Federation University has introduced an online exam supervision platform called Respondus Monitor & Lockdown Browser, which you will often see shortened simply to 'Respondus'.
Respondus has been introduced to provide students greater flexibility in terms of location for sitting invigilated theory assessments, and protecting the integrity of student grades.
How do I use Respondus?
Where enabled for certain courses, access to Respondus is incorporated into Moodle. Once logged into Moodle with your normal student login details, and navigating to an assessment link where Respondus has been enabled, you will be prompted to download 'Respondus Monitor & LockDown Browser' before you can commence.
You will generally use your own personal computer or laptop that meets the minimum standards required, and you must have administration rights to the device in order to install the software (ie a personal device, as opposed to a workplace device that limits what you can install).
It will not be possible to complete your Respondus assessment using a smartphone or tablet.
1. Getting started
Complete these steps to prepare for your exam
- Learn how Respondus Monitor & Lockdown browser works by watching this short video (Youtube)
- Install a recommended internet browser
If you don't already have Firefox or Google Chrome on your computer (Windows or Mac), we recommend you download and install one or both of these prior to accessing any assessments.
- Install the Respondus software
This can be downloaded from the Moodle shell of your course. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation. Unfortunately, Respondus can’t be installed on a mobile phone or tablet, it must be a personal computer or a laptop that you have administrative rights for.
- Maximise your Wi-Fi connection
If possible, connect your computer directly to your modem using a data lead. If this is not possible, sit as close as possible to the modem.
- Make sure you have your student ID or another valid form of photo ID
When you do the practice exam and your real exam you will need to have proof of identity. You can use either a government-issued photo ID, such as a drivers license or passport, or you may use your Federation University student ID card. If you haven't obtained a student ID card yet, visit Student ID cards for more information.
- Use your practice assessment opportunity
You will be notified by your Course coordinator when a practice assessment is available. It will be designed for you to be confident and comfortable with the Respondus process. You should aim to complete your practice assessment at least a week before your real one.
- Prepare your exam space
You will need to undertake your Respondus assessment in a space where you will not be interrupted. A coffee shop, park or a public space in a library is unlikely to be suitable.
The space where you take your Respondus assessment should be well lit, and free from noise and interruptions.
Your desk or table space should be clear of mobile phones, tablets and other devices - as well as clear of books, papers, sticky notes, notes pinned to the wall, and so on - unless specifically permitted for the assessment.
- If you feel you have no space that will be suitable
If you feel that you will be unable to complete your eExam online in your own space, for dedicated exam periods you can book a seat on-campus with the Exams Office.
Please do this at least two weeks prior to the exam by completing the change of exam location form.
Outside of a dedicated exam period, you can approach the Library on each campus for advice.
2. Practice exam
The absolute best way to prepare for your eExam is to complete a practice exam, before the day you need to complete the real one.
- When will I be able to complete my practice exam?
It will generally become available in the Moodle shell for your course a few weeks prior to the exam period, and your Course Coordinator will advise when it's available to access.
- Will the pre-checking of photo ID, room set up etc, eat into my exams time?
The timer for the exam does not start until the start-up sequence/pre-exam steps is complete.
- Can I access the exam via links in Moodle notifications or reminders?
No, you will need to log into Moodle so you have direct access to the unit and its exam.
- I can't figure out where to download LockDown Browser, where is it?
Respondus LockDown Browser can be downloaded from the Moodle shell of your course, if a Respondus eExam has been added to your exam timetable.
- What if I have issues with my practice exam?
If you have issues with your practice exam, we recommend booking a seat in an on-campus venue, where you can use the universities facilities. Just fill out the change of location form to request a place.
3. Exam day
- Dress appropriately
Please dress appropriately as you will be recorded and the recording may be viewed by your Course Coordinator or the Exams team.
- Do not wear hats or sunglasses during the online exam.
- If you are required to wear dark prescription glasses that could be mistaken for sunglasses, please let the Exams Office know in advance so we can make arrangements for you prior to the exam.
- Before logging in to take your exam
- Restart your computer to maximise computer speed
- Remove any non-religious head coverings
- If using Respondus Monitor or Live Invigilation have your Student ID or another form of photo ID ready
- Make sure you are located in a private, well-lit room with no one else around you
- Clear your workspace from all materials except those allowed by your Course Coordinator (phones, tablets, headphones etc)
- Close all third-party programs and unplug any secondary monitors
- Log into Moodle 10 minutes before your scheduled exam time
Once logged in, select the course and navigate to your test or exam.
- If the computer already has LockDown Browser installed, simply click the ‘Launch LockDown Browser’ button
- If the computer does not have LockDown Browser installed, please download it from the Moodle course shell
- If prompted to close a blocked program (e.g. screen capture, instant messaging), choose 'Yes'.
- Take a bathroom break before starting your exam
You are not allowed to leave the view of the webcam during the exam, and no breaks are permitted for visiting the bathroom.
- Complete the pre-checks
If you are required to use a webcam to record yourself during a test, a startup sequence will guide you through a webcam check and other items required by the instructor.
- The webcam check will confirm that your webcam and microphone are working properly
- The remaining steps of the startup sequence will depend on settings chosen by your instructor. Follow the instructions and note your progress along the top of the screen.
- If you encounter a problem, select the It’s not working link for troubleshooting tips
- The exam will begin after the startup sequence is complete - and do not exit LockDown Browser until your work has been submitted for grading.
- Take your eExam
- At the scheduled start time you’ll be able to access your exam in Moodle and you can begin.
- There is no separate reading time for an online exam
- Your answers will save automatically as you go, although there can be a few seconds delay, so it’s a good idea to also manually save as you go.
- Your webcam view and your screen will be recorded for the duration of your exam.
- Submit your work - eExam complete, congratulations!
4. Technical issues
- Error message on a Mac
An error message can occur during installation if you are running the High Sierra (10.13 to 10.13.6) version of OSX on your computer. To fix this error, ensure all updates have been actioned so your system is up to date.
- System requirements to install and run the LockDown Browser
View the system requirements for Respondus LockDown Browser
- Bluetooth devices and LockDown Browser
Any Bluetooth devices that you have paired with your computer should work.
- Password to access the exam
You will not require a password.
- Respondus requires me to use a webcam and it fails to detect it
If you are using an external webcam, ensure that it is plugged in properly and working.
- For Windows users: Run the Camera application to see if your webcam is operating.
- For Mac users: Check that permission has been granted for the browser to access your microphone and webcam. Further troubleshooting information can be found on the Respondus website MAC webcam and microphone troubleshooting.
- Further troubleshooting information is available on the Respondus website Webcam troubleshooting
- Can video monitoring be done without Lockdown Browser?
No, Lockdown Browser is a required component of Respondus Monitor.
- Can I use other software during the exam?
- When beginning an exam I receive a message 'Connecting to media server' and no further action occurs
This message indicates that your computer cannot establish the necessary connection in order to record video for your test. Visit the knowledge base for a detailed solution addressing the problem.
- Respondus fails to run properly as it states there are applications still running
LockDown Browser automatically detects applications that are not allowed and you will be notified to close these applications. If there are still active applications, you will need to exit the LockDown Browser and manually close the applications prior to attempting to access the exam again.
- I access my exam and receive an error message advising that there is a problem with the settings
If you receive this error you should first contact your teacher as they may need to ‘open the LockDown Browser Dashboard for the course’. If the l error persists, please access problem with settings on the Respondus website for troubleshooting tips
- What checks can I do by myself if I am experiencing problems during an exam?Depending on the type of problem you are experiencing, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take. If the issue is related to:
- Connectivity issues
- Your computer should be positioned as close as possible to the wireless router to ensure the best connectivity
- Close down other applications that may be running in the background as these will slow down your connection
- Close all other home network connections that may cause the internet to run slow. Respondus internet connectivity tips
- Nothing happens or there are error messages:
- Check that you are running the latest version of the LockDown Browser. Follow the link for instructions on how to perform this check and run any necessary updates
- Temporarily disable any anti-virus applications running on your computer and reactivate once the LockDown Browser isn’t in use
- Close any other communication or cloud storage programs running in the background (e.g. Spotify, Facebook, Skype, Dropbox)
- Uninstall and reinstall the LockDown Browser on your computer
- Connectivity issues
- What happens if I do not complete a time-limited exam within the time frame?
Once you have reached your time limit, the program will automatically close and the work you have done so far will be submitted. There is a timer on the bottom left-hand side of the screen which indicates the remaining exam time. The time at the bottom right-hand side indicates when the exam was last automatically saved.
- When I try to begin the exam, I receive an error message advising that the LockDown Browser has quit unexpectedly
This may be an issue with your security settings. If you have a security/anti-virus program installed, allow temporary access to LockDown Browser. If you are using a Mac you may need to run in Safe Mode.
- What will happen if the computer crashes half-way through the exam?
Your exam will save at regular intervals when using LockDown browser and monitor. If you experience a power outage during your exam and are unable to gain access back into your exam, contact your Course Coordinator immediately.
- I do not have a quiet space or reliable computer or Internet, what do I do?
You will need to sit your exam under exam conditions which means you need to undertake your exam in a space where you will not be interrupted. A coffee shop, park or a public space in a library would not be suitable. If you feel you will be unable to complete your eExam online you can book a seat on-campus with the Exams Office. Please do this at least two weeks prior to the exam by completing the change of exam location form.
- Who can view the recording of my exam?
Only your Course Coordinator and the Exams Office have access and can view the recording of your exam.\
- There is a problem with the LockDown Browser settings for this exam
When opening up Respondus LockDown Browser you get the message as per the image below:
- In the first instance of getting this message, please contact your Course Coordinator in case they can see an error on their end that can be easily fixed. If there is no visible error on the teachers view of the exam then see if the below helps fix your issue.
- The error is often caused by accessing the exam through a 'reminder' entry in a toolbar or calendar. It's important to access the exam by first navigating to the course and then going to the appropriate test area or content area
- If you are first going to the course, then to the content area, but the problem persists, the error could be caused by security settings on the computer, ISP, or network. In most cases, the problematic settings are on the computer itself.
- Please do the following steps one at a time and afterwards verify if the problem persists:
- Your computer, ISP, or network might be blocking access. Temporarily shut down all anti-virus and firewall software on the computer and try the exam again. If the problem persists, try using the computer on a different network, or using a different computer on your main network. Keep in mind that the block could be in the router itself. Bypassing the router and plugging straight into the modem may help
- If the error persists, reset your computer's internet options. For Windows users, go to control panel and select Network and Internet. Once there, click on 'Internet Options'. On the 'Security' tab, ensure that your settings are not higher than 'Medium'. On the Advanced tab, click 'Reset' located under the header 'Reset Internet Explorer Settings'. In the window that opens, select 'Delete Personal Settings' and then click on the Reset button. Doing this will impact all client browsers, not just Internet Explorer
- After resetting the internet options, restart your computer and try to access your exam again
- Ensure that you have the correct time and time zone set for your computer.
- Unexpected error when submitting the exam
On submitting your exam you receive an error: 'Unexpected error. Please contact the system administrator'.
If this occurs:
- Close down Respondus Monitor and go back into your unit in which the quiz was taken.
- Go to the quiz tool and check that your attempt was submitted. You can do this by selecting the Submissions option from the drop-down next to the quiz name. You will see all your attempts in a list here.
- For more information on the attempt - such as the date and time submitted, as well as any score and feedback released by your teacher, can be found by pressing on the attempt link.
- Error codes: -21, -105, -106, -115, -118
These error codes indicate a problem with your network, not with LockDown Browser. They will often be accompanied by a message that says 'Failed to load page. Please check network connection.'
If you receive any of these errors, use a different network to tackle your exam.
Errors that indicate a network problem include:
- The network changed. (-21)
- The host name could not be resolved (-105)
- The Internet connection has been lost (-106)
- The proxy requested authentication (for tunnel establishment) with an unsupported method (-115)
- A connection attempt timed out (-118)
- Unable to retrieve settings from the Respondus server
This error indicates the Respondus Monitor start-up cannot access the Respondus servers to retrieve certain settings established by the instructor. Sometimes, you will see various error codes accompany the error, such as: 0x0002.
- The error is often caused by accessing the exam through a 'reminder' entry in a toolbar or calendar. It's important for you to access the exam by first navigating to the course and then going to the appropriate test area or content area
- If you are sure that you are accessing the quiz following the instructions in step #1 above, the problem could be caused by security settings on your computer, ISP, or network. In most cases, the problematic settings are on the computer itself. Please do the following steps one at a time and afterwards verify if the problem persists
- If the error persists, reset your computer's internet options. For Windows users, go to control panel and select 'Network and Internet.' Once there, click on 'Internet Options'. On the 'Security' tab, ensure that your settings are not higher than 'Medium'. On the Advanced tab, click 'Reset' located under the header 'Reset Internet Explorer Settings'. In the window that opens, select 'Delete Personal Settings' and then click on the Reset button. Doing this will impact all client browsers.
- After resetting the internet options, restart your computer and try to access your exam again.
- Ensure that you have the correct time and time zone set for your computer
- Sometimes a slow network connection can cause a timeout to occur, resulting in the error. Using a faster connection might help
- Font size is too small during the LockDown Browser exam
- You can increase the zoom level in your browser. Just click on the 'i' icon in the toolbar at the top of the screen
- This will open a new window (titled 'Respondus LockDown Browser – Information'), where you can adjust the zoom level.
- Select your preferred zoom level, and then click ‘Apply’ and click ‘OK’ to close the information window
- Additional resources
- Respondus troubleshooting tips
- Respondus internet connectivity tips
- Respondus Knowledge base (links to Respondus)
- Resources on LockDown browser
- Resources on Respondus Monitor
- Link to download Respondus LockDown Browser
- Respondus student guide to installing LockDown Browser
- Respondus Student Quick Start Guide
Privacy protection in eExams
We have introduced online exams to provide students greater flexibility in terms of their location for taking invigilated theory exams.
Our online students are located across Victoria, Australia and the world, and for many getting to an exam centre can be a real problem. Respondus will mean a large majority of students can complete an invigilated theory exam in their own home.
We have undertaken comprehensive reviews of the Respondus system, processes, procedures and policies and all privacy and security is assured to the highest standard.
Federation University’s Disability and Learning Access Unit is there to support our students who may need reasonable adjustments for disability, medical, mental health conditions or for those caring for others with a disability.
Students can seek advice regarding strategies for completing assessment, and these include adjustments to exam conditions, such as additional time or use of assistive technologies.
All adjustments must be formally recommended by the Disability and Learning Access Unit, and are based on the individual needs of each student. These adjustments may be added into individual settings in Moodle, or managed in other ways as needed.
Contact the service to discuss your needs as soon as possible to allow time for your requirements and the exam conditions to be considered and adjustments identified.
- Ensure that use of any assistive technology that you'll need to complete your online exam is listed on your timetable, to ensure that it has been taken into account
- Complete the practice test to become familiar with using Respondus