Best Practices for Using Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor in Your Ultra Course - Instructor

When to Use?

Respondus LockDown Browser (RLDB) is a custom web browser that locks students into their online testing environment for the duration of an exam. Respondus Monitor builds upon LockDown Browser to provide fully automated proctoring. Both tools provide an added layer of security so that students are deterred from cheating. Instructors can activate these tools when setting up their assessment in Blackboard. Before activating in your course site, there are a few best practices that should be considered.


How should faculty approach the use of Respondus Monitor?

1. Create a separate Respondus folder in your course site for students.
If you plan to use Respondus Monitor with your course assessments, create a separate support folder in your course site that includes the following:

  • A Respondus Lockdown Orientation Video. This should let students know what the application does and how it works, caveats for using the system, and how to download the application. 
  • A link to download the GVSU version of the Respondus Lockdown software. 
  • A practice test for students to try out the software. We suggest assigning a small point value to this practice test (making it credit/no credit) to reinforce completion.

2. Plan your Respondus course exams well in advance.
Respondus has a number of features that allow faculty to create a customized experience for students. For this reason, we suggest:

  • Communicate to students which exam(s) will use Respondus at the start of the semester. Have students walk through expectations and the practice test at this time.
  • Build all Respondus exams at least two weeks prior to their scheduled date. This will allow you to troubleshoot any technical issues.
  • Coordinate with students who have special needs at least one week prior to exams.
  • Quality check your assessment to ensure that there are no broken links or scrambled blocks of text.
  • When using Respondus Monitor, consider adding an additional 5-10 minutes to the exam time to allow students to go through the software startup sequence.
  • Earmark an alternative solution in the event that technical difficulties arise.

3. Establish student expectations for using Respondus prior to exams.
Although you will likely prepare students at the start of the semester to interact with Respondus, it is still important to manage expectations leading up to exams.

  • Remind students in lectures of exam expectations and where they can find resources.
  • Solicit questions and concerns from students, ensuring individual needs are addressed.
  • Consider sending out 1 - 2 reminder communications:
    • Communication 1: Announce the upcoming exam and remind students to have access to necessary hardware and software. (Computer with Respondus software, high speed Internet, web-cam, undisturbed work space, any tools they will be permitted to use.) Remind students of alternatives if they do not have access to necessary resources. Send one week prior.
    • Communication 2: Remind students of the date/time window for taking the exam, when they should sign-in, to restart their computer and perform necessary software updates prior, and directions of what to do if troubleshooting is required. Send 1-2 days prior to the exam.

4. Be prepared to provide support during the exam window.
Although some circumstances may not allow for this, try to designate your exams during a period of time when you will be available to help a student troubleshoot or answer questions.

  • Remind students when you will be available to assist.
  • Consider setting up a Zoom chat room so students can access it if they are having difficulty.
  • Consider providing students with a phone number they can text or call.
  • Provide Blackboard IT contact information prior to the exam.
  • Have a backup plan if students are unable to complete the exam during a specified time and note this in your syllabus.

We understand that these provisions require additional time and effort for both students and instructors. If you are unsure if Respondus is the right tool for your assessment, review our article on Considerations for Using Remote Proctoring.

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Article ID: 18455
Tue 2/13/24 4:51 PM
Wed 2/14/24 8:33 AM