Testing in Blackboard can be nerve-wracking and frustrating, but there are steps that can help this process go a little smoother. Of course there isn't a guarantee that you will never encounter a problem, but if you follow these steps you will hopefully lessen your stress while testing online.
- Make sure your computer is up-to-date and ready to go. (See Minimum Technical Requirements) Additional Note: Mozilla Firefox is a better web browser for testing in Blackboard.
- It is recommended that you use a computer with a high speed internet connection for testing.
- It is best to use a computer with a wired connection to the Internet. Wireless connections can be unreliable.
- Some instructions require you to complete a test in one sitting, but some will allow you to save and finish later. Make sure you read all testing instructions carefully. If you are required to complete it in one sitting (this is called "Force Completion"), make sure that you have enough time to finish the test. Do not start the test and then get a drink or snacks. Do not start it until you are ready to complete it. If you are taking a test set-up in this format, it is especially important that you utilize a high speed, wired, internet connection. If you lose your connection or your connection is too slow, you could be "kicked out" of the test and not allowed back in. Read through instructions your instructor has posted concerning testing, and if in doubt, contact them to see if they are utilizing this "Force Completion" option.
- If you have been working in Blackboard, click the 'log-out' button at the top of the Blackboard window and log back in before you begin the test. Blackboard has a three hour time-limit and a 90 minute inactivity limit. (Typing is not recognized as activity.) Do not just X out to close the Blackboard window, you must actually click the log-out button in the upper right corner of the window.
- Make sure you single click the link to begin the test. No double clicking!! Blackboard recognizes the second click as a second attempt to enter the exam, which may not be allowed by your instructor. If this is the case, you will be locked out of an exam before you even begin. You would then need to contact your instructor to reset the test.
- Don't wait until the last minute to take an exam. With technology, there is always the possibility that something could go wrong, so give yourself extra time so any issue can be resolved before the deadline.
- Exit out of any other programs and/or websites that have been open on your computer. Having multiple programs open can cause you to encounter problems during testing. If you are taking a test with essay questions, you could have either Notepad or Wordpad open to type in and save your answers. Then copy and paste those answers into the Blackboard exam.
- Maximize or resize your browser window, as needed, BEFORE you begin the quiz. When you resize your browser, it refreshes your screen and could cause you to get locked out of an exam.
- After you click the title of the test to get started, single click the Begin button only when you are ready to open the exam and complete the assessment. (Single click all buttons within this testing area. No double clicking!)
- Once a test opens, read all information and instructions related to the assignment carefully.
Multiple Attempts: If your instructor allows multiple attempts, you can complete the test, submit, and then retake and submit. (unless a timer is enabled)
Force Completion Enabled: If forced completion is enabled, you must complete and submit a test in one sitting. If you lose your internet connection, are timed-out, or encounter some other problem that kicks you out of the exam, you will not be allowed to reenter the test. You must then contact your instructor and request that your attempt be cleared. At that time, all previously saved answers will be lost, and you will be reset to the beginning of the assessment. If you had saved all answers and lost your connection at the end of the exam, you could request that the instructor grade the saved work manually as long as everything saved properly.
Force Completion Not Enabled: (In the instructions, it will state that the test can be saved and resumed later. See image above.) If forced completion is not enabled and you encounter a problem and lose your connection to the exam, you can reenter the exam without requesting that the instructor clear the attempt. If you were saving answers periodically, those answers should still be selected when you reenter the exam. If a timer is enabled, if you exit the exam the timer does continue to run. If you were "kicked out" of an exam, you would need to promptly reenter the exam and pick-up where you left off.
Timer: If your instructor is utilizing a timer on a test, if the instructor has allowed it, it will let you complete the exam, but it would not display your score when finished. It would display in the student grades area with a "Needs Grading" icon. It would then be up to the instructor as to what score you would receive after reviewing how long it took you to complete the test. An instructor could elect to use a timer that would have your test automatically submit once the allotted time had passed. At that point any questions without saved responses would be viewed as incorrect and your score would display in the student grades area.
- Once you begin the test, the timer starts. Be aware that the timer WILL NOT stop until you click the "Save and Submit" button. Even if you exit the test and/or Blackboard, that timer will continue to run. When your instructor is using the timer, YOU MUST complete the test in one sitting.
- You can double check what questions have saved answers by clicking the 'Question Completion Status' at the top of your testing window.
- Make sure you don't click your web browsers back, forward, or refresh buttons while completing a test.
- Don't click outside of your browser window into another area of your course.
- Do not use the scroll wheel on your mouse or touch pad when scrolling up and down in a test. You can inadvertently change answers.
- After you have checked all answers, single click 'Save and Submit' on the test. Only click this one time.
- As long as your instructor has set the test to allow you to see your grade upon completion, you can then view your grade through the Student Grades areas or by clicking back on the link for the test. Instructors do not always set tests to display the test questions or answers after the test is completed. Each test can be set-up to allow different elements to display once a test is scored.