A Blackboard test protected by Respondus Lockdown Browser

Protect Your Tests with Respondus

Best Practices Blackboard

The “Respondus Lockdown Browser Building Block” is a third-party program in Blackboard that allows instructors to increase the security of online testing in their courses.  Once the instructor establishes Respondus protections on an online test, students will only be able to take the test in Respondus Lockdown Browser.

A Blackboard test protected by Respondus Lockdown Browser

What is Respondus Lockdown Browser?

Respondus Lockdown Browser is a special browser meant exclusively for taking Blackboard tests. It prevents students from printing, copying, navigating to other websites, accessing other programs, or closing a test until the test is submitted for grading. Tests protected by Respondus cannot be accessed with standard browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari.

Protecting a Test

Once an instructor has built and deployed a Blackboard test in his or her course, Respondus protections can be equipped on the test following these instructions.

  1. In your course’s “Control Panel”, open the “Course Tools” menu and select “Respondus Lockdown Browser”.
  2. The “Respondus Lockdown Browser Dashboard” will appear and display a list of tests you have made available to students and whether they have been set to require Respondus Lockdown Browser.  To equip Respondus protections on a test, click the gray arrow icon next to the name of the test and select “Modify Settings” from the pop-up menu that appears.Click and select "Modify Settings"
  3. In the form that appears, select the “Require Respondus Lockdown Browser for this Exam” option. Select “Require Respondus Lockdown Browser for this Exam”Optional: You may assign password protection to the test on this page.  If you indicate a password here, students will be prompted to enter the instructor-supplied password when accessing the test.When done, click “Save and Close” to exit the form.
  4. Respondus-protected tests will indicate their status with a green “Required” label on the dashboard. The phrase “Requires Respondus Lockdown Browser” will be appended to your deployed test’s name. Respondus Lockdown Browser is now required for this test.

CAUTION!:  After enabling Respondus protections on a test, DO NOT MODIFY these Test Options settings:

  • “Test Name”
  • “Open Test in New Window” option
  • “Require a Password” checkbox and “Password” text fields . Respondus uses these password settings to protect your test!

If these settings are modified, the test’s protections will break and an “Error” message will appear in your Respondus Lockdown Browser Dashboard. You will have to re-enable the test’s Respondus protections using the steps mentioned above.

How the Integration Works

Do not alter the Password Test Option.The Respondus Building Block publishes a special password to the “password” field on your test’s “Test Options” page. This is a unique security key that Respondus Lockdown Browser uses to protect your test.  Students do not need to know this password to access the test.  As mentioned before, instructors should not edit or remove this password. Altering this information prevents Respondus from protecting the test!

If the instructor wants students to enter a special password before a test is started in Blackboard, the instructor can add their own password requirements to the Respondus test through the Respondus Lockdown Browser Dashboard.

Test-Taking in Respondus Lockdown Browser

As mentioned before, tests that are protected by the Respondus Building Block can only be taken in Respondus Lockdown Browser.  All Academic Support Center computer labs are equipped with Respondus Lockdown Browser.  However, if a student would like to take Respondus protected tests off campus, they can install the program on a PC or Mac computer. To help students with the installation process, we recommend that they view the Quick Start Guide.

Prior to the first test, we recommend that students perform the following tasks to prepare for taking a test in Respondus Lockdown Browser:

  • Run a Browser Test – Because Respondus Lockdown Browser refers to settings in the computer’s default Internet Explorer or Safari browser, it is important to verify that a) Cookies are enabled b) Javascript is enabled c) Java 6 or better is installed and enabled and d) Pop-ups from Blackboard are allowed.  The student can use our Browser Tester to easily determine this information and make corrections where needed.
  • Check Version of Respondus Being Used – Students are encouraged to check the version of Respondus they are using and whether the program needs updating. At this time, MATC’s Blackboard requires use of Repondus Lockdown Browser version or higher. For more information, please see the instructions on the Student Support site.
  • Familiarize Self with Troubleshooting Tips – If the student has difficulties with installing or using this program, refer the student to the Respondus Troubleshooting Tips at the Student Support website.

We also recommend having students complete a practice test that uses Respondus Lockdown Browser to make sure they have installed it correctly and can use the program.

To learn more about the process students must perform to access a Respondus-protected test, please see our step-by-step guide to the test-taking process.