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Tips for Testing with Respondus LockDown Browser (and Monitor)

Here are some tips and clarifications based on recent experiences testing with LockDown Browser and Monitor.

1. Give a practice quiz

  • Even if you’re not using LockDown Browser, give a practice quiz
  • Make the quiz low or no stakes (0 points)
  • Use all the settings on the practice quiz that you plan to use on the test (question at a time, timer with auto-submit, LockDown Browser, Monitor, etc)
  • Let the students take the practice quiz as many times as they want
  • This gives students the opportunity to
    • experience online testing in a lower stress environment;
    • work out any software or hardware issues they may have in advance of taking the actual test

2. When you require LockDown Browser, under Advanced Settings, DO NOT check the box labelled “Lock students into the browser until exam is completed”

  • If a student has a problem that prevents them from completing the test, this option will make it very, very difficult for them to exit LockDown Browser (and do anything else with their computer)

3. Consider whether to use question-at-a-time presentation

  • Pro: More secure (especially should a student have an issue during test taking)
  • Con: Less friendly to different test-taking strategies (answering easy questions then going back to harder ones is more difficult, for example)
  • Students may require more time-per-question with this method -- they have to get settled into each question in a way that they generally do not if all questions are loaded at once

4. Use the Blackboard Test Option FORCE COMPLETION or don’t

  • Force Completion means a student must finish the test in a single sitting; if unchecked,
    • a student may quit and re-enter the test, picking up where they left off
    • after the test is launched, the timer continues to run even if the student has exited the test (e.g., if a student spends 10 minutes on the test, closes it and does something else for 10 minutes, then returns to the test 15 minutes later, the timer will read that they are 25 minutes into the test)
  • If you are using LockDown Browser (and Monitor), allowing students to exit and re-enter the test also allows them to temporarily circumvent your proctoring software (Monitor is no longer active when students have exited the test).
      • This can be mitigated via question-at-a-time presentation , as a student could only research questions viewed before exiting exam
      • LockDown Browser will provide a report of whether and when a student has exited and re-entered the exam
      • The set-up process is time-consuming for Monitor, and must be completed each time a student launches a test; if a student exits and re-enters the exam, a significant amount of time will be lost to set-up (this may discourage abuse of the ability to exit / re-enter the test, however you should take this into consideration if they have a legitimate issue)
  • If force completion is turned on and a student is ejected from their test as the result of a technical issue: they can be given a second attempt but will need to begin the test from the start.
    • This may be particularly problematic if questions are randomized in any way.
    • If all tests have the same questions in the same order, you can compare the first attempt to the second, and provide an appropriate final score.

5. Use the Blackboard Test Option AUTO SUBMIT or don’t

  • When the AUTO SUBMIT option is selected, a test “turns itself in” when time expires, preventing students from going over time.
  • If FORCE COMPLETION is off and if a student has a legitimate issue that requires exiting and re-launching the test, this may present a problem (significant testing time will be lost going through the set up process a second time)
Permalink Last updated 04/03/2020 by R. Davidson

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