Preparing for the Unexpected: Using Remote Proctoring during Emergencies

Storms happen. As do earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, civil unrest, and other emergencies that make it difficult -- and sometimes impossible -- for students to come to campus.

We’ve shared stories of snowstorms and earthquakes that required quick action by university staff to enable students to take exams remotely. But the success of such efforts often depends on preparedness by instructional trainers and online learning staff at the institution.

Here are steps you can take today that will enable instructors to use Respondus Monitor for remote proctoring in an emergency situation.

Have the Technology Ready

  • Over 1,000 universities already have an institution-wide license for LockDown Browser. But they sometimes don’t realize it comes with 200 free seats of Respondus Monitor for automated proctoring. Before the Respondus Monitor seats can be accessed by instructors, the LockDown Browser administrator needs to enable the appropriate settings in the LMS. Do this prior to an emergency situation to ensure the technology is running properly.
  • If the emergency situation requires more than 200 seats of Respondus Monitor, contact your Respondus account manager and request a 60-day free trial. This can be set up quickly (usually within one business day), and it provides an institution unlimited use of Respondus Monitor during the trial period.

Additional Tips for Trainers and Administrators

  • Instructional designers and trainers should familiarize themselves with Respondus Monitor before an emergency arises. Be able to present the basics of Respondus Monitor in a 10-minute screenshare with an instructor.
  • Have a ready-to-go email that contains a brief description of Respondus Monitor and a list of training materials available for instructors. Keep in mind that the Respondus Monitor application itself has training videos and other resources available on the opening screen, right within your LMS.
  • Encourage instructors to include information in their syllabus indicating that exams might be delivered online and require the use of LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor. This gives students fair warning that these applications might get used during the course.
  • Consider implementing an institution-wide policy that enables instructors to use remote proctoring applications in the case of an emergency or campus closure.
  • There are times when an institution will cancel all classes, but buildings on campus remain open (eg. library). Develop a list of locations on campus where students can access webcam-enabled computers. Offer these locations as an option for students who live on campus, or close by.

For more information on remote proctoring, visit