What is Respondus Lockdown Browser 

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Respondus LockDown browser is a web browser (e.g. like Chrome) used for some online exams. This browser limits the ability for the person taking an online quiz in Brightspace to navigate away from the quiz to other webpages or use additional applications on their computer.

Respondus LockDown Browser does not record or monitor you during an exam. It is not an artificial intelligence / surveillance proctoring tool.  UVic has chosen not to adopt these tools (e.g. Proctorio, Respondus Monitor).

Respondus LockDown browser is one method of invigilating exams. Exam invigilation (whether in person or online) serves to maintain academic integrity of the examination for the benefit of the institution and students.  Methods of invigilation may vary by faculty, instructor and discipline. Please see the Calendar Guidelines on Exam Invigilation for more information.

Student FAQ

How will I know if my exam(s) use Respondus LockDown Browser?

Instructors who choose to use LockDown Browser for timed exams will inform students in advance of the exam and make a practice quiz available to students.

Advance notice will provide students with the opportunity to install the software ahead of time, get comfortable with it, and identify any challenges that may arise.  Get assistance from the Computer Helpdesk (helpdesk@uvic.ca) and inform the instructor if there any difficulties.

What if I am unable to use Respondus LockDown Browser?

Most students with the UVic Minimum Technology Requirements will have no issue with Respondus LockDown. Two notable exceptions are Chromebook and some assistive technologies.

Your instructor will make a practice exam available for you ahead of time so that you can identify any issues before the exam. If you experience difficulty:

  • Contact helpdesk@uvic.ca for help and / or to inquire about bookable spaces to write your exam on a device that supports Respondus LockDown Browser.
  • If you are not able to use this tool, please contact your instructor to make alternative arrangements
Does Respondus LockDown Browser monitor me?

No. Respondus LockDown Browser is not an artificial intelligence / surveillance proctoring tool. 

  • No student information is collected by LockDown Browser
  • LockDown Browser does not use the computer’s webcam or microphone to record activity
  • LockDown Browser does not monitor student behavior

Respondus does offer an additional product, Respondus Monitor. However, this has not been implemented at UVic and there is no intention of doing so. UVic has chosen not to adopt these tools (e.g. Proctorio, Respondus Monitor). 

Students who have questions regarding privacy during exam invigilation can contact the Privacy and Access to Information Office at privacyinfo@uvic.ca

What operating systems is Respondus Lockdown Browser compatible with?

Respondus Lockdown Browser is compatible with Windows 10, 8, 7, MacOS 10.12 to 10.15, and iOS 11.0+. Lockdown Browser does not support Linux, but Respondus is currently in a beta program to support student’s personal Chromebooks.

Additional Information

Were privacy and security issues assessed before implementing Respondus Lockdown Browser?

Yes. The university completed a Privacy Impact Assessment for Respondus Lockdown Browser to ensure that personal information is being handled appropriately and in congruence with British Columbia’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA).  The university also completed a security assessment of the desktop application, specifically data flows to and from the desktop application and Respondus.  The output of these assessments found that no student personal information is disclosed to Respondus, and informed the way in which Respondus Lockdown Browser is used at the University of Victoria.

Students who have questions regarding privacy during exam invigilation can contact the Privacy and Access to Information Office at privacyinfo@uvic.ca

Do I need to turn off Anti-Virus to install?

No. LockDown Browser does not require Anti-Virus to be turned off to install. If an anti-virus application is set at the highest security level, it can prevent a user from installing new applications to the computer. As such, it might be necessary to relax the security level on the antivirus software in order to install a new applications, including Respondus LockDown Browser.  The application does not require that you disable anti-virus software altogether.

Does Lockdown Browser impact computer performance?

No. Lockdown Browser does not do anything to the computer when the application is not running. If you experience performance issues, please report them to the Computer Help Desk (helpdesk@uvic.ca) so we can report them to Respondus.

Does Respondus Lockdown Browser have kernel level access to personal computers?

No. There was a report in The Fulcrum – the independent student newspaper at the University of Ottawa – that Respondus Lockdown Browser has kernel level access to student devices. The University of Ottawa has debunked this assertion with their online FAQ regarding Respondus Lockdown Browser.

Does Respondus Lockdown Browser edit the registry?

Yes. Many installed applications including Respondus Lockdown Browser edit the registry.

Where does Respondus Lockdown Browser come from?

Respondus Lockdown Browser is provided by Respondus, Inc. and is based on the Google Chromium framework – the open source framework for Google Chrome.

About this post

This post was last updated:

October 29, 2020

We acknowledge and respect the Lək̓ʷəŋən (Songhees and Esquimalt) Peoples on whose territory the university stands, and the Lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ Peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.

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