Guidelines to generate PDF for students’ attempts of the Blackboard Learn Quiz
Key Faculty Resources (Help Documentation, Video Tutorials & Guides)
Videos On Demand
- On Demand Learning Center for Faculty
- Blackboard Help Center for Faculty
- Creating Assignments in Blackboard Learn
Tests, Surveys and Pools
- Tests, Surveys and Pools in Blackboard Learn
Best Practices for Online Testing in Bb Learn 9.1
Before using online tests for the first time in Bb Learn, you can reach out to your local campus Ed Tech support staff who regularly conduct workshops to assist faculty in becoming familiar with Bb Learn. While many aspects of Blackboard’s online testing are intuitive, the importance of assessment grades and the variety of situations students may encounter during a test make it important for Faculty to understand the available options and their implications.
Click here to download the Blackboard Settings: Faculty Guide to Recommendations and Best Practices document (PDF version).
Familiarize yourself with the various options that apply to each question type in Bb Learn 9.1, especially those that you plan to frequently use in your test. For example, some question types allow you to randomize answers, and some provide for possible partial credit for selected answers. Understanding the available options and their implications for grading the questions will help avoid confusion and issues for you and your students.
To help your students identify and solve technical issues before actual online tests begin, prepare a practice online test. Make the practice test as similar as possible in the settings and types of questions you will use in the graded tests, You may even include questions about the online testing environment itself to reinforce student best practices. Consider making it a requirement for your students to take the practice test in the same location and circumstances they plan to take the graded tests. Have them report any problems or issues that they encounter while taking the practice test.
After you create an online test and have selected deployment options, take the test yourself as a student. If your students will be taking the exam in a computer/testing lab be sure to try your exam in the lab to be certain that the specific computer configurations do not interfere with the way the exam is displayed. This serves two important purposes:
1. First, if you don’t make a perfect score on your own test, you should check the questions you missed to ensure that the correct answers are indicated.
2. Second, you will be sure that all your questions display properly in the browser. If possible, take your entire test using more than one of the supported browsers (we recommend Firefox). This is especially important if you copy and paste text into your test questions and/or answers (see Step 4 below), embed images or special characters in the test editor, or use an equation editor in composing the test.
When creating questions, copying text from Word documents or other formatted sources can create problems when “unseen” formatting codes are carried over with the visible text. Such codes can interfere with the proper display of questions and answers when students take the test. If text needs to be copied into tests, use a text editor such as Notepad as an intermediate step. Or contact your local campus Ed Tech support staff for information on using the Respondus test authoring software, which can convert test documents into a form that is ready for use with Blackboard.
If you have your students take your test in the classroom with you, it is possible that some students may have technical issues with their computer at that time. If it is not possible to provide alternate computers in the room, you will want to print a few copies of the test as a “Plan B” so they can still take the test at that time. Follow the instructions in the Printing a Blackboard Learn Test from Respondus document to print your Blackboard test.
Once students have begun taking a test you should not make changes in the test other than to correct typographical mistakes. Other changes will create inconsistencies in grading and can even corrupt the test to make it inaccessible by other students.
It is a good idea to insert a link to this “Best Practices for Online Testing in Blackboard Learn for Students” page in your course syllabus and/or test instructions to serve as a reminder on how to avoid typical technical problems.
This section contains the Testing Best Practices for Students. It is a good idea to insert a link to these pages in your course syllabus and/or test instructions to serve as a reminder to them how to avoid typical technical problems.
Remind your students that they must click the “Submit” button at the end of the test for it to be completed. Also let them know whether they should expect to see their grade displayed after submitting the test, or if this will be delayed until essay questions are graded or until all students have completed the test.
If you choose to present your questions all at once, instruct your students to periodically save their answers. They can click the Save button next to each question as they select answers or scroll to the end of the page and click the global Save button. This will save their work thus far but allow them to continue to other questions and even change earlier answers up until the time they click Submit.
Blackboard will generate some generic instructions based on options you select, such as a time limit. But instead of depending on these automatic notes, your instructions to your students should clearly state all constraints and options. For example, let them know if only one or multiple attempts are allowed, if backtracking is permitted, if there is a time limit, and what they should do if they get dropped out/disconnect while in the middle of the test.
Specify to your students what your policy is regarding how and when they should notify you of apparent technical problems with their test. Also specify what alternate options are available if they encounter problems.
If any of your students report technical issues while taking an online test, please contact your local campus IT support and/or Ed Tech Support Staff as soon as possible if you wish them to investigate.