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

Summer 2014 Blackboard Upgrade starting on 5/12 redirect page

5/12/2014 7:31am

Updates

  • 5/12 – 3:36pm – on schedule.

Hello ECU Faculty, Staff and Students – 

You have been redirected to this page because ECU’s Blackboard system is currently down for a minor feature refresh upgrade.  The planned downtime window is from 5/12 – 5/16.  During this downtime anyone who attempts to access https://blackboard.ecu.edu will be re directed to this blog post. That is why you are here.  :-)

During this planned downtime, we will be upgrading the Bb platform and then testing all Bb tools and building blocks to ensure that they are working as expected.

To learn about the new features that you will see after the upgrade is complete  please visit this blog post.

If you have any questions at all regarding the downtime feel free to email longm@ecu.edu .  If you have any general Bb questions or other questions I would encourage you to enter a helpdesk ticket at https://ecu.edu/9866

Summary Information

  • We understand that upgrades are stressful.  We will do our absolute best to have Bb running as quickly as possible once the upgrade is complete.
  • If you would like to discuss the upgrade or ask questions you can do by enrolling in the Yammer Blackboard 9 public group space.  You can ask questions and add comments regarding the upgrade there.
  • Blackboard downtime for this upgrade will start on 5/12 around 8am.  Bb could be down thru 5/16.
  • New Service Pack 9 features are HERE.
  • Questions or concerns about the upgrade?  Email longm@ecu.edu

Bb Support Team

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 <<<<<<

 

Blackboard Refresh – New Features in May 2014

March 4, 2014
Hello Everyone –
We are hard at work getting ready for the May 12th 2014 upgrade to Bb SP15. The core features are still going to be in the same place and work the same way so no need to stress. :-) The new features that will be in place are meant to enhance how you use Bb.  We are excited about this upgrade and plan to make this as painless as possible.  Take a look at some of the new features you will see after the May upgrade.

Upgrade downtime: 5/12 – 5/16

New Features

FOR INSTRUCTORS
New Features for May 2014
SP 12 & 13 Help Page

 

(Our upgrade to Service Pack 15 includes feature updates/patches/bug fixes from service packs 10-15; do not let the SP numbers confuse you.)

FOR STUDENTS
SP 10 & 11 Help Page
SP 12 & 13 Help Page

FOR ALL USERS
What’s New in Blackboard Learn? – Short Video and Slides
Blackboard On Demand Learning 

Training Information

We are going to be offering training sessions on the new features. The sessions on the training calendar (“Blackboard New Features”) are March 18th, April 2nd, and April 30th. To sign up for one of these session please to go http://www.ecu.edu/cs-itcs/cornerstone/ .  Then, do the following

  1. Sign into CORNERSTONE
  2. Click on the Learning tab at the top and choose Events Calendar
  3. Find the Bb New Features training by date (dates listed above)
  4. Click on the Request button (Cornerstone lingo for “enroll”)

***Another option is to simply type Blackboard in the search button (top right) and find the appropriate session.***

FAQ’s

  1. What should I do to prep for the May 2014 upgrade ?  Nothing unique.  Set your course up as you normally would. All course content will migrate over during the upgrade process. Once the upgrade is complete, the new features will be available for you to use.
  2. Should I build/develop my site before the upgrade or wait? DON’T WAIT.  Again, build your site in Blackboard like you normally would.
  3. What is the exact date of the May 2014 upgrade/downtime?  May 12th. (Spring semester grades will be submitted by that date.) Bb will be down 2-3 days.
  4. What do I need to do to prepare for the upgrade?  We suggest that you attend a group training, or at the very least review some of our web resources. (See information above about the training dates in Cornerstone.
  5. Will you be offering  a demo or training within my unit on the new SP15 features? Yes. Please coordinate this training through your unit ITC.
  6. Who do I contact if I have any questions about the upgrade? Send a note to either Matt, Cindy, or Allen:  longm@ecu.edu, bowersc@ecu.edu or dennisa@ecu.edu

Bb Course Purge – Spring 2012 sites

Blackboard Course Purge – Spring 2012 Course Sites

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 the following courses (all of them) unless you submit a request to have your courses saved.

>>>>> The purge date is  March 14th, 2014  <<<<<

  • 2012 Spring Course Sites

You have 2 choices for saving your course site.

1 – Request us to save your Bb sites in Blackboard. If you choose this option you will need to list all FULL COURSE ID’s in your request submission. Here is the link to submission site
—>>>   https://ecu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_39FlLJTxKpWM40l

2 – Export or Archive your Bb courses offline.  This is a suggested best practices for all used Blackboard courses at the end of every semester. Make sure you save all exported or archived sites on your ECU Piratedrive.

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

** As a general best practice we  always suggest that you export and archive all courses at the end of each semester as your personal backup. **

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 Chat workaround

Chat Problems in Blackboard

Java was recently updated to version 1.7.51.  This update is causing the chat program in Blackboard to break.  The fix is the remove that version of Java and do one of the following things.

1 – Remove the 1.7.51 version of Java and use an older version of Java that is ALREADY installed on your computer.  For some of you this will not be an option.  If this is an option make sure you uninstall the 1.7.51 version and disregard all Java update attempts this semester.   (directions below on how to remove programs on both PC’s and Mac’s)

2 – Remove the 1.7.51 version of Java and install an older version.
(links below for both PC and Mac)

How to unistall a program on a PC –
 http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/uninstall-change-program#uninstall-change-program=windows-vista
or…
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/uninstall-change-program#uninstall-change-program=windows-7
How to unistall a program on a MAC
http://www.wikihow.com/Uninstall-Programs-on-Mac-Computers

 Java Version 6 – download and install this version after removing the 1.7.51 version of Java from your PC or Mac. You will need to create an Oracle account before the download will be available.
http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/java-archive-downloads-javase6-419409.html#jre-6u45-oth-JP

 

Blackboard course purge – 2011 Summer and 2011 Fall courses

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 the following courses (all of them) unless you submit a request to have your courses saved.

>>>>> The purge date is  October 23rd, 2013  <<<<< 

  • 2011 Summer #1 semester 2011 Summer #2 semester
  • 2011 Full Term Summer semester
  • 2011 Fall semester

You have 2 choices for saving your course site.

1 – Request us to save your Bb sites in Blackboard. If you choose this option you will need to list all FULL COURSE ID’s in your request submission. Here is the link to submission site
——->>>  https://ecu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_6fDLG6V2h2F9lLD  <<<——–

2 – Export or Archive your Bb courses offline.  This is a suggested best practices for all used Blackboard courses at the end of every semester. Make sure you save all exported or archived sites on your ECU Piratedrive.

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

9/20 Emergency Downtime: Blackboard

Emergency Downtime: Blackboard

When: Friday, Sept. 20 / 3:00pm

Blackboard will be unavailable beginning at 3:00pm today, Friday Sept 20, while we perform emergency maintenance to address an issue with the system. We expect the downtime to be brief, and will notify campus when service is restored.

We apologize for any inconvenience and thank for your patience as we work to resolve the issue.


 

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

 

Firefox 23 Mixed Content Blocking

Bulletin/Advisory Information: Mozilla introduced Mixed Content Blocking in the latest version of Firefox (23).  Intended as a security response to “man in the middle” attacks, this feature blocks mixed content by default unless  specifically allowed during each page visit.  This specifically impacts non-https content loaded into a https page.  For more information about this security feature, please visit following Mozilla support article:

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-does-content-isnt-secure-affect-my-safety?as=u&utm_source=inproduct

While other browsers like Chrome and Internet Explorer implement Mixed Content Blocking in similar fashions, in most cases they allow the user to add exceptions or permanently allow access to mixed content from a particular page.  Firefox 23 requires this content to be allowed on each page visit without a method to permanently allow content within that page only.

In Bb , content “link” types load within an Bb frame (even when set to open in a new window).  Bb  does this purposely so that when user tracking is enabled, it is possible to run activity reports on which students access those links, as opposed to a straight href external link where Bb cannot track any of that.  Therefore, Bb customers using SSL and linking to non-SSL content will see this manifested most often in blank frames with the “grey shield” icon represented in the browser’s address bar as described in the Mozilla post, although this could impact other application areas as well.

The solution if you are linking to non SSL content from within Bb is to add the link and ask Bb to “open in a new window”.