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Safe Exam Browser for Mac

Carry out online exams safely.

In English
Version 2.1.4

Safe Exam Browser overview

Safe Exam Browser (SEB) is a Web browser environment to carry out online exams safely by locking the computer into a kiosk mode. It provides integration with the open source learning management systems Moodle and ILIAS, but can be used with most other Web based quizzes or e-assessment systems.

SEB disables the OS X Dock, the process switcher (cmd+Tab/cmd+Shift+Tab), menu bar, the Force Quit window (cmd+opt+esc), normal reboot (ctrl+cmd+eject), normal shutdown (ctrl+opt+cmd+eject), hiding the application, printing and Exposé. Display and system idle sleep are also prevented while SEB is running. It can be set whether users can quit SEB and if it is required to enter a quit password to do so.

In the browser window there is no right mouse (or ctrl-) click popup window available, links requesting to be opened in a separate window are opened in the single SEB Web browser window instead. Besides that, the browser is supporting Quicktime, Java and Flash content (as long as the required Flash plugin is installed on the system). Hyperlinks and links embedded in Javascript, in Flash and other plugins requesting to open in a new window can optionally be ignored when they link to another host than the one of the current page.

SEB detects when it was started in a virtual instead of a native environment and refuses to run. This virtual machine detector hinders manipulating SEB when used in unmanaged environments.

In a separate user account managed by OS X parental controls you can run additional (third party) applications during an exam together with SEB. You can download and open files linked in your online exam, edit it in a third party application and then upload the results to your online quiz/LMS again.

Thanks to its safe kiosk mode SEB can also be used in all kind of public presentation situations, where Web based content is presented and users should not be able to manipulate the Mac that it is running on.

What’s new in version 2.1.4

Version 2.1.4:

SEB 2.1.4 enhances exam security and improves usability, for example when using additional resources in multiple browser windows. Please update soon, we don't support older versions anymore

  • SEB 2.1.4 is fully compatible with macOS 10.15 Catalina
  • The SEB application is now notarized and uses the Hardened Runtime security feature
  • Implemented key shortcuts for switching between open browser windows
  • Left Alt (Option) Key - Tab: Cycle forward through open browser windows
  • Left Alt (Option) Key - Left Shift Key - Tab: Cycle backwards through open browser windows
  • Right Alt (Option) Key (- Right Shift) - Tab keeps the standard function (cycle through website elements)
  • The default minimum required macOS version was set to 10.11 El Capitan. This means, if you want students to be able to use older macOS versions, you need to adjust that setting if you didn’t had it set in your config already (previous versions had the default setting of macOS 10.7 as the minimum version). Many modern web applications won’t run correctly on old WebKit versions used in older macOS versions. Consider recommending to or demanding from your students to use a macOS version which is still getting security updates from Apple. Until the release of 10.15 Catalina, this was macOS 10.12 Sierra, from now on the oldest version still getting updates will be 10.13 High Sierra
  • SEB 2.1.4 uses the final implementation of the Config Key, to verify that an exam is using a correct, unmodified SEB configuration. The Config Key can be generated automatically by a compatible exam system together with the SEB config to be used for an exam. All SEB versions supporting the Config Key generate the same key, as long as the same SEB config file is used. Currently SEB for iOS supports the Config Key as well, a compatible Windows version will follow later this year
  • Custom App Controls and Quick Actions in Touch Bar with enabled Control Strip are now disabled, even if BetterTouchTool is used. Added alert when App Control mode for Touch Bar can't be restored automatically, offering to open System Preferences / Keyboards, so users can change the setting back manually
  • Implemented blocking macOS screen recording (Cmd+Shift+5) introduced in Mojave, controlled with setting Preferences / Security / Allow screen capture
  • Selecting multiple files for upload is now possible, controlled by the HTML input element (multiple-attribute)
  • Fixed: Media player app (iTunes etc.) can block SEB, when in full screen and started using the Play key. The previous implementation didn't work properly on Mojave and newer
  • Fixed downloads not working on macOS 10.14 Mojave or newer
  • Fixed downloading and opening of SEB config files defined inline on a webpage with "data:" didn't work
  • Fixed issue with the default location for the Downloads directory when running on Mojave or newer. If you created a SEB config file with a previous version of SEB, you might have to again select the Downloads directory in Preferences / Down/Uploads in case an error message is displayed when trying to download files in SEB
  • Fixed that the Preferences / Exams tab in some cases displayed "Save settings to display its Browser Exam / Config Key" instead of the keys, even though settings were not modified by the user
  • Fixed: JavaScript confirm dialog didn't return false when cancel (or any secondary) button was clicked
  • Red lock screen for "SEB process was stopped" is no longer displayed when Mac is set to sleep mode
  • Improved preventing a modal lock (SEB freezes) when a webpage tries to download a font (displaying a dialog hidden by SEB's kiosk mode). When SEB doesn't have the needed Accessibility permissions to close the dialog, it is now terminated after saving information on which webpage the font download was attempted (title and URL or placeholder). This is then displayed when SEB is started next time
Main features:
  • Support for encrypted SEB setting files (file type .seb) which allow to individually configure SEB per exam. You can use the same .seb files for starting exams on SEB Windows clients and SEB clients on macOS
  • Comfortable built-in editor for the platform-independent SEB configuration files, which can also set all additional individual settings for the Windows version
  • SEB features an optional dock/task bar displaying an icon for the SEB browser with controls for its open browser windows, additional buttons and display widgets
  • SEB can easily be quit after the exam is submitted by specifying a quit link and placing it on the summary page displayed by your LMS/exam system after submitting the exam
  • The Browser Exam Key allows an exam module to authenticate the connecting SEB version and its settings. Plug-ins offering this functionality have been released for the learning management systems Moodle and ILIAS, other systems have built-in support: OpenOLAT, Inspera Assessment and others
  • User interface can be customized: Size and positioning of browser windows (main window with the quiz and additional browser windows) can be preset. Main window can be displayed full screen. An indicator shows network activity
  • SEB can optionally display the standard macOS menu bar and a tool bar in browser windows, functions like 'About SEB', quit, open preferences, reload page, zoom page/text and browsing back/forward are therefore easier accessible

Safe Exam Browser for Mac

In English
Version 2.1.4
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