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Respondus LockDown Browser (Gold Plan Add-On)
Respondus LockDown Browser (Gold Plan Add-On)

Learn about the Respondus LockDown Browser add-on for Gold plan schools and districts

Neta Raz Studnitski avatar
Written by Neta Raz Studnitski
Updated over a week ago

Formative and Respondus have teamed up to provide you with the power to quickly and easily create secure testing environments with just a few clicks!

Note: There are additional measures, such as scheduling open/close times or setting a time limit, that can be taken to ensure tests are secure and successful. We highly recommend using LockDown Broswer in conjunction with some of them for the best experience.

What is LockDown Browser?

LockDown Browser is a custom browser that is created and licensed for use by Respondus. It locks down the testing environment within Online testing. When students use the LockDown Browser they are prevented from printing, copying, opening new tabs, going to other URLs, accessing other applications, or screen capturing images. Once a formative with a LockDown Browser setting has begun, students are locked into it until they submit (or use a "Quit Password" provided by their teacher).

How do I know if I have access to LockDown Browser?

If your school or district purchased the Respondus LockDown Browser Add-On, the option for the secure browser mode in your assign settings will be enabled. You can also reach out to your school or district admin to inquire whether this Add-On has been purchased.

Installing LockDown Browser on Student Devices

Windows

  • Download the Windows setup .exe file provided to you by our implementation team (not sure who your dedicated team is? Email the request to onboarding@formative.com)

  • Open or Run the .exe file and then follow the instructions in the installShield setup

Mac

  • Download the Mac setup .pkg file provided to you by our implementation team (not sure who your dedicated team is? Email the request to onboarding@formative.com)

  • Open or Run the .pkg file and then follow the instructions in the setup wizard

  • The app can be deployed to managed devices by using Apple Configurator.

iPad

  • The LockDown Browser by Respondus (iPad version) is available for download from iTunes.

  • The app can be deployed to managed devices by using Apple Configurator.

Chromebook

  • For Managed Chromebook devices please refer to our Chromebook Administration Guide. Reach out to your dedicated Client Success Manager or Implementation team to get this guide (not sure who your dedicated team is? Email the request to onboarding@formative.com)

Assign a Formative with Respondus LockDown Browser

From within the formative, go to the "Assign" tab

  1. Choose the class(es) to assign the formative to and access the assign settings page (click the carrot next to the class' title)

  2. Under "Content Display" locate the "Secure Exam Browser Mode" item

  3. Click on the box next to this item (by default this will display "None") and select your preferred level of security from the dropdown menu.

    • None = Students can access the formative without the lockdown browser

    • Respondus Low Security = Students will be required to launch the formative with the LockDown Browser, they will be able to exit the browser as they take the formative and navigate instructor-provided links beyond the original site, reducing distractions without blocking approved sites.

    • Responuds Medium Security = Students will be required to launch the formative with the LockDown Browser, they will be able to exit the browser but will be prevented from navigation of instructor-provided links beyond the original site. Ideal for quizzes or lower stakes test where leaving the test environment is allowed.

    • Respondus High Security = Student will be required to launch the formative with the LockDown Browser, they will be prevented from exiting without submitting or using a quit password AND prevented from navigating instructor-provided links beyond the original site. Recommended for high stakes testing situation.

  4. Add a Quit Password by toggling on the button and entering the password into the text bar (**see below for additional information)

  5. Proceed to adjust any other assign settings you need

  6. Click the Assign button

**Quit Password

A Quit Password allows a student to exit the LockDown Browser mode if extenuating circumstances require it for example, if an issue with the student's device is preventing them from completing the formative, or in a case of emergency.
In these special cases, the teacher can either share the Quit Password with the student, or enter it directly into the appropriate browser field on the student's device.

Enabling and defining a Quit Password is highly recommended as an additional layer of test integrity, since the existence of a Quit Password will disable all options to exit the LockDown Browser mode other than by either submitting the formative or using the Quit Password.


Please note: Quit Passwords are supported on Windows, Mac and iPad devices only. They are not supported on Chromebooks.

The Student Experience

When students open the formative assigned with the Respondus LockDown Browser mode, they will see a prompt to open the LockDown Browser.

If your students have not yet downloaded the file, they will be prompted to download the Respondus LockDown Browser file before being able to enter the formative.

Any application running in the background that need to be shut off will produce a prompt to shut down the application, and only then the LockDown Browser will launch the formative.

Students can still use the links and embedded materials you may have added into the formative in LockDown Browser mode, however if your selected security level was Medium or HIgh if a student attempts to open a link that is beyond what you have added into the formative they will receive a notification that the tab was blocked. With the Low security level students will be able to navigate beyond the original site you provided.

As student work on a formative secured in a LockDown Browser mode, they still have the ability to communicate with their instructor via the in-app messaging system; and responses will still come in live, enabling you to act on real-time data from a secured environment!

Please note, that as an additional layer of protection against cheating, when using the Respondus LockDown Browser students' ability to use a file picker to upload files from their devices will be disabled. This includes removing their ability to:

  • Add Images into Drawing questions / Show Your Work boxes

  • Upload Image/Video/File into Free Response questions

  • Add Image/ Video into Feedback Messaging with the teachers

Using the Quit Password

If the student is using a Mac, Windows or iPad device and the teacher has defined a Quit Password for the formative, the student will be able to use the Quit Password to exist the LockDown Browser.

To enter the Quit Password:

  1. Click on the "i" button on the top left menu

  2. In the popup window - click on "Proctor Exit"

  3. Enter the Quit Password and confirm to exit.

Note: Quit Passwords are supported on Windows, Mac and iPad devices only. They are not supported on Chromebooks.

The video below will walk you through how to use Respondus LockDown Browser within Formative:

How do I learn more about obtaining this Add-On?

Reach out to your school or district's dedicated Client Success Manager for more information! Not sure who your Client Success Manager is? Email us at support@formative.com, state the district you work for, and ask to be connected with the Success Manager assigned to it.

Multiple Presence Indicator (Gold plan feature)

An additional layer of security comes in the form of the Multiple Presence Indicator. This multiple-devices icon will appear next to a student's name on the teacher's Responses tab, if our system detects the student's presence *within* this specific formative from different devices simultaneously.

While Multiple Presence within a formative could be due to students attempting to cheat, it doesn't necessarily indicate cheating. It is always best to check the details for the overlapping user sessions to properly identify the situation and act accordingly.

To reveal the information about the overlapping user sessions detected, simply click on the multiple-device icon. The information will include:

  • The Device or Operation System in use

  • The browser used

  • The IP address

  • The time stamps for each session (first seen and last seen)

Common Q&A and Troubleshooting Tips

🙋🏻‍♀️ My student(s) are not being prompted to open the LockDown Browser, what can I do?

  • Check that the LockDown Browser has been properly installed on the student(s) device(s).

  • Check your formative's assign settings and ensure the Secure Exam Browser Mode dropdown is set to "Respondus LockDown Browser".

🙋🏿‍♂️ My student(s) LockDown Browser is not launching properly, what can I do?

  • Check for any updates on the Respondus software. You can use the installer to check for most recent version and update from there.

  • If your student(s) are using Chromebooks make sure they launch LockDown Browser by selecting “Formative” from the Apps link on their login screen (see screenshot below). When the Formative App starts, the login page will appear and the student can login and navigate to the exam. During an exam, the student will be locked into the testing environment until the assessment is submitted for grading. Once the exam is complete the user must restart the Chromebook to fully exit the exam.

🙋🏻 My student(s) are unable to exit the LockDown Browser, what can I do?

  • Check to ensure they have clicked the "submit" button in their formative, and that the formative has been submitted (Note: if there's a required question on the formative that has not been answered, the student will not be able to submit until an answer is provided to that required question).

  • If the formative has been submitted and your student is still experiencing an issue existing the LockDown Browser, provide them with the Quit Password.

  • Students can also completely restart their devices in order to fully exit the the lockdown browser.

  • If your student(s) are using Chromebooks, please ensure that they restart the Chromebook to fully exit the exam.

🙋🏼 My student(s) are using Chromebooks and their devices are non-repsonsive. They are not able to restart the Chromebook or click the power button to shut it off, what can I do?

  • If your students are running into this issue, please take the device to your school's IT department and have them check if the physical power button on the Chromebook is not working and replace the student's device if that is the case.
    On Chromebooks, after the student submits their exam there is a page that instructs them to press the physical power button to power down or sign-out to exit the LockDown Browser Mode. On some older Chromebook devices where the physical power button is broken they have no way to exit the LockDown Browser Mode. The only way out in these cases is to pull the battery. This will not affect anything outside of the LockDown Browser Mode as outside of it students can always workaround a broken power button and use the software shutdown instead. For this reason, it is important to have the issue properly diagnosed by IT.

🙋🏽‍♀️ I'm assigning a formative via LMS and my students are unable to access

  • If your students are using Chromebooks and you have assigned a formative via LMS such as Canvas, Schoology, Blackbaud, etc. and toggled on the "Require Launch from [LMS]" button, it will conflict with the requirement to launch the formative on the lockdown browser. You will need to remove the requirement to launch from the LMS in order to require the launch from the lockdown browser, and vice-versa.

  • If your students are using a Windows or Mac device there should be no conflict. Check that all permissions were set correctly on the formative and if the issue persists reach out to our support team at support@formative.com

🙋🏿‍♂️ Can I pass grades back if I assigned the Formative via an LMS (Canvas, Schoology, Blackbaud) and the students took it with the lockdown browser?

  • Grade pass-back is not optional in this case because the formative will not be launched from within the LMS, it will be launched from the lockdown browser

🙋🏻‍♀️ I've assigned a lockdown browser required formative via the Formative Add-on in * Google Classroom, where can I see the students' responses and grade them?

  • Since students launched and completed the formative from the lockdown browser, and not from within the Add-on in Google Classroom, their responses will not appear in the Add-on modal but will be registered on the Formative website. To review their responses and grade their submissions please go to your Formative account at app.formative.com , locate the formative in your Formatives page and click into it.

🙋🏼 Can I pass grades back if I assigned the formative via the Formative Add-on in Google Classroom?

  • No. Grade Pass-back is not optional when using the Formative Add-on in Google Classroom. Grades will need to be entered manually regardless of launch method.

🙋🏽 Can I pass grades back if I assign the formative from within Formative itself, but use the "Assign & Post to Google Classroom" option?

  • Yes. In this case, students will launch the lockdown browser where they will be prompted to login to their Formative accounts and complete the formative there. The scores will be captured on the Formative website, and Grade Pass-back will be optional.

🙋🏽‍♀️ My students are able to use Chrome native translations/quick answers while within Respondus, how do I disable this?

If your students are using Respondus on Chromebooks and are able to highlight text within Formative and get translation prompts, two Chrome elements will need to be disabled on your Google Workspace. This action can only be taken by a systems Admin at your organization.

To disable Google Translate

Follow the steps below to disable the Google Translate feature within the Google Chrome web browser on student devices with Google Workspace.

1. Login to the Google Admin Console.

2. Click Devices.

3. Click Chrome.

4. Click Settings.

5. Select Users & Browsers.

5. Select the Organizational Unit that includes your student Chromebook devices.

6. Search for or scroll down to locate the User Experience section.

5. Select Never Offer Translation for Google Translate.

To disable Quick Answers

Navigate to Users & Browsers Settings within your Admin Console and disable the section highlighted in the image below


​🙋🏻 When trying to login or signup an error message saying the action can not be taken on a secure environment is popping up

  • This will be most common on Chromebooks or other devices running on ChromeOS. Check for a LockDown browser extension icon on your Chrome browser and select to clear cookies (alternatively, you can clear cache & cookies directly from your browser's settings). Once cookies have been cleared, please log out completely and restart your device.

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