Respondus LockDown Browser: There’s More To It

Respondus LockDown Browser “locks down” the online testing environment. That core capability — stopping students from printing, copying, and accessing other programs during a test — is understood pretty quickly.

But without several lesser-known features, a locked testing environment wouldn’t be possible. Here is a quick summary of four of these features.

1) Other Browsers Are Blocked
When an online assessment is set up to require Respondus LockDown Browser, students cannot use a regular browser to access that same test. If students try to access the assessment with anything other than LockDown Browser, they are prompted to use the correct browser and cannot access the exam until they do.

2) Assessments Can’t be Closed Early
Students taking online tests will sometimes close the browser before they are finished. This may be accidental (or intentional), but the result is that the exam needs to be reset so a student can finish it. In the meantime, it also provides an opportunity for students to look up answers or share questions with others. But if students are required to use Respondus LockDown Browser, they cannot close the assessment until it has been submitted for grading.

3) Links to Websites Aren’t a Problem
It may seem counter-intuitive, but there are plenty of reasons an instructor may want to have students visit a web page while taking a test – to refer to an image, a video, supplemental data, etc. With Respondus LockDown Browser, links to other websites can be inserted into a test question without the risk of the students breaking out of the locked testing environment. When the link is clicked, a new secure window is opened. This window will not allow navigation away from that page. Even if there are other links or a search feature on the linked page, that functionality will be disabled.

4) Only Bad Applications Are Blocked
Respondus LockDown Browser blocks entire categories of programs, such as screen capture, instant messaging, social networking, and much more. But it doesn’t mess with security and anti-virus software and other essential functions. Those continue to run in the background, keeping the computer protected.

To learn more about Respondus LockDown Browser, or to sign up for a two-month free pilot, please visit