OUM students have learned by now that Respondus essentially turns your computer into a workstation in which the only operable program, for the duration of your assessment, is the exam monitoring software. One of the first things required in preparation for your exam/quiz is a full scan of the room where you will be completing the assessment.

“The single most important thing you can do to allow OUM to confirm the integrity of your exam is to give a thorough, comprehensive scan of the room,” says Greg Beber, OUM’s Chief Information Officer (CIO). “Putting extra emphasis on that room scan minimizes your chances of getting flagged for any type of violation,” he adds.

The point of the scan is to demonstrate that you do not have access to any reference materials, and that your exam-taking environment is private and secure. That process begins with a 360-degree scan of your test-taking environment, including above and below your desk, and every corner of the room, so OUM can verify that there are no reference materials or other people in the testing environment.

If you have not done so already, OUM’s IT staff member, Matthew Harris, has created a two-minute “Environment Check” video to walk you through the room scan process. It will be time well spent, and you can find it at

Since providing that scan can be cumbersome, even with a laptop but especially with a desktop, investing in an external USB webcam is highly recommended. That way, you can use the handheld camera to scan your room, while also seeing the scan on your computer screen.

“We know that generating a good room scan can be difficult to get right, especially when you cannot see your computer screen as you rotate your laptop, so investing in an external webcam is really worthwhile, and you can find a decent one in the $20 price range,” says Beber.

Upcoming iPad option

Students will soon have another efficient option for scanning the room, as Respondus has begun to support taking exams with an iPad. There is a Respondus app that must be downloaded onto student iPads, which can then be tested by completing the practice test. If you think you would like to use an iPad to take your OUM exams, please send a request to the Help Desk at and they will help you get started.

(June 2021)