LockDown Browser (by Respondus) is a custom browser that locks down a student's computer when used for taking a test in HuskyCT. When taking a test using LockDown Browser, students are unable to print, copy, go to other websites, access other applications, or close a test until it is submitted for grading. 

Monitor is an additional feature that uses a student's webcam to record them taking an online, non-proctored exam. When this feature is enabled for a test, students are required to use a webcam and microphone with LockDown Browser. After the exam is complete, an instructor can review details of the assessment, including the recordings of their students taking exams.

Instructors can require use of both features when having students take a test in HuskyCT. These settings are applied to each test individually. This is done by clicking on Respondus LockDown Browser under Course Tools in the Control Panel of your HuskyCT site.

Once LockDown Browser is required for a test, students can only take the test using LockDown Browser. No other browser option (such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.)  will be accepted. Consequently, students need to take the test using a computer that has LockDown Browser installed. If students will be using their personal computers, they are responsible for downloading the LockDown Browser software from the "Useful Links for Students" area on their HuskyCT Institution Page and installing it on their computer. It can be used on both Macs and Windows PCs. When the Monitor feature is chosen as an additional part of a LockDown exam, students must go through some set-up steps prior to beginning a test/exam to agree to the process and make sure it is working correctly.

Avoiding Common Set-up Mistakes

To avoid some common mistakes in setting up the LockDown Browser requirement for test/quizzes/exams in HuskyCT, Instructors should be aware of the following:

Respondus LockDown Browser publishes a special password to the “password” field for the HuskyCT test, which is found on the Test Options page for the test. This special password, which is used by LockDown Browser, shouldn’t be edited by the instructor within Blackboard (doing so will prevent LockDown Browser from working with the test). It should also never be given to students. It is simply part of how LockDown Browser integrates with HuskyCT.

Respondus LockDown Browser also changes the name of the test to add "Requires LockDown Browser" (as well as "Webcam" if the Monitor requirement is also enabled). Once the LockDown Browser requirement is turned on, Instructors should not change the name of the test.

Instructors should also not change the setting to open the test in a new window, which is found on the Test Options page. As part of its integration with HuskyCT, LockDown Browser opens a new browser tab when a student begins a test and closes all others that may be open. For this reason, the setting to open the test in a new window must be left alone on Test Options.

If any of these settings (password, name of test, or open test in a new window) are changed, students will encounter an error when they try to take their tests. The error message they receive will indicate that the instructor must change some settings. If your students notify you of this, you will need to go to the LockDown Browser set-up dashboard in your course. There you will see an "Error" indication next to the affected test. There will also be a "Fix It" button. You will need to click the "Fix It" button to correct the affected settings. This will allow your students to proceed. 

Lockdown Browser for Chromebook

Lockdown Browser is now available on Chromebook as a beta release. Instructors will need to enable the use of the Chromebook version on a per exam basis. To enable the Chromebook version of Lockdown Browser, 

  1. Navigate to the LockDown Browser Dashboard within Blackboard Learn
  2. Select the Require Respondus LockDown Browser for this exam option.
  3. Expand the Advanced Settings.
  4. Select the Allow students to use LockDown Browser for Chromebook (beta) option.
  5. Save the exam settings for LockDown Browser. 

For more information about the beta release of LockDown Browser for Chromebook, including feature limitations and known issues, review the Respondus support article, Can a Chromebook be used with LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor? This article will be updated periodically during the beta. 

Instructors do not need to download the LockDown Browser application to require students to use it. Only students need to download LockDown Browser. If an instructor wants to experience a LockDown test themselves, they can download the application from the Useful Links for Students area on the HuskyCT Institution Page and attempt to take the test using Student Preview mode. However, this is the only case in which an instructor would need to actually use LockDown Browser.

Students requiring assistance with the installation or utilization of LockDown Browser should contact ITS - Help Center at (860) 486-4357 or help@uconn.edu.

LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor Quick Start Guide

LockDown Browser works much like a standard browser,
but some options have been removed or work differently.
The list below highlights some of these differences. 

  1. Modified Toolbar - the condensed toolbar includes only Forward, Back, Refresh, and Stop functions.
  2. Test Mode - Tests are shown fullscreen and cannot be minimized, resized, or exited until submitted for grading.
  3. Disabled Controls - all printing, keystroke combinations, screen grab, function keys, and right-click menus have been disabled.
  4. Linkslinks to other web servers will open in a new, secure window and prevent browsing beyond that page.
  5. Blocked Features and Applicationsthe Start button (Windows), system tray, and menu bars have been removed.
  1. What is Respondus Monitor?
    1. Some institutions additionally license Respondus Monitor, a webcam feature for LockDown Browser that records students during online, non-proctored quizzes. When this feature is enabled for a  quiz, students are required to use a webcam and microphone with LockDown Browser. After the quiz is complete, an instructor can review details of the assessment, even the recorded videos.
  2. Building Block Installation
    1. The "Respondus LockDown Browser Building Block" must be installed by the Blackboard system administrator.  If the system administrator has made the Building Block available for all courses, then the Respondus LockDown Browser tools will appear under the Course Tools section of the Control Panel.
    2. If the Building Block has been installed by the system administrator but it doesn't appear in your course, follow these steps to make it available.
      1. Log into your course and expand the Control Panel.
      2. Expand the Customization menu and click Tool Availability.
      3. Click the Available checkbox beside the Respondus LockDown Browser row.
      4. Click Submit to enable the Building Block for your course.
  3. Preparing A Test
    1. To set up a test in Blackboard that requires students to use LockDown Browser, follow these steps:
      1. Make sure the test has been deployed in the Blackboard course.
      2. From the Control Panel in Blackboard, locate the Course Tools section and select the link Respondus LockDown Browser
      3. A list of deployed tests will be displayed.
        1. Tests labeled with “Required” require students to use LockDown Browser
        2. Tests labeled with “Not Required” don’t require LockDown Browser.
      4. To change the settings for the test, select Settings from the context menu to the left of the test title and select the desired option.

      5. Optionally you may enter a test password that students must enter to start the test. LockDown Browser will prompt students to enter the instructor-provided password before proceeding with the test.
    2. Several Advanced Settings are available:
      1. The first setting will prevent students from exiting the browser until the exam is completed. This is sometimes used in testing centers where a proctor can enter a password to exit an exam early.
      2. The second setting will allow students to take the exam with an iPad, using the free LockDown Browser app.
      3. The third setting will allow students to access a list of specified web domains during the test.
      4. The fourth and fifth settings allow instructors to provide students with a calculator or print function in the LockDown Browser toolbar.
      5. For additional information, select the [explain] link that follows each setting.
      6. Click Save and Close to apply settings.
  4. Using Respondus Monitor (webcam feature)
    1. If your institution licenses Respondus Monitor (the webcam feature for LockDown Browser), additional settings will appear in the LockDown Browser dashboard.
    2. First, set the exam so it requires the use of LockDown Browser. Several options are then available for Respondus Monitor. To require all students use a webcam during the exam, select Require Respondus Monitor for this exam.
    3. To give students the option to either take the exam with a webcam or in a proctored testing lab, select Either Respondus Monitor or a proctored lab can be used to take this exam. A test password will then be required to access the test (for use in proctored settings).
    4. Now select the items to be included in the Startup Sequence, the steps a student must complete prior to the start of an exam. Most settings are optional.
  5. How the Integration Works
    1. The LockDown Browser integration relies on the “password” feature for Blackboard tests. This feature is also what prevents a regular browser from accessing a test that has been set up for use with LockDown Browser. It’s not important to fully understand how this works, but the following details are important:
      1. The Respondus LockDown Browser Building Block publishes a special password to the “password” field for the Blackboard test. This special password, which is used by LockDown Browser, shouldn’t be edited by the instructor within Blackboard (doing so will prevent LockDown Browser from working with the test).
      2. If the instructor wants students to enter a password before a test is started in Blackboard, the password must be entered during the “Preparing A Test” step described above.
      3. Do not change the name of the test within Blackboard once it has been set up for use with LockDown Browser.
  6. Installing LockDown Browser
    1. LockDown Browser must be installed to each computer (Windows or Mac) being used to take a test.
      1. From any standard browser, open a test that requires LockDown Browser.
      2. Download LockDown Browser from the link provided, following the instructions on the download page.
  7. Taking A Test
    1. From a student’s perspective, this is how LockDown Browser is used to take a test.
      1. Locate the “LockDown Browser” shortcut on the desktop and double-click it. (For Mac users, launch “LockDown Browser” from the Applications folder.)
      2. If prompted to close a blocked program (e.g. screen capture, instant messaging) choose Yes.
      3. Log into the course, navigate to the test and select it.
      4. If the student is required to use a webcam to record themselves during the test, a Startup Sequence will guide the student through a webcam check and other items required by the instructor.
      5. If the instructor requires a test password, a new window will appear asking for the Exam Password. Enter the password and click Begin Exam.
      6. The test will then start. (Note: If the instructor settings permit a student to close the browser during an exam for emergency purposes, the student will be prompted to enter a reason for exiting. The reason is displayed to the instructor in the LockDown Browser Dashboard.)
      7. TIP - Prior to the first test, have students complete a practice test that uses LockDown Browser to make sure they have installed it correctly.

  8. What if a standard browser is used?
    1. If the settings for a test require that LockDown Browser be used, it cannot be accessed with a standard browser. In fact, you can easily confirm that a test has been properly set for LockDown Browser by following these steps using a regular browser.
      1. Open a regular web browser.
      2. Login to the Blackboard course as a student.
      3. Navigate to the test and open it. 
      4. You will be asked to enter a password for the test, as shown below:

        Because LockDown Browser uses a special password that will be unknown to students, they will be unable to access the test with a standard browser. (Even if the instructor elects to use a password like “apple” that must entered at the start of the test, the password won’t work on this page. The password will only work if LockDown Browser is being used.)
  9. Reviewing Webcam Videos
    1. If students were required to use the webcam feature (Respondus Monitor) with the exam, instructors can access information about the exam sessions and can review the recorded videos. Note that Respondus Monitor is intended to be a deterrent, so it’s up to the instructor to determine the level of review warranted.
      1. To review student videos:
        1. Return to the Respondus LockDown Browser Dashboard in the Blackboard course.
        2. From the context menu to the left of the test title, select Class Results.
        3.  A roster of the students in the course is shown, along with the date, time, duration of the test, review priority, and grade (if applicable).
        4. Click [ + ] to expand the section for a student.
        5. Details of the startup sequence and the exam session are shown in thumbnails. Click a thumbnail to view the video from the time indicated. Videos can be marked as reviewed or have comments added by the instructor.

Downloading and Installing LockDown Browser in HuskyCT

Respondus LockDown Browser Resources

Related Resources