Preparing for Online Testing

Plan Ahead

  • 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 webacm and a microphone.
  • Your instructor will indicate if Respondus LockDown Browser or Respondus Monitor (with a webcam and microphone) is required.  If you are required to use Respondus Monitor to record your test, you will need the LockDown Browser. 
  • 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.
  • 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 allows 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 cannot be installed on a Chromebook; a desktop or laptop computer is required (Windows 10, 8, or 7 or MacOS 10.12 to 10.15; 2GB RAM; 200MB of free hard disk space).
  • If you are using a computer at a public library or other location where you do not have installation rights to the computer, you may not be able to download the required software.

Access to Computers, Internet, Webcams, and Tech Support at IVCC

  • If you need access to a computer, the internet, and/or a webcam, you may visit the IVCC Learning Commons (D-201) or Library on the Oglesby Campus.  Visit the Learning Commons or Library web pages for hours.  You may also visit the Ottawa Center.  Visit the Ottawa Center web page for hours.
  • If you need technical assistance, contact the Student Help Desk at shd@ivcc.edu, 815-224-0318, or D-201 in the Learning Commons on the Oglesby Campus.  Visit the Student Help Desk website for hours. 

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.

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.

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.
  • Avoid repeatedly saving answers; this could use up more bandwidth.

Troubleshooting

  • 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, the internet, and/or a webcam, you may visit the IVCC Learning Commons or Library.  Visit the Learning Commons or Library web pages for hours.

  • If you need technical assistance, contact the Student Help Desk, shd@ivcc.edu, 815-224-0318, or D-201 in the Learning Commons on the Oglesby Campus.