Respondus LockDown Browser
The Respondus Lockdown Browser is a tool that can help to restrict what activities a student can perform during an assessment using the Tests & Quizzes tool in ReggieNet.
It is important to note that while Respondus Lockdown Browser provides increased online testing security, it is not foolproof. It does not prevent students from consulting printed or written material, accessing online content from another device, taking pictures of their screen with a phone, or collaborating with others. Online testing requires careful consideration of your overall assessment strategy. An alternative forms of assessment might be a better option for you and your students.
Instructors are strongly advised to use caution when requiring students to use this product. In testing during the COVID-19 pandemic and transition to online learning, several limitations were discovered:
- LockDown browser does not work on Chromebooks or mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. Students must use a Mac or Windows PC.
- Some students encountered errors when using the LockDown browser which prevented them from starting or continuing with an exam. Faculty at Illinois State involved in testing had to allow these students to take the exam without the LockDown Browser.
- Using the LockDown browser may not be completely compatible with the keyboard-only functionality required by users with accessibility needs.
Instructors intending to use LockDown browser should plan to:
- Be prepared to make exceptions for students who encounter technical difficulties.
- Communicate to students the need to reboot their computers after installing the LockDown Browser and before starting the exam.
- Clearly instruct students to launch the LockDown Browser and not their normal web browser before starting the exam.
- Share this brief tutorial video with students well ahead of the scheduled exam date.
- Survey your students to determine what kind of device they will use. If they only have access to a mobile device (e.g., iPhone or iPad) or Chromebook:
- prepare an equivalent assessment they can take that does not use the LockDown browser, or
- have the student contact the Technology Support Center to see if a laptop is available for loan (this may take a week, if a laptop is available).
- Consider making a practice test available before the exam, so students can work out issues and get used to the changes (our faculty tester suggests making the practice exam mandatory and for-credit, to encourage participation).
- Consider being available via Zoom during the exam period so you can offer support to students who have difficulty.
Use and Features
For setting up Respondus LockDown Browser with ReggieNet, please refer to this handout.
When the Lockdown Browser option is enabled:
- Assessments that are set up for use with LockDown Browser cannot be accessed with other browsers
- Assessments are displayed full-screen and cannot be minimized
- Browser menu and toolbar options are removed, except for Back, Forward, Refresh and Stop
- Access to other applications including messaging, screen-sharing, virtual machines, and remote desktops is prevented
- Printing and screen capture functions are disabled
- Copying and pasting anything to or from an assessment is prevented
- Right-click menu options, function keys, keyboard shortcuts and task switching are disabled
- An assessment cannot be exited until the student submits it for grading
Students and instructors who need help using the Respondus LockDown Browser should contact the Technology Support Center at (309) 438-HELP.
Instructors who need help teaching with ReggieNet or wish to explore alternative forms of assessment can contact ProDev@ilstu.edu.