Respondus is a software tool to develop and manage exams. It is available free to ACC faculty for both your office and home computer.
Respondus also enables instructors to upload exams into Blackboard without having to retype those questions in Blackboard. Then, in Blackboard, make the exam secure using the Blackboard Respondus LockDown Browser tool.
Faculty need to know that:
- The creation of exams via Respondus is usually faster and easier than creating assessments in Blackboard™.
- Exams may be created in a text editor or Word and imported into Respondus.
- Thousands of publisher test banks are compatible with Respondus and can be accessed if the textbook has been adopted for the course.
- Exams may be uploaded to Blackboard and delivered as an online exam either non-secure or secure using the Respondus LockDown Browser in the Testing Centers
- Exams may be printed from Respondus.
- Exams and reports may be downloaded from Blackboard.
Preparing Computer-Based English Departmental Exams
Secure, computer-based English departmental exams are now available in the ACC Testing Centers. These tests are only delivered via Blackboard. Therefore, in order to make this option available to your students, you must have a Blackboard course.
Download the step by step process for preparing computer-based English departmental exams (PDF).
Create and Publish Tests
- Take the online tutorial
- Register for Professional Development Credit IDS: Respondus Desktop Application and Blackboard Respondus LockDown Browser Tool
- Download the Instructor Quick Start Guide (PDF) from Respondus.
- Learn how to format for importing different types of questions (PDF).
Blackboard LockDown Browser
The Blackboard Building Block for Respondus LockDown Browser Tool is usually enabled within Blackboard. The Blackboard Building Block for Respondus LockDown Browser is a Blackboard tool which requires the lock-down browser for secure testing in the Testing Center. Students taking secure exams in the Testing Center cannot view other webpages, copy, print, save or open another application. If an exam is already in Blackboard, faculty can easily make the exam non-secure or secure with the Respondus Building Block tool.
Step-by-step directions (PDF) to make an exam secure for testing the in Testing Centers.
Directions (PDF) to enable Respondus LockDown Browser tool.
Non-Secure or Secure Assessments
Two types of exams can be delivered via Blackboard: non-secure exams and secure exams. Both may be created on an instructor’s local computer using Respondus and then uploaded to Blackboard.
Non-secure exams are accessible to students through Blackboard. Often test-for-understanding or practice exams are delivered non-secure via Blackboard. Students may take these exams anywhere they have a computer and connectivity to the Internet. All faculty can develop and administer non-secure tests for their Blackboard courses. The main difference between secure and non-secure exams is that non-secure exams do not require a LockDown Browser and are not delivered in the ACC Testing Centers. As soon as a non-secure exam is uploaded to Blackboard, it can be made available to students.
For Secure exams, instructors must use the Blackboard LockDown Browser tool to make exams secure. Students must take a secure exam at an ACC Testing Center. Secure tests are major exams such as mid-terms and finals. Secure tests must be taken in the Testing Centers. Only specific courses are approved for secure testing in the Testing Centers. In addition, up to 25% of students enrolled in a course who miss the initial exam may take a make-up exam and students who score low on the initial exam may retest in the Testing Centers.
NOTE: It is strongly recommended that instructors make paper-based copies of their exams available in the Testing Centers in case there is a technical issue with the computer-based exam. Instructors should go to the Testing Center to check their exam.
Validate Exam is Secure
Validate that your exam is secure and may only be taken in an ACC Testing Center.
- Click on the exam in your ACC course.
- Click Begin to take the exam.
- A window to input a password displays. (Note: The student does not need a password to take the exam in the Testing Centers. The password is for the Testing Center computers to communicate with the Respondus LockDown browser.)
Respondus is a desktop application that enables instructors to create Blackboard exams from correctly formatted exams created in MS Word, text format or compatible test banks. Respondus also enables instructors to upload exams into Blackboard without having to retype those questions in Blackboard. Then, in Blackboard make the exam secure using the Blackboard Respondus LockDown Browser tool.
Complete the online form to request Respondus software.
After you submit the form, the system administrator will give you permission to access the installation file. You will be notified via your email. The email will contain required information such as the installation password and a link to these instructions. You must be connected to the ACC network.
After you receive the email from the system administrator, complete the following steps:
- Click the Start icon on the left-side of the taskbar along the bottom of your computer screen.
- In the “Search programs and files” text box type: \\irtgroups\RespondusAuthor. \\irtgroups\RespondusAuthor.
- A login dialog box appears. Use the User ID and login password (not the installation password) in the text boxes provided.
- Double click on the Respondus4Campus.exe file to launch the Install shield wizard. If you see a login window, input your ACCeID username and password.
- Follow the prompts which display during the installation process. (It is recommended to use the default directories already established by Respondus).
- Select the “I accept” option.
- Proceed through the setup screens by selecting Next.
- When window displays asking if you want to install the Equation Editor. Select No.
- Click the Finish button.
Double-click on the Respondus4 Campus-Wide icon on your computer desktop.
- For the Institution Name type: Austin Community College.
- In the Support Contact box, type: System Administrator.
- Copy and paste the Installation password sent to you by the system administrator.
- Select License.
- Select Blackboard 7.x-9.x in the Personality dialog box pull down menu.
- Click X to close the Respondus Newsletter request screen.
- The Respondus Authoring Tool will launch with the Blackboard 7.x-9.x personality information already displayed on the main interface page.
After you have installed the Respondus Authoring Tool on your computer, you are ready to create an exam, download an exam from your Blackboard course(s), or print an exam.
Contact Peg Raiford, firstname.lastname@example.org, 512-223-9187 for assistance with installation on a home computer.
ACC is required to update the license key on an annual basis on July 31st.
Each instructor who is registered to use the Respondus Authoring Tool, will automatically receive an updated license key via email.
It is important to ensure that you have the latest version and most recent updates for the Respondus Authoring Tool. To ensure you have the most recent version of Respondus, do the following:
- Open the Respondus Authoring tool
- Select the Check For Update option from the Help pull down menu
- Make sure that the most recent Blackboard version is displayed in the Current Personality pull down menu on the Respondus Authoring Tool’s main page