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Giving Scantron exams in classes can be time consuming when you consider the time it takes to grade and print exams.  We now have the ability to offer secure electronic exams in the classroom using student laptops and Respondus LockDown Browser.

In-Class Online Exams

 

What is Respondus LockDown Browser?

 

 

 

 Respondus LockDown Browser is a secure browser that prevents students from accessing files, the internet, and other applications on their devices.  Essentially, this browser only allows them access to the exam they are taking. This is a tool that integrates seamlessly with Blackboard to enable exams to be created, taken, and graded without having to use several different applications.

How Does Respondus LockDown Browser Work?

Instructor Set-up:

The instructor will create an exam in Blackboard. Once the exam is created, in Blackboard, they link Respondus LockDown Browser to the exam. Once the instructor does this, the tool only allows students to access the exam through the secure browser. The instructor can also set up a password for the exam so that students can only access the exam if they have the password as well.  We highly recommend this for in-class Blackboard exams.

Taking the Exam as a Student:

Respondus LockDown Browser is an internet browser like Chrome, Firefox, or Safari that the student will need to download to their device. LockDown Browser works with MACs, Windows devices, and iPads. Unfortunately, it does not work with Chromebooks at this time.

The student opens Respondus LockDown Browser, goes to Blackboard, and opens the exam. Respondus LockDown Browser forces the students to close any other browsers or applications that are open on their computer before they can access the exam. This includes applications like Siri, Microsoft Word, music applications, and more. They are also unable to open any applications or browsers on their computer once they launch Respondus LockDown Browser.

The student takes the exam and because most exams are auto-graded the student gets their score right after submitting it!

The instructor also has the ability to include feedback for correct and incorrect answers.  The instructor can then set a date and time when students can view this feedback to see what they got wrong and why!

 

Are You Considering Using Respondus LockDown Browser for an In-Class Exam?

 

That is fantastic!

  • Check out our quick guide to Respondus LockDown Browser.
  • If you are interested, we recommend setting up an appointment to visit our support specialists who can walk you through the exam and all of the options available.
    • Email tips@uark.edu to set up an appointment or stop by the TIPS Center in Gibson Annex Monday-Friday 9am-4pm.
  • If students have issues they can call our Help Desk at 479-575-HELP. Our Help Desk staff are trained in using Respondus LockDown Browser and can walk students through any tech troubleshooting issues they have. You do not need to be the tech support for your students! We can help!
  • Keep in mind that students come with a variety of devices and operating systems and there will likely be some tech troubleshooting required. With that in mind, we recommend having students install Respondus LockDown Browser and doing a practice test or quiz at home one week prior to the exam.
Getting Started
  1. We recommend that you come see us to discuss the exam logistics, how to set up the exam in Blackboard, recommended in-class exam settings, and how to enable Respondus LockDown Browser. However, you can also do it yourself by following the how-to instructions on the tips website.

  2. We recommend putting information about Respondus LockDown Browser and the in-class Blackboard exams in the syllabus.
  3. We have instructions for Students that explain how Respondus LockDown Browser works that you can add to your Blackboard course.
  4. Once you have the student instructions in Blackboard, we recommend that you create a practice exam and set up Respondus LockDown Browser for students to test at home before trying it out in class.
    • If they have issues, direct them to the Help Desk, 479-575-HELP, who are trained to support this. You do not need to be tech support for your students.
  5. Set up an in-class practice quiz to make sure students are testing their devices in the room on the campus WiFi network to discover any potential issues.
  6. Add the actual exam to blackboard. Be sure to check your exam settings!
  7. Be sure that Respondus LockDown Browser is enabled on the exam.
    • NOTE: in the Blackboard exam settings there is a password that Respondus LockDown Browser provides — do not change this password.
    • If you want to add an additional password, you do this in Respondus LockDown Browser.
    • Did you accidentally change this password?  No problem!  There is a quick way to fix it!
    • NOTE: When creating a password for the practice quizzes and the tests we recommend setting a password that is easy for students to type.
  8. If you need students to access a calculator or any other website, you can request that these be “white listed” by our Administrator. Email tips@uark.edu to request this.
  9. We recommend that you send a reminder to students in the days leading up to the exam to bring their laptop or check one out from the Student Technology Center (make sure they check out a DELL and not a MAC), and make sure the laptop is charged before coming to class.
    • This is also the time to remind them of any unique testing conditions, such as the need to bring headphones or to put their phones on airplane mode during exam, etc. NOTE: putting phones on airplane mode helps to improve WiFi performance. We recommend this.
  10. Do you have CEA accommodations? We recommend that you set up a separate exam for these requests. We have an easy way to save you time on setting these up!  Ask us how! Be sure to discuss accommodations with the CEA office.
  11. Are you giving an exam in a large lecture section?  Contact us for some general information and recommendations on things to consider. We provide in-class tech support for classes over 150 students.
Preparing Your Students For the Exam
  • Have students download Respondus LockDown Browser about one week prior to the exam to ensure it works on their device.
  • Have students take a practice test at home using Respondus LockDown Browser. If they have issues, they can contact the Help Desk at 479-575-HELP.
  • Have students take a practice test in class using Respondus LockDown Browser. This ensures that they do not have technology problems.
  • Before the exam, send students a reminder to charge their laptop before the exam and to update and restart their computers. Most tech issues are solved by updating and/or restarting their computers.
  • If they do not have a laptop, they can check one out from the Student Technology Center (STC). Make sure that they check out a DELL and NOT a MAC.  MACs do not have Respondus LockDown Browser installed.
On Exam Day
  • We recommend displaying instructions on the screen for students.  Here is an example of things to include:
    • Have students double check that they are connected to UARK WIFI and NOT Guest WiFi.  If they are connected to guest WiFi, have them forget the network and log on to UARK WiFi. Here are instructions for Windows users  and instructions for MAC users on getting on the correct network.
    • Have students put their phones on airplane mode to improve WiFi performance.
    • Have students pack all of their belongings and put them at the front of the classroom.
    • If they are having persistent issues with their device, have them restart their computer.
  • We recommend having a back up plan in case a student device is not working. You can either check out an extra laptop or two depending on class size (contact the Student Technology Center) or bringing a few printed exams to class.
  • In the unlikely event that WiFi goes down, we recommned having a backup plan for class that day (for example, have an in class activity or the next regularly scheduled lecture for the day).
Common Issues and Resolutions

A student on a MAC is getting an incorrect password error.

  • On a MAC, there is a pop-up window where the students must type the password. In some cases, the students do not wait for the window and type the password in the wrong place.  Advise them to exit the exam, open it again and wait a minute for the pop-up to appear.

A student is having issues connecting or staying connected.

  • Have students double check that they are connected to UARK WIFI and NOT Guest WiFi.  If they are connected to guest WiFi, have them forget the network and log on to UARK WiFi. Here are instructions for Windows users  and instructions for MAC users on getting on the correct network.

The wifi seems slow and students are not able to connect quickly.

  • There may be a few reasons for this.  First, have students put mobile devices on airplane mode.  This improves the wireless signal.
  • Next, have the students put their computer on airplane mode and then back to the network.  Sometimes their computer is having issues.
  • If there are persistent issues and wireless is causing problems, contact kzawisza@uark.edu .

Students are having issues with the password.

  • One problem may be that the password is difficult to type and the students are mistyping it.  We recommend that you make it simple and do not have repeating letters, etc.
  • Another may be that you changed the Respondus password.  To fix this you can go to Respondus LockDown Browser, click on the exam and click the “Fix it” button next to the exam.
How To Prevent Academic Integrity Violations

Here are some recommendations on preventing Academic Integrity Violations:

  • Randomize questions
  • Randomize answers
  • Have students put their phones on airplane mode
  • Check University IDs
    • In large lecture sections you can check out an ID scanner from the Card Office.  Contact us for more details.
  • Consider using a question pool for the exam that pulls say 50 questions from a pool of 200.  This creates a very unique exam for each student.
  • Have students wear hats backwards or remove them
  • Have students remove all belonging from their desks
  • Have students remove smart watches
  • Recruit additional proctors to assist during the exam (this is useful in large lecture sections)