Safe exam browser
Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 3.1. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version of Moodle is probably available here: Safe exam browser.
The Safe Exam Browser can work with Moodle to control what a student can do when in Moodle. To use it, it must be enabled in Settings > Site administration > Development > Experimental > Experimental settings. This adds the choice 'Require Safe Exam Browser' to the 'Browser security' field on the quiz settings form.
Safe Exam Browser is a customised web browser, available for Windows and Mac Operating Systems, that must be downloaded and installed on the computer that the student uses to attempt the quiz. The restrictions placed on students are similar to those in pop-up window case, but because Safe Exam Browser is software running on the student's computer, it can do a much more effective job of restricting their actions. If you select this option:
- Students will only be able to attempt the quiz if they are using Safe Exam Browser.
- The browser window will be fullscreen (without any navigation elements).
- The window cannot be closed until the test is submitted.
- Shortcuts keys such as Win, Ctrl+Alt+Del, Alt+F4, F1, Ctrl+P, Printscreen, are disabled.
- Copy and paste, and the context menu, are disabled.
- Switching to other applications is disabled.
- Surfing to other web sites is prohibited.
Upgrading the Safe Exam Browser
When you upgrade the Safe Exam Browser software, the browser exam key setting will change and you will need to update the settings in the Moodle quiz with the new value. Otherwise, your students may not be able to open the quiz. See this forum post.
Chrome OS and Safe Exam Browser
Safe Exam Browser is only available for Windows and Mac. Chromebooks run a particular variant of Linux, so SEB is not avaialble there. It would be a lot of work to make a version of SEB for Chromebooks. In order to lock everything down, SEB has to do a lot of operating-system-specific things. This is why it is only avaiable for certain systems.
See this article about three ways of using chromebooks for student assessments: Chromebooks are a secure platform for administering student assessments, and when setup properly, these devices meet K-12 education testing standards. With Chromebooks, you can disable students’ access to browse the web during an exam in addition to disabling external storage, screenshots, and the ability to print.
See this forum thread about Secure Quiz using Chromebook Kiosk App and User Agent.
Securing a Moodle Quiz on an iPad
- The Safe Exam Browser only works on Windows and Mac OS X, See safeexambrowser.org for details.
- The Respondus LockDown Browser which carries out similar controls however also works on iOS. See https://www.respondus.com/products/lockdown-browser/ for details.
- See this blog by Gavin Henrick about Securing a Moodle Quiz on an iPad.
- MDL-19145 Moodle extension for Safe Exam Browser tracker issue
- Using Moodle New open source online-exam software available (with moodle-extension) forum discussion