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Respondus Lockdown Browser for Windows

  • Trial version
  • In English
  • V 2.0.8.05
  • 3.1
  • (178)
  • Security Status

Softonic review

Xavier Slim
Xavier SlimUpdated 3 months ago

Academic software for test taking

Respondus LockDown Browser is a tool that locks almost the entire PC to make sure that students take tests correctly. The browser may seem like an academic solution to dishonesty, however, students have still found out how to cheat with Respondus LockDown Browser. The Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor must access the PC, webcam, and microphone for the student to take tests with the remote proctoring tool.

Honorlock and Proctorio are alternatives to Respondus LockDown Browser. Each proctoring tool expands your web browser to lock browsing capabilities. Students are limited to basic navigation actions. Honorlock and Proctorio are both Google Chrome browser extensions, whereas Respondus does not need Chrome to work.

What does Respondus LockDown Browser see?

While Respondus LockDown Browser replaces the need for human proctors during exams, the software can see much more than what a person can. Since the Respondus Monitor uses the webcam and microphone, the program blatantly invades student privacy.

Respondus LockDown Browser controls the computer or laptop that the software is installed on. Respondus takes control of the screen, webcam, and microphone to proctor exams. The Respondus Browser can see both the virtual content on your desktop and your physical surroundings in the room.

The software is available for school and home settings on Microsoft Windows PC computers and laptops. The academic program is often used as a remote tool when students must take tests from home. Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor integrates into Learning Management Systems: Blackboard, Brightspace, Canvas, Moodle, Schoology, and Sakai. Students need to install Respondus LockDown Browser and then log into the LMS.

Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor prevents students from accessing applications and websites, aside from the designated test. Test takers cannot use email and instant messaging services when the LockDown Browser is enabled, and documents and notes are not available either. The proctoring service blocks the right mouse click and function keystrokes. Even source codes are disabled.

Does Respondus LockDown Browser record you?

Remote proctoring software is invasive to personal privacy since your webcam and microphone must be turned on to record footage when you take exams. The program requires you to show your environment with your webcam in a virtual tour. The recording gets stored to let the teacher review your actions. The technology goes insofar as to make assumptive decisions as to whether the test takers are being honest.

Respondus goes further than just locking and monitoring the test-taking session since the Artificial Intelligence flags certain behaviors as appropriate and inappropriate. The ethicality of technology is questionable since the livelihood of academic careers can rely on the output of what technology deems as suitable.

How does LockDown Browser detect cheating?

The Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor notes whether the recorded behavior indicates cheating or not. The service delivers reports to the teachers with a low, medium, or high visual rating status.

In case the students look around or talk to someone, the program will flag the behavior. Respondus uses the microphone to track audio. Considering the program tracks eye movements, students are required to keep their faces constantly visible.

Respondus produces a rigid test-taking environment that does not encourage ease. Tests and exams are already sources of anxiety for certain students. The LockDown Browser and Monitor exacerbate that stress by invading privacy, relying on technology to make decisions. Luckily, teachers can review the feedback to overwrite the marks that Respondus made.

Teachers can watch the recording in addition to the Respondus AI, which further intrudes on privacy standards that students should be subject to. The remote proctoring model enforces students to prove their trustworthiness, while the tech company and educational staff do not need to. Test takers have even figured out how to cheat on Respondus LockDown Browser, which reveals the potential flaws that the system can have.

Invasive to student privacy

While schools often implement the Respondus Browser and Monitor with positive intentions, the technology oversteps privacy boundaries that students have. The browser and monitor track gestures, eye movements, sounds, and beyond. The footage gets rated based on what the tech deems to be appropriate or not.

What’s new?

The developers release new software updates for the LockDown Browser and the Respondus Monitor. Respondus has an additional educational tool called Studymate Campus that is focused on flashcards.

PROS

  • Focused on academic integrity

CONS

  • Assumptive AI
  • Controls your PC
  • Can be used to cheat
  • Uses camera to record you
  • Records sounds with microphone

Program available in other languages


Respondus Lockdown Browser for PC

  • Trial version
  • In English
  • V 2.0.8.05
  • 3.1
  • (178)
  • Security Status

User reviews about Respondus Lockdown Browser

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Laws concerning the use of this software vary from country to country. We do not encourage or condone the use of this program if it is in violation of these laws.