Respondus Lock Down Browser

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Resources to help decision making:

Video Demonstrations:

Respondus-produced Resources

  • Respondus site: [Respondus LockDown Browser] Page
  • Quick Start Guide: [for Instructor ]
  • Quick Start Guide: [for Students]
  • System Requirements[Computer Requirements ] Respondus LDB works on Windows 7, Vista, XP, etc with Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher and on Mac 10.3.9 or higher with Safari.
  • Installation: [Silent Install] is supported
  • Installation: [But does RLDI support Managed Installations (MSI)?] Asked Respondus support. (4/26/10) It isn’t currently possible to use desktop management software such as Altiris or Microsoft SMS to “push out” a full installation of Respondus or StudyMate. However, after the initial installation, management software can be used to push software updates to machines, or to update the registry for licensing purposes. In addition, it’s possible to push the initial license keys to computers so that the user doesn’t have to enter licensing information.

USG RLDB Testing Experiences

[| Test Results table by Institution]

Issues Raised:

  • Respondus Documentation is good.
  • Client App Install
  • Lost Connection
  • Training for Faculty
  • Clear Instructions for Students

Relevant Quotes:

From USG Testing:

  • Install 2MB Client App: The separate application install tends to scare us from a support standpoint.
  • Close running Apps warning: When running RLDB for the first time, I got a message about closing Jing, Outlook and Skype. I selected the option to allow RLDB to close these applications for me.
  • In Vista, RLDB browser cannot be required to view assessment results. Students view results in their regular browser.
  • Support materials: Tutorials/workshops/clear instructions suggested for both faculty and students when making use of this product.
  • Lost Connection: During the Assessment If connection goes down, once the internet connection is recovered you can click on refresh and the assessment will come back and you will be able to finish it.
    • NOTE: Also, if connection drops when saving a question, it saves the answer and shows a check mark on top right of the assessment, but it does not show which answer you checked in the question (in a multiple choice question). In a short essay/paragraph question, it does the same thing; it would show as question saved with a check mark but again will not show what you typed as your answer. Once the quiz was submitted we checked as instructor to see if the information was there and it was.
  • Support Issues: Students will need some very clear instructions about using the RLDB tool. Specific issues:
    • Need to (log out of Bb, and) exit the browser, then re-enter via the RLDB tool.
    • Some thought that once RLDB (PowerLink) was installed, they should be able to use in within their usual browser.

From WebCT-Users List (

  • We use LockDown Browser here at Marshall U and it works great! Yes, students have a one-time download to do before starting the

assessment. They can get the plug-in from the course when they go to start the assessment or you can certainly write a little webpage for faculty to link to in their syllabi. (Kathy Saville, Marshall U)

  • Our typical usage is for high stakes, in-class tests. As the tests are usually worth quite a bit, we have some backup plans in case something goes wrong.
    • First and foremost, always have paper copies of the test. For a class of 120-150, we usually print off 10-20 copies.
    • We also have around 5 extra laptops available.
    • We also have an IT person or two on hand for the first 10 minutes of the exam, which seems to be when most problems occur.
    • Doing these things really does help cut down on unforeseen problems. (Tony Leisen, College of VetMed at Iowa State)
  • We use LockDown Browser and it has been working well for us. As the name implies, it's a browser that actually uses the same engine as Internet Explorer on Windows and Safari on Macintosh. So usually the problems we run into is with students who do not take a practice quiz in IE or Safari to deal with the usual "Browser Checker" settings prior to using LockDown Browser. As with any secure browser, digital cameras and plain paper-n-pencil will defeat this. ;-) (Bob Boufford, U ALBERTA)
  • We recommend students access their course with Internet Explorer-Windows or Safari-Macintosh (not FireFox) and take a practice quiz to resolve any issues with settings and media plug-ins. We also suggest relaxing any security settings to "medium", add "lockdown.exe" as a "trusted application" and your school's Blackboard server address as a "trusted site" in any security software. (Bob Boufford, U ALBERTA)

Security Issues

  • Should this ONLY be rolled out to labs and the Testing Center?
  • On personal computers, Virtual Machines may allow a cheat.
    • Probably of more concern is his claim that RDLB uses name based blacklists on the name of programs. Changing the name of an executable is very easy.
    • See scathing review of RLDB from an Ohio State student (See: [from an Ohio State Student] (Thanks, Ezra)

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