Using LockDown Browser™ (Digitally-proctored online tests) for Students (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions answered in this article:

What is Respondus LockDown Browser™?

Respondus LockDown Browser™ (LDB) is a custom, secure web browser used when taking some quizzes and tests in Blackboard Learn. It restricts you from printing, copying, going to unapproved URLs, or accessing other applications during a test without permission. If a Blackboard Learn test requires that Respondus LockDown Browser™ be used, you will need to have the software installed on your computer before you try to access your test. After installation, you will begin the test with a standard web browser such as Chrome, Firefox or other standard browsers. When you click on the assessment, it will launch the software for Respondus LockDown Browser™.

While you are using Respondus LockDown Browser™, it locks down your computer screen, preventing you from seeing anything other than Blackboard (the learning management system). It also hides or forces you to close other applications on your device before you begin your test.

Respondus LockDown Browser™ works much like a standard web browser, but some options have been removed or work differently. See below for some of these differences (see image below).

  • LockDown Browser Preview and highlighted tool barModified Toolbar - the toolbar includes only Forward, Back, Refresh and Stop functions. Students cannot navigate to another URL using this browser. Some test questions may include hyperlinks to other approved websites for the test. These are setup and approved by your instructors as a part of the assessment.
  • Quiz Mode - quizzes are shown full-screen and cannot be minimized, re-sized, or exited until submitted.
  • Disabled Controls - all printing, keystroke combinations, screen grab, function keys, and right-click menus are disabled.
  • Links - links to other websites do not compromise the locked testing environment if they are a part of the assessment.
  • Blocked Features & Applications - the Start button (Windows), system tray, clock, and menu bars have been removed.

How Do I Download Respondus LockDown Browser™?

Please be sure your computer meets system requirements before downloading the application. Pay particular attention to the supported Operating Systems from the aforementioned system requirements page. Respondus LockDown Browser™ for iOS tablets and Chromebooks are supported, but you must let your instructor know of the alternate device before the exam. Instructors will need to prepare the settings for the exams to meet the requirements of both iOS tablets and Chromebooks.

The URL for downloading Respondus LockDown Browser™ is on Drake’s Blackboard Learn Institution Page. Scroll down until you find the "Download Respondus LockDown Browser Software" link. Students must download Respondus LockDown Browser™ to their personally owned computer prior to a test to ensure there is sufficient time for any additional updates. Respondus LockDown Browser™ needs to be updated on a regular cadence to ensure it meets the requirements for testing.

Some instructors will require that you bring your own laptop computer to use Respondus LockDown Browser™ in class. If you do not own a laptop computer that meets testing requirements, please reach out to your instructor in advance of the exam to secure alternate accommodations.

NOTE: If you are prompted to re-download Respondus LockDown Browser™, you don't need to un-install first; just download LDB and follow the on-screen instructions.

How do I Troubleshoot?

To eliminate additional issues, we recommend that students should do a fresh install at the beginning of each semester. There is no need to un-install Respondus LockDown Browser™, just reinstall.

You will see a “Check for Updates” option when you are logged into Respondus LockDown Browser™. It is always a good idea to accept any update offered a day or so prior to the expected exam.

If you are taking tests from home, Respondus LockDown Browser™ recommends a wired Internet connection rather than Wi-Fi/wireless connection as the test is more susceptible to freeze/stop responding if there is an interruption in your Internet connection. Questions are automatically saved as you go, your instructor has access to all saved answers.

NOTE: Please reach out to your instructor if you lose your Internet connection during your exam to determine your next steps.

How do I use Respondus LockDown Browser™ to take a test?

The most common student error:

  • In Blackboard Ultra courses: Ensure you have Respondus LockDown Browser™ already installed on your computer. Go to Blackboard using a supported browser and navigate to the test, which with then automatically launch the Respondus LockDown Browser™ application.

Getting started taking a test

  1. If applicable, plug in your laptop to ensure adequate power throughout the exam. Shut off Sleep Mode Settings to avoid accidental exam submission. (Find out more information about Online Testing for Students (Best Practices).)
  2. Close all open applications running on your computer, except Firefox or Chrome browsers. If you have any applications running when you launch the test, you will see the message: You must close the following program before starting the browser. Do you want Respondus LockDown Browser™ to attempt to close this program for you? Select Yes.
  3. Launch your test (Respondus LockDown Browser™ must be installed on your computer.) by going to Blackboard Learn using a supported browser and navigate to the test within your course, which with then automatically launch the Respondus LockDown Browser™ application.
  4. A pop-up window will ask whether the instructor requires a password. Enter the password, or, if no password is required, click Continue.
  5. The test will then start. NOTE: Once you start a test with Respondus LockDown Browser™, the exam will appear in a full-screen window and all other applications and links are locked down. You cannot exit until the Submit button is clicked.
  6. When you are done taking your test, click Submit.

NOTE: Some instructors may ask to review your exam results before exiting Respondus LockDown Browser™. 

Finishing the test

  1. When you are ready to exit Respondus LockDown Browser™, click the X in the upper right corner.
  2. You will get a message: Are you sure you want to exit?
  3. Select Yes.

My instructor asked me to complete a Practice Test using LockDown Browser™. Why?

A practice test does several things:

  • Saves time on test day by ensuring that you have downloaded the application and know how to use it before a high-stakes test.
  • Reduces test day anxiety since you are already familiar with the application.
  • Reduces technical problems on test day by highlighting any major issues ahead of time.
  • Increases familiarity of testing processes for both students and faculty.

When I open a quiz I get the message: “Secure Assessment.” What does this mean?

This means the assessment requires you to open the Respondus LockDown Browser™. You will need to download the Respondus LockDown Browser™ application and try again. How Do I Download Respondus LockDown Browser™?

I lost my Internet connection while taking an exam with Respondus LockDown Browser™, what do I do?

If you lose your connection to the Internet while taking a test using Respondus LockDown Browser™, Respondus LockDown Browser™ is likely to freeze up. If this happens, you will need to restart your computer by powering off, then powering it back on. If your instructor has not set the test to multiple attempts, your instructor will have to reset your test in Blackboard before you will be able to take it again. Your access to continue the exam is based on exam settings your instructor controls.

NOTE: Please reach out to your instructor if you lose your Internet connection during your exam to determine your next steps.

Why must I close other programs before launching Respondus LockDown Browser™?

Other programs running in the background can cause Respondus LockDown Browser™ to lock up, freeze, or stop responding. Instant messaging, iTunes, chat, Internet and other Java based programs must be closed before launching Respondus LockDown Browser™.

Closing other programs also supports student academic integrity.

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Article ID: 70030
Fri 1/11/19 10:41 AM
Tue 5/28/24 4:28 PM