Buzz: Product Feedback

Lockdown browsers for tests

Jodi Hook

Hi all

I would like for Buzz to create a lockdown brower for when students are taking tests. Google and Google Translate pages are just a click away.  A student can easily access answers to questions on tests because teachers cannot be looking at everyone's screen at the same time.  I would like to have Buzz to have the ability to automatically shut down if a student goes to another browser window while they are in test mode.  

Comments (39)

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Bruce Sharp

I don't know that locking down a browser is possible, but it would be a fantastic feature if Agilix can do it.

By the way, Jodi, one other thing to watch out for in language classes is that most computers have an auto-fill functions for filling out forms and such. They remember any word you type several times - like vocabulary. If a student types a word often enough in practice, the computer will remember it. Then on the assessment, as soon as they type the first few letters, the word will pop up spelled correctly (assuming they typed it correctly during practice).

Just a helpful FYI in case you hadn't already noticed. :)

Melissa Moreno

I agree.  Even as a math teacher I need this feature as well with the advent of sites like, and Wolframalpha that can solve problems for the students and show them all the steps to go with the solution.

Susan Carreno

I agree as well. If we want to hold our students to high standards, then we need to implement something like this.  This will allow us to more accurately assess if the content has been learned.


Agreed. We have many problematic issues because of browser drama. 


Bruce Sharp

It is my understanding that browsers can't lock down computers like we want. That's why any online standardized testing we do must be on school-owned computers. We have to install software (and control what else is installed) to ensure security. There is also the issue of kids taking screenshots of questions then sharing them.

In our Algebra course, we generally use Buzz for assignments (practice) and still assess on paper. The mastery aspect of that is great. Instead of a 40 question worksheet for everyone, we can write 10-15 questions. The kids who understand well enough to get it right the first time have less homework. The rest redo only the questions they need practice with. The use of variables (when possible) gives them a new question every time. (mostly) :) Sorry if I'm getting off topic. Maybe we should continue this in a new thread.

Hermione Zhang

That will be a great feature! If it's just a click away from translation it's hard for our students to stay honest... We need to help our students to "resist the temptation"as teachers!

Rachel Knipe

Locking the browser during assessments in Buzz is just one more layer we can provide to ensure testing security--- Our students, based all over the globe, could benefit from that additional measure of accountability! 

Melissa Moreno

That is not totally accurate Bruce.  There are other programs that do lock down browsers so that if the student clicks out of the test during the time the test is open, the browser will warn them and then submit the test.    Pearson uses them in MathXL and MyMathLab, so the programmers should be able to figure out how to do the same in Buzz.  It is a much needed feature.

Bruce Sharp

We are in agreement though Melissa. :) There are other programs that do this. One I've read about, for example, is called LockDown by Respondus. It is a web browser that is purpose built for testing. I've read of universities using this browser with BlackBoard. Maybe Agilix could code an option into the assessment tool that would check the students' browsers and only allow access to the assessment if they were in LockDown? The issue we have at my high school is that we don't want to require students to install anything on their personal devices. I'm guessing that is so we can't be blamed for crashes or other issues potentially caused by software conflicts.

What I meant to say was that I don't think Agilix can write code to lock down common browsers like Chrome, Explorer, or Safari.

Maybe someone from Agilix will weigh in today. 

Bill Carroll

I agree with the need for this feature. This needed feature affects test integrity, academic honesty, and school reputation. There needs to be ways to protect 'testing' during the test-event from cheating.

However, it needs to optional (not universal). Some of my classes use closed book testing and some of my classes use open book testing.  The 'tougher' closed book tests need to lockdown the browser or prevent it from opening during a test, while the 'easier' open book tests still need the option to use other sources during the test.

So yes, this feature is needed as an option for certain tests.

Gideon Seaman

Yes! This would empower teachers to keep test security at a maximum.

Wendy Cooley

I agree!  This would be a great feature.  As online school and testing continues to grow, the programs we use need to provide good test security so that our product keeps a good reputation in the marketplace.  


Gideon Seaman

I wanted to share with the community a Chrome app that you can customize for locking down browsers. Follow this link for a step-sheet on how to create it and push it out using GAFE. Then look at this step sheet for how students use it to test in Buzz. I created one for my school and it works GREAT! Students can only access the URL that you push out and cannot open other tabs or windows. Additionally, none of the shortcut keys work and they cannot take screenshots. **Note: This is for use in Google Chrome.**

Elizabeth Camarena

Only for Canvas...?

Gideon Seaman

Nope, any URL. The example is from Canvas, but I did it with Buzz.

Kim K

This is an amazing tool Gideon! The only downfall I see is that you can only use it with District/School managed Chromebooks. Our District is mainly BYOD so this doesn't work on those devices.

Gideon Seaman

Hi Kim! You are correct that you have to use it with district managed Chromebooks. One reason our district went that route was so that we have more control over the devices--including pushing out apps like this. It has really been very helpful! 

Susan Cox

Buzz needs to add a feature in assessments which can enable the browser to lock during a test.  Since the Buzz software is not compatible with other commercial browser locks, then Agilix needs to create their own.  Buzz software is severely lacking in test security.  This is a major concern that needs to be addressed.  

Shauna Mingus

If the technology is possible, this would be such a valuable feature. I feel like our tests are not secure because of the ease with which students can cheat.

Wendy Cooley

If Agilix could find a way to do the screen lock down for tests, that would be so great.  


Scott Berggren

Please get this function!  I had to discipline a student this week who had been looking at items during a test.  It's epidemic and Buzz would greatly be enhanced if it had this technology.

Sarah Peterson

As a language teacher who is constantly fighting the Google translate battle I STRONGLY AGREE that Buzz needs to add a feature which can enable the browser to lock during a test.  Buzz software is really lacking in test security.  This is evident in the high numbers of cheating allegations that have to be addressed every month. This is a major concern that needs to be addressed.  I know that the technology exists as it is used on various brick and mortar campuses. Please address this. 

Kevin McBride

When this topic came up before, I remember seeing a promising post to use a Chrome extension. It would be worth trying out..

Gideon Seaman
  • September 27, 2017 11:32

I wanted to share with the community a Chrome app that you can customize for locking down browsers. Follow this link for a step-sheet on how to create it and push it out using GAFE. Then look at this step sheet for how students use it to test in Buzz. I created one for my school and it works GREAT! Students can only access the URL that you push out and cannot open other tabs or windows. Additionally, none of the shortcut keys work and they cannot take screenshots. **Note: This is for use in Google Chrome.**


Shanna Gebreegzabeher

As a math teacher, I am constantly on the look out for students cheating on tests, particularly by using sites like WolframAlpha or MathWay that will not only give them the answer, but the steps/process as well. This makes cheating MUCH more difficult to catch and I would love having the peace of mind of a browser security lock! It would benefit student learning and add a much needed level of trust/security to our online classes (and to Buzz/Agilix in general). This feature would make your product even more competitive with other LMS like Blackboard. Please find a way to make this happen!

Linda Anderson

In a world where it seems the end always justifies the means, a Buzz browser lock would be one more way of conveying to our students that outside help is NOT okay during tests. Teachers and schools need every opportunity to model and instill integrity and honesty. Please, Please consider adding this feature through  Buzz. 

Melissa Moreno

@Kevin McBride -- 

That solution only worked for schools using Chromebooks.  My school is an international school that is completely online.  Students purchase their own devices, so we need this functionality built directly into Buzz.  Very few of our students use Chromebooks.

Joyce Deer

As an online teacher, I probably 'catch' (I dislike that word!) 5-10 students a month cheating on online tests, and I am sure there are many I don't catch.  Most of them use Brainly, YahooAnswers, and other sites that someone has asked the question and there is a tutor or other student working it out for them.  This feature would help SO MUCH to prevent this - just another way to help them be honest and make good decisions!

Emily Nichols

Please prioritize this "feature" as an option in the assessments area in Buzz.  We want to be able to assess actual student performance rather than the student's ability to research effectively for someone else's answer.  Help!  :)

Jodi Hook

I am liking my own post from over a year ago!  This is so necessary!! Please make this your top priority!!

Brittany Mee

I agree- test security is a priority and this would really help!

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