Respondus LockDown Browser

LockDown Browser is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment for tests taken in Blackboard. If you enable LockDown Browser for a Blackboard tests, students will be unable to copy, print, access other applications, visit other websites, or close the test until it is submitted. LockDown Browser functions much like a standard browser, but some options have been removed or work differently. 

For example, the toolbar is modified to only include Forward, Back, Refresh, and Stop functions. Students cannot enter a web address to go to another site, and they cannot open other tabs (unless a link to another site is included within a test question). The browser is displayed full-screen and cannot be minimized, resized, or exited unitl the test is submitted. In addition, all printing, keyboard shortcuts, screen capture, function keys, and right-click menus are disabled. 

The Respondus LockDown Browser is available for use in all Blackboard Courses and Organizations and in both the Original Course View and Ultra Course View

Accessing and Enabling Respondus LockDown Browser

Original Course View

Once you have created and deployed a test in your course, you can configure it to require the Respondus LockDown Browser by going to Control Panel > Course Tools > Respondus LockDown Browser.

In Original Course View, if a student tries use a regular browser to access a test that has Respondus enabled, Blackboard will notify them that they need to use Respondus to access the test.

Ultra Course View

As you are creating a test in your course, you can access the Respondus LockDown Browser dashboard by clicking the settings in the right panel of the test builder.

In Ultra Course View, if a student tries to use a regular browser to access a test that has Respondus enabled, Blackboard will display a button to open the assessment in Respondus LockDown Browser. When students click the button, Respondus will either prompt students to install the browser (if it is not yet isntalled), or it will open the Respondus LockDown Browser, automatically log the student in to Blackboard, and present the test.

Recommended Best Practices

Respondus LockDown Browser is straightforward to use, but there are some suggested best practices that will help it go smoothly for your students.

  • Do not change test nameOnce you have enabled Respondus LockDown Browser on a test, do not change the name of the test, or Respondus will not work correctly
  • Do not modify the test password - If you want to set a password for the test, do so via the Respondus LockDown Browser settings and not the Test Settings. Respondus uses the password field to prevent students from taking the test from another browser, and modifying the password in Test Settings will prevent it from working correctly
  • Add a statement to the syllabus - Explain to students early that they must use Respondus LockDown Browser for their online exams. Respondus provides a sample syllabus statement you may want to include or modify
  • Hold a practice test or quiz - Before students need to use Respondus LockDown Browser for a high-stakes test or a quiz, have them complete a brief practice quiz to demonstrate that they have installed the browser and it is functioning correctly. This quiz can be for a few points extra credit or no points

Installation

Students

Students will need to download and install Respondus LockDown Browser on their own computer to use it, by clicking the link below.

Respondus is compatible with Windows and Mac computers, and can also be used on an iPad via the Respondus iPad app. 

University Computers

If you need to install Respondus LockDown Browser on university computers where the user will not have administrator access, such as a computer lab, contact us at facdev@niu.edu for instructions. There is a different version of the software for installation in these environments. It is also packaged in SCCM for managed installations.


Last updated: 9/4/2019