Respondus LockDown Browser, Monitor and Instructor Live Proctoring

 ENHANCING ACADEMIC INTEGRITY AND ONLINE PROCTORING

Maintaining exam integrity and deterring cheating is an important part of online testing. In addition, verifying student identity is required for accreditation. With Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor, students can take exams where and when it is most convenient for them, while empowering faculty to help ensure academic integrity and compliance with the student code of conduct.

Respondus has been providing online testing applications for over 20 years. LockDown Browser is used by over 2,000 educational institutions worldwide, along with 10 colleges and universities in Michigan.

Over 150 million exams are delivered through LockDown Browser each year, and 10 million exams in higher education use Respondus Monitor which is the most widely-used solution for exam integrity.

Protecting the Integrity of Exams

 

FACULTY SUPPORT

Repondus how-to and general questions, please contact:

Email: bbadmin@gvsu.edu
Phone: (616) 331-8526 
Web Site: Teaching with Technology Support


LockDown Browser FAQs

  • Respondus LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor provide faculty with the ability to offer proctored assessments for our online and hybrid courses. The two programs used together deter cheating and increase student identity verification capabilities.
  • Specifically, Respondus LockDown Browser is a custom web browser that prevents a student from printing, copying, accessing other applications or content, or visiting websites on their computer during an online test. Test content or questions cannot be copied or printed, and students are locked into the assessment until it is submitted for grading. Through an unlimited site license, the  LockDown browser provides a secure online testing solution for traditional courses, whereby students take assessments in a faculty-proctored setting such as a campus computer lab.

    Working with Lockdown Browser, Respondus Monitor captures webcam video during a test session in non-proctored environments. The monitor is available to faculty teaching online or hybrid courses, providing a secure testing solution for distance learning at GVSU.  Instructors can review the recorded videos of test sessions through a dashboard that includes the automated flagging of suspicious behaviors.

  • In the summer of 2019, GVSU piloted a new academic integrity solution for online tests and quizzes that are delivered through Blackboard. This pilot was supported by the Office of the Provost, the Online Education Council, and eLearning and Emerging Technologies, and the software was selected to be adopted. After the pilot was completed, GVSU chose Repondus to assist with academic integrity, to serve as a deterrent and to help ensure equity around assessment for all students, and to equip faculty with monitoring their students remotely. The software became available to all faculty and students beginning in Fall 2019.

  • Respondus has been providing online testing applications for nearly 20 years, and it is used by over 2,000 educational institutions worldwide, along with 10 colleges and universities in Michigan such as Center Michigan University and Grand Rapids Community College. Over 150 million exams are delivered through LockDown Browser each year, and over 10 million exams in higher education use Respondus Monitor, which is the most widely-used solution for exam integrity. 

Tips for Faculty
  • Before using GVSU's enterprise online proctoring tool, please contact an instructional designer in eLearning to review additional or alternative authentic assessment techniques or pedagogical strategies for formative and summative evaluation in online and hybrid classes. An instructional designer can also talk through the value of an online proctoring solution such as Respondus LockDown and Monitor in your course as it relates to your student evaluation needs as it related to your discipline and curriculum. 
  • LockDown Browser (not Monitor) is recommended for tests delivered on campus in a classroom with an in-room proctor. (No webcam will be used.)
  • The monitor is recommended for tests delivered to online students that will be completing an assessment in a non-proctored environment. (Webcam and headset or microphone are required.) 
  • Before requiring students to take a high stakes assessment that will be counted as a graded activity, be sure to set up a sample or practice test that requires LockDown and Monitor. This is important so that students can become familiar and comfortable in using the software.
  • If requiring the purchase of a webcam and microphone or headset, be sure to include these required course materials in your syllabus as well as Banner so that students have access to this information at the time of registration.
  • When using LockDown/Monitor, placing requirements for assessment in your syllabus [DOC] will help inform your students of these additional requirements. 
  • As an important accreditation requirement of student identity verification, when asking students to show an ID photo, provide students with options that include a GVSU student ID, or other photo identification in addition to a driver's license. If a driver's license is used, please have them cover private information while keeping their name and photo visible.
  • Some students may not have the minimum technology requirements, their laptops or desktop systems may not support the installation of the LockDown Browser, or they may not be comfortable with being recorded on video. Therefore, faculty may need to be prepared to offer an alternative assessment.
  • In addition to LockDown Browser, low stakes assessment may also be an option by leveraging a variety of Blackboard test options along with a variety of evaluation techniques that may also support your assessment needs such as graded discussions, papers submitted through the assignment tool with SafeAssign, video assignments, graded journals, etc.

This web page contains a variety of support resources and self-help guides.

If we can provide additional support, please contact:

eLearning and Emerging Technologies
Email:
 bbadmin@gvsu.edu
Phone: (616) 331-8526 
Web Site: Teaching with Technology Support

Respondus LockDown Browser now has a new Instructor Live Proctoring option that enables instructors to use a web-based video conferencing system (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet) to proctor students in real-time while taking their online Blackboard quizzes and exams. Recommended for small (up to 25), synchronous classes where instructors can effectively manage and observe students during the exam, Instructor Live Proctoring can be enabled in the exam’s Lockdown Browser settings.

Instructor Live Proctoring with LockDown Browser video demo

Best Practices for Using Instructor Live Proctoring

  • Instructor Live Proctoring can be used with the Windows, macOS, and Chromebook versions of Lockdown Browser. The iPad version of Lockdown Browser doesn’t directly support this option (the iPad assessment mode doesn’t allow multiple apps to run simultaneously), but similar results can be achieved if the student uses a second device.
  • The Instructor Live Proctoring option has been formally tested with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet, but it should work with any web-based video conferencing system. GVSU recommends the use of Zoom. Note: Students must use the web browser version of Zoom to remain in the session after launching Lockdown Browser. Break-out rooms are not supported.
  • Instructor Live Proctoring is recommended for use with smaller classes of up to 25 students. There isn’t a technical limit on the number of students supported, but since the instructor must oversee the logistics of getting students logged into the video conference system, take attendance, watch students during the exam, and track whether students leave the video conferencing session, it may be difficult to manage larger class sizes.
  • Set up a practice test to help familiarize students with the procedures for connecting to the videoconferencing session and launching Lockdown Browser. This will help to minimize technical issues that may be encountered during a gradable exam. Provide students with an alternative method for contacting the instructor (telephone or text) if they do experience a problem.
  • Develop clear guidelines for addressing suspected suspicious behavior during a Live Proctoring session. Review this policy with your students and include it in your syllabus.
  • Respondus does not support the use of Instructor Live Proctoring and Monitor at the same time. If a recording is desired, be sure to choose Record to the Cloud , so that the video, audio, and chat text will all be recorded in the Zoom cloud. NOTE: The gallery view recording can display a maximum of 25 participants, but must first be configured to "Record gallery view with shared screen" in your Zoom cloud recording settings.

If students are unable to install the browser on their device, and accessing a different device is not possible, there are on-campus proctoring, laptop loan, and potential alternative assessment options:

  • All campus computer labs have the Respondus LockDown Browser installed. Students can be observed by faculty or staff in the lab at an arranged date, time, and location, in this case, ONLY LockDown Browser is required to be used. The instructor will need to select the LockDown Browser or Monitor option in the Respondus test configuration settings. If students will not be proctored in person, using Monitor is recommended. The Respondus LockDown Browser application can be found as an icon on the desktop on a PC, and in the "Applications Folder" on a Mac.
  • If using a webcam with Respondus Monitor is required (for non-proctored settings), here are the locations on campus where students can access computers to take an assessment:
    • The following PC labs are equipped with 4 workstations that have webcams each: SCB-2009, MAK-D-2117 (Computer Lab Hours and Locations)

    • All Mac labs are equipped with built-in webcams.  Here are the campus locations: 112 LSH, 1312CAC, 1310CAC, 703CAC, 211DEV, 1206PAC, 2129MAK, 2131MAK, library Macintosh computers. (Computer Lab Hours and Locations)

  • Laptop loans may be available depending on student needs. Using a laptop loan, a student can download and install LockDown Browser and Monitor to complete the assessment. Short-term loaner laptops are available for 4 hours from the IT Services counter in the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons.  Students must reserve a laptop by contacting: helpdesk@gvsu.edu. Supplies are limited. Besides, a student can call Financial Aid (616-331-3234) or submit a hardship grant request.
  • Depending on the semester and availability, the Disability Support Resources Office can facilitate tests in the Allendale and downtown campus locations using LockDown Browser. In this case, DSR will observe the students ensure the instructor's testing conditions are met. The instructor will need to select the LockDown Browser or Monitor option in the Respondus test configuration settings.
  • If none of the above will work, at the faculty member's discretion, an alternative assignment/assessment for the student that is more of an open book format to help minimize cheating can be an option.

The testing tools in Pearson MyLab now offer seamless integration with the Respondus Monitor proctoring system, providing a powerful solution for exam integrity. 

To use Respondus Monitor with your Pearson MyLab course: 

  1. Navigate to the MyLab course settings and locate "Learning Aids and Test Options".
  2. Select "Use automated proctoring in this course" and then “Respondus Monitor Proctoring.”
  3. MyLab will then prompt you to "Complete the Respondus Monitor Proctoring license setup," which is a one-time process.

There are two licensing options for using Respondus Monitor with a Pearson MyLab course. Please select the "Link to an existing Respondus Monitor license through my university" option using the following procedures.

To link a MyLab course to GVSU's Respondus Monitor license: 

  1. Login to Blackboard and navigate to your course.
  2. In the course Control Panel > Course Tools menu click "Respondus Lockdown Browser".
  3. On the "Lockdown Browser Resources" page select the "Other Systems" tab.
  4. Expand the section for "Pearson MyLab" and copy the code shown (the code is unique for each instructor).
  5. Return to the MyLab course and use “Enter Code” to complete the linking.

Respondus Monitor for Pearson MyLab works with Windows and macOS. The LockDown Browser Chromebook extension is not currently supported.

If technical assistance is needed with Respondus Monitor, 24/7 Live Chat support is available to students, right from the application. Alternatively, go to respondus.com/support to open a ticket with Respondus Support.

A new "beta" Chromebook extension for LockDown Browser and Monitor is now available. In testing the new beta release, it was confirmed that a variety of “limitations” and/or known problems with this version will need to be considered by each faculty before deploying it with their exams. These limitations can directly impact a student’s ability to complete the exam.

  • LockDown Browser for Chromebook must be enabled on a per-exam basis in the Lockdown Browser’s advanced settings.
  • Students will not be able to search for the app directly from the Chrome web store. Students must click on the same RLDB download link as the Windows/Mac versions to obtain the extension link for installation. 
  • The “Early Exit” feature in LockDown Browser is not currently supported. Students must complete the exam and can only “exit” after clicking “Submit”.
  • LockDown Browser’s Calculator and Spreadsheet features are not currently supported. Faculty should consider linking to a calculator web page that they can use with students if this is important.
  • The extended keyboard functions (for adding symbols and special characters) are not currently available. This is especially important for language courses that may require this functionality.
  • LockDown Browser’s internally linked “Help Center” is currently unavailable.

However, several of the limitations that are listed on the Respondus Knowledgebase website were found to be functional and are now supported.   

  • Instructor-created passwords for assessments are functional. 
  • The "Allow access to specific external web domains" option is supported.

In addition, we found that the following features/functions also worked without any issue.

  • PDF attachments opened in a new browser tab and allowed the student to navigate between the exam and the PDF without any error. 
  • The Monitor “Start-up Sequence” was completed successfully. All options displayed and could be completed without error.
  • There were no issues when answering any of the following Blackboard question types: Either/Or, Essay, Fill in the Blank, Fill in Multiple Blanks, Jumbled Sentence, Matching, Multiple Answer, Multiple Choice, Opinion Scale, Ordering, Short Answer, and True/False.

Please consider the following suggested best practices if your students will be using a Chromebook for taking an exam with Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor.

  • Faculty should review their exam questions to ensure that none of the known limitations would prevent a student from completing the exam as expected.
  • A practice test with unlimited attempts needs to be made available in the course and is essential for the setup and configuration of the extension by their students.
  • Students should complete the practice test multiple times before their first gradable exam to ensure that they are familiar with the user interface, are aware of the browser’s limitations, and can properly navigate between screens.

Before starting your assessment, be sure to prepare your environment:

  1. Find a location where you will not be interrupted.
  2. To prevent distractions, turn off all audio sources in the environment (mobile phones, tablets, radio, tv, etc.) and also be sure there is no one else in the room or any movement in the background.
  3. Remove any materials not permitted by your instructor from your desk and surrounding area (eg. books, papers, other devices, etc.)
  4. Reboot your computer before the start of the exam.
  5. If possible, use a wired rather than a wireless connection.
  6. Close all open applications on your computer except for LockDown Browser.
  7. Avoid wearing a hat and be in a well-lit room and avoid backlighting.
  8. Place your laptop on a table or other sturdy surface so it will not move during the assessment period.

Note: As you begin the assessment, if you are presented with a password prompt, likely, you are not using the LockDown Browser application. Close your browser and locate the LockDown Browser application on your computer and then sign into Blackboard to access your test.

Several resources are available if you encounter problems with downloading, installing, or using LockDown Browser as a student, the first step is to notify your instructor, then please consult the following resources:

  1. The Windows and Mac versions of LockDown Browser have a "Help Center" button located on the toolbar. Live chat may also be available. 
  2. Respondus Inc. has a Knowledge Base available from support.respondus.com. Select the "Knowledge Base" link and then select "Respondus LockDown Browser" as the product. If your problem is with a webcam, select "Respondus Monitor" as your product.
  3. If you're still unable to resolve a technical issue please contact:

GVSU IT HelpDesk
Email: 
helpdesk@gvsu.edu 
Phone: (616) 331-2101 Toll Free: (855) 435-7488
Web Site:  IT HelpDesk

  • Respondus comply's with a variety of privacy and security standards, including FERPA, GDPR, U.S. Privacy Shield, CCPA, EDUCAUSE HECVAT Participation, PCI-Compliance Scanning, SOC 2 Type 1 Certification, and LTI.  Respondus facilitates third-party penetration testing and monthly vulnerability scanning. Respondus engineers have achieved AWS Solutions Architect Certification or higher. More on data privacy.
  • GVSU followed a strict process during procurement ensuring student privacy and security of the Respondus application. Further, as Respondus is licensed by over 1,100 educational institutions, the technology, security, and privacy stance has been vetted by some of the largest online learning programs in the world. In fact, Respondus Monitor proctors more than 25+ million exams per year.
  • Respondus licensing terms of use, FERPA, and video retention length were reviewed by GVSU Legal, Information Technology, the Registrar, and the Office of the Provost.
  • A 3rd Party Vendor Security Confidentiality of Customer Data was approved by GVSU Legal and Information Technology with a Security Addendum Signed by Respondus/Countersigned by GVSU during procurement.
  • No outside sources can access the Respondus webcam recorded videos of students. Only the instructors that are enrolled in the Blackboard course can access the recordings for playback.
  • The video that is captured during a Respondus Monitor session is streamed using encryption that is unique for each session to a server that only accepts streaming connections. Respondus Monitor servers only “render” the video review user interface for instructors, and the video itself is stored in a separate Amazon Web Services (AWS) server, therefore, no video is stored at Respondus.com. 
  • The only way to access a Respondus video is for the instructor to authenticate through our GVSU Blackboard learning management system, and then accessing the video through the Respondus dashboard which uses a secret key that is unique to our institution.
  • GVSU's license agreement with Respondus indicates that Monitor recordings will be saved for a period of “5” years before they are erased by Respondus. This time frame was agreed to by the Registrar's Office and approved by university legal counsel as part of the license agreement.
  • See also: Respondus Monitor Data Privacy Overview
Instructor Training Webinars

Preparing an Exam for Use with LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor

SETTING UP A TEST TO REQUIRE LOCKDOWN BROWSER

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. (Force completion and passwords are not recommended.) 
  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. Tests labeled with “Required” require students to use LockDown Browser and 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. 

    IMPORTANT NOTICE: Once LockDown Browser has been enabled, do not modify the test name, settings to open test in a new window, or require a password. These are automatically set by Respondus and making a change to these settings will interfere with the LockDown Browser.

    If your students are unable to start at test, view the Fix It Respondus LockDown Browser Tip Sheet.

     
  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 or proctor provided password before proceeding with the test.
  6. To require all students use a webcam during the exam, select Require Respondus Monitor for this exam.

HOW TO REVIEW MONITOR DATA AND VIDEO

When students are 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.

To review student videos:

  1. Access the Control Panel in Blackboard, locate the Course Tools section and select the link Respondus LockDown Browser.
  2. From the drop-down menu to the left of the test title, select Class Results.  
  3. The Class Results screen will contain several sections:
    Click [ + ] to expand the section for an individual student, this will provide information about the date, time, duration/status of the test, and grade (if applicable). A Review Priority column is also available which ranks sessions by Low, Medium and High Priority to help instructors determine which exam sessions require the greatest level of attention (green=low, red=high). 

    Details of the startup sequence and the exam session are shown in thumbnails. Click on a thumbnail photo to view the video. A summary area listing the number of flags will appear on the right side along with timecodes listing the specific flags and milestones. Instructors can play the video from the beginning or jump directly to a flagged section. The Add Notes link allows comments to be added by the instructor to the video for future reference.

STUDENT INFORMATION

IMPORTANT NOTE 

In order to take a test with Respondus at GVSU, students will need to DOWNLOAD and INSTALL GVSU's version of Respondus LockDown Browser. (Android, iPhone, Linux and Windows 10S are NOT supported.)

A new "beta" Chromebook extension for LockDown Browser and Monitor is now available. During the beta phase, instructors will need to allow the use of LockDown Browser for Chromebook on a per exam basis. If you are planning to use a Chromebook, you will need to access the regular LockDown Browser installation link for GVSU listed above (you will NOT be able to search for the app directly from the Chrome web store). The LockDown Browser installation link will redirect you to the Chrome web store, at which point you should select “Add to Chrome” to install the LockDown Browser Extension. Make sure to inform your instructor that you will be using a Chromebook so that this setting is turned on for all of your exams. Lockdown Browser and Monitor for Chromebook will automatically launch once you begin the exam.

Before Taking a Test - Prepare your Environment

Before starting your assessment, be sure to prepare your environment:

  • Find a location where you will not be interrupted.
  • To prevent distractions, turn off all audio sources in the environment (mobile phones, tablets, radio, tv, etc.) and also be sure there is no one else in the room or any movement in the background.
  • Remove any materials not permitted by your instructor from your desk and surrounding area (eg. books, papers, other devices etc.)
  • Reboot your computer prior to the start of the exam.
  • If possible, use a wired rather than a wireless connection.
  • Close all open applications on your computer except for LockDown Browser.
  • Avoid wearing a hat and be in a well lit room and avoid backlighting.
  • Place your laptop on a table or other sturdy surface so it will not move during the assessment period.

Note: As you begin the assessment, if you are presented with a password prompt, it is likely that you are not using the LockDown Browser application. Close your browser and locate the LockDown Browser application on your computer and then sign into Blackboard to access your test.

Respondus LockDown Browser

Respondus LockDown Browser is a secure browser for taking tests in Blackboard. It prevents printing, copying, going to other URLs, or accessing other applications during a test. If a Blackboard test requires Respondus LockDown Browser be used, you will not be able to take the test with a standard web browser but instead will utilize a browser provided by Respondus during the exam.

For courses using LockDown Browser, you must install the free software onto your computer. You will not be able to access your exam until the software has been installed.

Respondus Monitor

Your course may also implement the use of Respondus Monitor with LockDown Browser. The Respondus Monitor software uses a web cam with your computer along with a microphone to record you while completing your online exam in LockDown Browser. If Respondus Monitor is used, your computer must have a functioning webcam and microphone. A broadband connection is also required. Installing LockDown Browser on your computer also installs Respondus Monitor.

When taking an exam using Respondus Monitor, you may be required to show a photo ID and perform an environment scan by using the web cam to record your surroundings. A system’s check will be conducted prior to the beginning of your exam to ensure the webcam and microphone are working properly.

The recorded images captured during the online exam is similar to video captured throughout our daily lives at stop lights, an ATM machine, the grocery store, etc. Images captured are securely stored and are only accessible through the course by the instructor. 

Respondus Instructor Live Proctoring

Instructors may choose to use the new Respondus Instructor Live Proctoring option while you take your on-line Blackboard quizzes and exams. This feature allows instructors to use a web-based video conferencing system to proctor the exam in real-time. Instructor Live Proctoring works with any web-based video conferencing system, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet. When accessing the online session, make sure to use the web-browser version of Zoom or other required platform in order to remain in the session after launching Lockdown Browser. 

Introduction to Respondus LockDown Browser for Students

STUDENT SUPPORT

Technical support, login, error message questions, please contact:

Email: it@gvsu.edu 
Phone: (616) 331-2101 Toll Free: (855) 435-7488
Web Site: IT Services


SAMPLE SCREENS

LockDown Browser

The Respondus LockDown Browser locks down the computer and prevents the use of additional applications during the test session.

Student Startup Sequence

The student start up sequence can be tailored to the instructor's needs, and guides students through the process of pre-test requirements.

Instructor Video Review Dashboard

Faculty can review the videos of students, using the priority and flags assigned by Respondus Monitor.

Respondus Monitor Video Review

Faculty can jump to flagged sections of video whereby Respondus Monitor has detected a possible concern.

Monitor Exam Information and Statistics

Respondus LockDown Browser provides additional exam analytics such as the average score, duration, as well as individual question based student performance.


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES