Author Archives: Cynthia Bowers

LockDown Browser Info – Instructors

Overview

LockDown Browser by Respondus is a tool/building block in Blackboard, which is effective at reducing test-taking issues, and promote academic integrity on online exams. As instructors, your email messages from students who report being kicked out of tests will be reduced. Respondus LockDown Browser is a secure, custom browser that locks down the testing environment within Blackboard. Instructors will find the tool in their Bb course, under Control Panel > Course Tools > LockDown Browser (no installation necessary for instructors). When an assessment is started, students are locked into it until they submit it for grading (unless the instructor makes an exception to LDB settings).

New 8/29/14: If your student says they use a Google Chromebook / Laptop – those are NOT compatible with LDB. The Chromebook operating system is mostly a browser itself.

New 10/24/14: If you would like to provide your students with some tips for settings or troubleshooting any issues, here is a PDF for Students you can add to your course.

URL to provide students for download of LDB: Install Link

Article: Five Little-Known Reasons for Using LockDown Browser

You can provide a web link to students to install the browser on their home computers. We keep that link updated on the “Blackboard Support” tab once you log into Blackboard. The browser will only be used for test-taking within the Blackboard environment. Or, students can take exams in many computer labs where LDB has been installed on machines on both east and west campus. We have many instructors on campus who use LDB for their online quizzes and they are happy with the tool for academic integrity purposes, and for reducing the “I got kicked out…” messages and phone calls from students.

Finally, the student module in Blackboard has LDB information for students with instructions, tips, and resources for help.

Instructions & Info

Best Practice – Suggestion

Consider creating a simple, practice quiz (with complete/incomplete instead of a grade) that you require to be taken with LDB. Doing so cuts down on 1) any last-minute downloading of the LockDown browser before the first real quiz, and 2) last minute “help” emails from students before the first real quiz. For a good look at what LDB is about, watch this LockDown Browser for Instructors video from the Respondus people, which also gives you a view of what students will see. Would you like a sample quiz? Ask the Blackboard team! We have created a generic 5-question sample quiz you can import to your course.

Here’s why we like LockDown Browser:

    • Integrates with Blackboard; instructor has the choice whether to utilize LockDown browser for one test or all tests
    • Compatible with PC and Mac
    • Instructor can still provide links to outside sources to view during exam; however, students cannot navigate to any other website from that link.
    • Assessments are displayed full-screen and cannot be minimized
    • Assessments cannot be exited until submitted by users for grading
    • Task switching or access to other applications is prevented
    • Printing functions are disabled
    • Print Screen and capturing functions are disabled
    • Copying and pasting anything to and from an assessment is prohibited
    • Right-click menu options are disabled and function keys are disabled
    • Screen capture, messaging, screen-sharing, virtual machine, and network monitoring applications are blocked from running
    • The browser automatically starts at the login page for the institution’s course management system
    • URLs cannot be typed by the user
    • External links don’t compromise the “locked” testing environment
    • Assessments that are set up for use with Respondus LockDown Browser cannot be accessed with other browsers.

THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS

  1. If just a few students are having problems on their own computers, it is likely a configuration/setup issue on their personal computer. The Help Desk or Blackboard Support team can do the troubleshooting.
  2. If ALL students send you an email because they are experiencing problems logging into the test with LDB, it is likely a LockDown Browser configuration setting. A quick way to check that LDB is still correctly required for the exam, go to the Control Panel > Course Tools > Respondus LockDown Browser. You will see a list of your exams. If you see a red “error” message, click Fix. Do NOT go back to Edit Test Options to change any settings, and from that Edit Test Options area, DO NOT delete the default password or UNcheck the Password Required box. That number is an LDB-generated password that needs to be in place (do not provide that to students and do not delete it).

See this blog post about an optional settings change on the instructor side if students cannot submit an exam in LDB. This is a nice addition to the settings.

Support

A Blackboard Admin will be happy to help you check your settings or do any troubleshooting with students. Contact the Help Desk at 252-328-9866, or the Blackboard Support Team: ecublackboard@ecu.edu, bowersc@ecu.edu, longm@ecu.edu, or dennisa@ecu.edu

From one of our instructors:

“I was hesitant about requiring LockDown Browser for the 150 students taking 12 quizzes per semester in my classes.  I was concerned that I would be overwhelmed with problems and questions.  However, the problems were few and as usual the Bb team would swoop in to help me with any and all of those.  The online instructional materials created by the Bb team are very effective.  Students taking the few minutes to review those rarely have additional questions about using LockDown Browser. ”  KVS

In anticipation of any LockDown Browser help tickets where student gets an error message during a test or does not see submit button – this works like a charm. Unfortunately we have to mention IE.

LDB has similar settings to IE. Even though we do not recommend IE as a browser for Blackboard, IE does need to have compatibility settings turned off. If the user still has IE 7, that needs to be updated to IE 8. Then open a window in IE. Go to Tools > Compatibility View Settings > Disable/remove ALL settings.

Computer Labs on Campus with LDB installations

AHN1307
AHN1310B
AHN2160
AHN2502 (Laupus Library Computer Lab)
AHN3314
AHN4345
AHN4405
Austin 104
Austin 110
Austin 204
Aycock Basement
Bate 2005
Bate 2007
Bate 2009
Bate 2016
Bate 2017
Bate 2018
Brewster C203
Brewster D201
Brewster D213 (Kim Lab)
Brewster D214  (Kim Lab)
Brewster D302
Brewster D302A
Belk 1414
Belk 3102
Brody (BR2L37)
Christenbury 105
Eller House 110
Flanagan 214
Flanagan 378
Graham 207
Howell Science N301
Joyner Basement (CAVE)
Minges 101
Minges 82
Mendenhall Basement Computer Lab
Old Cafeteria 2501
Rivers 128
Rivers 139
Rivers 254
Rawl 135
Rawl 208
Rawl 304
Scales 132
Sci Tech 343
Sci Tech 347
Sci Tech 435
Ward 244
Ward 332
White Hall Computer Lab
Wright 301

LockDown Browser | Frequently Asked Questions

 

FAQFOR STUDENTS:

What is LockDown Browser?

Respondus LockDown Browser (LDB) is a customized browser that increases the security of online testing in Blackboard. LDB functions much like a standard browser; however, some options have been removed or behave differently. For example, in the exam environment, the exams are shown in full screen and cannot be minimized, resized, or exited until submitted for grading.

How do I install LockDown Browser on my local computer?

Use this link. http://www.respondus.com/lockdown/information.pl?ID=745639734

It is a quick install and does not take up much room on your computer.

In anticipation of downloading LDB on my local computer, or if I have difficulty with using LDB once installed, what can I do?

  • Make sure your Java is updated by going to http://www.java.com/en/download/installed.jsp
  • Clear out your Java cache: Windows > Control Panel > Java > General > Settings.
  • If you are prompted to make Blackboard a “trusted site” on your computer, click Yes.
  • If you are trying to download LDB at your workplace, there may be some restrictions (firewall or otherwise) for loading software. In that case, you will have to check with the system administrator.

How do I take a test in Blackboard using LockDown Browser?

Once you have installed LDB, click the LDB icon on your desktop to get to ECU Blackboard from the LDB browser. You will be prompted to close all other programs down, such as Outlook, iTunes, Facebook, Dell Dock, etc. Once you are logged in, go to your course and the content area where the exam is located. Take the exam like you normally would, and click Submit when you are finished.

Do I need a password to take the exam?

Generally, no. Most instructors do not assign a password to an exam in LDB.

Is LockDown Browser Mac friendly?

Yes indeed.

Do the computer labs on campus have LockDown Browser installed on the computers?

Yes they do. Here is the list of labs that have computers with LDB:

LDB_table_labs

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I have questions or issues with LockDown Browser, who do I call?

Contact the Help Desk @ 252-328-9866, or submit a Help Ticket @ https://ithelp.ecu.edu/Default.asp . Or, send an email to ecublacboard@ecu.edu

FOR INSTRUCTORS:

Why are instructors using Respondus LockDown Browser for giving exams in Blackboard?

Respondus LockDown Browser is a customized browser that increases the security of online testing in Blackboard. When students use Respondus LockDownBrowser to take a Blackboard test, they are unable to print, copy, go to another URL, access other applications, or close a test until is it submitted for grading.

Do I have to install LockDown Browser?

No. It is a building block/tool in your Blackboard course. (Students do an LDB install.)

How do I find LDB in my Blackboard course?

Control Panel > Course Tools > Respondus LockDown Browser. [If you do not see it there at the beginning of the semester, to Control Panel > Customization > Tool Availability > Respondus LockDown Browser > check the box to make it available in your Tools.]

How do I associate my exams with LDB?

  • Go to Course Tools in the Control Panel.
  • Click Respondus LockDown Browser.
  • You will see your list of exams; choose the exam
  • Click Modify Settings, then “Require LockDown Browser…”

Should I provide a link to students to install LDB?

Yes; please add it to a content area or an announcement. Here’s the link:

http://www.respondus.com/lockdown/information.pl?ID=745639734

Should I create a practice quiz for students to try LDB?

Great idea! Contact the Blackboard Administrators. We have a generic 5-question quiz we created for this very purpose. Contact Matt Long, Cindy Bowers, or Allen Dennis

General questions? Send a note to ecublackboard@ecu.edu

 

Taste of Technology

We want to get the word out on some of the training sessions we have available, so we’re offering a “Taste of Technology” hour-long session consisting of three 15-minute summaries of tools and features and 15 minutes of Q&A. We will come to your department or college for a small or large group session! You choose which three topics you want covered, e.g. Blackboard topics, web conferencing, lecture capture, clickers, test creation solutions/integrations with Blackboard.

Please see the Taste of Technology Flyer PDF!

SafeAssign Hints

For those instructors who use SafeAssign, the following two things might be helpful.

  • At the beginning of each semester, If you do course copies from one semester to the next, please perform a quick synchronization of your course to the SafeAssign global database: Control Panel > Course Tools > SafeAssign > SafeAssignments > click the yellow button “Synchronize this course.” See the screenshot below.
  • If any of your students have an issue submitting a paper to your SafeAssign link, ask them to try again using Firefox as their browser. If that does not work, please have them submit a help ticket and we’ll do some troubleshooting.

screenshot_synchronize

 

Questions? Send an email to:

Matt Long, Cindy Bowers, or Allen Dennis

Email Notification Issue in Bb 5/26-28

A Blackboard email issue was identified and resolved on 5/28/13. If you sent an email(s) from your Blackboard course between 8 a.m. on Sunday, May 26, and 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 28, the emails were not sent. You will need to resend any email messages that were sent during this timeframe. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Sample Blackboard Quiz Available for Use

For your use – a generic sample 5-question quiz

  • If you are interested in adding a short quiz to your Blackboard course at the beginning of the semester to determine if students can successfully take an exam in Blackboard, we have created a 5-question generic quiz. You can use the quiz “as is,” or you can edit the questions.
    • Send an email with the full Course ID to Cindy, Matt, or Allen and we’ll gladly add that quiz to your course. Once you determine if the questions are satisfactory for your purposes, then deploy/add the quiz to the appropriate content area in your course.
  • If you use LockDown Browser to give quizzes and would like a sample quiz, please follow the instructions above. (If you are unfamiliar with LockDown Browser, please see below.)

As a reminder, we offer training in Blackboard, plus we have many instructional materials for the tools and features in Blackboard.

Notice: Purging Old Courses | How to Archive Your Course(s)

Every year we purge old Blackboard courses. We do so to stay within our storage goals and business policy of keeping only two years of Blackboard sites in our production system.  In a few short weeks, we will be purging Summer 2009 and Spring 2010. The purge date is October 5th, 2012.

To save any courses from Summer 2009 or Spring 2010, please fill out the following survey – please do this before 10/05/12:

https://ecu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_bdSRsefePVe5YzO

If you’d like to export or archive your own courses, it is easy.

Export: Only course content
Archive: All course content, student interactions and gradebook data

In both an export or an archive you will be saving a .zip offline for your records. Please save these files in a secure location like Piratedrive.

  1. Go to the Control Panel in your Blackboard course, click Properties and Utilities.
  2. Click Archive course.
  3. Include Grade Center History if you want to save student work.
  4. Click Submit.
  5. Wait for an email confirming the archive process.
  6. Once you receive the email, go back to Export/Archive Course under the Control Panel. Click to download to a secure location (e.g., Pirate Drive).

Please download the one-page PDF, How to Archive Your Course for further details, including FERPA and HIPAA regulations regarding privacy. Note: The .zip file is only useful once uploaded to the Blackboard environment.

Questions? Contact Matt, Cindy, or Allen

longm@ecu.edu or bowersc@ecu.edu or dennisa@ecu.edu

Blackboard Support Email: ecublackboard@ecu.edu

Browser Compatibility

Compatible Browsers (as of 4/9/2012): Blackboard 9 (service pack 7) is best viewed in Mozilla Firefox. Firefox is recommended for the Mac as well. Also, Google Chrome is now a certified browser. Reported and frequent problems with the use of IE: Students may not be able to download Word documents, view images, and they may experience issues with test taking and submission of tests. Instructors may have issues with the interface or functionality of tools and features (including the Grade Center) with Internet Explorer.

Click HERE to see a list of officially supported browser. This page is maintained by Blackboard.