How can you prevent cheating in an online exam and prevent websearching?

Many clients have asked us: How can I prevent my (potential) students or employees from cheating? The question is simple but hard to answer if you don't know how. The most obvious way to cheat is to open a web browser and just search the answer to a question on the internet, no more!🚫

Safe Exam Browser

Safe Exam Browser (SEB) is a program that allows teachers, employers or whoever creates online tests to sleep at night😴 It basically disables any other applications so the participant taking the exam cannot cheat his way to success. The process to set it up and get it ready for your participants can be quite overwhelming so it's explained below.

Download & install

You can download & install Safe Exam Browser here. Choose the appropriate operating system and begin installation.

Setting up the Safe Exam Browser

General



To configure the settings of SEB you need to open the SEB Config Tool. The window above will appear where you can choose an administrator password which will give you access to edit the settings of SEB before examinees take their exam.

Also fill in a quit/restart password OR a quit link which enables examinees to quit SEB after they finish the exam. Uncheck the box of ''Ignore exit keys'' if you only want your examinees to be able to quit with a password (makes it possible for you to do a final check if they completed it).

Copy and paste the exam link into the Start URL field from your Easy LMS dashboard.

Config file



Check the box of _Use SEB settings file for... Starting an exam. Choose another settings password to encrypt your SEB settings file.

Browser



Choose what participants can and can't do when they start up the browser. Browser security options include:

Enable plug-ins
Enable Java(Script)
Allow video (webcam)/audio (microphone) capture
Allow navigating back/forward in exam
Allow reload in exam
Block pop-up windows
Allow navigating in additional windows

Exam



You might also want to add a link to quit SEB after someone finishes the exam if you don't want your participants to exit with a password. Clicking that link will quit SEB without having to enter the quit password. If you want to enter a ''back to start URL'' enter it on this tab as well.

Applications



In this section you can enable and disable applications that will be able to run while SEB is active. In the example above only FireFox is permitted to be used during the Exam.
When you switch to the Prohibited Processes tab you'll see all of the applications that will be disabled by default while SEB is running. You can add and remove applications from this list by clicking on the + or - buttons below the list of applications. Simply enter the Executable and Original Name of the application to add it to the Prohibited Processes list. Just click on any application in this list to view an example.

Network



If you do allow browsing on the internet you can block certain websites by activating URL filtering. To do this simply select the + button and add the URLs you want to block to the Expression field. Then select Block in the Action field.

Registry



We all know that Ctrl + Alt + Del opens the Windows Security Screen when pressed simultaneously. On this screen you can open the Task Manager, log off or even shut down the computer.

To prevent a participant from doing this you can disable all of these functions in the Registry section. Some actions that can be blocked include:

Switching participants
Logging off / shutting down the computer
Opening Task Manager

Hooked Keys



Some keys on our keyboards have special functions, including all Function keys. To block all of the actions that can be taken with these special keys when SEB is active, simply check the boxes of the keys you want to disable during the exam.

Saving the exam file



After you feel like your exam settings are good you can save them in the Config File section. Save the settings file and make sure you remember all passwords you entered in each field and that the SEB settings are saved for starting an exam. Give the file an appropriate name. Make sure to communicate the password of your exam to your participants if you have enabled a password to start the file, otherwise they can't open it. You can now send the file to your participants!

Note: The device the exam is taken on must have SEB installed for the file to work.

Creating multiple SEB files

You might want to create multiple SEB files if you have more than one exam or when multiple exams are to be taken simultaneously. Assuming you were successful in creating your first SEB file by following the instructions above, please follow these steps to create multiple SEB files:

Open the SEB Config Tool and go to General
Change the Start URL to another exam found in the Publish section of your Easy LMS dashboard
Go to Config File and make sure it's on Starting an exam
If you want to have different settings for each exam make sure you change these first
Select Save Settings as and give each file a different name and save them in an easy-to-find location
Rinse and repeat

You now have a second SEB file and you can create many more that lead to each different exam with the same (or different) settings. Make sure you test the files first, just to be sure.

SEB and a Predefined group of participants

If you have enabled a predefined group of participants then the first thing your participants will see is the login screen. However, if you use SEB they won't be able to get the access code after they opened the file unless you allow them to open an application. Therefore, you either need to tell your participants to copy the access code before opening the file or have them write it down on paper so they can enter it manually.

For the entire explanation file of setting up an SEB file click here.

Combine this with the tips and tricks of this article and you're good to go!
Was this article helpful?
Cancel
Thank you!