University of Vermont

Center for Teaching and Learning

Getting started with Respondus LockDown Browser

The Respondus LockDown Browser(RLB) is a browser replacement that restricts student access to UVM’s Blackboard server. When using this browser to take a test, all other applications and websites are closed and inaccessible to students. UVM is in the process of renewing the license for the Respondus LockDown Browser for the AY 18/19.

Steps for Setting Up a LockDown Test

(Note that this browser will not work on tablets. Student's must use desktops or laptops to take their tests.) Here’s how to set up a Blackboard test using Respondus LockDown Browser:

  1. Enable the LockDown tool in your Blackboard course by going to Control Panel → Customization → Tool Availability. Check the box next to “Respondus LockDown Browser” and click Submit.
  2. Create and deploy a test as you normally would in Blackboard, taking care with the following settings on the Test Options page:
    • 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 potential loading problems, especially in the case of longer exams.
    • Do not set a password here. (This can be done in another place later.) If you open up Test Options in Blackboard later, and you see an unfamiliar password, do not edit it. It's being used by the LockDown Browser, not by students.
  3. Set the test to require the LockDown Browser by going to Control Panel → Course Tools → Respondus LockDown Browser and clicking on the button to the left of the test you just deployed. Choose "Modify Settings" and then set it to require the lockdown. If you'd like to set a password for this exam, you can do so on this screen.
  4. The exam should now appear with a green "Required" to the right of the title. If there was an error in setting it up, you may instead see an "Error" message, with a "Fix it" button next to the exam. Clicking that button will resolve many problems with the exam.
  5. Finally, instruct students to download the LockDown Browser with the link we provide below. Feel free to share the following paragraphs to explain how to get and use this tool. Posting it as an announcement will put it at the top of the course home page.

Text to copy/share with students:

This class uses the LockDown Browser for some of its exams. The LockDown Browser is like a normal browser, except that once you click "Begin" on your test, it prevents you from opening Word documents, instant messages, or email, and it blocks you from visiting other websites or accessing other parts of the course.

Important: You must download the browser from the URL below. Even if you have used the LockDown Browser at another school, it won't work at UVM unless you use this version:

You only need to install it once for all tests in your UVM Bb courses.

Important Things to Keep in Mind

GIVE STUDENTS EXPERIENCE before they take an exam. Deploy a practice exam a day or two before the first actual exam so they have an idea of how it looks and to iron out any kinks.

Avoid trouble by adhering to these best practices:

  • Do NOT modify any of the following settings on the Test Options page after you've set up a LockDown Exam:
    • Name
    • Open Test in a New Window
    • Require a password
    • Password
    If these settings have been modified, the test status will appear as "Error."
  • Be sure that students are not using tablets to take the test, but only using desktop or laptop computers. Do not attempt to deploy “mobile” versions of the exam.
  • Do not enable Force Completion on an exam
  • Always set the test options to deliver one question at a time

Getting help

To get help with setting up the exam, visit the CTL during our Open Hours:

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