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Respondus LockDown Browser & Monitor

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.

Respondus Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor are a custom browser and an automated proctoring tool that locks down the testing environment within D2L. Note that these are two separate, but integrated tools with a range of monitoring functions. Instructors at Michigan State University may use Respondus Lockdown Browser and/or Monitor in order to assist with the administration of online assessments. Descriptions of these tools and their distinctions are provided below:

Respondus LockDown Browser
LockDown Browser® is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment within D2L, preventing students from using outside resources. It can be used independently of Respondus Monitor.

Respondus Monitor
Respondus Monitor® builds upon the power of LockDown Browser, using a student's webcam and video analytics to monitor their test during non-proctored exams. You must have enabled LockDown Browser for your assessment in order to enable Monitor features.

You use LockDown Browser when you need to ensure students do not use outside or online resources on their computer while taking a test.

  • Assessments are displayed full-screen and cannot be minimized or exited until the student submits it for grading
  • Removes the web browser menu and toolbar options, except for Back, Forward, Refresh and Stop
  • Prevents access to other applications including messaging, screen-sharing, virtual machines, and remote desktops
  • Disables printing and screen capture functions
  • Prevents copying and pasting anything to or from an assessment
  • Disables right-click menu options, function keys, keyboard shortcuts and task switching
  • Assessments that are set up for use with LockDown Browser cannot be accessed with other browsers

You can use Respondus Monitor in conjunction with Respondus LockDown Browser when you want to have your students monitored using their webcams during their exam.

  • Uses a student's webcam to record and analyze student exam sessions
  • It can require students to show ID, do an Environment Check, and/or facial detection before and during the exam
  • Exams can be taken without advanced scheduling and without additional registration by the student
  • Flag instances of behaviors such as a student leaving the room, someone entering the room, and looking down at a book or a table, for the instructor to review. Once the exam session is complete, instructors are able to view flagged segments.

Limitations for Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor

MSU Documentation