Online Testing Support - Using the LockDown Browser
Using the LockDown Browser

Advanced Blackboard testing options are available to ACC instructors through a desktop software package called Respondus. This software enables instructors to:

  • Convert previously created exams from Word or other text documents into Bb
  • Utilize test banks from book publishers in a Bb course
  • Develop and deliver secure, computer based tests within Bb


General Information and Reference

Processes and Procedures


Tutorials & Guides

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General Information and Reference

General Information and Reference


ACC instructors now have access to a powerful exam creation tool that enables them to:

  • develop secure, computer based exams within Blackboard.
  • convert previously developed test questions in Word or other documents formats into Blackboard exams (e.g.: both secure and non-secure).
  • access test bank questions from text book publishers used in a course.

Exams can either be secure or non-secure. Secure exams are delivered only in an ACC Testing Center, and non-secure exams are available for students within their appropriate Bb course content area.

What are the Advanced Blackboard Testing Options?

Advanced Blackboard Testing Options enable an ACC instructor to offer secure, computer based exams within Blackboard. These exams are delivered only in an ACC Testing Center or other authorized facility. The exams are developed using a desktop software application called Respondus. Exams are created or converted on an instructor's local computer using Respondus and then the exam is uploaded to that instructor's Bb course site.

Respondus is a powerful tool for creating, managing and publishing exams within Blackboard. It enhances the functionality and usability of Blackboard's quiz, testing and survey tools. It also provides seamless synchronization of print-based and online quizzes, tests and surveys. Blackboard is required in order to use Respondus.

Respondus enables instructors to offer secure or non secure exams. In addition to security levels, ACC instructors can select from the following online test options:

  • Time limit and forced completion
  • Number of retakes and the days between retakes (if applicable)
  • Date(s) test will be available
  • Monitored/proctored exam
  • Pass/Fail thresholds
  • Amount of automation (e.g.; all system graded, part system graded and part instructor graded--essay/short answer, etc.)
  • Feedback to be displayed at completion of exam (e.g.; score, right and wrong answers, etc.)

Respondus' proprietary software can be installed on a faculty member's local system. Once the Respondus application software has been installed, assessments can be created and uploaded directly to Blackboard.

ACC faculty members can have secure, computer-based test results generated automatically for common types of questions (e.g.; True/False, Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer, Numeric Questions, Matching, etc.). Essay tests can also be given with follow up grading by the instructor.

The results from submitted assessments are automatically sent to the instructor's Gradebook within Blackboard.

Some of the most effective uses for Respondus are the following:

  • Convert exam documents (Word or text) into Blackboard
  • Utilize pre-existing publisher test data bank files (cartridges)
  • Modify existing online Blackboard exams to be secure exams available at an ACC Testing Center or other authorized site
  • Create a secure, online exam for a course

Since the same type of exam questions (multiple choice, true false, multiple answer, etc.) can be created by an instructor using existing Blackboard features, Respondus would be advantageous in some of the following circumstances:

  • an instructor has documents with several existing exam questions that he or she would like to convert and make available within Blackboard.
  • there is a compelling need to offer a secure, computer-based exam using Blackboard.
  • exam questions within Blackboard need to be converted into another file format or document (e.g.: Word, text, etc.)
  • an instructor wants to take advantage of course publisher test banks.

Instructors must have a Blackboard account to use Respondus.

For more information on Respondus, visit their website at

View a demonstration on the features and functions of Respondus for Blackboard.

Learn more about Advanced Blackboard Testing Options.

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Getting Started & Obtaining Advanced Bb Testing Software (Faculty Only)

The Respondus software resides on an instructor's local computer. Tests are created locally and then uploaded to the Blackboard server. These tests are then available within one of Blackboard's course content areas. Previously created assessments can also be retreived from the Blackboard site and downloaded to an instructor's local computer.

Only instructors with Blackboard accounts can use Respondus.

To request a copy of the advanced Blackboard testing options software (Respondus Authoring Tool) to dowload, complete the form at: hl=en_US&formkey=dF9SZXplVUN4NHIxakx3cDlPOVByMGc6MQ#gid=0 and access to the software will be provided.

Follow the instructions on installing the Respondus Authoring Tool onto your desktop.

ACC has licensed Respondus to be available through an internal, password protected server. The Respondus exam authoring software is available to be installed on a local system in the same way that other software packages are installed (i.e. MS Word, Adobe Acrobat, etc.).

The Respondus software contains a number of publishing options which enable an instructor to publish their exams directly to their Blackboard course.

In order for exams which are created on an instructor's local system to be uploaded to the ACC Blackboard server, an instructor will need to input some settings into Respondus.

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Connecting to Blackboard (Bb Settings)

Exam questions are created or converted on an instructor's local system and then uploaded to Blackboard.

In order to upload exam files into a Blackboard course, settings need to be inputted into Respondus' local desktop software. The local system must have an internet connection. An instructor will only have to make this connection one time per course. After the initial connection is made, future exams can be uploaded automatically by the instructor.

The instructor inputs the URL for the ACC Bb site, logs in using his or her user ID and password and then enters the course information. Once the course information has been entered, the instructor selects the Bb content area to upload the exam (syllabus, course documents, assignments, etc.)

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Types of Respondus Assessments

There are two types of exams which can be delivered via Blackboard. The first type is a non secure exam and the other type is a secure exam. Both types of exams are created on an instructor's local computer using Respondus and then uploaded to the Blackboard server. The instructor chooses the Blackboard content area where the exam will be located. (e.g.;. Course Documents, Assignments, Syllabus, etc.)

Respondus is used primarily by individual instructors who want to generate a secure or non secure exam within Blackboard, whereas ACC's other online testing software, Question Mark, is used for standardized institution-wide or department-wide exams.

Non secure exams are open to students and available within the applicable Blackboard content area for the date(s) specified by the instructor. Non secure and secure exams are basically created the same way, the main difference between the two is that non secure exams do not require a LockDown browser and non secure exams are not administered and delivered in an ACC Testing Center. As soon as a non secure exam is uploaded to Blackboard, it can be made available for students.

Non secure assessments are typically be used for:

  • Quizzes
  • Surveys
  • General student interactive exercises, activities or concept reviews
  • Topic or chapter summaries
  • Study guides
  • Pre/post exam reviews

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Secure exams are created and uploaded to Blackboard in the same way as non-secure exams. The main differences with secure exams are:

  • Instructors must select the LockDown Browser option when creating or converting secure tests on their local system
  • Students must take a secure, online exam at an ACC Testing Center or other authorized location.

For additional information and assistance on how to create a secure online exam, contact an Instructional Development Specialist located at an ACC campus near you.

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Role of the ACC Testing Centers and Testing Center Administration

All secure, computer based exams or assessments are administered in an ACC Testing Center or other authorized location.

Whenever an instructor requires students to access an assessment using Respondus' LockDown Browser, the delivery of the assessment must occur in a Testing Center.

Before making a secure, computer based test available to students, it is important to familiarize yourself with Testing Center Administration information.

Non secure exams are NOT administered in the Testing Centers. Instead, they are delivered in one of the content areas of Blackboard (e.g.; Assignments, Course Documents, Syllabus, etc.)

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Processes and Procedures

Creating Online Tests

Once an instructor has acquired and installed the Respondus software, he or she can create secure and non secure exams directly from a local computer.

An instructor has the following options when creating an online test:

Respondus Main Screen

In order to test the functioning of an exam using the LockDown browser, an instructor will either need to take a sample test at one of the testing centers or request to have a LockDown Browser installed on their local systems.

Watch a demo on how to publish an exam to Blackboard.

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Establishing Settings for Secure Exams

  1. Select the Settings Tab along the top of Respondus' main development page

  2. Select the Settings option along the left side of the Settings screen

Respondus' Setting Screen

An instructor can choose to make the content available, allow multiple attempts, force the completion of an exam, set a time limit, and establish a date and time when the exam will be available.

Secured online testing enables faculty to author, schedule, deliver, and track test questions within a secured desktop computer environment. An instructor would create or convert the test questions on his or her local system, select the LockDown browser option within the test creation software (see below) and upload the test to Blackboard.

Using the LockDown Browser

The instructor can also choose to have the words Requires Respondus LockDown Browser added to the title of the exam within Blackboard. If an instructor wants this, he or she merely has to check the At the end of the exam title, display the text 'Requires Respondus LockDown Browser option.

Lock Down Browser Options

In addition to selecting Respondus LockDown Browser (a requirement for implementing a secure exam), an instructor can also require students or a proctor to enter a password to access an exam. The password protection option can only be used, however, if the instructor has made the LockDown Browser a requirement.

Password Protect Screen

Demonstration and more information on the LockDown Browser.

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Scheduling Tests

The scheduling of non secure exams within Blackboard occurs whenever an instructor posts the assessment to a Blackboard content area, or when the assessment's availability date is within the range specified for the assessment.

When scheduling secure exams within the Testing Centers, it is very important to inform your students how they can access the exam and the information they will need.

The ACC Testing Centers which have computers for secure online testing are:

  • RVS
  • RGC
  • NRG
  • PIN
  • EVC
  • SAC
  • FBG
  • RRH

The students will need their Blackboad user ID and password, and they need to need to inform the Testing Center staff the exam they are taking is within Blackboard. In addition, students must present a valid ACC Student ID Card.

A secure assessment will only be available to a student during the time period that has been specified by the instructor, if applicable.

Students who are new to the ACC Testing Centers should familiarize themselves with the Testing Center policies and procedures.

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Delivering Secure Online Tests

Secure online tests are delivered via a Testing Center computer. When a student has submitted an exam, the grades, points and results are posted to the instructor's Gradebook. Students must check with their instructor to obtain the assessment results NOT the Testing Center staff. The Testing Center staff does not have access to any assessment result information.

Non secure assessments are simply delivered in the Blackboard content area specified by the instructor.

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Retrieving Test Results

The assessment results are posted to the instructor's Gradebook within Blackboard and can be accessed by the instructor once a secure, computer based test is submitted by the student.

If the instructor has issued an assessment with only multiple choice, true/false, or multiple response type of questions, then the results for the exam are available immediately after the student submits his or her exam.

If, however, the instructor has short answer and essay type questions, he or she will need to manually grade those questions and assign a point value before the student's total score would be available.

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Advanced Blackboard Testing Options Support

There are a variety of technical support resources from the Respondus web site.

In addition, once the Advanced Blackboard Testing Options software (Respondus) has been installed on your system, there is a easy to use and comprehensive help feature. To access the help guides, locate the question mark icon "?" located in the upper task bar. Double click or right click on it to open the software's help references.

Additional Respondus support include the following:

ACC Support

Faculty members who experience issues with the application or who need assistance in developing their assessments, contact an instructional development specialist at your campus.

To download the advanced Blackboard testing software, complete an ACC online software request form.

Print a copy of the software installation instructionsOpen external Word document.

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General Reference and Information

How to to Take a Secure Online Test

All secure computer tests are administered in an ACC Testing Center. Students taking secure online tests need to familiarize themselves with Testing Center guidelines and procedures.

Students will need to present a valid ACC Student ID Card, and they will need to know how to access their computer-based test. The user ID and password to access a Respondus test are the same ones used to log into Blackboard.

If an instructor has specified additional password-protection for the test, then either the student will be required to enter that password to access the exam, or a Testing Center proctor will need to enter the password to log the student in. The instructor will inform the student if an additional password is required to access a secure, computer based exam.

During the test, students need to read the exam instructions carefully, and answer all the questions presented.

Once a student has submitted his or her exam, the results are automatically posted to the instructor's Gradebook within Blackboard. Students need to check with their instructors to get their assessment results. Instructors are the only ones with access to exam results. The Testing Center staff DOES NOT HAVE ACCESS TO EXAM RESULTS.

If a student experiences problems when accessing or taking a secure, computer based test within Blackboard, they need to contact the instructor.

A printable, quick reference guideOpen external Word document is available to assist you in taking a secure, computer based exam.

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