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Changes often force us to adapt in ways we’ve never experienced, which can be a major driver of personal (and even professional) growth and development.

Respondus Tools for Canvas

Online Assessment Options   |  Requirements    |   How to enable LockDown Browser

NOTE: Respondus Monitor will expire on July 30, 2021.

Please be aware that Monitor will expire so that you can prepare alternative assessments that do not require its proctoring services. Lock-Down Browser had been used before the pandemic and will be renewed for the 2021-22 academic year. Please visit the CTLT Assessments for Virtual Instruction webpage to peruse these resources.
The CTLT is offering a four-session virtual workshop, Assignment and Assessment Design with Academic Integrity in Mind, beginning July 22. Registration will be available soon on the CTLT Summer 2021 Workshops webpage. For more immediate support with alternative assessments, contact Dr. Dianna Winslow.


Cal Poly has used Respondus LockDown Browser for a while (before COVID). LockDown Browser is just a secure browser that does not allow students to print, open new windows/tabs, or move outside of the quiz to other programs while taking a quiz. LockDown Browser is a great resource for on-site proctoring in campus labs.   Respondus Monitor (added after COVID) is an additional tool to LockDown Browser. Monitor is a video monitoring service that uses the Lockdown Browser. It serves as a deterrent to students using secondary computers, phones, calculators, textbooks, or receiving assistance from other students.  After a student has taken an exam, instructors can review sessions to check for any suspect behavior.  Monitor is suitable for low or medium-stakes exams that require student monitoring. Students can use either an internal or external webcam with Monitor.
NOTE: although these tools can help prevent cheating, it is not 100% prevention. 

Equity & Privacy

Now that we are all teaching virtually and exams are online, the rapid response to using video proctoring can be problematic for our students.

  • Not all students have webcams.
  • Not all students have a private space to be videoed.
  • Not all our students have the network to support video recording.
  • Some skin colors can be difficult to video (the video can't distinguish features easily - false positives can occur).
  • Not all students can prevent obstacles or interruptions (shared living space).
  • Additional stress. 
  • Testing applications can flag students for talking out loud. Many students with learning disabilities need to talk out loud to help process the information. 

Respondus LockDown Browser (alone - not with Monitor) is a less intrusive methods that does not require webcams. 


Please review how to create a Secure Quiz in Canvas before you continue with Respondus. You can use Cal Poly's Learning Management System to Assess Student Learning (Canvas) before you jump into Test Proctoring. 


Before you start - Your students will need:

  • They need a computer or Chromebook (not a phone).
  • They will need reliable internet.
  • They will need a web camera.
  • Antivirus or security software can prevent students from installing downloaded software.
  • Some students may not have admin access to the computer they are using to install software. 

Be aware that if the student has family or roommates living with them, there may be "false positives".   

If your students do NOT have the tools, you will need to provide accommodations. Students can also receive technical resources either by their departments or

LockDown Browser Accessibility information


Using Respondus LockDown Browser ON Campus

LockDown Browser is available to instructors using Canvas as an LTI (3rd party tool) by OCOB, who purchased a license for this year ending in June 2020. LockDown Browser was renewed by ITS. Students would need to install LockDown Browser on their own computers or use a lab computer that the lab technician has installed LockDown Browser onto. Currently, only OCOB and some CAFES labs have the software. Please check with your students to see if they have their own computer or your department technician for department lab installation. 

Formative assessments in Canvas are low stakes, provide multiple attempts, can be an open book, and provides timely feedback. 
LockDown Browser is not recommended for Formative Assessments.

Summative assessments are an evaluation of student learning at the end of a module or unit. If you are teaching an online course and need to provide a summative assessment within Canvas, then LockDown Browser can provide a controlled environment. LockDown Browser is a custom browser that increases the security of online summative assessments in Canvas. When students use LockDown Browser to access a quiz, they are unable to print, copy, go to another URL, access other applications, or close a quiz until it is submitted for grading. Quizzes created for use with LockDown Browser cannot be accessed with standard browsers either. LockDown Browser works much like a standard browser, but some options have been removed or work differently.

NOTE: LockDown Browser cannot be used on the DRC Testing Center computers. Learn more

Courtesy of OCOB, Respondus LockDown Browser has been purchased for the academic year 2019-2020 (Summer 19 - Spring 20). ITS has renewed the contract for this academic year (2020-2021).   

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