Lockdown Browser: What It Is and How It Works for Online Tests and Exams

In the era of online learning and remote education, online assessments and tests have become increasingly popular. However, they also pose a significant challenge when it comes to maintaining academic integrity. To prevent cheating and other unauthorized activities during online tests and exams, educational institutions use a specialized web browser known as a lockdown browser.

What Is a Lockdown Browser?

A lockdown browser is a dedicated web browser that prevents students from accessing other applications, software, or websites during an online assessment or exam. It is designed to lock down the student’s device and ensure that they can only access the test material and nothing else. This helps to maintain academic integrity and prevent cheating during the test.

How Does a Lockdown Browser Work?

A lockdown browser works by disabling all applications, software, or websites other than the test-taking platform. This means that the student cannot access their notes, other browsers, messaging apps, or anything else that might be used to cheat. Lockdown browsers typically require students to download and install the software on their device before the test. Once the software is installed, the student can only access the designated test-taking platform until the test is completed. The lockdown browser also has additional features such as webcam monitoring, which allows invigilators to monitor students in real-time, ensuring that they are not engaging in any unauthorized activities during the exam.

Examples of Lockdown Browsers

There are several lockdown browser options available in the market. Some of the popular ones include:

  1. Respondus LockDown Browser: This lockdown browser is widely used in educational institutions and is compatible with Windows, macOS, and iPad. It locks down the computer or device, preventing the student from accessing other applications or websites.
  2. ExamSoft: This is a comprehensive exam management system that includes a lockdown browser feature. It is used by several institutions, including law schools, medical schools, and other certification programs.
  3. Honorlock: This is a remote proctoring service that includes a lockdown browser feature. It uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to detect suspicious behavior during the exam.

Lockdown browsers are an effective tool for maintaining academic integrity during online assessments and exams. They ensure that students are not engaging in any unauthorized activities and are completing the test within a controlled environment. While lockdown browsers may not be foolproof, they are an essential tool for educators to ensure academic integrity in the digital age.

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