Online Testing and Respondus

How does online testing work?

The instructor determines how tests are administered.  Be sure to read and understand the testing requirements for each online class.

If you have problems with accessing a test or getting locked out of an online test, be sure to contact your instructor immediately. The IVCC Student Help Desk staff may or may not be able to resolve issues related to online testing.  Student Help Desk staff cannot reset a test attempt for a student.

Plan Ahead

  • You should have a laptop or computer available. Depending on the type of test, a smartphone or iPad/tablet may not be supported. The Academic Support Center has computers available during their hours of operation.
  • You may be able to take your test through Blackboard and any browser or you may be required to use special software, called Respondus. You may also need a webcam and a microphone.
  • Your instructor will indicate if Respondus LockDown Browser or Respondus Monitor (with a webcam and microphone) is required.
  • Be sure you know the date and time of your test and how much time you have to complete the test.
  • Find out from your instructor if notes or other materials are permitted while taking the test.  Do not assume they are allowed.
  • Use a wired or strong wireless connection to the internet.  Use of a hotspot to take online tests is not recommended. 
  • Download and install Respondus in advance of your test; do not wait until the last minute!

What is Respondus?

  • Respondus LockDown Browser - an application installed to your computer or laptop which allows you to access only Blackboard and no other applications while using the browser.
  • Respondus Monitor - an application which utilizes the LockDown Browser and requires a webcam and a microphone. The browser and monitor allow you to access only Blackboard and no other applications, and records your testing session.
  • Learn about Respondus LockDown Browser at Respondus Quick Start Guide.
  • Your instructor may allow for the use of a calculator or an external website during your test. If these tools are permitted during testing, your instructor will provide details.
  • Respondus LockDown Browser can be installed on a Chromebook, laptop, or desktop computer. Visit the computer requirements for installation of Respondus LockDown Browser for details. Note that ALEKS and Pearson versions of Respondus used for Math courses do not work with a Chromebook. 
  • You must be an administrator of the computer to install Respondus. If you are not using your own computer you may not be able to download the required software.

Download and Install Respondus LockDown Browser

  1. Go to Download LockDown Browser.
  2. Click Install Now and follow the prompts.

When finished installing, Windows users can locate the LockDown Browser icon on their desktops; MacBook users can locate the LockDown Browser icon in their Applications folders; and Chromebook users can open the test in Blackboard to launch the Respondus LockDown Browser extension.

To run a Respondus system check, log into LockDown Browser, select Help Center?, choose either LockDown Browser only or LockDown Browser with a webcam, then choose System Check to check your bandwidth, latency, ports, webcam, microphone, and recording.

If you installed Respondus LockDown Browser in a previous semester, you can check for a newer version. To do this, open LockDown Browser, select the "i" with the circle (info), and choose "check for newer version." From here, you may choose to update LockDown Browser if necessary.

ALEKS and Pearson LockDown Browser

If you are taking math courses, you may be required to download the ALEKS or Pearson version of LockDown Browser. Check with your instructor for which version you need.

  1. To download Respondus for ALEKS, visit ALEKS LockDown Browser Requirements, and select the download link according to your operating system. When taking a test, navigate to the test in the browser of your choice. When you are about to start the test, hit Open LockDown Browser.
  2. To download Respondus for Pearson, navigate to the test. There should be a download link provided for you in the test itself.

Please note that ALEKS and Pearson versions of Respondus are NOT supported on Chromebooks.

Create a Good Testing Environment

  • Test in a quiet place.
  • Stop all other internet services (Netflix, Zoom, Hulu, etc.) which may take up bandwidth.
  • Connect directly to your Wi-Fi router using an ethernet cable for best conditions. If you make a wired connection, be sure your Wi-Fi signal is strong before beginning your test. The closer you are to the router, the better the signal. We do not recommend using a hotspot for online testing.
  • Close all other programs on your computer.


  • If you begin the test and the test prompts you for a password, you may not be using the LockDown Browser. Log in to Blackboard through LockDown Browser, not Firefox, Chrome, or another browser.
  • If you experience any technical issues, such as the test closing before you are finished or your internet connection fails, report the problem(s) immediately to your instructor.
  • If you use Respondus Monitor and encounter problems connecting to the Respondus media servers to record video, review the information at Respondus Monitor Media Server Error.
  • If you need access to a computer with Respondus LockDown Browser installed,  visit the IVCC Academic Support Center.  Visit the Student Help Desk or Library webpages for hours.

  • If you need technical assistance, contact the Student Help Desk, submit a ticket, 815-224-0318, or A-201 in the Academic Support Center on the Oglesby Campus.