LockDown Browser (by Respondus) is a custom browser that locks down a student's computer when they 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 the 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.

Instructor Live Proctoring (new for Fall 2021) allows a video conference to run in the background during an online exam that uses LockDown Browser. This option is for live, synchronous proctoring by the instructor, and is ONLY recommended for small class sizes (25 or less) where it is possible to observe and track all students during a video conference. (Note: This isn't recommended for iPad-enabled exams unless the student has a second device for video conferencing.)

  • LockDown Browser Live Proctoring does not currently work with Webex. Teams and Collaborate are the recommended web conferencing platforms for use with Live Proctoring.
  • Instructors can require the use of LockDown Browser with either Monitor or Live Proctoring; Monitor and Live Proctoring cannot run at the same time. 

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 using their personal computers, students are responsible for downloading and installing the LockDown Browser software from the Useful Links for Students area on the HuskyCT Institution Page. 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 additional setup steps prior to beginning a test to agree to the process and make sure it is working properly

Instructors do not need to download LockDown Browser to require students to use it. If an instructor wants to test out LockDown Browser themselves, they can download the application from the Useful Links for Students area on the HuskyCT Institution Page and take the test using Student Preview mode. This is the only case in which an instructor would need to actually use the LockDown Browser application. For more information, see Downloading and Installing LockDown Browser in HuskyCT.

Avoiding Common Set-up Mistakes

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

  • Instructors should remind students to check for and install updates for Lockdown Browser before starting a test. Instructions on how to do this for Mac and Windows can be found on the Respondus website.
  • Respondus LockDown Browser publishes a special password to the “password” field for the HuskyCT test, which can be found on the Test Options page for the test. This special password, which is used by LockDown Browser, should not 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 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 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 Test Options setting to open the test in a new window must be left alone.
  • 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 setup dashboard in your course. There you will see an "Error" indication next to the affected test. Click Fix It to correct the affected settings. This will allow your students to proceed. 
  • Students requiring assistance with the installation or utilization of LockDown Browser should contact ITS Help Center at (860) 486-4357 or help@uconn.edu.
  • Faculty requiring more information or assistance with HuskyCT should contact the Educational Technology Office at (860) 486-5052 or edtech@uconn.edu.

LockDown Browser + Monitor Guide

Setting up a Test with LockDown Browser:

  1. Create a test in your HuskyCT course.
  2. In the HuskyCT Course Management section, under Course Tools, select 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 do not 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.
    settings in context menu
  5. Select Require Respondus LockDown Browser for this exam. Here, you optionally add a password for the exam; if you choose to do so, LockDown Browser will prompt students to enter the password before proceeding with the exam.
    require respondus lockdown browser for this exam
  6. Select any Advanced Settings options that apply to your test.
    advanced settings options
    1. Lock students into the browser until exam is completed (recommended). Prevents students from exiting the browser until the exam is completed.
    2. Allow students to take this exam with an iPad. Allows students to take the exam using the LockDown Browser app on an iPad.
    3. Allow access to specific external web domains. Allows students to access a list of specified web domains during the exam.
    4. Enable Calculator on the toolbar. Allows instructors to provide students with a calculator.
    5. Enable Printing from the toolbar. Enables the print function in the LockDown Browser toolbar.
  7. Click Save and Close to apply settings.

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.

  • Modified Toolbar - the condensed toolbar includes only Forward, Back, Refresh, and Stop functions.
  • Test Mode - tests are shown fullscreen and cannot be minimized, resized, or exited until submitted for grading.
  • Disabled Controls - all printing, keystroke combinations, screengrab, function keys, and right-click menus have been disabled.
  • Linkslinks to other web servers will open in a new, secure window and prevent browsing beyond that page.
  • Blocked Features and Applicationsthe Start button (Windows), system tray, and menu bars have been removed.

differences between lockdown browser and a normal browser

Using Monitor (Webcam-Recorded Proctoring)

To use Respondus Monitor for remote proctoring, the associated exam requires the use of LockDown Browser

  1. After setting up LockDown Browser, select Require Respondus Monitor for this exam to enable webcam-recorded proctoring during the exam.
    1. You can give students the option to take the exam with Monitor or in a proctored testing location. A test password will be required to access the test in proctored settings.
  2.  Specify which items to include in the Startup Sequence (steps a student must complete prior to the start of an exam; most settings are optional).
    startup sequence steps

Reviewing Webcam Videos

Respondus Monitor is intended to be a deterrent, but it is up to the instructor to determine the level of review warranted and review recordings themselves.

  1. Return to the Respondus LockDown Browser Dashboard in the HuskyCT course.
  2. From the context menu to the left of the test title, select Class Results.
    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). Click [ + ] to expand the section for a specific student.
  4. 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 instructthumbnail of video

LockDown Browser + Live Proctoring Guide

Setting up Live Proctoring for LockDown Browser

It is recommended that Live Proctoring be used for smaller class sizes (25 or less) so that the instructor can view all students simultaneously in gallery mode and avoid a lengthy pre-exam setup process while they confirm that they can see and hear all the students. 

  1. Set your HuskyCT test/exam to require LockDown Browser (outlined in the previous Guide).
  2. In the Proctoring settings, select Allow instructor live proctoring for this exam.
  3. Specify the video conferencing system you would like to use.

    Exams cannot be proctored in Webex at this time. UConn recommends the use of Collaborate or Teams as supported platforms.

    allow instructor live proctoring for this exam

  4. Input a Start Code that will be given to students once all pre-exam preparations have been completed. This prevents students from starting the exam early.
  5. Click Save and Close to save your exam settings. 

Live Proctoring an Exam with LockDown Browser 

  1. Have students update/install LockDown Browser, and inform them that the exam will be proctored using a video conferencing system which requires a functional webcam and microphone. 
  2. Create a link to a video conference meeting (i.e., Collaborate) in your HuskyCT course. 
  3. At the time of the exam, students will need to start by running LockDown Brower on their computer and then logging in to the HuskyCT course. Students should access the video conferencing link to join the live class session.
  4. Take attendance and confirm you can see and hear all students in the video conferencing system.
  5. Remind students the video conferencing system will continue to run in the background, enabling you to see and hear them during the exam.
  6. If you want to record the Proctored exam, recording should be enabled through the video conferencing system before the exam starts. (LockDown Browser and Proctor does not offer any recording capability)
  7. When ready, provide the Start Code to students to commence the exam.
  8. During the exam, LockDown Browser will prevent students from seeing or hearing other students. It is also up to the instructor to monitor if students stay in the video conference during the exam.
  9. Upon successful submission of the exam, students will be able to view the video conference session again.
An iPad doesn't allow you to run a video conferencing app and LockDown Browser at the same time. Alternatives are to have the student use a computer (Windows, Mac, Chromebook) or use a second device for the video conferencing.

How the Integration Works

The LockDown Browser integration relies on the password feature for Blackboard tests. This feature is what prevents a regular browser from accessing a test that has been set up for use with LockDown Browser. There are a few things to note:

  • 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, should not be edited by the instructor within Blackboard; doing so will prevent LockDown Browser from working with the test.
  • If the instructor wants students to enter a password before the test is started, the password must be entered during the "Preparing A Test" step described above.
  • Do not change the name of the test within Blackboard once it has been set up for use with LockDown Browser.

Taking a Test (Student Perspective)

  1. Locate Lockdown Browser on the desktop and double-click it. For Mac users, launch Lockdown Browser from the Applications folder.
    1. If prompted to close a blocked program (e.g., sceen capture, instant messaging, etc.), choose Yes.
  2. Log into the course and navigate to the test. 
    1. If the student is required to use a webcam during the test, the Startup Sequence will guide the student through a webcam check and other required items.
    2. If the instructor requires a test password, a new window will appear asking for the Exam Password. Enter the password and click Begin Exam.
  3. The test will then start. 

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.

What if a Standard Browser is Used?

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. Log in to the Blackboard course as a student.
  3. Navigate to the test and open it. You will be prompted to enter a password. The password will only work on this page if LockDown Browser is being used.

Respondus LockDown Browser Resources

Lockdown Browser for Chromebook

LockDown Browser for Chromebook has exited the beta phase and is now available as a final release. The Chromebook extension also supports the Respondus Monitor proctoring application, so it is no longer necessary for instructors to enable the Chromebook option on a per exam basis. 

For more information about the release of LockDown Browser for Chromebook, including feature limitations and known issues, see Can a Chromebook be used with LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor?

Related Resources