Overview of the Respondus LockDown Browser for Instructors


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The Respondus LockDown Browser is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment in ELMS-Canvas. When students use the LockDown Browser to access a quiz, they are unable to print, copy, visit other websites, access other applications, or close a quiz until it is submitted for grading. ELMS-Canvas quizzes created for use with LockDown Browser cannot be accessed with standard browsers. 

Usually, the LockDown Browser is used in proctored environments, for example, computer labs where the application has been installed or in BYOD (bring your own device) environments where student test-takers can be observed by on-site instructors. The resource cannot detect student uses of resources not located on the devices on which the test is being taken, nor can it verify student identity or determine if students are receiving verbal or written input from others.

Students can download the LockDown Browser software to their local computer from the following links.

The passcode for installation is: ZR928403891-226914655.

Note: LockDown Browser does not work with the Linux operating system. Nor can it be used when a virtual machine (VM host applications, Windows emulators or other virtualization tools) are detected on the user's computer.  Anti-virus software may also result in a usage error.  Shutting down the anti-virus software temporarily while using LockDown Browser may help.

The LockDown Browser offers advanced settings for instructors that enable them to permit student use of an iPad for test taking, use of screen reader programs, and the display of a calculator or print function. In addition, Respondus released a beta version of a Chromebook extension for LockDown Browser in early 2021. Instructors must allow the use of LockDown Browser for Chromebook on a per exam basis via Advanced Settings (see below). 

Deploy a Lockdown browser quiz

Instructors manage ELMS-Canvas quizzes (assign Lockdown Browser (LDB) requirements) from the LDB dashboard.  To access the dashboard you must first move the LDB tool to the course menu. The link will only be visible to instructors and TAs (students will continue to access quizzes via the Quizzes link).

  1. Click on the Settings link on the course menu and click on the Navigation tab.
  2. Move Lockdown Browser from the Hide from students pane to the top pane, OR click on the 3-dot ellipses associated with the Lockdown Browser option to Enable it on the course navigation menu.
  3. Click on the Save button at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Click on the newly visible Lockdown Browser link in the course navigation menu. A list of course quizzes is displayed. To require the use of LDB with a specific quiz:
    • Select Modify Settings from the context menu to the left of the quiz title.
  5. Choose from the available settings including:
    • Require Respondus Lockdown Browser for this exam.
    • Require Lockdown Browser to view feedback and results.
  6. Several Advanced Settings are also available.
    • Lock students into the browser until exam is completed.
    • Allow students to take the exam with an iPad (using the Lockdown Browser app).
    • Allow students to take the exam with a Chromebook by selecting the option to "Allow students to use LockDown Browser for Chromebook" setting.
    • Allow access to specific external web domains. Note that when this option is selected, the instructor must embed links to the whitelisted external web site from within a question or questions in the quiz.  Students click on the link and the site will open in a new tab in their browser.
    • Enable Calculator on the LDB toolbar.
    • Enable Printing from the LDB toolbar.
  7. Save and Close to apply the settings to the selected quiz.

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Unexpected behavior with view results only once quiz option

In Canvas quiz settings, instructors have the option to allow students to view their quiz results one time after they complete the quiz. However, when Lockdown Browser is applied to a quiz, students cannot see their quiz answers, only their score. Even if the quiz deadline passes, the quiz availability deadline passes, or Lockdown Browser is removed after the deadline, students still cannot see their results.

For work around

Enabling the setting View Results Only Once After Each Attempt is an identified Canvas issue. Unfortunately, this is not something Respondus can fix. The following workarounds are recommended.

  1. Keep View Results Only Once After Each Attempt enabled.
    Enable only once after each attempt
  2. Via the LockDown Browser Dashboard, uncheck the box that requires the use of LockDown Browser to view answers. Since the student will already be in LockDown Browser after the exam submission, the results will immediately display.
    Uncheck the box
  3. Alternatively, stop using the Only Once After Each Attempt setting until Instructure implements a fix.

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Common error messages that must be addressed by an instructor

Students sometimes encounter an error message when they try to access a LockDown Browser quiz that states: There is a problem with the LockDown Browser settings for this exam. The instructor needs to use the Lockdown Browser Dashboard to enable the settings for the exam.

This error most often occurs when a course is copied from one term to another or a quiz is migrated from an old course and the instructor does not open the LDB Dashboard before students begin taking a quiz. By opening the LDB Dashboard before the first quiz is accessed by students, the instructor can use a Fix it tool to correct errors with the quiz deployment that copying can cause.

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Recommended best practices for use of LockDown browser

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Respondus knowledge base

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