About Respondus LockDown Browser

The Respondus LockDown Browser is a replacement for a regular Internet browser (like Internet Explorer or Firefox) that will lock a student in the exam environment while taking the exam. Being locked in means that on the student's computer, all other programs will not be accessible. In addition, other measures are also taken (see below).

  • The LockDown Browser is a separate software program that a student needs to download and run in order to take an exam.
  • The LockDown Browser is compatible with Microsoft Windows and Apple MacOS.
  • Because the LockDown Browser does not allow access to other applications, instructors should not include questions in the locked down exam that require access to (for example) Microsoft Excel, other web sites, etc.
  • A (basic) calculator can be set up to be available directly within the LockDown Browser, but if a calculator is required, the best option is to instruct the student to bring a calculator to the exam.

Guidelines for Instructors Administering Exams Protected with the LockDown Browser

This applies to instructors in face-to-face classes: verify well in advance of the final exam period that the computer labs at your site(s) have the Respondus LockDown Browser installed.

  1. When your students enter the exam lab, instruct them to start the Respondus LockDown Browser, and not Internet Explorer.
    Note that the LockDown Browser will not automatically launch when the exam is clicked, it is does not integrate with other browsers, it is a fully separate application.
    The program icon for the Respondus LockDown Browser is shown below:
    Respondus LockDown Browser Program Icon
  2. The LockDown Browser will perform a system check and prompt students to shut down any disallowed programs, including mail clients, instant messaging applications, and most browser toolbars.
  3. The LockDown Browser will take the student directly to the Canvas login screen.
  4. Students log on using their normal Canvas user ID and password.
  5. Instruct students to enter the Formative Exam course and the exam area inside the course.
  6. Provide students with the password set the for the exam.
  7. Only students who are using the LockDown Browser will be able to enter the password and successfully enter the exam.
    1. If the following message is visible on the page where the password must be entered, students are not using the LockDown Browser. Close the browser that is being used and start from step 1.
      LockDown Browser Password Warning
    2. The password needs to be entered in the gray pop-up window that the LockDown Browser will automatically display.
      LockDown Browser Pasword Entry Screen
    3. After entering the password, the students must click the Continue button.
    4. The scrambled version of the password will be entered automatically in the Blackboard password box. Students should not alter the password anymore.
    5. Students must click the Submit button in Blackboard to start the test.
  8. Students can take the test as they would with a regular browser.

What the LockDown Browser Prevents

The LockDown Browser helps secure exam integrity by

  • Not allowing print, copy/paste, or screen shots.
  • Not storing temporary copies of the test in the browser's cache.
  • Blocking instant messaging and other communications programs from running.

The official product information page for the LockDown Browser is available here: http://www.respondus.com/products/lockdown.shtml. (NOTE: this page is not the download location. TROY students and faculty can download the browser by following the directions below.)

The instructor user guide and demo videos are available on the download page (see below).

Obtaining the LockDown Browser

There is a student guide available at http://www.respondus.com/downloads/RLDB-Quick-Start-Guide-Bb-Student.pdf.

For Troy University students and faculty:

To obtain the installer:

  1. Go to http://www.respondus.com/lockdown/download.php?id=983213837.
  2. Follow the instructions in the e-mail to download the installer.

To install:

  1. Select your operating system.
  2. Click Your Own Computer.
  3. Click one of the download links and download the installation program "LockDownSFX.exe".
  4. Run the installation program.
  5. Click the Install button.
  6. Accept the license agreement.

Known Limitations

  • Commercial testing centers may not be able to install the LockDown Browser (LDB) because each institution that licenses the browser from Respondus has a unique installation. The Respondus LDB can only be installed once per computer, regardless of which institution provides the license.
    In other words, a student from Troy University who wishes to take an exam at a commercial testing center must use the Troy University LDB, but a student from University X must use that university's version. Both versions cannot be installed side-by-side, creating a logistics problem for the test center.
  • The note from above also applies to students who are taking courses from different institutions.
    The solution for individual students is to uninstall the browser from University X and install the Troy University LDB before attempting a Troy University exam.
Last Updated: 8/17/2017