University of Vermont

Center for Teaching and Learning

Getting started with Respondus Lockdown Browser

UVM is piloting Respondus Lockdown Browser until May 2018 (following the close of the Spring 2018 term). The Respondus Lockdown Browser is a stand-alone browser replacement that restricts student access to UVM’s Blackboard server. During an assessment, all other applications and websites are closed and inaccessible to students.

Delivering a successful lockdown exam

In order to provide a smooth testing experience for students using Respondus Lockdown Browser,

  • Do not enable Force Completion on an exam
  • Always set the test options to deliver one question at a time
  • Deploy one or more low-stakes “practice” exams in lockdown mode prior to delivering a final or higher score test in a locked down environment
  • Deliver exams to students in-class
  • Ensure students are using desktop or laptop computers; do not deploy “mobile” versions of the exam.
  • Use Bb’s Student Preview mode to see what the locked down exam looks like from the student’s perspective:
  • Communicate to students how this software works and what they need to to do download the UVM-specific Respondus Lockdown Browser. (see below)
  • The download for your students will be specific to UVM. Make sure they understand where to go to download this UVM-specific browser.
  • After setting an exam as a Lockdown Exam, do NOT modify these settings in Test Options: 1) Name 2) Open Test in a New Window, 3) Require a password, 4) Password. If these settings have been modified the test status will appear as an "Error."

Setting up a Lockdown exam

Here’s how to deploy an exam using Respondus Lockdown Browser:

  1. Enable Lockdown Browser (LDB) in your course by going to Control Panel -> Customization -> Tool Availability, check the box next to “Respondus LockDown Browser”
  2. Create/Deploy a test, taking care with the following options:
    • Do not set a password here or when editing the test options - passwords can be added in the next step.
    • Do not enable force completion. This will prevent students from completing the exam in the event of network issues, computer crashes, etc.
    • Deliver questions one at a time. This prevents many loading issues, especially in the case of longer exams.
    • Take care to include the download link to the test description:
  3. Set the test to require LDB by going to Control Panel -> Course Tools -> Respondus LockDown Browser and clicking on the button to the left of the test you just deployed, then setting it to require lockdown. If you'd like to set a password for this exam, you can do so on this screen.
  4. Enter Student Preview mode, navigate to the test, and click the download link to install LDB (if you haven’t already done so)
  5. Install and run LDB.
  6. Take and submit the exam.

Note: After deploying the exam, it should appear in Control Panel -> Course Tools -> Respondus LockDown Browser with a green "required" to the right of the title. If you are having trouble with your exam, there may be an "Error" message, with a "Fix it" button next to the exam on this page. Clicking that button will resolve most problems with the exam.

Communicating to Students

You can use the following to tell students what a locked down exam is and how to prepare and complete it successfully. Consider posting this explanation somewhere visible (such as a “sticky” announcement on the home page/announcements area), in addition to in the test description.

This class uses the Respondus Lockdown Browser for some of it’s exams. A locked down browser is similar to a normal browser, except that it only lets the user navigate to their exam. Taking an exam a locked down browser prevents the opening of Word documents, instant message, email, or use sites such as Google, Wikipedia, or access other parts of the course.

You must download the browser from the below URL. Note that ONLY this URL will work for UVM courses. Downloading a lockdown browser by searching on google or elsewhere will prevent you from accessing the exam.

Getting help

To get one-on-one help with setting up the exam, visit the Dr Is In program:

Contact UVM © 2017 The University of Vermont - Burlington, VT 05405 - (802) 656-3131