Thanks to financial support from the SEB Consortium we have been able to welcome a further SEB developer to the team: Damian Büchel. Damian will be working on the SEB Windows platform (desktop und tablets).
Although SafeExamBrowser and its source code is freely available without requiring any registration with personal details, we received a few requests for a privacy statement for the SEB application. The fact that SEB only connects to the exam server that you configured is actually one major advantage of SEB compared to commercial secure exam solutions. Using SEB is probably the best practice for data privacy available in the market, especially for organizations where privacy regulations are strict and exam candidates' data needs to stay inside the organization.
We published a revised and updated technical report about competence-oriented exams using virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). This description of a general concept for exams using VDI and Safe Exam Browser contains process descriptions for planning and conducting exams using even complex Windows third party applications in a secured environment. Checklists and technical details on how to configure and use VDI with SEB are also included. How to use third party applications in exams is also covered generally in an updated section in the SEB user manual.
The minor maintenance update Safe Exam Browser 2.1.5 for Windows contains bug fixes for using specific permitted third party applications and fixes minor problems and usability issues in the SEB Config Tool.
Safe Exam Browser 2.1.4 for Windows released. This maintenance update contains usability and stability improvements. Mass deployment on managed computers is significantly facilitated, with changes in the SEB installer and improvements in the management of config file encryption using X.509 certificates.
We added a new subpage to our website: Publications on the Use of SEB. Besides technical reports you can find links to scientific papers there, which cover pedagogical, organizational and technical aspects of e-assessments using Safe Exam Browser. These articles give more insights on how SEB can be used in different examination scenarios.
Safe Exam Browser 2.1.2 for macOS fixes some issues of the recent release SEB 2.1.1 which could occur in non-default screen configurations and when starting SEB by opening specific settings. It also contains a usability improvement: When starting SEB by opening a .seb config file or a seb(s):// link, the start URL from persistent settings of the SEB client isn't opened first anymore, instead the new settings are directly applied. In case loading or decrypting these settings isn’t successful (load error, canceled by the user, wrong decryption credentials etc.), SEB quits instead of continuing with the persistent client settings.
Safe Exam Browser 2.1.1 for macOS offers new features, usability enhancements and includes major security improvements:
See release notes for all changes.
Safe Exam Browser has been presented at the Inspera Seminar 2016, Scandinavia's leading e-assessment seminar which took place on September 22 and 23 in Oslo, Norway. The seminar gathered e-assessment specialists and users from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, UK, Germany and other countries. SEB was subject in four presentations and workshops.
Safe Exam Browser 2.1.3 for Windows adds support for using Windows system proxy settings and fixes some important issues:
Safe Exam Browser Consortium launched. Deployment of online examinations at traditional educational institutions and beyond has been increasing steadily, together with the recent rise of massive open online courses (MOOCs). The Safe Exam Browser (SEB) is a secure and reliable lockdown browser, which is already the open source product of choice for many educational organisations in this context. SEB is known for versatility, its software quality and its engagement with the user, standards and development communities.
However, SEB requires ongoing funding for its maintenance, development and support activities. For this reason ETH Zurich and the SWITCH foundation have decided to launch the SEB Consortium. The Consortium invites further bodies, which may range from educational institutions to companies and public authorities, to join and work together on the promising future of this impressive open-source tool: www.safeexambrowser.org/consortium.
Safe Exam Browser 2.1.2 for Windows supports the native HTML5 full screen mode, hardware acceleration in the browser and fixes some minor problems.
Safe Exam Browser was presented at OEB 2015, formerly known as Online Educa Berlin, the global, cross-sector conference on technology supported learning and training. The Discovery Demo "Safe Exam Browser, the Modular Freeware Solution for Secure E-Assessment" had following content: "If you are ready to completely replace paper and pencil to electronic devices for e-assessment, this demo will show how SEB makes sure that online examinations can be secure, even when using examinee's own devices (BYOD). Experience how SEB runs on Windows tablet computers and how an electronic pen can be used for freehand drawings in Moodle exams." See presentation slides for some of the discussed topics.
Safe Exam Browser 2.1.1 for Windows is compatible with Windows 10, contains improvements when running on Windows 8.1/10 tablets and increases general stability:
Safe Exam Browser 2.1 for macOS offers new features, usability enhancements and includes major security improvements:
Safe Exam Browser has been presented at the Inspera Høstseminar 2015, which took place on September 24 in Oslo, Norway. The seminar gathered e-assessment specialists and users from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the UK and other countries and gave insights on how rapidly exams taken on computers are expanding in the educational sector of these countries. The presentation slides cover interesting details about SEB news and future roadmap, as well as an introduction to the SEB Consortium. We also explain how competency oriented exams using third party applications are conducted at ETH Zurich using SEB together with virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).
Safe Exam Browser 2.1 for Windows includes new features, usability, stability and security improvements:
The Safe Exam Browser project is moving from the open source project hoster SourceForge to GitHub. Unfortunately there have been several cases where the project resources like this website, the source code repositories, SEB releases and discussion boards haven't been accessible, the last such server downtime just happend in the past 7 days. We will be moving project resources gradually to the new infrastructure, we already started with the website and the repositories. Until further notice there should not be any significant changes for our users.
Safe Exam Browser 2.0 for macOS is a re-engineered, major update with new features, superior usability and strongly improved security. New features include:
See release notes for all changes.
Safe Exam Browser 2.0.1 for Windows updates the integrated browser, contains several bug fixes and new functionality for removing the embedded browser session data (cache, cookies, local browser storage etc.) when exiting SEB. See release notes for all changes.
The much anticipated final release of Safe Exam Browser 2.0 for Windows 7 and 8 is now available. Check out the completely re-engineered SEB 2.0 with a full range of new features and superior usability. Please let us know about your experiences using SEB 2.0 especially in BYOD exam environments. SEB 2.0 for macOS is on its way to be released later this year, the current stable preview version is already compatible with the final release version for Windows.
In the stable preview version SEB for macOS 2.0pre3 the format of .seb setting files was adapted to be compatible with SEB 2.0 RC Windows. You can now use the same .seb files for starting exams on Windows and macOS exam client computers. The Browser Exam Key authentication for insuring that the correct exam settings are used for a specific exam is now also compatible with the release candidate version of SEB 2.0 for Windows.
Safe Exam Browser 2.0 RC for Windows released. This release candidate of SEB 2.0 is a completely re-engineered, modern .NET application, including new features, superior usability and improved stability. It offers the same major features like individual encrypted configuration per exam, authentication for exam systems with SEB 2.0 support to insure that a particular, unaltered SEB version and the correct exam settings are used. This facilitates secure exams both on unmanaged computers like students' own laptops (BYOD) as well as in managed environments.
Safe Exam Browser has been presented at LEARNTEC, the Leading International Trade Fair and Convention for Learning with IT, which took place from 4 to 6 January 2015 in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Safe Exam Browser has been presented at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference 2013 in Anaheim, USA. Slides of the presentation "E-Assessment Challenges: How to conduct secure e-exams with open source solutions and BYOD" are online now.
Safe Exam Browser will be presented at the following conferences:
September 9: DeLFI 2013 at "Interaktive Vielfalt" in Bremen, Germany. Poster session and live demonstration of competence-oriented exams with virtual desktop infrastructure and Safe Exam Browser.
October 18: EDUCAUSE 2013 in Anaheim, USA. Presentation and webcast: "E-Assessment Challenges: How to conduct secure e-exams with open source solutions and BYOD".
New Bugfix Version of SEB Windows 1.9.1 Final Release fixes a bug in the XULRunner browser component. The User Agent String in the "config.json" file has been changed from "SEB" to "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:19.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/19.0 SEB" because some web pages checked it and complained.
Safe Exam Browser 2.0 offers an individual configuration per exam, which is protected by a strong encryption against manipulation. Thanks to a new authentication feature the exam system can verify that a particular, unaltered SEB version and the correct exam settings are used for an examination. This facilitates secure exams especially on unmanaged computers like students' own laptops.
The second stable preview version SEB for macOS 2.0pre2 contains following new features:
This preview of SEB version 2.0 includes all configuration functionalities of the final release (see the detailed documentation), but some functions will be activated only after extensive testing in upcoming releases. Please test this preview version and provide us with feedback. This version runs on OS X 10.7 and 10.8 only. More information.
A full-day workshop entitled 'Online Assessment using the Safe Exam Browser' took place at ETH Zurich on April 19, 2013.
Participants included the Swiss eduhub and international e-learning communities, faculty interested in the online examination topic, staff of e-learning support centres and university IT personnel. The afternoon programme offered two separate tracks, one focusing on technical topics, the other on examination methodology and organisational issues.
The event showcased the prevailing strong interest in the Safe Exam Browser and online assessment, and received very positive feedback.
Slides of most sessions are available electronically.
On the occasion of the approaching release of Safe Exam Browser version 2.0 we would like to announce the future operating system support:
By concentrating on current operating systems, our resources for development and testing (which has been intensified recently) can be used more efficiently. Furthermore we can use new technologies of current systems in SEB 2.0 and future SEB versions. Questions and feedback about the future operating system support? Discuss it in our forum.
New Final Release SEB Windows 1.9.1 contains numerous improvements compared to previous versions:
After a comprehensive testing phase, we hereby provide the Final Release of version 1.9.1, which offers (in comparison to 1.9.1 Beta Release) some minor improvements regarding the browser component XulRunner (e.g. regarding popup windows).
SEB has been presented at eduhub days 2013. The electronic poster session illustrated how the new Safe Exam Browser 2.0 enables BYOD for exams and explains one possible scenario of how SEB can be used on students' computers.
Safe Exam Browser 2.0 facilitates secure exams on unmanaged computers like students' own laptops as well as in managed environments and will be relased until end of 2013 for both platforms Windows and macOS. The first public preview version SEB for macOS 2.0pre1 contains following new features:
New public beta release SEB Windows 1.9.1 contains numerous improvements compared to previous versions:
Since the tests are very comprehensive and have not yet been finished, we hereby provide a beta version, which can be tested by interested users. The final release is planned for mid of January.
SEB has been showcased at Online-Educa 2012 in Berlin. The presentation at the 18th International Conference on Technology Supported Learning & Training which is the "the largest global e-learning conference for the corporate, education and public service sectors" and a publication in the Book of Abstracts titled "The Safe Exam Browser: Innovative Open Source Software for Online Examinations" raised awareness about SEB at an international level.
Released a patch which fixes the exam mode in Moodle 2.3.x used with Safe Exam Browser: The navigation links to other parts of the LMS are not displayed during an exam. The fix will be included in Moodle 2.4.
New public beta release SEB Windows 1.9.0 contains numerous improvements compared to previous versions:
Since the tests are very comprehensive and there is demand for an improved installer, we hereby provide a beta version, which can be tested by interested users. The final release is planned for later.
Safe Exam Browser has been presented at the anual conference of the "Gesellschaft für Medien in der Wissenschaft" GMW 2012 at TU Vienna.
Questionmark released Questionmark Secure for Mac in the Apple Mac App Store.
Questionmark Secure is a lock-down browser based on Safe Exam Browser for macOS and is used in conjunction with an organization's Questionmark OnDemand service or Questionmark Perception on-premise software. Questionmark OnDemand/Perception and Questionmark Secure are designed to work together to provide a secure environment for online exams and reduce risks to the integrity of exam results when deployed along with other defenses to combat impersonation, content theft and cheating.
With this collaboration, Safe Exam Browser technology will help to improve security of online tests and exams for the businesses, governmental organisations and educational institutions worldwide that currently use Questionmark's assessment management technologies.
SEB Windows 1.8.2 is, according to initial tests, compatible also to the desktop mode of the upcoming operating system Windows 8, which is going to be officially released on October 26. The tests were executed under Windows 8 RC (Release Candidate). Futher, more detailed tests (also in conjunction with Metro) are planned.
SEB Windows 1.8.2 fixes a bug: Reloading / Refreshing the current page in the browser window by pressing the F5 key did not work. Now it is possible, provided that the F5 key is admitted. The new default setting for the F5 key is therefore "enabled".
SEB Windows 1.8.1 fixes two bugs:
SEB MacOSX 1.5 supports additional browser windows and improves integrity of the SEB environment by elevating all SEB windows on a higher windows level, improving suppression of other applications opening alert windows, requesting to become active and switch to foreground. New security features include clearing the clipboard, blocking browsing forward/backward, preventing possible security holes in Flash content, offering fine grade settings for opening and blocking links in new browser windows and in addition the upload of files edited in third party applications was made easier and more secure.
SEB Windows 1.8 easens the configuration for the teacher. It is now possible to do the configuration in a new GUI editor called SebWindowsConfig.exe using mouse clicks, without directly editing the initialisation files SebStarter.ini and MsgHook.ini. The file format of these ini files has been simplified and is now better human-readable. In addition to the full version of SEB (installation via .msi file), a classic portable version can be built (copying of a zip file without installation), which has less functionality.
SEB MacOSX 1.4.1 fixes two bugs when when running on OS X 10.7.2 Lion.
In the Safe Exam Browser Workshop at ETH Zurich, mainly technical aspects about using SEB were discussed. You can find the presentations in German language here.
SEB MacOSX 1.4 easens the deployment of the application including an individual configuration. The adapted preferences can be written into the application bundle. Then the modified application can be distributed on all exam Mac's and will start up with the right settings (Start URL, passwords etc).
SEB Windows 1.7 easens the configuration and deployment for the teacher. It is now possible to modify the configuration files before rather than after installation, so the students can directly install SEB without patching it by additional configuration files after installation. Also, an Administrative Install via network is now possible. Downloading a zip file, as in former SEB versions up to 1.4.1.
Now you can subscribe to the SEB news also as a RSS feed, so you won't miss any new program versions in future.
SEB Windows 1.6.1 simplifies the configuration. The ini files and log files are now located in the program data directory (Windows 7) or in the common application data directory (Windows XP), respectively. See user documentation.
The latest versions of SEB for Windows and macOS can detect if they were started in a virtual instead of a native environment and refuse to start up. This VM Detector hinders manipulating SEB when used in unmanaged environments.
SEB Windows 1.6 is multilingual (German, English, French menus and error messages) based upon the current user default input language and contains further usability refinements, the VM Detector and improvements in the built-in XULRunner browser.
SEB MacOSX 1.3 features the VM Detector and enhanced compatibility with OS X 10.7 Lion.
Safe Exam Browser 1.2.1 is now also available in the Mac App Store, the online shop from Apple for Mac software. From there SEB can be downloaded for free and automatically installed (you need to use a current macOS and have a Apple ID). Future SEB updates can be easily installed through the Mac App Store. SEB MacOSX will of course still be available on this website too.
In SEB MacOSX 1.2 down- and uploading can be allowed. Downloaded files can be opened automatically. This is useful when running additional applications during an exam in a separate, managed OS X user account.
SEB Windows 1.5.1 further simplifies SEB installation by automatically starting the Windows Service at the end of the installation (no computer reboot or manual start of Windows Service as administrator required anymore).
SEB MacOSX 1.1 features a new preferences window with panes, which offers additional configuration options. It is now possible to run additional applications during an exam together with SEB MacOSX.
The user documentation and other information about SEB for Windows and macOS on the SEB website have been revised and are completely translated to German.
SEB Windows 1.5 has been released. Its main feature is a new Windows Service component, which enables also Windows 7 to successfully suppress the Task Manager etc.
The SEB MacOSX source code has been released. Please see the developer manual for information about the architecture of Safe Exam Browser for Mac OS X, about getting the SEB and WebKit sources, linking the components and how to build SEB. In addition how to localize SEB for other languages.
In SEB MacOSX 1.0.2 French localization has been added. Alerts (including browser error messages), text and buttons in preferences window (including tool tips) are displayed in French when SEB is started on a macOS system set to French language.
SEB has been presented at the eduhub days 2011 in Lugano. The national meeting of e-learning executives, support center leaders and members of the Swiss eLearning Community gave an ideal plattform to discuss with professionals existing and possible future use of SEB at their institutions. We also discussed some future features of SEB and got feedback about what professional users think about the further development of SEB.
SEB was demonstrated at the Workshop E-Assessment at ETH Zurich. Besides a tutorial how to use SEB, enhancements planed in the new project SEB2012 were presented and community questions answered. Here can find the presentations in German language.
New SEB version 1.3.4 and SEB version 1.4.1 eliminate a potential problem regarding write permissions of the logfile. Since the logfile functionality was contained in both the Portable Firefox version 1.3.3 and the XULRunner version 1.4, both versions were replaced by the new bugfixed versions.
New SEB version 1.4 is based on XULRunner rather than on Portable Firefox.
In SEB MacOSX 1.0.1 German localization has been added. Alerts (including browser error messages), text and buttons in preferences window (including tool tips) are displayed in German when SEB is started on a macOS system set to German language.
New SEB version 1.3.3 adds logfile functionality (set the variable LOG_FILE in Seb.ini).
The general release of stable version SEB MacOSX 1.0 brings many improvements in security and usability.
Structure of the SEB website has been rebuild to improve access to information for both system architectures SEB is available for now (Windows and macOS). Visual appearance and navigation has also been improved. The SEB demo movie now can be watched as MP4 or Flash movie.
The first release candidate RC1.0 for the stable version of SEB MacOSX is released.
SEB is presented at GMW'10 in Zurich. The yearly congress of the society for scientists and professionals in the field of digital media use in universities and other higher education institutions was reflecting about the use of media in research and teaching.
New SEB version 1.3.2 bugfixes problems when starting up SEB version 1.3
The first beta version of SEB MacOSX is released.
After it got evident that XULRunner cannot be embedded under macOS while maintaining kiosk mode locking of the system, it was decided to use the WebKit browser rendering engine for SEB on macOS instead of XULRunner/Mozilla Gecko. A first beta version of SEB for macOS will be released soon.
New SEB version 1.3 also supports Windows 7.
Safe Exam Browser has been presented at Netzwerk E-Learning at Zürcher Fachhochschule.
Safe Exam Browser has been presented at OpenExpo 2010 in Berne.
User documentation improved, mainly the ambiguous explanation of shortkeys to quit SEB. A new table shows how the function keys are coded in MsgHook.ini to define the SEB exit sequence.
Daniel Schneider joins the SEB team. He is mainly responsible for porting SEB to macOS.
Dirk Bauer joins the SEB team, mainly being responsible of improving SEB and porting it to Windows 7.
The AAA/Switch Project for further development of the Safe Exam Browser starts.
Safe Exam Browser in combination with Moodle is presented in the eLearningForum at Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW).
Safe Exam Browser is presented at Open Expo Berne.
Safe Exam Browser has been successfully introduced to the Moodle Community at Moodlemoot 2009 in Bamberg by Thomas Korner.
The presentation is available here (registration required).
Safe Exam Browser has been downloaded more than 1000 times so far.
The first exam in computing labs at the ETH Zurich with SEB has been carried out successfully.
Extensions fitting the Learning Management Systems Moodle and ILIAS are now available.