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Safe Exam Browser (SEB) is a lock-down browser that allows teachers to restrict student access to external websites, system functions or other applications while they are taking an assessment online. SEB supports teachers to deliver improved and secure online assessments in Moodle by turning the computer into a secured workstation. You can use SEB with any Moodle Quiz. Moodle HQ has an intro video giving an overview of SEB.

Pros & Cons of Using Safe Exam Browser

Before deciding to implement use of the SEB for student testing, consider the pros and cons below.

PRO:

  • From an instructor's perspective, SEB serves it's purpose, which is to deliver secure online assessments.
  • As long as the instructor has tested that SEB is working as expected in the venue
    where your students will be taking the test

CON:

  • Installing off-site or from a home computer-A small sample of student testers*
    found the installation of SEB to be a challenge. They encountered delays such as:
    • waiting for the configuration files to download,
    • having to pause and restart (sometimes more than once,
    • numerous pop-up windows,
    • restart required after browser installation.

*Once tested with a larger group of students, cons may be resolved or limited.

How SEB works for students

There are two situations where you may choose to use Safe Exam Browser to deliver quizzes in your Moodle courses, from the students' home (or other off-site location) and from a campus computer lab.

  1. From Home of Off-site: In cases where students will be using their own devices for taking online exams, you will need to ensure that they have downloaded and installed the Safe Exam Browser on their computer Prior to taking the quiz. SEB currently works in Windows, Mac OS and iOS operating systems. Please note that SEB will not work for students who wish to complete online tests using an Android phone or tablet.

  2.  On Campus-Students will be able to launch the SEB test without installing software. However, before scheduling an exam on-campus instructors should test that SEB is working as expected in the venue where your students will be taking the test. Contact the HelpDesk if you encounter any issues before the date of the test.

  3. Whether students will be at home or on campus, add this link to the Safe Exam Browser a Guide for Students to your Moodle course and provide the guide to students so they are prepared to take a quiz/exam in your Moodle course.

Recommendation: Depending on the settings for the quiz, students can be prompted to download SEB when they try to access a Moodle Quiz, so downloading and installing the SEB PRIOR to the test will save time, and will allow students to launch the installed SEB when the time comes to take the test.

Note: Students will need to be able to authenticate their Clarkson account using DUO so may also need their phone for authentication.

Step-by-step guide for Instructors

How to configure a Moodle Quiz to use Safe Exam Browser

To use SEB, configure from the settings in the Moodle Quiz. Follow the four steps below, and as shown on the numbered screenshot. (New to Moodle Quiz? See this Knowledge Base article Quiz: Creating A Quiz Shell)

  1. Open the quiz settings and scroll down to the section labeled 'Safe Exam Browser'. 

  2. Under 'Require the use of Safe Exam Browser' select 'Yes - Configure manually'. 
     
  3. If you set the option 'Show Safe Exam Browser download button' to 'Yes', students will see a 'Download Safe Exam Browser' button when they start the test from Moodle - this may be confusing, so leave this option as 'No'.  (And for on-campus tests we also want to hide this button, since the browser will already be installed on the computers in the labs.)
     
  4. For the simplest setup, leave the other options as the default and scroll to the bottom of the page to save the settings. If the exam has more complex requirements (e.g. you want to allow students access to a few selected websites), contact the Helpdesk and we will work with you to configure your test.

What students will see

  1. The student clicks on the quiz link to start. They now have three choices - Launch Safe Exam Browser, Download Configuration, and Back to course.



  2. The student clicks the 'Launch Safe Exam Browser' button.

  3. A popup window appears (enabling popup windows is a necessary step for students to take prior to attempting a Moodle Quiz using SEB - it's covered in the Student Guide to using SEB  which should be provided to students prior to quiz time. If students select 'Always allow moodle.clarkson.edu" to open links of this type in the associated app', they will notn't see the popup window the next time they launch a Moodle Quiz in SEB on the same computer.



  4. SEB will launch. The student will be asked to enter their Clarkson username and password, after which they will be taken to the Moodle Quiz launch page, this time within the SEB. The student can then click 'Attempt quiz now' to begin the quiz.



  5. After completing the test the student clicks 'Submit All and Finish', as with any Moodle Quiz.

  6. To exit SEB and return to the Moodle course, students select the Terminate Session button at the bottom-right of the SEB window, or use the keyboard controls (CTRL-Q on a PC, CMD-Q on a Mac).

For more details on other settings, see the Article: Extended Settings for Using Safe Exam Browser for Moodle Quizzes

  • Tip: Consider creating a practice quiz using SEB so students can test that they have correctly installed and can use the tool prior to attempting a graded test.

  • Note: Students will need to be able to authenticate their Clarkson account using DUO so may also need their phone for authentication.

  • Recommendation: Depending on the settings for the quiz, students can be prompted to download SEB when they try to access a Moodle Quiz, so downloading and installing the SEB PRIOR to the test will save time, and will allow students to launch the installed SEB when the time comes to take the test.