Online exam proctoring guidance for faculty

Online exam proctoring guidance for instructors
Online exam proctoring guidance for instructors

In August, a U.S. District Court in Ohio issued a ruling via Ogletree v. Cleveland State University regarding student privacy and online proctoring. This has prompted several questions to Information Technology Services regarding the implications for faculty who use Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor, and specifically the “environment scan” feature, for online proctoring in their classes. The following guidance has been provided by NU General Counsel:

The court ruling does not impact the ability of faculty to continue using Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor. There is no need for faculty to notify students at the outset of a class that a room scan is required for a proctored exam and there is no need for a consent form or process. The university’s preference is to discourage scans of private residences and rooms to ensure we are not creating an undue burden on students.

Encouraged Best Practices

  • Administer exams in person either in a classroom or in the Digital Learning Commons.
  • Use Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor to assist with anti-cheating, but disable the “environment scan” feature.
  • Encourage students to reserve study space on campus for proctored online exams instead of their personal residence.
  • Explore other means of assessment.
  • If a scan of a personal residence is needed, faculty should be prepared to demonstrate a valid reason for the scan in case it is required later.

The environment scan feature can be disabled via Canvas under the “Startup Sequence” area of the Respondus Monitor settings. If assistance is needed, contact

Faculty who would like help with reimagining course assessments are encouraged to partner with their assigned Center for Transformative Teaching Instructional Designer. Additionally, on Nov. 2 from 9-10 a.m., the ITS Academic Technologies team is hosting All About Respondus, a Zoom session designed to assist faculty with questions they have prior to finals week.

Contact Kate McCown, director of Academic Technologies, at with any questions.