Center for Teaching and Learning

Test Tips

Jump to tips for instructors.

For Students:
Tips for Taking Online Tests in Blackboard

The stability of the Internet can sometimes be sporadic so there is always a possibility of encountering some type of error while taking an online exam. If this happens to you please contact your instructor immediately via email and inform them of your situation (be sure to include the time, course ID, and assessment title in your email). However, below are some precautions that you can take when taking your online exam:

  1. Do not use a mobile device to take an exam.
    Use Firefox or another supported browser on a laptop, desktop, or other computer that is not a mobile device to take a test in Blackboard.

  2. Log in directly.
    Log in to Blackboard via the address: http://bb.uvm.edu instead of the "MyUVM" portal.

  3. Start with a stable connection.
    Use a computer connected by cable, i.e., NOT a wireless connection. If possible, use a cable-connected computer on the campus network.

  4. Save answers as you go.
    Make sure you save EVERY answer before moving on to the next question.

  5. Keyboarding "Oopses!"
    Below is a list of common keystrokes that might accidentally take you out of your test session in the middle of typing. Because of this possibility, it's recommended that you compose your test answers in MSWord, or in a plain text editor such as Notepad (for Windows) or TextEdit (for Mac), then copy and paste your text into the answer field of your test.
    Possible test-killing keystrokes:
    • the “Backspace” button on your keyboard
    • the “Enter” button on your keyboard
    • the “Back” button on your browser
    • the “Tab” button on your keyboard
    • the "Delete" button on your keyboard
  6. Don't confuse your browser.
    If possible, have only the browser window where you are taking the exam open. Closing all others unrelated browser windows will give you the best chance of completing your assessment without errors.

  7. Don't confuse Blackboard.
    Make sure there is only one Blackboard session open at a time. In other words, do not have one window open while you are taking an exam and another open for course navigation. The multiple logins may cause an error.

  8. Don't confuse your computer.
    While you are taking your exam you should also close any other programs or applications that are not essential for completing your exam (e.g. chat programs, RealPlayer, iTunes, Adobe Photoshop, QuickTime, Microsoft Outlook, etc.)

For Instructors:
Recommendations for Creating Tests in Blackboard

  1. Do not use the forced completion of the test option, unless you know students will be in a room with you on campus taking the exam.

  2. Be ready to allow more time or attempts on the test if students are allowed to take it on their own time and on their own computer.

  3. If a student reports being dropped during an exam attempt:
    • One option is to "clear the attempt" after saving the existing answers:
      1. Go to the grade center
      2. In the student's row, go to the column for the test to be graded and click the arrow in that field (box). There will probably be an icon indicating that their test attempt is "in progress."
      3. You can view the attempt there. If the student has completed a majority of the test, then print out what has been completed, so that information is not lost.
      4. You can then choose to "clear the attempt" so the student can re-enter the exam (which will now be completely empty) and finish the remaining questions.
    • Another option is to create a new version of the exam and allow access only that student. You can select to have the test available only with a password (that you invent and enter when editing the test settings) and then send that password to your student.

For more help, call the CTL "Doctor Is In" at 802-656-4460 or email blackboard@uvm.edu explaining your issue.

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