Category Archives: Respondus Lockdown Browser

LockDown Browser Issue

9.24.2014 | Updates on Respondus LockDown Browser Issues

Very recently we updated some settings for one of our building blocks, Respondus LockDown Browser. We reported issues with test taking to the vendor and they provided us with the necessary updates to their product. With those updates in place, students will no longer get the “session error” message. Because of those updates, it is important that you look at your settings in your own courses, if you require that quizzes be taken with LDB. It just takes seconds, plus it’s a good reminder to look at the actual tool now and then.

As the screenshot (below) displays, there are some quizzes listed with “Not Required” or “Required.” One quiz, in the example, has a red error message with “Fix It.”  Once the Fix It button is clicked, just choose Modify Settings and then require that the quiz be taken in LDB. Normally that Fix It error messages results from a change to the quiz name or a settings change in the Test Options. In this case, it is because we updated the building block.

screenshot

 

We thank you for your patience while we worked to solve the “session error” message in LockDown Browser.

____________________

Student sees one question at a time. Issue has been fixed.

Student sees message, “Session error.” Very sporadic, does not affect submission. Continue to click through. We are still working on this; not everyone gets the error; again, does not affect answering questions or submitting exam.

Instructor should double check for the “Fix It” error message in the tool before releasing the exam. Remember, the scrambled password in test options should not be removed; think of it as an “invisible” password, invisible to you and students. If exam settings were changed, you may see a “Fix It” error. To check, go to Control Panel, Course Tools, Respondus LockDown Browser, and if you see “Fix It” next to any exams, click Fix It and that’s it.

9.4.2014| Respondus LockDown Browser Issues on personal computers (please note – these solutions are for PC users only)

Issue: Student reports, “I can only see one question.”  Issue has been fixed, noted above.

Solution:  Compatibility settings in IE can be problematic with students who only see one question on a quiz. We do not recommend Internet Explorer for Blackboard, but LockDown Browser has many of the same settings as Internet Explorer. So, in this case, we tell students to do this if they can only see one question or do not see a submit button – they will have to save any questions, and back out of LDB, even if means a force shutdown.

Then, in this order:

1. Open up Internet Explorer. Go to Tools > Internet Options > General tab > Browsing History: Delete.

2. Tools > Internet Options > Advanced tab > Reset.

3. Tools > Compatibility View Settings > disable/UNCHECK all settings enabled during reset. Screenshot below.

Note: If the student has an old version of IE, i.e. IE7, they should update IE to 9, or preferably 10 or 11 and then recheck those compatibility view settings.)

We’ll do further troubleshooting if necessary! If this happened in a computer lab on campus, let us know and provide the name of the lab. Submit a Help Ticket @ https://ithelp.ecu.edu/ or  email us: ecublackboard@ecu.edu

Reminder: the link to provide students to install or re-install LDB: Download here

IE screenshot

compatibility view settings in IE

 

 

Issue: “Link is Blocked” Error Message

This occurs when there is a second level link (as in a PDF attachment) being accessed from a primary level link. However, link blocking usually does not occur until the student enters a quiz and starts accessing links within a quiz. Usually, this comes from configuration issues with the underlying Internet Explorer browser components.

Solution: To resolve this issue, please try the following after leaving the LDB environment:

  • Start Internet Explorer and first go to Tools.
  • From the Tools menu, select Internet Options.
  • Inside the Internet Options dialog box under the General select Browsing History.
  • Hit Delete to clear the browser cache and related areas.
  • Finally, if you are running any third-party toolbars or add-ons, remove them from Internet Explorer.

 

 

 

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.

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

New Lockdown Browser Feature – How Students are Locked out of Exams

A change has been made to how LockDown Browser locks students into an exam. Students were previously locked into an exam until they submitted it for grading. This will now be an optional exam setting for LockDown Browser, with the default set to “off.” The new default setting will require students to submit a reason for exiting the exam early, which can then be viewed by the instructor. Here is how it works.

Go to the LockDown Browser Dashboard (Control Panel > Course Tools > Respondus LockDown Browser) and select “Modify Settings” for the exam.  Take a look at the link listed below for more details and screenshots.  This is a nice little feature addition.

>>>>>> http://www.respondus.com/products/lockdown-browser/studentexit.shtml <<<<<<

 

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

 

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.

Bb Respondus Lockdown Browser – Resources/Instructional Info

We are excited to offer you a tool that integrates with Blackboard, designed to reduce test-taking issues. Your email messages from students who are reportedly kicked out of tests will be greatly 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! All ITCS computers labs will have LockDown Browser installed on the machines. Or, instructors can send a link to students to install the browser on their home computers. The browser will only be used for test-taking within the Blackboard environment. We have instructions for installation for students below.

New! Troubleshooting Tips for Instructors below:

    • Usually, if something occurs (screen goes blank or connection is lost) after the student has started a quiz, there is likely a network issue or local system issue (their own computer). Two examples: Windows started an automatic update and initiated a restart. A family member is watching streaming HD movies on the same wi-fi network connection. If “Force Completion” is NOT checked, students may be able to log back in and continue. If not, a “clear attempt” will be necessary if the instructor allows another attempt.
    • If a few students are having problems on their own computers, it is likely a configuration/setup issue on their personal computer. If ALL students succesfully installed LDB and have problems logging into the test, it is likely a LockDown Browser configuration setting. You should double check under Edit Test Options that you did NOT delete the default password or UNcheck the Password Required box. That is an LDB-generated password that needs to be in place (you do not need to provide that to students). A Blackboard Admin will be happy to help you check your settings. Contact bowersc@ecu.edu, longm@ecu.edu, or dennisa@ecu.edu
    • If all students in a managed computer lab have a problem logging into a test, it is likely a  network issue or configuration of the managed computers. Contact bowersc@ecu.edu, longm@ecu.edu, or dennisa@ecu.edu in that case, and let us know which computer lab has the problem.
    • Please click HERE to review a LDB troubleshooting information PDF.

Cheating on tests, online or face-to-face, is a universal problem that will never go away; however, LockDown Browser will definitely cut down on some of those instances. See the article on online cheating: http://chronicle.com/article/Online-Classes-See-Cheating-Go/132093/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

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
    • Built-in calculator can be enabled by instructor.
    • 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
    • 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.

Following is a list of the labs where LockDown Browser is installed:

  • Allied Health and Nursing 2160
  • Allied Health and Nursing 2520 (Laupus Library computer lab)
  • Austin 104
  • Belk 3102
  • Brody School of Medicine Lab (BR2L37)
  • Kim Lab (Brewster 213 and 214)
  • Mendenhall Basement
  • Minges 82
  • PCMH 3 MA327
  • Rawl 135
  • Rawl 208
  • Rawl 304
  • Rivers 139
  • Scales 132
  • Ward 374

Some extra  hints & tips for using LockDown Browser:

For Windows systems and Macintosh systems with additional security software, we suggest relaxing any security settings to “medium”, add “lockdown.exe” (Windows) or “LockDown Browser.app” (Macintosh) as a “trusted application” and ECU’s Blackboard server address (https://blackboard.ecu.edu/) as a “trusted site” in any security software.

For students, we recommend closing down all applications including background applications except for security and network connectivity prior to starting LockDown Browser. Any background downloading of files, streaming music or automated backups should be suspended until after the test has been completed with LockDown Browser.

If using a wireless network connection, students should check check connectivity strength, 4-5 bars in Windows or 3-4 arcs in Macintosh, prior to starting a test with LockDown Browser. If connectivity strength is low or there is difficulty navigating through web pages on a standard browser, students should seek a wired network connection prior to writing a test with LockDown Browser.

Please click HERE to review a LDB troubleshooting information PDF.

Test Taking Tips in Blackboard

Following are some hints & tips for test taking in Blackboard. You may want to download and print the PDF of Test Taking Tips for Students with more suggestions.

  • See the Blackboard site for browser compatibility for the PC and Mac (ECU is running version 9 as of May 2011).
  • Download the latest version of Java.
  • For general maintenance, clear your browser’s cache. Follow the instructions for your browser.
  • When starting to take a test or quiz DO NOT double-click the “Begin” button. Blackboard will see this second click as a second attempt at taking the test or quiz and then not allow you into the test or quiz.
  • Always single-click buttons in the Blackboard online course system.

When taking a test or quiz, please be careful of the following:

  • DO NOT click the “BACK” button in the browser during a test or quiz.
  • DO NOT open a new browser window or browser tab or click on an already opened window or tab during the test or quiz.
  • It doesn’t hurt to log out of Blackboard and log back in before you take your test if you have let your course page sit idle without much activity.
  • Make sure your laptop is plugged in if there is any question of your battery life.

By doing any of the above, you have a greater chance of being bumped out of your test/quiz and all of your answers may not be saved. If you are bumped out of taking the test or quiz after doing one of the above items and your instructor has set the or test/quiz up to be a “force completion” exam, then you won’t be able to get back into that test/quiz.

If a lockout happens to you, please 1) contact your instructor; 2) submit a Blackboard Tech Support Request explaining what happened and that you were unable to submit the test or quiz correctly. If the instructor agrees to clear your attempt, he or she will need to reset your test/quiz so you can make another attempt.

p.s. If you have been timed out and lose you work, you will see a little paper/pencil icon in your Bb grade center, meaning your attempt is stalled or locked out. If you see a grade for your quiz, your quiz submitted correctly.

New – as of Summer 2012 – LockDown Browser.

Instructors may or may not use LockDown browser for quizzes and exams. Please see the blog post on LockDown browser.