exams, but the requirement that students have to connect to the internet to submit the exam presents too much of a threat to academic integrity. It’s a situation that keeps many professors tied to paper for quizzes and exams.

Thankfully, we have subscribed to Respondus LockDown Browser, a service that integrates with Moodle.  Lockdown Browser is designed for proctored environments, but can be used in an unattended scenario as well. Respondus also has a product called Monitor which is specially designed for unproctored exams. Here is a flyer that explains the difference.

Students can log in to access the Lockdown-enabled quiz or exam in Moodle, but  are not allowed to copy or print information, open web browsers or other applications, or leave the exam screen until their assessment has been submitted. What would a student need to know? This video is a great way to explain this tool from a student perspective.

Turning on LockDown for a quiz in Moodle only requires changing a few settings.

1. Turn editing on, then add the Respondus LockDown Browser block by choosing it from the Add a Block menu.

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2. Click on “Dashboard,” to go to the Dashboard, then choose “Modify Settings” from the settings menu for a specific quiz or exam.

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3. Click “Enable Respondus LockDown Browser” and choose any additional settings you would like. Save the settings.

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4. The Respondus LockDown Browser status will change to “Enabled” on the Dashboard.2016-10-06_12-52-55

All your Moodle tests and quizzes will appear on the dashboard, and you decide which ones should have Respondus LockDown Browser turned on individually.

Each computer your students might use to take a Lockdown quiz needs the Lockdown app to be installed, and we’d like to do that in advance.  If students will use their own laptops we can send them a link to download and install in advance. If they’ll be in a computer lab, we would love to know so we can make sure the newest Lockdown version is installed and tested ahead of time.

If you’d like to give this a try with your students, let Rick at IT Services know!

Where Are You, MyIWU? A Video Tutorial Series

The new MyIWU layout may leave you wondering where your key information and favorite channels went. Check out the series Where Are You, MyIWU? created by Help Desk student Megan Sperger below to help you navigate the portal:

Episode 1: The Overview

Episode 2: Student and Faculty Menus

Episode 3: Registration & Week at a Glance

Episode 4: Grades & Transcripts

Episode 5: Emergency Contact Information

Episode 6: Parent Portal for Students

Episode 7: Parent Portal for Parents

Stevenson Hall Classroom Computer Updates

A message from Rick Lindquist about equipment updates in Stevenson Hall:

As you know, the building is still undergoing numerous changes. We are all concerned about the readiness of classroom technology as we approach the first day of classes.
Our AV integrator will be in Stevenson on Friday to finish his work in the classrooms. My hope is that he will be able to complete his work early enough to provide training to our IT Services staff as well as any teachers who are available. However at this time I do not know what time he will be ready to walk through the new room systems. I will provide details as they become available.

 

If the AV integration work is not complete in all rooms by Monday I will either find a way to technologically improvise in your room or assist in temporarily relocating class sessions.
We have ordered new Mac Mini computers for the classroom spaces in Stevenson, although they won’t be usable until the integrator completes work on the audio and video systems. The Mac Minis will function exactly the same as the ones found in State Farm Hall.

Each room will have a wireless keyboard and mouse so there is no need to be tied to the AV cabinets any longer. Feel free to operate the teacher’s station from anywhere in the room!

There are two concerns related to the switch to Mac that I’d like to briefly address.

 First, I would like the Mac Minis to stay powered on all day. They are programmed to turn off and on automatically at night to save power. I find it to be disruptive if the Mac is unexpectedly powered off between classes, but it can happen. There is a power indicator light on the front of the Mac (in the photo below the Mac is turned off, so the indicator is just a small black dot):
unnamed
I’ve added a big red arrow to the image pointing to the rear right corner of the Mac. The power button is located back there. One press and the indicator light will come on and the Mac will start up.
Second, some people need Windows software for their classes. We recognize this and have installed software called VMWare Fusion that allows Windows to run on a Mac. All you need to do is click the VMWare icon:
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A Windows 7 screen will take over. It may require clicking the big “play button” to get Windows going:
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After that, Windows will fill the screen:
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I would only recommend using Windows if you need to use SPSS or demonstrate something from the Windows perspective. The Mac has web browsers, PDF readers, PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and other software that is analogous to the Windows platform. It saves a few seconds to stay with the Mac when pulling up a Moodle page, playing a slide show or reviewing an article online.
I’m looking forward to working with all of you in the amazing new Stevenson classroom spaces!

CLA Classroom Computer Updates

A message from Rick Lindquist about equipment updates in CLA:

We’ve been working over the summer to improve the AV experience in all of our campus classrooms. One of my goals is to improve consistency from room to room across campus. To that end, I’ve been replacing aging computers with new models identical to the ones in State Farm Hall.

That means that CLA 105, 200, 205, 305 now have Mac Mini teacher’s stations with the same login and software as SFH rooms. I’ve also installed a Mac Mini in CLA 300, where there was previously only a VCR/DVD.

I’ve cleaned the cabinets and equipment and relabeled all of the switch boxes so I hope the audio selector box will be less confusing. I’ve added wireless keyboards and mice so there is no need to be tied to the AV cabinets any longer. Feel free to operate the teacher’s station from anywhere in the room!

There are two concerns related to the switch to Mac that I’d like to briefly address.

First, I would like the Mac Minis to stay powered on all day. They are programmed to turn off and on automatically at night to save power. I find it to be disruptive if the Mac is unexpectedly powered off between classes, but it can happen. There is a power indicator light on the front of the Mac (in the photo below the Mac is turned off, so the indicator is just a small black dot):

unnamed
I’ve added a big red arrow to the image pointing to the rear right corner of the Mac. The power button is located back there. One press and the indicator light will come on and the Mac will start up.
Second, some people need Windows software for their classes. We recognize this and have installed software called VMWare Fusion that allows Windows to run on a Mac. All you need to do is click the VMWare icon:
unnamed-1
A Windows 7 screen will take over. It may require clicking the big “play button” to get Windows going:
unnamed-2
After that, Windows will fill the screen:
unnamed-3
I would only recommend using Windows if you need to use SPSS or demonstrate something from the Windows perspective. The Mac has web browsers, PDF readers, PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and other software that is analogous to the Windows platform. It saves a few seconds to stay with the Mac when pulling up a Moodle page, playing a slide show or reviewing an article online.
I would be happy to meet anyone in their classroom if you’d like to walk through the AV technology before the start of classes. Just let me know how I can help!

Finding the Student or Faculty menu in MyIWU

The MyIWU portal recently underwent some changes. The old site had tabs dedicated to student and faculty materials. The new site is greatly simplified but contains the same content, just in a different place.

For example, you might have gone to the Student Tab to find a link for an unofficial transcript within the old MyIWU portal. Today, you’ll choose the “Banner Self Service” option from the green navigation bar.

BSS link in MyIWU

You’ll find items listed that are relative to your role at Illinois Wesleyan. Some people might see a Student Menu, while others will see the Faculty Menu. A few members of the campus community might see both.

BSS menu

From there, choose the relevant sub-menu. Again, these options will depend on your role on campus. In the case of my transcript example above, you’d pick Student Records.

Student menu

Finally, you would click the Academic Transcript link:

Student records menu

MyIWU course pages can move to Moodle!

As you may have heard, the MyIWU portal will be changing this summer.  Some teachers have been using the built-in course pages in MyIWU, but those won’t be available after June 13. We are recommending a move to the Moodle course management system for course materials and communications with students. Here is a brief video overview explaining what the heck a Moodle course actually is:

Please contact us if you’d like to learn more about Moodle, or if you have questions about how IT Services can help you move your course materials over to the new system.

Coming Soon: A New MyIWU!

A preview of the new MyIWU portal

A preview of the new MyIWU portal

The campus portal MyIWU will change on June 13. For the most part, the change is cosmetic. The way you log in, access important services like Banner Self-Service and email, and interact with channels like Campus Calendar and Announcements will stay the same. Most users should not experience any disruption because of this change. If you currently use Course Studio (My Courses), any Groups or the Luminis SunOne calendar, these services will no longer be available. Please contact Rick Lindquist (rlindqui@iwu.edu) for help with setting up new solutions for your courses or groups and get assistance with exporting your calendar to Google.

The new MyIWU will be more streamlined, and we are confident that these improvements will help you work more efficiently. If you have any questions about the new MyIWU, please contact the Help Desk in person in the Thorpe Center, by phone at x3900, or submit an online help request at http://answers.iwu.edu/3900/ask

What Will Stay the Same

  • URL (https://my.iwu.edu/)
  • Log in with NetID and campus password
  • Banner Self-Service Access
  • Links to Campus Service Info
  • Portal to email, Moodle, and Banner Self-Service

What Will Change

  • New layout similar to other campus web pages
  • Course Studio and Group Studio will no longer be available
  • Luminis SunOne calendar will no longer be available
  • Single Sign-on—eliminates double log-on when clicking on email or calendar

Dear Tech Thursday–Email Clients

Dear Tech Thursday,

Compare and contrast: email app (Thunderbird, Outlook, etc.) vs gmail (using a web browser)…which is better? Why?

–Messaging in Munsell

Oh, Messaging! I wish I had a simple answer for you, but alas, technology is never as simple as we want it to be. The basic answer is that there is no difference– desktop clients and web apps work the same way. But, as always, the devil is in the details. So when it comes to email, there are two questions that will guide your decision. First, where do you want to check your email? Second, are you happy with your current set up?

Let’s investigate the first question. The main limitation of desktop clients like Outlook and Thunderbird is that you can only check email from the computer on which the program is installed. If you will never have a need to check email while you’re away from the office, a desktop client is probably a good choice. Web-based email apps like Gmail allow you to check your email from any device as long as you have an internet connection. Even if you never plan on checking your email after work hours or from anywhere else than your desk, it’s good to be familiar with Gmail. If your computer crashes or you need to access an email while at a meeting in a different office, you won’t be stuck without important info.

This isn’t a hard and fast guideline though, because desktop clients like Outlook now have mobile apps AND web apps which mean you can maintain the functionality of the program without being tied to your desktop.

So, really, the most important question is—do you like the way you’re working now? Because the differences between desktop clients and web-based apps are so minimal, you shouldn’t feel pressured to switch to something you don’t like. There are some differences in the way that Gmail handles multiple email accounts that might be better managed with a desktop client, but if you really like Gmail and manage multiple accounts, there are settings that can help with that workflow.

No matter which kind of email client you use, there’s one thing you can count on—change. You’ll have to keep on top of installing updates for desktop clients. Sometimes, email clients stop being updated (Eudora is a good example of this) which means that your program may not be able to handle newer email features. For web-based email clients, you will not have to install updates while using a browser, but you will have to install updates to apps if you use them. Also, changes to the interface may happen without warning, leaving you wondering where that button you used to use went…

Best of luck, Messaging, and if you need more advice, use your favorite client and email us at helpdesk@iwu.edu

Gmail at IWU: Last account activity

Our campus has been feeling some anxiety about password hacks and phishing attempts lately. Of course we want you to have a strong, unique password. And you should always log out of accounts when you are done working. But what should you do if you suspect your account has been compromised?

If you notice unusual email messages in your inbox or especially in your sent messages it could mean that your username and password are being used by the bad guys to send out malicious messages. I recommend using the “Last account activity” feature in Gmail to test out your suspicions:

Gmail inbox - last account activity
Click on the “Details” link to learn more about when your account is being accessed, and from where!

The details window will show you a list of recent account access. If you’ve left other browsers/apps logged in you can click a button to sign them all out. In the list below I can identify all of the activity as either my computer or my iPhone:

Gmail activity
Click the “Sign out all other web sessions” button to close out open Gmail windows on other computers. This is a great option if you’ve left a classroom computer logged in but don’t realize until later!

Of course, if you see unusual activity in this list you should change your campus password right away:

https://passchange.iwu.edu/

Greatest Hits: Password Management

Our Tech Thursday newsletter has had many tips on managing your passwords. Bookmark this post to keep all our great advice in one place.

Protip: Creating Strong Passwords
Strong passwords are important to keep your digital information secure. Generally, a strong password is made up of lowercase & uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols, and does not contain dictionary words. This Google site has some great ideas on how to generate a strong password.
If you have a hard time remembering all those letters, numbers, and symbols, try a password template.  To make a template, come up with a phrase you can easily remember and pull the first letter of each word. “today will be the best day” becomes the password phrase “twbtbd.” Add a capital letter that corresponds to the service you’re logging in to and a symbol. Your banking password can be “twbtbdB!” and your Facebook password can be “twbtbdF!” and your Google password can be “twbtbdG!” and so on.
For services you don’t log in to very often, a password template can help you remember without being locked out for multiple incorrect attempts. Bonus: when it’s time to change your passwords (every three months or so!), you can change your passwords easily by changing the symbol.
To create completely unique passwords without a template, try a password generator like this one from LastPass!

Get a Password Plan
End of semester is a good time to think about password security. Are you reusing the same password on multiple sites? Could your passwords use a more secure format update? Should you implement a password manager? Upcoming changes to the way we handle password policy on campus may mean a new approach to keeping your data secure. Practice your good password habits today! If you haven’t changed your password since July 15, 2015 change it here: https://passchange.iwu.edu/

Password Philosophy Blog Post
Check out our blog post about what to do if you take passwords too personally: http://blogs.iwu.edu/techblog/2015/04/23/password-confessions/