Respondus LockDown Browser Instructor Guide

What is Respondus LockDown Browser?

LockDown Browser is a custom browser (like Chrome or Firefox) that locks down the testing environment in Canvas. When students use LockDown Browser to access a quiz in Canvas, they are unable to print, copy, visit other websites, access other applications, or close a quiz until it is submitted for grading. Canvas quizzes that have enabled use of LockDown Browser cannot be accessed with standard browsers. Please see the instructor tutorial video. 

LockDown Browser works like a standard internet browser but some options have been removed or work differently. The following image highlights some of these differences:


  1. Modified Toolbar: the condensed toolbar includes only Forward, Back, Refresh, and Stop functions.
  2. Assessment Mode: assessments are shown full-screen and cannot be minimized, resized, or exited until submitted for grading.
  3. Disabled Controls: all printing, keystroke combinations, screen grab, function keys, and right-click menus have been disabled.
  4. Links: links to other web servers do not compromise the secure testing environment.
  5. Blocked Features and Applications: the Start button (for Windows systems), system tray, and menu bars have been removed. Hundreds of screen capture, messaging, screen-sharing, and network monitoring applications are blocked.

How to Get Started

Preparing a Quiz

In order to use LockDown Browser, you must first create the quiz using the Canvas Quiz tool. Once your Quiz has been published in your course you can enable the LockDown Browser.

  1. Make sure the quiz has been published to your course.

  2. Select the LockDown Browser tool in the left navigation bar.

  3. A welcome screen will appear. This screen has some helpful information to help you get started or to review how Respondus works.

    1. If you do not wish to see this screen every time you enable Respondus, you can click the checkbox found in the lower left hand of the screen.

    2. To proceed to the next step, click on the text box labeled “Continue to LockDown Browser”

  4. A list of available quizzes will be displayed. ​​​​​​
    1. Quizzes labeled with “Required” require students to use LockDown Browser.
    2. Quizzes labeled with “Not Required” do not require students to use LockDown Browser.

Enabling LockDown Browser for an assessment

  1. To change the settings, select Modify Settings from the context menu to the left of the quiz title to select the desired option.

  2. Select the radio button that requires the LockDown Browser. This will expand a menu of options.

  3. To view and/or enable additional options, expand the “Advanced Setting” menu.

  4. To enable any of the options, check the box found to the left of the option. For additional information of what that option entails, hover over the “explain” hyperlink and a floating text box will appear with further information. For your convenience the additional information has been included below this screenshot. When some of these options are enabled further option menus will open.

    1. Lock students into the browser until exam is completed: select this option to prevent students from exiting LockDown Browser before an exam is submitted for grading. Optionally, a password can be entered to enable a proctor to close the browser during an exam. We don’t recommend selecting this setting outside a proctored environment. When this option is NOT selected, a student is able to exit the browser if their internet connection fails or there is an emergency. A student will be warned twice before being able to close the browser. The student will also be prompted to enter their reason for exiting the exam early. The student’s response will be available to the instructor from the LockDown Browser Dashboard.

    2. Allow students to take this exam with an iPad (using the “LockDown Browser” app from iTunes).

    3. Allow access to specific external web domains: Normally, if an exam contains a link to an external web domain, students can view the page but all links and navigations from that page are blocked. The setting here changes that by allowing a student to access any page or link within the specified domain. This is useful, for example, to provide access to an e-book during an exam. Multiple domains can be entered, separated by commas. This feature is available for Windows, Mac, and iPad browsers.

    4. Enable Calculator on the toolbar: a standard or scientific calculator can be enabled on the LockDown Browser toolbar.

    5. Enable printing from the toolbar: a print button can be enabled on the LockDown Browser toolbar, allowing the exam screen to be printed.

  5. The use of Respondus monitor is not permitted. So you need to select "Don't require Respondus Monitor for this exam", then select the Advanced Settings you wish to enable and then click on “Save and Close” to save those changes.


Preparing Your Students

Your students may not have experience with using the LockDown Browser so it’s important to explain what it is and what the expectations are.  A good way to do this is to include some language about it in your syllabus. For example language that you can use please see “Syllabus Language for Respondus LockDown Browser”. 

Once you have explained to your students what the LockDown Browser is, they will need to download and install the LockDown Browser on any device they plan to take assessments on. We have created a Student Guide that covers the steps needed to ensure a smooth download and installation process.

It is a good idea to provide the students with a practice quiz that they can take early on in the course so they will know what to expect when a graded assessment is deployed using the LockDown Browser. Create a sample, ungraded quiz in Canvas and follow the steps outlined above in order to allow your students to run through the steps well in advance of a graded assessment.  In this way both you and the students can troubleshoot before anything is at stake.

We're always happy to help! Do you have a question or an issue? Contact us using the Service Desk! 


Article ID: 54749
Thu 5/31/18 2:55 PM
Wed 2/3/21 2:32 PM