Is there a way to prevent an uploaded file from being downloaded by students? Maybe something like a "view only" mode?
No, there's not a good way. What kind of file are we talking about?
I didn't think so. It would be a PDF file.
On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 7:23 AM, cliffweinstein <email@example.com>
If they can read the file, there's no foolproof way of keeping them from downloading it.
Once you've posted something on the web, it's downloaded. That's how someone views it.
If it's a PDF, you can change the security settings within Adobe Acrobat to not allow editing or printing, but there's ways around that if you're crafty.
Thank you for articulating that which I was too lazy to write out.
Oooh! I got it!
Simple and elegant!
You must be my spirit animal.
I'd also add "Use Respondus Monitor to experience the student's frustration first hand."
OK, I actually LOL'd at that. V
Can you tell me how to do step 5? "Require Responds LockDown Browser to
take the test"
On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 9:51 AM, cliffweinstein <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Very creative, however it's not accessible for students with disabilities.
Technically, you could probably link a PDF (which is accessible) through the test question, and it would be displayed within the browser. The student's couldn't save that off, just view it.
But I came up with the whole process as a virtual Rube Goldberg machine for something that's a pretty inane concept to begin with.... but a request that I've heard from various instructors over the years...
Instagram the test through respondus LDB.
Just as a matter of interest, why would you want to do that?
As others have said, there are ways round everything, even Chris' crafty solution won't prevent them whipping their phones out of their pockets. [Unless Respondus subtly changes the screen to prevent anyone photoing it?]
Oh, they can take photos of the screen.
In fact, I recommend students do that, when they experience problems taking tests with LockDown, so that I can help diagnose what's going on.
Still hoping to hear from the OP as to *why* it's critical the students can't download it ... Someone must have a good pedagogical reason for wanting it
This is late in the discussion, but happens to resonate where we're at. The Nursing Dept. doesn't want students to download a handbook, because they will send it to one of the school's printers. Someone is paying for hundreds of printed pages. I like the idea of setting a the security option in Adobe to not allow printing. I tried this and found it to work with the downloaded copy, but I could still print from the browser view. Maybe the RLB is the route to go. Thanks everyone for this discussion!
Ah, I can see that's an issue, though financial, rather than pedagogic. In the institutions I've worked in (in the UK) students always get a printing allowance & anything extra they have to pay for, so dissuades them from printing big documents.
This question is a challenging one. Reality is with a simple phone the computer screen can be captured. Even if using Lockdown from a home computer.
At my campus, I'd probably recommend putting the document in the Library Reserves, with instructions that the students can only view it supervised and not copy, transcribe, or take photographs of it. No Google Glasses or similar tech allowed, either.
Another idea if you have google apps :
1) host the pdf on google drive
2) adjust settings so it prevents from downloading and printing (Change your sharing settings in Google Drive - Docs editors Help )
3) add it to your course using an iframe
It's a lot of playing around for something that can be worked around by a motivated enough student...
oh, creative evil mind mode "on", I just had an idea. Use one of those free tools which converts your pdf in as many pdf files as there are pages. Then zip them all into a package, then use the modified "Document unpackager" building block to integrate it in a learning module. (Building blocks we installed and found useful )
Hmm wait a minute, it would "almost" work ... the modified "document unpackager" only makes "items", so it's not ideal for reading ...we couldn't find how to make "files" when we tweaked the original building block (by the way, if some knows how to we can modify the modified building block ! ).
So, it would take a bit more time but each page (being it's onw pdf file) can be added to the learning module as a "file" and students would simply turn pages (and yes, they could still take a picture of each page though...)
Ok enough anti- "digital openness" evil for today for me... have a good week-end
ow .. nope... wouldn't work : they can still save each pdf page shown in the browser's integrated reader and re-combine them ...
Ok I give up
Here is a thought. What if you save the files as Jpg,or convert them to PowerPoint. Save the PowerPoint as a video file.. It will prevent them from printing, although they could screen capture, but it makes them work.
I would really demand a pedagogical reason for this before I put much effort into it. What it likely boils down to is the professor is trying to preserve his or her copyright and they are afraid if the students can download it, they'll share it inappropriately. But as mentioned here, every student on campus carries around a phone capable of taking pictures of a computer screen (and they do it all the time), and the browser saves temporary copies of every web page viewed, so even if you put in all kinds of restrictions on printing and downloading, any student with a little computer savvy could still locate a copy. If they want to preserve their copyright, don't give it to students. Ask this professor how he or she would provide students the information in that file in the traditional classroom. Paper copies? They can copy those. On the board? Camera phone. Even if they don't allow those, someone will copy it down. It is simply not possible. Give...it...up....
Saving the file to a video format is no different than saving the file as a pdf (within Powerpoint). Pro - is the students would have to work to convert it to printable format. We are unfortunately in a society of copy / photo / print / share. The effort put into trying to stop the release would be better spent elsewhere for sure.
This is impossible to do for the simple reason that once you see it on the screen, it has ALREADY been downloaded. That's just the way the web works.
When you visit a web site the browser does this:
So once you see it, its too late because the download has already happened.
As has been mentioned, even if some technical way to stop downloading could be developed (it can't), then students could still simply take pictures of the screen. Or even take a pen and pencil and write down what they read. Or retype it into a different computer. Or do optical character recognition on the picture to convert it to text. Or any number of other ways to get the document. They could even go away and then write down as much as they remembered from memory.
So, as was mentioned, you must examine the pedagogical reasons for this request. Why does it matter that they can copy the document? What is the problem you are trying to solve by preventing copying? If it is copyright protection, then put it in the library in the archives area where students have to leave the reading in the library (although they might still take pictures of it there).
Retrieving data ...