Can Blackboard Detect Cheating: Open Tabs, Webcam, Copy-Paste, Screen Mirroring

Do you use Blackboard for online exams? Do you want to know if any attempts at cheating were detected during your exam? Educational platforms do not condone any form of cheating, but for educational purposes, we will outline some of the activities that Blackboard can detect during test-taking.
Concerns about students cheating on online tests have grown in tandem with the growth of online learning. While some institutions use test centers, this is inconvenient for students who live outside of the institution’s geographic area.
The solution to this problem was online proctoring, and educational institutions using Blackboard and other learning management systems could now provide a more secure and convenient test-taking environment for their students.

Platforms such as Blackboard have taken the initiative to include features that allow institutions that use these platforms to better administer their online exams. This article will look at some of the features implemented by Blackboard and what they can detect during test-taking.


Can Blackboard Detect Cheating

Let’s start with a general question that most students preparing for an online exam would ask. While most students do not cheat, in the past, online examinations saw a higher number of students cheating due to the lack of invigilators and the convenient environment and access to information, which led students who would normally refrain from cheating to cheat.
So, to summarize our response to the question of whether Blackboard can detect cheating, we have a simple answer.
Yes. Respondus Monitor and LockDown Browser are used by Blackboard to prevent and detect cheating during online exams, and SafeAssign plagiarism checker is used to identify plagiarized content. Respondus Monitors uses the webcam and microphone on the computer to record the exam environment while also recording the computer screen.

LockDown Browser also prevents students from taking screenshots, visiting other websites, accessing other applications, right-clicking, copying and pasting, activating function keys, using shortcuts, and switching between displays.


Tools Blackboard Uses To Detect Cheating

While no educational institution wants to go to such lengths to discourage cheating, a few cheaters mixed in with the good students can undermine the credibility of an established school’s examinations. As a result, Blackboard, as a learning management system, employs a number of tools to deter cheating in online exams.

1. Respondus Monitor

Respondus Monitor is a fully automated remote proctoring solution built on top of Blackboard’s LockDown Browser. Respondus Monitor, like other popular proctoring tools on the market such as Honorlock, Proctorio, and ProctorU, records the student’s examination environment using the student’s webcam and monitor during tests.
The system then analyzes any activities that occur during the examination in order to provide instructors with the required results. Respondus Monitor necessitates the use of Respondus LockDown Browser, which restricts access to certain computer features.
Respondus Monitor not only records the student’s examination environment using the webcam and microphone, but it also records the student’s computer screen for instructors to view once the test is finished.

Using Respondus Monitor, the instructor or institution can:

• Monitor student behavior during the test.

• If necessary, capture student ID.

• Capture computer screen

2. LockDown Browser

LockDown Browser is a custom web browser that restricts certain computer activities to prevent student cheating during Blackboard exams. During tests, the Respondus LockDown Browser will be used based on the specifications of your educational institution. If this is the case, students will be required to grant the software access to their webcams and microphones.
When used, LockDown Browser opens fullscreen and does not provide any menu options or URL fields for students to use like a normal browser. Some student activities and computer functions will be restricted by the LockDown Browser, including:
• Adding new tabs to the LockDown Browser

• Window reduction

• Screenshots

• Function keys and keyboard shortcuts

• Right-click

• Copy-paste

• Running additional applications

• There’s no start button.

• There is no system tray or dock.

• There is no second screen or monitor.

3. SafeAssign Plagiarism Checker

SafeAssign is a plagiarism prevention tool that can be enabled within Blackboard to automatically check student submissions for plagiarism. Using the institution’s or a global database, the software allows instructors to check student assignments and other submissions for plagiarism.
This feature makes it simple for teachers and students to determine the level of originality in any assignment submission. Simply enable the SafeAssign originality report within Blackboard to have the software check any new student submissions against the institution’s database, the global database, or both.

4. Instructor Live Proctoring

This entails instructors using video conferencing systems such as Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams to monitor students while they take online tests. In this case, students do not receive any abnormal activity alerts, despite the fact that they are still locked into the testing environment via LockDown Browser.
The LockDown Browser Live Proctoring feature is intended for small classes because the pre-examination steps for this system would require the instructor’s guide. A smaller class would also be easier to monitor on-screen during a test to identify any abnormal behavior.

5. IP Address Restriction

On a network, each computer is given an IP address. IP addresses are unique identifiers for devices connected to the internet or a local network. IP addresses are the internet’s way of distinguishing between the billions of devices to which it is linked, ranging from printers to refrigerators. An IP address is assigned to anything that has an internet connection.
Platforms such as Blackboard can detect the IP addresses of computers that access parts of their platforms. Blackboard then provides a number of filters that can be used to restrict access to specific tests. This means that only students from specific areas can take an examination. Third parties outside of the institutions’ examination centers would be unable to access the test on Blackboard. This feature is necessary and useful for testing students in examination centers that require candidate identification.


Can Blackboard Detect Open Tabs

No, an LMS such as Blackboard cannot detect open tabs on a student’s browser. This is not the case for proctored tests, as Blackboard’s LockDown Browser restricts a variety of activities and actions such as opening tabs, minimizing, right-clicking, copy-pasting, screen capture, and others.
In most cases, your institution will notify you ahead of time that your test will be proctored. Students would be unable to access their start menu during tests if the LockDown Browser was used. This reduces the likelihood of students cheating on tests, and Respondus Monitor records all activity in the exam environment and on the computer screen.


Can Blackboard Detect Copy And Paste

Yes, SafeAssign will detect plagiarized content during submission. During a proctored online examination, however, Blackboard’s LockDown Browser disables copy-paste functionality and other features.
The institution will use either Blackboard’s LockDown Browser or the Respondus Monitor, which includes the LockDown Browser, for a proctored online examination on Blackboard. During a proctored Blackboard examination, student activity on their computers will be restricted and monitored because the LockDown Browser restricts usage of various functionalities and only allows the use of the LockDown Browser.
During the examination, functions such as copy-pasting, opening new tabs, right-clicking, minimizing the LockDown Browser window, and many others will be disabled.


Can Blackboard Detect Cheating Without LockDown Browser

Yes, using the SafeAssign plagiarism checker, Blackboard can detect plagiarized content. Respondus LockDown Browser, also known as Respondus Monitor, is required for remote proctoring. As a result, without the LockDown Browser, Blackboard cannot detect cheating during tests.
The SafeAssign plagiarism checker compares delivered assignments and exams to the institution’s and global databases to detect any forms of plagiarized content. However, without the LockDown Browser or other proctoring tools, Blackboard cannot detect cheating in an ongoing online examination.



Can Blackboard Tell When You Switch Tabs

No, Blackboard cannot detect when a student switches tabs on an unproctored test, but the LockDown Browser prevents students from switching tabs on a proctored test.
During tests, the LockDown Browser restricts various actions and activities. It is therefore advisable to ensure that your examination is not proctored if you wish to perform other tasks on your computer.


What Can Blackboard Monitor

Blackboard can monitor and record candidates’ exam environments using their computer’s webcam and microphone, as well as record their computer screen, monitor and restrict right-clicking, minimize, screen capture, new window, and other actions.


Can Blackboard Detect Cheating Multiple Choice

No, the SafeAssign plagiarism detector does not detect plagiarism in multiple-choice questions. Most plagiarism checkers and institutions do not examine multiple-choice questions for plagiarism.


Can Blackboard Access Your Camera Without You Knowing

No, Blackboard requires student computers to grant access to their cameras and microphones during tests. Once the LockDown Browser has been closed, Blackboard cannot access a student’s camera. However, after your online test, you should uninstall the LockDown Browser.


Can Blackboard Access Your Microphone

Yes. When you start a test, Blackboard can only access your microphone if you grant permission to the LockDown Browser. Most proctored Blackboard tests that use Respondus Monitor or LockDown Browser alone require this. Once the test is finished and the application is closed, Blackboard cannot access your microphone.


Can Blackboard Access Your Camera

Yes. Only after you’ve granted permission to the LockDown Browser before a test can Blackboard access your camera. It cannot, however, access your camera after the browser has been closed after a test.


Can Blackboard Detect Screen Mirroring

Yes. During a proctored examination, Blackboard’s Lockdown Browser can detect screen mirroring. However, during an unproctored examination, Blackboard cannot detect screen mirroring or any other activity.


Can Blackboard Detect Location

Yes. Blackboard uses computer IP addresses to reinforce location restrictions during tests and assignments. Schools can limit the locations from which students can access Blackboard tests. This means that students outside of the designated testing area will be unable to access Blackboard tests, and they will also be unable to hire a third party to take the tests on their behalf from another location. This feature is especially useful during examinations in testing centers.