High-Stakes Testing in Canvas

In the event that you will be conducting high-stakes testing in Canvas, you may want to use Proctorio, a remote proctoring service that enables the instructor to exert some control over their students’ testing environment. The step-by-step guidelines below explain how to set up Proctorio and the services it can offer, as well as some recommendations for avoiding common pitfalls with the tool.

In addition, you might find the following resources useful:

Please note that there are some accessibility concerns related to Proctorio. The settings that are known to cause difficulty are flagged below, and you can learn more on our Accessibility in ERI page. It’s also worth noting the concerns some have raised that Proctorio, like other tools driven by algorithms, can inadvertently disadvantage students of color or others who don’t fit the norm around which the algorithm was built.

Setting Up Proctorio Remote Proctoring Service

The following directions will guide instructors through the set up of the Proctorio Remote Quiz Proctoring tool in Canvas which provides remote proctoring support for higher-stakes quizzes and exams created in Canvas. If students are looking for help with Proctorio, they can consult this Proctorio User Guide for Students.

Note: Proctorio works only with the Quiz feature in Canvas and will not integrate with third-party or publisher-provided quizzing tools. You’ll want to ensure you are comfortable with the features of Canvas quizzing before proceeding with Proctorio. 

Enable Remote Proctoring:

Step 1: Ensure that you are using Google Chrome as your browser. Proctorio will not work in other browsers. You can download Chrome at no cost if you do not already have it on your device.

Step 2: Download the Proctorio extension for Google Chrome.

Step 3: Open an existing “quiz” in Canvas or create a new quiz. (For tutorials on creating quizzes, review the Getting Started with Quizzes resource.)

Step 4: In the Canvas quiz settings, scroll down to the “Quiz Restrictions” and click on “Enable Proctorio Secure Exam Proctor” (as pictured).Quiz Restrictions Canvas options, with arrow pointing to "Enable Proctorio Secure Exam Proctor"

Step 5: Once you have enabled Proctorio, you will see that some additional settings will automatically populate. The “require an access code” box will automatically be selected, and you will be notified that Proctorio will manage the password. The “Proctorio Settings” tab will also appear at the top alongside “Details” and “Questions.”
Canvas Quiz Restrictions menu with "Enable Proctrio Secure Exam Proctor" option selected and "Require an access code" automatically selected

Step 6: Scroll back to the top of the quiz settings page, and click on the “Proctorio Settings” tab.

Canvas Quiz tabs with arrow pointing to "Proctorio Settings"

Step 7: Adjust Proctorio settings per your preferences. Please see our Recommendations for Exam Settings if you are seeking some additional guidance when setting up your exam.

  • Proctorio exam options include:
    • Record Video – records the students webcam
    • Record Audio – records using the student’s computer microphone
    • Record Screen – records the student’s computer screen
    • Record Web Traffic – records the URL and a screenshot of any websites visited
    • Record Room – prompts the student to record their surrounding

Proctorio Recording Options menu

  • Lock down options include:
    • Force Full Screen – requires quiz/exam to be full-screen
    • Only One Screen – requires only one monitor be active
    • Disable New Tabs – prevents student from opening new tabs on browser
    • Close Open Tabs – closes other open tabs on browser
    • Disable Printing – disables printing during quiz/exam
    • Disable Clipboard – prevents copy/cut/paste during exam
    • Block Downloads – blocks student’s ability to download during exam/quiz
    • Clear Cache – clears browser history and cache during exam/quiz
    • Disable Right Click – disables the student’s ability to right-click (can pose accessibility challenges – learn more at our page on Accessibility in ERI)
    • Prevent Re-entry – requires the exam to be completed in one sitting and will end the exam due to any disconnection (can pose challenges for students with unstable internet connection)

Proctorio Lockdown Options menu

  • Verification Options Include:
    • Verify Video – requires student to confirm video set-up pre-exam
    • Verify Audio – requires student to confirm audio set-up pre-exam
    • Verify Desktop – requires student to confirm screen recording pre-exam
    • Verify Identity – requires student to show photo-ID pre-exam (can pose accessibility challenges – learn more at our page on Accessibility in ERI)
    • Verify Signature – requires student to digitally sign an academic integrity agreement (can pose accessibility challenges – learn more at our page on Accessibility in ERI)

Proctorio Verification Options menu

  • In-Quiz Tool Options include:
    • In-quiz Calculator – provides students with a calculator that can be used during the quiz
    • Whiteboard – provides students with a whiteboard students can use as ‘scratch paper’ during the quiz

Proctorio In-Quiz Tools menu

Step 8: Optionally, you can set Proctorio Behavior Settings which allow you to adjust the sensitivity the system has to specific suspicious behaviors, or you can use the recommended settings.

  • Behavior Settings include:
    • Recommended – Proctorio accounts for your exam settings and auto-populates behavior settings
    • Lenient – Students must commit multiple behaviors that Proctorio deems violations to trigger suspicion
    • Moderate – Some behavior will trigger high suspicion levels
    • Group Exam – Allows multiple test-takers and will not trigger suspicion for audio levels, head or eye movement
    • Open Note – Allows students to open other tabs, copy and paste, and will not trigger suspicion for head or eye movements
    • Custom – Allows the instructor to build their own settings from scratch

Proctorio Behavior Settings menu

Step 9: You can choose to create a new profile to save your chosen settings for future quizzes/exams, or you can skip this step and simply “save” or “save and publish” your exam with the current Proctorio settings.

final window asks you to create a new profile or save & publish

If you need immediate assistance, visit https://proctorio.com/support and scroll down to Start Live Chat, available 24/7.  If you are logged into Canvas and have a Quiz open, you can also access Proctorio’s support resources. Please keep in mind that issues with student computers might be difficult to resolve in a tight timeframe, so consider options for back-up plans and accommodations

Addressing concerns about Proctorio

Instructors using Proctorio in Fall 2020 have reported a number of difficulties with students getting kicked out of an exam before completing it. To avoid this problem, we recommend considering alternatives to Proctorio, such as including an honor pledge on a Canvas quiz, using minimal Proctorio settings that will be less likely to overload students’ internet bandwidth (see below), or using Zoom to proctor an exam. See a table comparing some options and limitations for both Proctorio and Zoom to help you make an informed decision about what will work best for your course.

Recommendations for exam settings:

Moderate and even lenient settings often work best, as the strictest options sometimes unintentionally punish students for things they might do out of habit or with no intention of cheating, such as use of certain keyboard shortcuts and pop-ups from other apps.   The recommendations below sometimes help in reducing stress and streamlining the process:

  • Among the lock-down options, it is best to avoid “Force full screen;” instead, use a combination of other restrictions as needed.  Among the recording options, “Record screen” takes screen shots whenever a student performs certain actions like mouse clicks, so it can provide a way to detect inappropriate behavior.  If you need to use Force full screen, allow the most lenient option for re-entry in case a student makes a mistake.
  • Rather than “Prevent Re-entry,” select Allow re-entry as connectivity issues are the most common reason for students to be removed from an exam.  The report available through the Proctorio Gradebook will allow you to verify this.
  • Use verification options for every monitoring tool you will apply, so students have a chance to make sure these are working before the exam begins

Tips for troubleshooting:

Share this information with students in advance, for best efficiency during an exam:

  • Restart your computer before an exam
  • As you are getting started, if you are prompted for an access code:
    • Make sure you are on Chrome and have the Proctorio extension
    • Logout of Canvas and click the Proctorio extension shield.  In the menu which opens, roll over “This can read and change site data” and make sure “On all Sites” is selected, then try to re-enter the exam.
    • Logout of Canvas and clear the cache on your browser, then try to re-enter.  
    • Uninstall and reinstall the extension and then try again.
  • If you need immediate assistance during an exam, click the Proctorio shield in your browser which will have a link to support for as long as you are in a Quiz, or visit https://proctorio.com/support and scroll down to Start Live Chat, available 24/7.