Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor Quick Guide for Instructors

What is Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor?

Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor is a tool to support the invigilation requirements of final exams that are delivered via the Quizzes tool in CourseLink. Through Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor, students use their own computer and webcam to record exam sessions, all without leaving the CourseLink learning environment. The software locks the browser, captures video during the student’s exam, and then allows the course instructor to review the video when the exam is finished. The goals of using the software during the final exam are to ensure student identity and academic integrity.

Final exams are two (2) hours in length and are scheduled by the Registrar’s Office during the final exam period. There will be a one-hour entry window during which students can enter the exam. Students can enter the exam at any point during this window of time but will only have two hours to complete it from when they start writing.

Like a sit-down exam, where they must arrive prior to the start of the exam, it is highly recommended that students enter the online exam environment in Respondus at least 20-30 minutes before the end of the available window. This allows enough time for them to complete the Respondus Startup Sequence (details are given below) and ensure that they have the full two hours for the exam.

How does Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor work?

During the exam, a browser lockdown mechanism prevents students from accessing web browsers or other applications on their computer, and the camera records the student. Upon completion of the exam, the Respondus system produces a video recording of each student and flags certain videos which may contain student behaviour that could indicate academic misconduct. You are strongly advised to review all video recordings, but particularly those that have been flagged.

Before the exam, students must download and install the LockDown Browser software on their computers. When students enter the exam, the system accesses the student’s computer and its camera. Students will be prompted to complete the Respondus Startup Sequence for the webcam, which is why they have been given the one-hour window of access.

  • Run the Webcam Check and, if necessary, resolve any issues. The Webcam Check will confirm that the student’s webcam and microphone are working properly.
  • Take Your Photo and Show Your Identification. During these two steps, the student confirms his or her identity by both (a) taking a picture of themselves with their webcam, and (b) holding up a student ID card to the camera. If a student does not have a student ID card, they are advised to use other photo identification, such as a driver’s licence.
  • Conduct the Environment Check. Students must use either a mirror, cell phone with a front-facing camera, or an external webcam to complete this check. This step ensures the area around the student’s computer is clear of papers, books, phones, etc. They will be asked to slowly tilt/pan their webcam, so a video can be made of the area around their computer. If the student is using a laptop with a built-in camera, they must use a mirror to show the edges of their computer monitor. Students must ensure that they have recorded all 360 degrees of their environment. This includes the areas beside, behind, under, and above the computer. You are advised to pay particular attention to exam videos in which the Environment Check was not completed fully or properly.

Should I indicate my course is using Respondus Lockdown Browser/Monitor in my outline?

It is strongly recommended that the following information be added to a course outline if Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor will be used in the course:

  • This course requires the use of Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor (webcam) for proctoring within CourseLink. You must download and install LockDown Browser and Monitor to complete the practice test (if provided) and course exam(s). The purpose of the practice test is to ensure that Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor is set up properly and that you are comfortable using the software.
  • Respondus LockDown Browser is a locked browser connected to the Quizzes tool in CourseLink. It prevents you from printing and copying, using other operating software, using search engines (e.g., going to another URL), communicating via instant messaging, and it blocks non-web-related software (e.g., Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word).
  • Respondus Monitor is a companion application for LockDown Browser that uses webcam and video technology to ensure academic integrity during online exams. The software captures video during the exam and allows the instructor to review the video once the exam is completed.
  • In order to use Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor, you must meet the technical requirements. Visit the Remote Learning website for guidance on preparing your online exam environment.
  • If you have any concerns about meeting system requirements, contact CourseLink Support. They will work with you to find alternative solutions or make alternative arrangements.

Practice Test

It is highly recommended that students take the Practice Test using Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor before taking the course exam. The purpose of the practice test is to ensure that Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor is set up properly, and that students are comfortable using the software. The content of the practice test is not related to the course.

By taking the practice test, students are given an opportunity to identify and troubleshoot any technical issues before writing the actual exam. It is also recommended that they complete the test using the computer that they will use for the final exam to avoid any technical and connectivity issues that might arise.

While there is no mark given for completing the practice test, this activity ensures they have a problem-free experience with the software before taking the final exam.

It is recommended that you remind students to take the practice test as many times as they need to feel comfortable with the Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor prior to the final exam. 

Reviewing Respondus Monitor Videos After the Final Exam

As the Respondus system captures the entire length of a student’s exam, viewing all videos in their entirety is not recommended; however, we recommend reviewing all environmental scans to discern whether there might be concerns about academic integrity in a student’s exam setting. We strongly recommend reviewing all flagged videos to ensure academic integrity. In addition to flagged videos, we advise reviewing approximately 5-10% of the class videos, selected at random. Additionally, it is recommended to view the length of time taken by each student during the exam and view any videos of sessions that are unusually short or long.

While viewing videos, ensure the following:

  • The photo identification of the student is visible and properly identifies the student.
  • No unauthorized individuals, communication or recording devices, or testing aids are present during the exam.

To review student videos:

Go to your CourseLink site and navigate to the Quizzes tool. Select LockDown Browser

instructional screen capture 

You’ll be taken to an About LockDown Browser screen. If you wish to review any of the information about how the software works, please do so. When ready, click the orange Continue to LockDown Browser button below the video.

instructional screen capture

 

You will then be in your Respondus LockDown Browser Dashboard. To review the Final Exam, click the dropdown arrow beside it and select Class Results.

instructional screen capture

Videos are available for review from this Class Results dashboard. Videos are listed for review based on how many flags there are in the video (i.e., moments of unexpected behaviour). To view the details of a student’s session and to watch the flagged videos, click the + button beside a student’s surname. Details of the startup sequence and the exam session are shown in thumbnails. Click a thumbnail to view the video from the time indicated. You can mark videos as reviewed and can add comments as well.

Note: You will NOT be able to view the videos live. It can take up to 24 hours before the videos are available to review.

Suspected Misconduct

If you suspect misconduct based upon the Respondus Monitor videos, please contact the department chair for your program to discuss the circumstance before discussing the incident with the student. For many students, this may be the first time that they have taken a proctored online exam and they would benefit from learning how to better prepare and manage their time and test taking environment during the final exam.

Technical Issues

If you or your students have any questions regarding the use of Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor or if you encounter any technical issues during the practice test or final exam, please email CourseLink Support or phone them at 519-824-4120 ext. 56939 or 1-866-275-1478 (US/CAN).

Students should be instructed to write down the contact information for CourseLink Support BEFORE they start any exam using CourseLink's Quizzes tool. If the quiz is using LockDown Browser and students experience technical difficulty, they will not be able to access the support website. Having the contact information at hand will expedite access to support in the event of technical difficulties.

It is strongly recommended that students call for assistance with any issue that is preventing them from completing their quiz, rather than emailing (provided the quiz is delivered during CourseLink Support’s hours of operation).

More student information on preparing for/completing a quiz using Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor is available on our Taking a Practice Quiz or Exam with Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor page. We encourage instructors using LockDown Browser and Monitor to post a link to this information on their course sites for students via Content or Announcements.

References

Educause. (2016). 7 things you should know about remote proctoring. Retrieved from https://library.educause.edu/~/media/files/library/2016/5/eli7133.pdf

Respondus. (2017). LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor. Retrieved from https://www.respondus.com/downloads/RLDB-Quick-Start-Guide-Brightspace-Instructor.pdf