How to take secure digital student exams with BookWidgets and Safe Exam Browser

It’s not always easy to keep an eye on students when you’re taking exams digitally. It’s even harder when students are hidden behind their computer screens. Taking tests on computers, tablets and laptops comes with the internet. A treasure of information that’s just a few clicks away.

You need tools to lock students in the digital exam, preventing them to cheat. That’s what this post is about: You can now take BookWidgets exams in combination with Safe Exam Browser using the easy built-in configuration. This locks students in your BookWidgets test. They won’t be able to open new browser tabs or programs on their device.

In this post, I’ll briefly explain how the configuration of both tools works. BookWidgets has made it super easy for you!

5 Steps to take safe digital exams with BookWidgets

1. Install “Safe Exam Browser”

Your students must download Safe Exam Browser and install it on their computer, laptop, or iPad.

Or your school’s IT-admin can install Safe Exam Browser on all your school’s devices at the beginning of the new school year.

Note! Safe Exam Browser is compatible with Windows, macOS, and IOS. If your students are using Chromebooks or Android tablets, you’ll have to use another tool.

2. Create your BookWidgets exam

Choose a Quiz, Worksheet, or Split worksheet widget as your digital exam template. Start adding your exam questions.

Keep in mind:

  • Students can open webpages if you’ve added clickeable links in your questions, but make sure not to give away valuable information there. They have to click on the back arrow to go back to their BookWidgets exam.
  • By adding specific YouTube videos, you give students access to everything on YouTube. It’s better to upload a video (up to 10mb) using the switch to rich text option.
  • Students won’t be able to upload images in the Picture question. (So, don’t use that question.) Don’t enable student to upload a picture in the whiteboard question either. It won’t work.
  • Students won’t be able to record their voice in an audio-recording question. The microphone is disabled in Safe Exam Browser (So, don’t use that question either.)

Make sure to take a look at the right settings, fit for your exam. Students should be able to submit the exam.

Put a time limit on the exam using the Exam mode, think about showing the scoring weight for each question (score options), put the questions in a random order for each student, and make sure they don’t get to see the correction yet (correction options).

3. Enable the Safe Exam Browser settings in BookWidgets

The most important settings are the Safe Exam Browser settings within your BookWidgets test. And this is new in BookWidgets.

Open your quiz or (split) worksheet and go to General. Click on Safe Exam Browser. Enable Safe Exam Browser for this widget.

Now, you’ll get a few extra input fields:

Startup Password

Students will have to enter this password when the BookWidgets exam will open in Safe Exam Browser. You’ll have to hand it to your students before the start of the exam. When students enter the password, the exam will be locked in Safe Exam Browser and students won’t be able to open other browsers, tabs, or tools.

Quit password

In most cases, you won’t be needing this. When students submitted the BookWidgets exam (when finished), Safe Exam Browser can be closed.

So why this password? The Quit password is a safety password. When students are having problems and they are locked in Safe Exam Browser, you can enter the password on your student’s device and quit the exam before finishing it.

When problems are solved, they open the test again and resume working where they left off.

Advanced

99% of the time, you will not need the advanced option. But for that 1%, if you need to configure other SEB options, you can do this here.

This is something you won’t need as a teacher. In some exceptional cases, the IT-specialist in your school might want to use this option.

4. Share the BookWidgets exam in your LMS with students

When done, share the widget in the learning management system you are using.

This step is very important! As a teacher, you want to know if it’s really your student that is taking the exam and not someone else. For this, you must use BookWidgets in combination with an LMS, in which students have to sign in.

You can use BookWidgets in Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams for Education, Smartschool, Schoology, Moodle, Canvas, and Blackboard.

This means that using the “share link” in the BookWidgets browser will not work. Every LMS has its own proper way of sharing a widget. Take a look at the LMS integrations specific tutorials if you need help.

5. Students make the BookWigets exam

Now, students have to log in to their learning environment (lms) and click on the BookWidgets quiz/(split)worksheet. When they have installed Safe Exam Browser on their device, the BookWidgets exam will open in Safe Exam Browser.

Students have to fill out the password they got from you. Now they can get started, answer the questions, and submit their work within a safe testing environment. After submitting, students can quit Safe Exam Browser.

Now, you have some reviewing to do… .

Step-by-step video tutorial

If you want to see BookWidgets and Safe Exam Browser in action, take a look at this step-by-step video tutorial on creating digital exams. This way, you’ll know exactly how it works.

Wrap up

That’s it. I hope this secure digital exam solution is just in time for the coming testing period. Don’t forget to share!

Lucie Renard

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