Respondus LockDown Browser (LDB) is a web browser which restricts student access to only UVM’s Blackboard server. Unlike other web browsers such as Firefox or Chrome, all other applications and websites are inaccessible to students when using this browser to take a test.
The below system configurations are required for use with Lockdown Browser.
- Windows 10, 8, or 7
- MacOS 10.10 – 10.15
Note also the following important considerations:
- Chromebooks and Linux operating systems will not work.
- iPad use is not recommended. While instructors can configure an exam to allow use of an iPad, certain features aren’t available on iOS, which can lead to inconsistent experiences for students.
Steps for Setting Up a LockDown Test
Please follow these directions VERY carefully. To avoid failures with this tool, each step must be executed exactly as described.
- 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.
- 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 LDB, not by students.
- 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.
- 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.
- Finally, instruct students to download the LDB with the text and link we provide below. Feel free to share these exact 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/instructions to share with students
You can copy the below instructions and send them to students so they can follow them when downloading and installing LockDown Browser:
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.
Note that you will need to use the LockDown Browser to see your grades and feedback, as well.
Critical Steps for Success
- Deploy practice exams. a day or two before the first actual exam so they have an idea of how it looks and to iron out any kinks.
- Do NOT modify any of the following settings on the Test Options page after you’ve set up a LockDown Exam:
- Open Test in a New Window
- Require a password
- Do not enable Force Completion on an exam
- Always set the test options to deliver one question at a time
- Review the Test Tips for Instructors.
- Have students review these steps for test taking success.
If you encounter problems after deploying a Lockdown exam, you can follow these steps which will fix many issues with an exam:
- Go to Control Panel > Course Tools > Respondus LockDown Browser
- Find the exam in your list of deployed tests.
- If there is an “Error” message next to the exam, click on the “Fix it” button next to the exam.
Proctoring With Respondus Monitor
Respondus Monitor is a webcam feature for LockDown Browser that records students while they are taking online, non-proctored exams. Read more about it here: Respondus Monitor for Instructors