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Blackboard Learn Testing Best Practices for Instructors

Preparing an online test

Blackboard's Test features provide a basic method to build online tests using different question types, the ability to import question pools, and the ability to manage certain testing and feedback options. Blackboard separates the processes of creating and deploying a test into two different stages. The following tips and recommendations are made to assist in minimizing common problems experienced by faculty and students.

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.

For tests with a large number of questions, present the questions one at a time rather than all at once

While this will increase the time needed to take the exam, it has the advantage of automatically saving students' answers for each question as they go, as well as keeping their internet connection alive.

If giving a short quiz, display questions all-at-once This will reduce the number of times a student must hit the submit button. They can still save each individual answer and then submit when complete.   Answers are still ‘auto-saved’ within a few seconds of a student  submitting their answer.
Turn off Force Completion This allows students to pick up where they left off in case they get kicked out – time permitting. 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.
Set the Test 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.  Please note, the test will save and submit automatically when time has expired if the Auto Submit setting is set to ‘On’.
If a student reports an error on submitting the test, you can submit the attempt for them

To submit a test attempt for a student:

  • In the grade Center, click the action button for the student's attempt.
  • Select the in-progress attempt from the menu. It will be marked with a date.
  • Click the Test Information link.
  • Click the Submit Attempt button.
Make the Test Link Available When deploying a test in a content area it is necessary to make the link available. Blackboard will not make the test available unless this is selected. It is recommended to make the link available and then limit the time it is available by selecting Display After and Display Until date/time restrictions.
See more test related practices on our Cheating Reduction Strategies page.