New and Returning Faculty Development Day: Blackboard Tests and Respondus LockDown Browser with Monitor

Concordia University
Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

Blackboard Tests and Respondus LockDown Browser with Monitor

1:00 – 2:30 pm Central/2:00 – 3:30 pm Eastern

with Justin Frisque

The first half of this session will show how faculty can create Blackboard Tests using three commonly used question types. The second half of the session will cover Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor. Faculty will learn the difference between LockDown Browser and Monitor, and how to enable the appropriate settings based on where students take the test.


To view a recording of this session click here

Handouts related to this session:


Assessments in Blackboard – Summer 2020

Session Recording (7/17/2020)

Resources related to this session:

PowerPoint: Assessments in Blackboard

Blackboard Tests Summer 2020

Set Test Availability Exceptions for Accommodations 10132015

Blackboard Test Feedback Options Summer 2020

Test Feedback: What Students See (2 examples)

Upload Test Questions to Blackboard (Tab-delimited TXT file)

Test Question Types

How to copy (export/import) at test from one course to another


Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor Info for Instructors Summer 2020

Respondus Help Center for Students

Final Exams for Unusual Times

Concordia University Wisconsin Ann Arbor
Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
April 27, 2020

For a 40 minute video presenting most of these ideas on a Zoom call with faculty from the School of Business on April 24 click here.

Final Exams for Unusual Times

Stay the Course

If you have a final exam on your syllabus, keep some type of remote exam rather than change the assignment too much as of this point in the semester. There are many options for exams beyond the traditional timed, exam opened only during your course’s final exam time.

Many of our students are experiencing challenges with internet connections at home, some due to low bandwidth or many people using it at the same time. This article makes suggestions on all the options available, including alternatives that might not be as difficult or stress-producing for students with technology challenges.

Review your course learning outcomes and identify which outcomes your final exam will address. Remember to match the types of questions with the verbs used in your outcomes.  Review the outcomes your exam addresses with students during the final week of the course.

As always, after you develop your plan for your final exam, be sure to communicate that plan in advance with students in writing. The Registrar develops a final exam schedule that is communicated to all faculty. Faculty members may not change the date or time of their final exam, or the due date for a final project or paper.  The final must either be offered within the designated 2-hour time slot listed in the final exam schedule, or if converted into a take-home test, be due by that time.

Communicate with Students

Post information on your exam in your Blackboard course site as soon as you can. Indicate your expectations for the exam include time limits, whether or not students can use books, or notes, or not. Also indicate whether students are allowed to work together on the exam or if they are prohibited from doing so.

If you are using timed exams,  send a reminder the day before the exam and suggest students ask for support from others in their household during the test time to facilitate a good internet connection.  Students can  ask others to reduce use of a shared internet connection during the time of the test. Include suggestions for minimizing distraction such as: find a private space, close the door, ask others to leave them alone, silence notifications and cell phones. Remind students also of your expectations communicated in your Blackboard site.

Connect with the Academic Resource Center on any accessibility or accommodation issues or testing needs for students with accommodations.



Conventional Wisdom suggests that exams are to be offered in secure environments to prevent cheating.  In other semesters, it has been easier to create such an environment by giving exams in a physical classroom.  This semester, we are forced to make alternative plans for final exams.

For remote tests in Blackboard, the most secure option is proctoring with Respondus Monitor. This requires students to download and use Lockdown Browser and have a video camera and microphone attached to their computer. The browser students use to access the exam in Blackboard does not allow the student to open other windows or copy or print.  Faculty should notify students at minimum one-week before the test so students can download the software and be ready. Faculty should include a practice test using Monitor in the Blackboard site to facilitate student preparation.

Details on Respondus Monitor include a recorded session from March located here along with the handout. Information to share with students is here

Features of Tests in Blackboard

Remote tests in Blackboard not using Respondus Monitor can also use be secured through test features.

  • Overall time limits can be used to prevent students from looking up a great number of the answers.
  • Individual questions cannot be timed, but a test can be split into parts, each with its own time limit.
  • Randomize test questions and/or randomize multiple-choice responses.

Instructions for creating a Blackboard test are located here Advance to about 25% of the way into the recording. More information about Blackboard tests is available on the CELT blog.

Use Zoom to Observe Students Taking the Test

If you are offering your test during a short window, students could take the exam in Blackboard while also connecting with you and the class on Zoom. You can see everyone on the same Zoom window if you have no more than 25 students.  You will not be able to see if they have papers or notes, but if you have prohibited those, this option will give you the opportunity to observe their faces.  Some students may feel heightened anxiety at “being watched.”

Using Zoom on a Second Device to Observe Students Taking the Test

If students have a second device like a phone, they could prop it up so that it observes their keyboard and work area during the exam.

Unconventional Wisdom in these times suggests using alternate, non-timed exam formats that still effectively evaluate student learning.  Check out these five reasons not to use timed exams at this time

  • Open-book or Take-home test – Convert your final exam to an open-book or take-home test. Adjust your exam questions to accommodate a longer time to work on the exam, but don’t make it a test-and-a-half. Be sure that the questions aim at higher levels on Bloom’s taxonomy, lining up with course-level outcomes. For example, you could use case studies or ask students to respond to a problem using particular critical thinking strategies you have taught.  You could request that references to course resources and supporting evidence be included.
  • Alternative Blackboard Assignment: Create a take-home exam with prompts that students write to in a word document. Make the exam available during the last week of class. Then create an Assignment (dropbox) in Blackboard so students can upload their responses. If you are using a percentage-based Grade Center, you may need to adjust it.  For example, students could be asked to identify and explain five critical concepts learned in your class, supported with evidence and citations.

How to Get Help


If you need help with accessing or using Zoom, call the HELP Desk at x4357 or e-mail


If you need help with Blackboard, additional information is available Here or contact the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) at (provide information on what you are hoping to do) or call 262-243-2358, and leave a detailed voice message if no one is available.


For More Information:

IDEA Paper #76 Writing Better Essay Exams

Waterloo University Tips for Writing Exam Questions

Rutgers University’s specific, practical tips for going open-book in quantitative courses:

Indiana University Bloomington’s suggestions for adapting assessments:

UC Berkeley’s list of ideas for alternative assignment types:

University of Wisconsin Extended Campus: Unproctored Online Assessments

Updates and Reminders: Instructional Continuity Portlet

Below are updates and reminders related to resources posted on the Instructional Continuity portlet on the CUWAA portals (, Updates are divided by Blackboard and Zoom and are in date order, most recent on top.

Blackboard and Respondus

March, 2021

On April 20, 2021 all Blackboard courses in the terms 201710 (Fall of 2016) and older will be archived and then deleted from Blackboard ( Students will not be able to access those courses.

What to do now: Prior to April 20th, please copy anything you still need from those Blackboard courses to an external location.   This can be an external hard drive or an online cloud service.  What to backup would be any assignments or work done within a course you would like to save for future use.  This maintenance is part of our process of remaining within our Blackboard size limit.  If you have questions or problems related to courses that will be deleted on April 20th, please send an e-mail with that information to

November, 2020

New Content Editor in Blackboard: This will result in a few different and better ways you can upload content into Blackboard.  You will see this change whenever you are adding text in Blackboard, such as posting in a discussion board, writing an essay answer to a test, or for faculty, creating or editing an item or writing a test question.  This change will affect how faculty add content as well as student submissions.

Learn more

April 14, 2020

Respondus Help Center for Students

The Respondus Help Center is in addition to the technology assistance provided by the Concordia IT Help Desk.

Once Respondus LockDown Browser is installed on the computer, students have access to the Respondus Help Center that includes an option for live chat with Respondus Technology Support (available 24/7).

Before beginning a test, or after submitting a test using Respondus, the Help Center icon appears at the top of the Respondus Browser. Please see document below for details. Please share with students.

Respondus Help Center for Students

April 3, 2020

Time Zone Adjustments Needed in Blackboard

The Blackboard servers use the Central Time Zone. If an instructor is located in a different time zone, such as Ann Arbor (Eastern Time Zone) and needs to set a specific time that an assignment or test is due, opens, or closes, the instructor must take into account their time zone and adjust accordingly. Please see this document with examples that show how to make  the needed adjustments: Time Zone Adjustments Needed in Blackboard


March 3, 2021

Automated transcriptions available during Zoom sessions

With a recent Zoom update, Zoom hosts can now enable automated transcriptions for Zoom sessions. To do this:

  1. Click on the Live Transcript button Live Trancript
  2. Then click on Enable Auto-Transcription
    Auto transcription

November 17, 2020

Zoom cloud recordings retention and Zoom messages on deletions

When you record to the Zoom cloud, these are temporary recordings the system will delete. Last spring we thought we could only keep the temporary cloud recordings for 90 days. We did not max out the storage limit, so we expanded the retention period to 180 days.

Zoom emails you are now receiving should be about recordings from the Spring term, (April and May) 180 days ago. Let them expire, they were not designed to be permanent.

Recordings you want to use semester to semester should be recorded to your computer and then uploaded to Panopto. Watch this Recordings session for more information.

April 13, 2020

Zoom Product Updates: New Security Toolbar Icon for Hosts, Meeting ID No Longer Displayed

The next time Zoom is opened, faculty and staff will be prompted to update the Zoom app. Most faculty/staff will be able to complete the update without assistance. Contact the IT Help Desk if you are unable to complete the update.

After faculty/staff update Zoom on their computer, meeting hosts will see is an option in the Zoom meeting controls called Security. This new icon simplifies how hosts can quickly find and enable many of Zoom’s in-meeting security features.

Visible only to hosts and co-hosts of Zoom Meetings, the Security icon provides easy access to several existing Zoom security features so you can more easily protect your meetings.

By clicking the Security icon, hosts and co-hosts have an all-in-one place to quickly:

Various security settings in the Zoom client, while extremely useful, were also extremely scattered. The addition of this persistent Security icon helps augment some of the default Zoom security features in your profile settings and enables Zoom users to more quickly take action to prevent meeting disruption.

The Security icon replaces the Invite button in the meeting controls. The Invite button has been moved to the Participants panel, and hosts can add additional guests there.

April 1, 2020

Issue: Participants Cannot Hear Audio When a Video is Played

Solution: When you share your screen, make sure to click Share Computer Sound (see bottom left of image).

Note: When showing video based content, i.e. YouTube, Vimeo, etc., also check “Optimize for Full-Screen Video clip”.  By doing so, you will increase the frame rate of the video playback and will allow for smoother playback.


March 30, 2020

Update to Zoom Default Setting for Screen Sharing
Zoom has recently adjusted the default setting for screen sharing, so that only hosts can screen share. If you want participants to share their screen (such as for a student presentation), when you are in a Zoom Meeting, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the up arrow at the right of the “Share Screen” icon in the Zoom controls.
    (If you do not see the arrow, share your own screen, then click stop share.)
  2. Click on “Advanced Sharing Options”
  3. On “Who Can Share” click on “all participants.” Keep the third setting at “only host.”
  4. Click the x in the upper right of the dialog box to close it.


If desired: You can also change this setting in your CUWAA.ZOOM.US profile by following these steps:

  1. Log into your profile at CUWAA.ZOOM.US
  2. In the navigation panel, click Settings.
  3. Under In Meeting (Basic), scroll down to Screen Sharing heading
  4. Switch on the option for All Participants.

Downloadable PDF with screenshots: Update to Zoom Default Setting for Screen Sharing

Beginning January 2019: Respondus LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor at CUW and CUAA

Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor

The university has purchased a license for Respondus LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor. This product, which has two aspects, works with tests delivered in Blackboard. The LockDown browser is appropriate when the instructor is in the room during the test. When using LockDown Browser, students cannot print, make screen captures, access other web pages, or access other applications while taking the exam. Students access the Blackboard test through this custom browser on lab computers, or the browser can be downloaded on students’ own laptops.

LockDown Browser is now available in the computer labs at Mequon and will be available in January at CUAA and the Centers. Instructors at Mequon were notified about a training for anyone wanting to use it for final exams in face-to-face courses this semester. Students should be notified 7 days in advance when using LockDown browser. Lockdown Browser can be used by any instructor teaching face-to-face courses. The CELT provides instructor support for face-to-face courses.

Also in January, the Respondus Monitor aspect of the product will be available. Monitor combines LockDown Browser with an additional level of security that creates a recording of the student during the test. Monitor is appropriate for online and blended courses where the instructor is not in the same room with the students when they are taking the test. Monitor requires that students have a computer with a camera and a microphone. Monitor takes students through an authentication process, like showing their face and their CU ID, for verification of student identity, which is important when high-stakes exams are taken at distance. Monitor records the audio and video of the whole test session. Instructors using Respondus Monitor need to notify students at the beginning of the course they will be using this process for exams. Resources and language for inclusion in your syllabus are available through OCDE and CELT.

Over a certain threshold, there is an added per student, per course cost for the Monitor aspect of the license, so deans have been asked to identify the courses that need this added level of security and identity verification. The added cost is the same whether there is one test or many tests in a course. Some of our specialized program accreditors like OT and Nursing are looking for this heightened verification of student identity for distance education. Instructional designers or Blackboard support people are the only ones who should enable Monitor in courses. OCDE will be deploying Monitor in identified online and blended courses they support. If you want your course considered for Monitor, please talk to your department chair or dean.

Where to go for more information:

For help for a face-to-face course, contact the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) at or call 262-243-2358 or 1-888-377-7447 (select option 2).

For help for fully online and dual credit courses contact the Office of Continuing and Distance Education (OCDE) at  or call 262-243-4327 or 1-888-377-7447 (select option 1).  

Instructor Training – Respondus LockDown Browser

Respondus LockDown Browser Instructor Orientation and Training

LockDown Browser by Respondus is a testing integrity software product students use to access and take Blackboard tests. Concordia has acquired a license for this product as of December 1, 2018. LockDown Browser can be downloaded on student’s own computers and will also be available on all campus labs computers, the testing center used by students with accessibility accommodations,  and laptop carts. When LockDown Browser is enabled in a Blackboard test, students must access it through the browser and cannot access it through any other browsers.

LockDown Browser provides adequate security for tests taken in the classroom when the instructor is present.  When taking Blackboard tests using LockDown Browser students cannot print, make screen captures, access other web pages, or access other applications while taking the exam. Watch this 3-minute video for an overview of LockDown Browser:

Follow the steps below to learn how to use Respondus LockDown Browser and enable it in your course.

  1. Download this training document: Respondus LDB Info for Instructors 01082019
  2. Watch this training video. Refer to the above document as you watch the video:
  3. Set up a 1-point practice quiz and ask students to take the quiz before coming to take the test on test day.
    1. Link to a practice quiz you can import into your course (a zip file): Respondus Practice Quiz
    2. Directions for importing the practice quiz into your course: Import Practice Quiz into Your Course 11202018
  4. Inform your students at least 7 days prior to the test that Respondus LockDown Browser will be used. Students should take the practice quiz before coming to class to take your test. Wording for students and instructions for students are on the document under #1 above.
  5. Set up your Blackboard test(s) and enable Respondus LockDown Browser (see #1 and #2 above for instructions).

If you have questions about using Respondus LockDown Browser in your face-to-face course contact the CELT at 262-243-2358 or email


Respondus Monitor: Information for Students

Respondus Monitor: Information for Students

Respondus LockDown Browser with Monitor (“Respondus Monitor”) used for online exams.

**Google Chromebooks are not compatible with LockDown Browser. Discuss options with your instructor.**

Concordia University Computer Requirements: CUW/CUAA

You must download and install LockDown Browser to your computer in order to use Respondus Monitor.

You must have a working webcam and microphone to take an exam using Respondus Monitor.

If you experience difficulties trying to download and install Respondus LockDown Browser with Monitor, contact the IT Helpdesk at 262-243-4357 or email

IT Helpdesk Hours:

The Respondus Help Center is in addition to the technology assistance provided by the Concordia IT Help Desk. Once Respondus LockDown Browser is installed on your computer, students have access to the Respondus Help Center that includes an option for live chat with Respondus Technology Support (available 24/7). See this document for details. Respondus Help Center for Students

To take an exam using Respondus Monitor:

  1. Close all computer programs.
  2. Click on the LockDown Browser icon on the computer. (You won’t be able to access the exam with a standard web browser.)
  3. Login to your Blackboard course.
  4. Navigate to the test and select it.

At this point the Startup Sequence for the webcam begins.

  1. You will first need to review and agree to the Terms of Use.
  2. The Webcam Check will confirm that your webcam and microphone are working properly. The first time the Webcam Check is performed on a computer, Adobe Flash Player will require you to select Allow and Remember.
  3. The remaining steps of the Startup Sequence will depend on specific test settings. Follow the instructions and note your progress along the top of the screen. If you encounter a problem, select the “It’s not working link” for troubleshooting tips.
  4. The test will begin after the Startup Sequence is complete.
  5. You cannot exit LockDown Browser until the test is submitted for grading.

Here is a short video that shows a student view of accessing LockDown Browser with Monitor to take an exam:

When taking an online exam, follow these guidelines:

  • Before starting the test, know how much time is available for it, and that you’ve allotted sufficient time to complete it
  • Ensure you’re in a location where you won’t be interrupted
  • Turn off all mobile devices, phones, etc. and don’t have them within reach
  • Clear your area of all external materials not permitted — books, papers, other computers, or devices
  • Remain at your computer for the duration of the test
  • LockDown Browser will prevent you from accessing other websites or applications; you will be unable to exit the test until all questions are completed and submitted
  • If the computer or networking environment is different than what was used previously with the Webcam Check and System & Network Check in LockDown Browser, run the checks again prior to starting the test
  • To produce a good webcam video, do the following:
    • Avoid wearing baseball caps or hats with brims
    • Ensure your computer or tablet is on a firm surface (a desk or table). Do NOT have the computer on your lap, a bed, or other surface where the device (or you) are likely to move
    • If using a built-in webcam, avoid tilting the screen after the webcam setup is complete
    • Take the exam in a well-lit room and avoid backlighting, such as sitting with your back to a window
  • Although not the intent of the monitoring, any act that is inadvertently caught through Monitor that is against the Conduct Code of Concordia University or is considered a criminal act, will be referred to the Dean of Students Office.

Watch this short video to learn more about Respondus LockDown Browser with Monitor:

For more information about using Respondus Monitor, review this Student Quick Start Guide:

Follow this link for Respondus Monitor system requirements:

It is recommended you use a laptop or desktop computer. Using an iPad with Respondus is not recommended. Google Chromebooks are not compatible with LockDown Browser.