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Respondus LockDown Browser & Monitor

LockDown Browser is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment within a learning management system. Used at over 2000 higher educational institutions, LockDown Browser is the “gold standard” for securing online exams in classrooms or proctored environments.

How LockDown Browser Works

Assessments are displayed full-screen and cannot be minimized

  • Browser menu and toolbar options are removed, except for Back, Forward, Refresh and Stop
  • Prevents access to other applications including messaging, screen-sharing, virtual machines, and remote desktops
  • 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
  • Assessments that are set up for use with LockDown Browser cannot be accessed with other browsers

LockDown Browser’s name says it all: it "locks down" the browser on a computer or tablet. Students are unable to copy, print, access other applications, or visit other websites during an online exam. LockDown Browser also blocks hundreds of common and advanced methods of digital cheating, such as the use of Virtual Machines, remote desktops, screensharing, instant messaging, screen recording, keystroke combinations, launching applications with timers/alerts, browser cache exploits and much more.

Respondus Monitor is the leading remote proctoring solution for higher education. It allows students to take online assessments from a remote location - all while ensuring the integrity of the exam process.

  • Builds upon LockDown Browser - It starts with LockDown Browser, a custom browser that locks down the testing environment within a learning system. Students cannot print, copy, access other applications, or search the internet during an online exam.
  • Fully-Automated Proctoring - Respondus Monitor is a fully-automated proctoring solution. Students use a webcam to record themselves during an online exam. Afterward, flagged events and proctoring results are available to the instructor for further review.
  • No Scheduling or Registration - There’s no need to schedule a proctoring session in advance. Students and instructors don’t even have to register at the Respondus website.
  • "Auto-Launches" from any Browser - After a quick one-time installation, Respondus Monitor launches from the student's preferred browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge) whenever the exam settings require it. Students are then guided through a pre-exam sequence, including a webcam check.
  • Supports most Devices - Windows, Mac, Chromebook and iPad devices. 

LockDown Browser® and Respondus Monitor® Guides:

Support & Resources

Respondus Support


Determining Whether to Use Respondus

If you determine that remote proctoring is required to assess student learning in your course, the Respondus Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor tools provide a method for securing online exams. This document provides an overview of the features of Respondus LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor, along with a step-by-step guide for how to activate these systems for your assessments in D2L. It also includes a quick start guide for students on taking a test with Respondus LockDown Browser and/or Monitor enabled.

What You Should Consider Before Using Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor

Before choosing to use Respondus tools, you will want to:

  • UPDATED 09/23/2020: Once enabled, students must use Respondus Lockdown browser and Monitor(Optional) unless an instructor specifically excludes a student from use of the service via Special Access under the Restrictions tab when editing quiz settings.
  • Assess whether all of your students have access to a functioning webcam: Instructors who want to use the LockDown Browser in conjunction with Respondus Monitor should check with their students to ensure that each student has a functioning webcam. If students do not have a webcam, Respondus Monitor settings will not work, and students will be unable to open or take any assessment with Monitor settings enabled
  • Consider creating a practice assessment for students to test out the Respondus systems: Establishing a practice quiz with LockDown Browser and/or Monitor settings enabled allows students the opportunity to download the software in advance, and gives them a sense of what to expect on the day of their actual exam. It also allows you and your students to identify any potential challenges that may emerge with the system. Consider creating a one or two question quiz with a fun prompt to give students a chance to see how the software functions.
  • Consider accessibility and assistive technology needs for your students: Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor both have limitations when it comes to accessibility and their ability to be accessed with assistive technology. Please consider the accessibility needs of your students before deciding to move forward with LockDown Browser or Monitor. Further information on these limitations is outlined in the "Accessibility Considerations" section below.

Accessibility Considerations

Respondus Lockdown Browser has limitations when it comes to accessibility and being accessed with assistive technology:

  • Screen Reader Technology: The Mac version will work with VoiceOver (standard screen reader that comes with Mac OS). For Windows, students must have the most current version of LockDown Browser. If it is the most current version, then NVDA, JAWS, Narrator, ReadSpeaker webReader, and Windows-Eyes screen readers should work. NVDA is proven to provide the best screen reader experience and can be downloaded for free at:
  • The security level of LockDown Browser is lowered when screen readers are being used.
  • Screen Magnification: Zoom Text will work with LockDown browser to enlarge and increase the text size, but LockDown browser is NOT compatible with the reader functions in Zoom Text.
  • Text to Speech: Students who need to utilize reading technology, text to speech, such as Kurzweil 3000 will NOT be able to use LockDown Browser. LockDown Browser is NOT compatible with any text to speech tools.
  • Respondus Monitor raises concerns for students with visual or mobility disabilities, as they may not be able to accurately show an ID to the webcam in order to pass certain checkpoints.

MSU Documentation