19 May 2010

Prevent printing

If you have an image or document that you do not want students to be able to print or copy and paste from (e.g., for copyright reasons), there are a couple of ways to do this in Desire2Learn:
  1. Use the full version of Adobe Acrobat to attach security to a PDF file. On the Document Properties dialog box (access from the File menu) there is a Security tab. Choose password security and you can require a password to print or copy text and images from the document. Once you set a password, you can upload the document anywhere inside Desire2Learn. Make sure you do not require a password to open the document. Students will be able to download the PDF file to their local computers, even though they will not be able to print it.
  2. Use the Respondus LockDown Browser and Desire2Learn's quiz tool to images and text within a Desire2Learn web page. You can create a "quiz" and only include text and/or image information as its "questions," and if you require the LockDown browser to view the "quiz" students will be unable to print, copy, or email the information from that page. For images, you can create an Image Information item. This item allows you to upload an image file from your local computer and add accompanying text. For text, you can create a Text Information item. Like other text boxes in Desire2Learn, you can copy and paste formatted text into this box. Students will need to "submit" the quiz in order to close the LockDown browser.
NOTE: It is important that you do not add a quicklink to a PDF file inside a text box in a LockDown browser quiz. If you do, the email link within the Acrobat Reader application will work. And your students will not be able to submit the quiz, which will force them to shut down their computers using the power button. Ouch!
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