Instructor’s Checklist for Blackboard Tests

This checklist will help you avoid potential problems you may encounter when giving Blackboard-based exams during remote instruction. An overview of the Test settings that we advise (when you’re deploying a test in Blackboard) are described in this image: recommended Test Options settings.

Important considerations for timed tests

  • Blackboard flags instructors in the grade center if a student goes over the allotted time on a test, therefore we recommend “Auto-Submit” in the “OFF” position.
  • If you need to grant extra time or a different due date for students, see Test Availability Exceptions.

What to do if a student’s connection is dropped

OPTION #1: Have Blackboard handle it automatically. This means that—as long as the timer hasn’t run out for the student, or the test availability hasn’t ended—a student can re-enter the test and resume taking it where they left off without contacting you, but it requires these specific settings on the Test Option page (See image with recommended settings.):

  • Force Completion should not be selected.
  • Multiple attempts should not be selected.
  • Questions must be presented one at a time rather than all at once. Make sure backtracking is enabled.

OPTION #2: Instructor must intervene on a case-by-case basis. If you choose not to use the automatic settings above, students will need to contact you about disconnection events and you can take this action:

  • Create a special exception for that student to re-enter the test on the Test Options page under Test Availability Exceptions. Students will have to start the test again at the beginning.

Other settings and practices for avoiding testing problems

  • Send students this link to Blackboard Test Tips ahead of time and urge them to follow the recommendations.
  • Present questions one at a time (rather than all at once) on the Test Options page. This is recommended because students’ internet connections may be unstable. Each time they choose the next question, it saves their answers and so they won’t be lost if their connection is dropped.
  • Allow students to backtrack. This best practice allows students to review their answers, if they have time.
  • Have a copy of the test ready in a Word document version to post as a Blackboard Assignment, or to send by email, if needed. 
  • Try taking the test yourself using Student Preview which allows you to see the course as a student. (More useful than “Edit Mode: Off”) (See Blackboard Student Preview.)
  • Allow the students to take an easy practice test. This is recommended especially before delivering a high-stakes test so that they (and you) are familiar with the process. 

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