Tips for Successful Online Blackboard Tests

  1. Twenty-five (25) questions or less. Assessments of more than 25 questions should be broken down into parts.
  2. Essay questions. Essay questions that are considered lengthy and require a long response should be posted as a separate assessment.
  3. Split up long exams. Especially if your exams are presented all-at-once, the connection to the server can be lost while the student answers a long series of questions, or composes a long essay.
  4. When questions are presented all at once, students will need to be reminded to save frequently.
  5. Turn off Force Completion. This allows students to pick up where they left off in case they get kicked out. This spares them from having to contact you to reset their test. This is not a second attempt; they resume the test at the point they were kicked out. Force Completion is a completely different setting than Multiple Attempts.
  6. Randomization. Question order randomization should be avoided if possible.
  7. Scheduling assessments. If possible, assessments should begin and end during normal business hours, when support is available.
  8. Timer: The Timer starts when the student clicks the Begin button and stops when the test is submitted. If the user leaves the test and then comes back (assuming Force Completion is off), the timer continues to run the entire time. The timer does not shut down the test when time is up, but it will note the attempt as Needs Grading even if it is an objective exam (e.g., no essay or short answer). Click the action button for the attempt, view the attempt that needs grading, and click the Test Information link to see the time the student took. Blackboard does not record where the student was in the test when time expired.
  9. If a student reports an error on submitting the test, you can submit the attempt for them.
    • In the Grade Center, click the chevron next to the Attempt in Progress icon.
      • (**Note: Clicking the Attempt in Progress icon will not by itself allow you to submit the attempt)
    • Select View Grade Details
    • Select View Attempt.
    • Click the Test Information link.
    • Click Submit Attempt.
  10. Create a trial test. This will give students an opportunity to become familiar with the online testing process. This will give you a chance to evaluate which assessment formats and question types work best.
  11. Make sure your test will be available. There are three settings that control when students will be able to take a test: Make the Link Available, Display After, and Display Until. If you select No for Make the Link Available, the test will never appear to students, no matter what dates you set in the Display After and Display Until fields.