Assessments and Academic Integrity

Faculty members shifting to teaching courses remotely may be interested in incorporating teaching technologies that promote students’ academic integrity in their quizzes, tests, and written work. The University of Miami offers a number of technology platforms to promote academic integrity, including control of the testing environment with Respondus Lockdown Browser, remote proctoring with Respondus Monitor, and plagiarism checking with Blackboard SafeAssign. This guide outlines key resources available to faculty and students.

What is academic integrity?

Academic integrity is honest and responsible scholarship, where students engage in academic work, attributing their sources and development of knowledge. As everyone may have their own understanding of or experiences with academic integrity, please review the University of Miami Honor Code.

How can I proctor an examination online?

If you traditionally assign midterm and final exams within an in-person classroom environment, proctored by faculty and instructional assistants, these tools allow you to prepare your examination, deploy via Blackboard Learn and track students submissions. These tools are preventative measures to uphold academic integrity.

Create Exams via Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Learn has the capability for instructors to create, deploy, and grade tests and for students to take tests within the browser. Some question types (multiple choice, true/false, fill-in-the-blank, calculated formula, etc.) can be automatically graded by Blackboard, but others (short answer and essay) require manual review by an instructor or teaching assistant. A stable internet connection is required for students to take tests in Blackboard.

If you plan to include tests in your Blackboard course, consider previewing and testing your assessment using Student View. You may also want to have a no-stakes practice quiz available to students to give them an opportunity to ensure that they will have an issue-free testing experience on an actual assessment.

Respondus Lockdown Browser

Respondus LockDown Browser is a locked browser for taking tests in Blackboard Learn. It prevents students from printing, copying, going to another website, or accessing other applications during a test. To take a test, students will open the LockDown Browser, login to their Blackboard course, and access their test. 

Respondus Monitor

Respondus Monitor is a companion application for LockDown Browser that tracks students through their webcam while they take an online exam and examines student behavior patterns within the footage in order to detect potential cheating. Any instances of potential cheating are then flagged and ranked in order of severity to allow the instructor to quickly determine which footage needs review. Respondus Monitor cannot be used without a Respondus Lockdown Browser. To take a test, students will prepare their webcam, open the LockDown Browser, login to their Blackboard course, and access their test. 

Optional: Create Tests and Question Pools via Respondus 4.0 

Respondus 4.0® is an advanced exam authoring tool for creating and managing exams that can be published directly to Blackboard. This is helpful for managing large test banks or multiple quizzes and exams within a course. Features include importing questions from a Word Document into format that can be uploaded to Blackboard directly. 

How do I prevent and detect plagiarism in student submissions?

Create Blackboard Assignments with SafeAssign Enabled

SafeAssign is a plagiarism prevention tool that checks the originality of students’ written submissions. SafeAssign automatically conducts these checks by comparing submissions assignment against a database of other assignment submissions and academic articles. SafeAssign originality reports provide detailed information about the matches found between a student’s submitted paper and existing sources. Both instructors and students can use the report to review assignment submissions for originality and create opportunities to identify how to properly attribute sources.

How do I encourage students to uphold Academic Integrity?

Include an Academic Honesty Statement

You can include an academic honesty statement at the beginning of an exam to serve as a reminder of the standards  and expectations for academic integrity. You can also have students review the University of Miami Honor Code prior to an exam or final assessment. 

Foster Communication

Communicate with your students that if they are struggling in your course, to contact you via email, online or office hours. Guide them to the necessary resources available.

Recommend Tutoring Support

The Camner Center will offer resources including tutoring, Learning Specialist, and Disability services through phone or Zoom meetings. You can refer to students to their website to access these services. 

Promote Citation Resources

University of Miami Libraries has a resource on Citation and Research Management Tools for students to access. 

Offer Practice Assessments

To help students understand the remote assessment options and using tools like Respondus Lock-Down Browser and Monitor by setting up a practice test or assignment. This allows them to test their wireless connection, their location and webcam.

How do I ensure that assessments include accommodations for students with disabilities?

Some students may require accommodations to tests or other aspects of their remote learning experience because of a documented disability, such as extended time on tests and quizzes. If you have any students who require accommodations, you are encouraged to work with the Office of Disability Services ( in the Camner Center to ensure that they are engaging in equitable learning opportunities. Disability Services has issued guidance to University of Miami faculty members regarding the accommodation request process, the types of accommodations, and engaging in communicating with students regarding their accommodations.

What are the options for faculty and student technical support? 

Need support? In addition to the Service Desk, the Learning Platforms Team can provide training and support for any of the technologies featured in this guide. Learn more about our current training offerings on the Academic Continuity Guide.

Need help with teaching online? The Distance Learning Institute provides consultations for faculty who leverage online technologies and teaching techniques to create engaging course experiences. 

Creating alternative content and assignments? The LIFE team in conjunction with University Libraries will help faculty create alternative course materials and assignments. To schedule individual or request group consultations, contact the LIFE team at