Tool for limiting resource use during Canvas quizzes

Introducing – Respondus Lock down browser – this is a replacement for your web browser (Chrome, Edge, Firefox) which restricts the type of applications you can have open. Within Canvas (if you apply the right settings) you can create a quiz which can only be opened when a student is using the respondus lockdown browser.


From a student perspective, they need to use “responds lockdown browser” in place of their regular internet browser to open canvas. To launch the lockdown browser, students will need to have closed all other applications (messaging systems, email, word pressing, or calculation programs etc.). Once they have navigated to the quiz using the lockdown browser, – they are able to open, view and complete the quiz.

The lockdown browser, doesn’t offer invigilation (observation of the student doing the task), it just limits the types of things a student can interact with (on their computer) while completing their assessment.

How LockDown Browser Works

  • Assessments are displayed full-screen and cannot be minimized
  • Browser menu and toolbar options are removed, except for Back, Forward, Refresh and Stop
  • Prevents access to other applications including messaging, screen-sharing, virtual machines, and remote desktops
  • Printing and screen capture functions are disabled
  • Copying and pasting anything to or from an assessment is prevented
  • Right-click menu options, function keys, keyboard shortcuts and task switching are disabled
  • An assessment cannot be exited until the student submits it for grading
  • Assessments that are set up for use with LockDown Browser cannot be accessed with other browsers

Why you might use a lock down browser:

  • To minimise opportunities for student to copy the quiz questions (or answers)
  • To minimise opportunities to find information (or answers on google)

When is lockdown browser not helpful:

  • If students need to refer to standards or reference materials (think a PDF formula sheet, or digital copies of therapeutic guidelines)
  • If students need to use other programs (excel, matlab etc) to generate answers
  • If students need to upload files as answers (file upload is incompatible with the lockdown browser). If you have set this type of question students will just be unable to submit an answer the question.

How to use lockdown browser:


  1. Lockdown browser can be accessed from the navigation menu on the left hand side of the canvas course.
  2. The first time you click on the menu item you will need to allow access, then you will be taken to a welcome video which covers a little bit of how the lock down browser works.
  3. Once you have created your quiz (when and how you normally do)
  4. You will need to go into the Lockdown Browser menu item.
  5. When presented with a list of quizzes within your course
  6. Use the grey down arrow infront of the quiz name, to access the settings menu
  7. Then from the menu select the relevant options for your offering.
  8. Select save and close.
  9. Your quiz can now only be opened by a student using the lockdown browser.
The respondus lockdown browser dashboard
Figure 1 Within Canvas, access the lockdown browser from the navigation menu, then you are presented with a video or the respondus lockdown browser dashboard. To edit the setting for a quiz, you need to use the menu found within the grey box with a down arrow before the quiz name.





















Screenshot of quiz settings
Figure 2 Setting options for the LockDown browser. Note in this case, I have not required the lockdown browser to view the results -to improve the security of the task, I would not provide feedback or release results until after the task has been closed (within the Canvas Quiz settings).






















Screenshot of respondus lockdown browser dashboard
Figure 3 The Respondus LockDown Browser Dashboard, after the settings for the quiz have been adjusted. Note the Required in the second column (LockDown Browser) for the top quiz.














Screenshot of quiz with lockdown browser
Figure 4 This test was titled – Practice quiz (using lockdown browser) by changing the lockdown browser settings the “Requires Respondus LockDown Browser” was appended to the pre-existing quiz name.











The practice test created in is available for to move and use in your course. Please feel free to copy and adapt as required. Note, file upload style questions are NOT compatible with respondus lockdown browser.