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Avoiding and Solving Problems with Respondus

Respondus LockDown Browser is fairly easy to set up, but there are some small pitfalls that are easier to avoid than to fix later. As you set up your Respondus LockDown Browser with (or without) Monitor, keep these things in mind:

  • Respondus will accommodate tests in Blackboard only. If you have tests in a third-party learning management system, you are going to need to contact your publisher to see if it's possible to add Respondus to your tests there.  
  • In Blackboard you are welcome to use any of the test question types with Respondus, but if you have quesetions that ask students to follow a web link for more information, you need to contact OIR and let us help you get the approvals set up in the system.  Be aware! Some websites are destinations that can facilitate cheating. For example, YouTube links of any kind allow students to continue on to the rest of the YouTube site, and we have not found a way to stop this behavior.  Students can't then go on to other sites from YouTube, but they can access any other YouTube video once they follow a YouTube link in a Respondus LDB test. In addition, some YouTube links fail entirely inside of Respondus LDB, so if you want to use them, contact IDA for help setting up the question.
  • When you set up your Respondus tests, do not add extra passwords in the Respondus LDB area.  Adding a Blackboard password will provdied a "workaround" for students and allow them to not use Respondus LDB.  If you are trying to offer a particular student a workaround, adding a password on the Blackboard test will facilitate that, but most of the time, instructors who add a Blackboard password are disappointed to find that students used it to avoid using Respondus LDB. The Respondus LDB program adds its own "special" password to your tests and then the students' version of the LDB provides that password when it accesses the test. That's all you need for test security.
  • Don't set up the Respondus LDB with (or without) Monitor until all your test settings, including extra time for accommodations, is already set up.  Respondus LDB and Monitor settings MUST be the last settings to be entered. If you have to change Blackboard test settings after you set up Resondus, return to the Respondus area in the "Course Tools" list and "fix" the problems. You will see a small "fix" button next to any tests that were broken by Blackboard settings changes.
  • Make sure that Respondus is set up before students can access your test. If students take the test without LDB or Monitor turned on, there is no way to go back and add it for those students later.
  • Respondus LDB will require students to close all applications running on their device such as Zoom, Skype, or other Microsoft Office products. The student can close the applications one by one or let Respondus close all for them. However, there are cases Respondus will tell that there is an application running when you can't see anything running. In such cases, we recommend taking note of the name of the application that LDB is trying to shut down. Then prior to starting LDB, you should open your Task Manager and manually close all instances of the process.
    • To get to the Task Manager on a Mac, use Spotlight. Hit "Command" and the spacebar. Then, type in "activity monitor". That takes you to the Mac Task Manager. Then, end the process (running application) that LDB requires to be closed.
    • To get to the Test Manager on a PC, hit Control + Alt + Del, and select "Task Manager. Then, end the process (running application) that LDB requires to be closed.
  • Consider not requiring Respondus LDB with (or without) Monitor for every test in your class.  The student experience can be challenging and frustrating.  If you would like to see what it's like for a student to go through the setup and execution of one of these exams, please review our parctice Respondus tests for faculty. Going through this process will also make it easier for you to answer student questions.
  • Be aware that some of your students may not be able to use Respondus LDB or Respondus LDB with Monitor because of hardware limitations.  Smartphones can't be used with the services. Your students will also need a webcam and a form of identification to use the Monitor product.