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Blackboard – Test Tips for Instructors

For Instructors

Following these best practices will ensure a smooth testing experience for your students.

  1. Do not enable the Force Completion option on a test unless you know students will be in a room with you on campus taking the exam. You may need to reset their attempt or add an exception allowing them extra time if they encounter computer, browser, network, or other problems over the course of the attempt. Read more below.
  2. Set the test options to display one question at a time, instead of all at once. This is especially important in longer tests, but it is also likely to improve the student experience in shorter exams as well.
  3. If a student reports their connection is dropped during an exam attempt, you can review the test access log for that attempt. You can provide additional attempts to a student by adding an availability exception in the test options.
  4. 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. See the availability exception section in the test options.
  5. To make the experience go smoothly: Ask your students to read these tips:


More about the Force Completion recommendations:

Problems with Force Completion Academic Honesty Concerns
The CTL doesn’t recommend choosing this option because students are sometimes dropped from Blackboard due to power brown-outs, Wi-Fi failures, etc. The student will then need write to the instructor explaining what happened and asked to be allowed to complete the exam. The instructor then needs to adjudicate whether it’s a good faith request and then give that student a second attempt (in the Test Availability Exceptions area). The student will then have to restart the entire test from the beginning. In large classes, this can be a lot for faculty to manage. Bear in mind that unchecking Force Completion does not necessarily enable students to leave the exam to look up answers. A strictly timed test discourages that, because once a student clicks “Begin,” the clock starts and it continues to run down even if they log out or get dropped. So when Force Completion is not checked, if a student’s connection is dropped, they’ll be able to log in and finish the exam but only within whatever time remains. This is why students should do everything they can to avoid a dropped connection.
Updated on April 22, 2021

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