When deploying a test, it is important to make sure that you are very familiar with the variety of options available to you under Test Options. Tests are a critical way to assess a student's knowledge on the subject taught and the integrity of the test-taking process is equally critical to ensure that students learn from appropriate feedback as well as not share test results with others.
Before You Begin
Before you begin deploying a test, please familiarize yourself with the topics supplied on the Blackboard Help Page for Faculty:
Tests, Pools, and Surveys - getting started
Important Test Options
In addition to what is listed above, there are specific topics that we feel are important for you to learn.
First, when setting Test Options - we highly recommend the following:
include any explicit test directions to students in the content link description field
we cannot stress highly enough the following:
set attempts to Multiple Attempts with at least 2 or 3 attempts. This way, if a student is kicked out or loses their connection, they are able to log right back in and continue.
Force Completion - based on past experience, we recommend NOT to check this box, as it will mean, if students lose their connection, they will not be able to see any of their prior attempt, and will be presented with the entire exam from scratch.
Set Timer - good idea for timed tests, and we do recommend checking the Auto-Submit button. Note that you can add exceptions for students who need more time or access to the exam outside the normal exam hours. Exceptions are covered below.
include the due date and time, and if you wish, check the box to not allow students to start the exam after the due date (but note, if students do need late access, you will need to add exceptions, which is covered below)
be sure to check out the test results and feedback to students info below so that you can get set these settings best. The defaults are often not desirable.
The default Test Presentation is "all at once." If you are concerned about cheating (for example if your test is almost or all multiple choice) - we would recommend changing that to "one at a time" and/or to randomize the question order checkboxes.
Deleting erroneously submitted test/quiz/survey
NOTE: this (clearing an attempt) should be done ONLY if you are willing to throw out any work a student has done. If the student has completed part of the exam, you should not do this, and should instead add an text exception attempt so that they can log back in and complete their work. See below)
1. Under Control Panel: click to expand Grade Center, and click Tests.
2. Scroll down to locate the student and scroll right to locate the column for the test.
3. Then click the down arrow in the box for the student/test you need to reset, and click on the View Grade Details option.
4. On the Grade Details page there click the option to “Clear Attempt”
Creating Text Exceptions
Need to add extra time, or set up a separate testing time for a student or two? Did a student lose their connection and have an issue while taking the exam?
Here's how to do correct in the Blackboard test tool:
Go to your Test in Blackboard and select Edit Test Options, then scroll down to the Exceptions section of the page.
Click Add User or Group to search for course users and groups to add to the exception list.
Timer and Force Completion must be enabled in the previous test availability step to enable those settings for exceptions. (We highly recommend AGAINST enabling Force Completion - because if a student loses their connection, they have to start over from the beginning. If you allow multiple attempts and do not force completion, students who lose their connection are able to log right back in and complete their attempt.)
If you choose to use groups, you must make the group unavailable if you do not want students to see group members.
Click Remove all Exceptions to delete all exceptions for the test.
Click Add user or group and put a checkmark next to a student's name, and click Submit.
You will see a screenshot similar to below where you can set the availability time/date, length of time for the exam, number of submissions, etc.
We recommend allowing multiple attempts just in case there are any tech problems so that the student can go right back in and complete the exam. If you only allow 1 attempt and they have issues, you may need to contact us.
Be sure to click Submit - and then you should see the exception for each student you have added.
Doing this, your test can be set for a certain time for all students, but these exceptions allow you to set a different set of parameters for each added student.
Test Options and Students Seeing Their Results
There are many ways to run a Bb test, with many settings/options for dates, times, how the test is presented, and how/when students see feedback. By default, the Test Options are pretty lenient, and can be conducive to potential cheating, so here are some recommendations if that is a concern.
If your exam is open for a period of time, allowing students to open and take the exam whenever they are ready over a period of, say, a couple weeks, those who take it early could easily take the exam, and then go to the results and get access to all of the questions and all of the correct answers, and share them with someone else.
There are a few ways to mitigate that, if this is a concern. One would be to change the "After Submission" dropdown to either "After Due Date" or "On Specific Date" - which would at least make it so that students won't see the correct answers until after everyone has submitted (if they have by the due date) or after you have checked through all of them (so, by a specific date) (See Figure below).
The other way to mitigate this would be to uncheck some of the blue boxes, but keep it to After Submission. For example, if you unchecked "Correct" and "All Answers" and maybe "Score per question" they could still see any feedback on incorrect questions.
So it's about getting the right mix of what they can see (the blue check boxes) and when (the when dropdown menu).
The other factor here is that this Test Presentation: does it show all questions at once or one at a time? Showing all at once makes it easier for a student to copy or share the exam with other students, since it shows all at once and in the same order to every student. Choosing to randomize questions and show them one at a time or Prohibit Backtracking (they can only answer once and proceed and cannot go back to a previous question) would make it so that students see them all differently and make that more difficult.
Students Can't See Test Results/Feedback?
The image above is what will allow (or disallow) students to see their results on an exam/test/quiz. As is displayed above, there are many options for what to show to students (scores, answers, feedback, incorrect questions), but equally as important is "When." The default is "After Submission" which we actually typically don't recommend, because that means that as soon as a student has submitted their exam, they can see all the results or things checked, which could include answers by default.
The setting for "After Attempts are Graded" would seem to be good, except that we have an "IDEA Team" student enrolled in every class for troubleshooting issues, and that student would not have submitted an attempt, which would then prevent other students from seeing their feedback/scores. We believe one of the best setting options is "On Specific Date" - so that you know that all students can see what is checked for them to see, after a particular date that you choose. This keeps it simple and allows you to know and have full control over what and when students see their results.