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In this course, Patrick Crispen teaches the ins and outs of Blackboard 9 so that educators and trainers can get up to speed in the system quickly—even if they've never used Blackboard before. The course explores customizing a course site, managing users, and adding and organizing content, including multimedia. It also shows how to perform student assessments in the Grade Center, as well as how to communicate with students and encourage participation and collaboration.
I mentioned in an earlier chapter that it's a mistake to assume that your students know how to take an online test. Many of your students have never taken an online test. So in this movie, we are going to look at the top five common obstacles your students may encounter when they take a Blackboard test and how to overcome each. So I'm logged in as Jayden Brown. He is a student in my class. See that I'm enrolled in Educational Technology and hey, look. A test has been posted. So I am going to click on the name of the course. You can see there's no edit mode, there is no control panel. I really am a student in this course.
Now Jayden may have accidentally hidden the course menu. So Jayden is going to go "I can't see a link to the test. I clicked this link it says Test Posted and all I get is the announcement. There is no link to it." One tip for you is go in to the Announcements and add a course link to this announcement, edit the announcement, add a course link to the test, just so if students have hidden the course menu they can still get to the test by going through Announcements. Let me actually go here.
Another thing is Jayden might not know where in the course to look. So another reason why the student couldn't find is, "Well I looked in Course Documents and I looked in Week 1 and it's not in Week 1 and I don't know what to do." You can have the students click in all the links or you can remind the students that if they click on the Folder View, they actually have the ability to go and expand and see everything within their course. So reminding the students about the Folder view is actually really helpful.
My recommendation is edit the announcement to include a course link and demonstrate in your class how to take a test. One other thing and this actually is not a student fault, but if I go to Assignments and the test isn't here, make sure that you as the instructor, you've actually deployed it. The student also needs to know that there's got to be a set time that this test is available and unavailable. If the student tries to take the test before it's available or after it's available, there's not going to be a link there and that might be a reason.
So let the students know ahead of time the deadline and the timeline that they need to follow. But let's say that Jayden is able to overcome that obstacle. Jayden clicks on the Practice Test and he sees the instructions and he clicks on Begin. But Jayden actually is not very confident with his mouse skills and accidentally double clicks. Well in older versions of Blackboard each time you click Begin you started a new assessment.
So if you actually went here and double clicked it would create two assessments. Blackboard 9.1 is much better about this. If I double-click it actually says "No, wait, wait you've already taken one test! Stop!" Previous versions might have a problem, so remind your students don't double click. It's actually a really, really bad idea. The third problem that your students might encounter is that there is scroll wheel on their mouse may accidentally change their answers.
Now in this case it's not going to happen here I've selected True and if I scroll down its actually going to scroll the page. I don't have to worry about that here. But in some types of questions it actually will cause a problem. Notice that I've been now in the test for about a minute and 13 seconds and that's perfectly fine. It's going to give me the timer, showing me that I have an hour to take this test. But the third problem, scroll wheel could cause answer changes. Teach your students not to use the scroll wheel.
Fourth problem, I'm here taking my test and then I go, gosh! I don't know. Let me refresh this. Blackboard is going to throw up a message saying "You're leaving the test with unsaved answers. Are you sure you want to do this?" So its actually going to warn the students, stop don't leave yet you haven't submitted your test. If the student clicks OK it takes the student out. That's a bad thing unless you allow the students unlimited attempts or multiple attempts. I am going to click Cancel. It kicks me back here. Whoops, didn't expect that and actually, it kicked me out of the test.
So even though I said Cancel, my hitting refresh took me out of the test. If this were a force completion test, I am hosed. I can't take the test anymore. I'm locked out. Fortunately, this was not a forced completion test. I'm still able to pick up in the middle of the test. That's the reason why I recommend turning off Force Completion, because a student might accidentally go here and say "Okay let me click back, that's fine. Oh! That's a mistake." The student could accidentally get out of your test.
I just don't recommend Force Completion. It's going to cause more problems than you can possibly imagine. So solution? Don't force completion. And the other thing is teach your students to save. So if I go here and click on False, I want to save my answer. It's going to say "Here you go, you've answered a question." Go down scroll a little more and I'm going to say, how confident am I? This actually makes no sense. This should be question number 5 because I did the questions in random order and it actually says "Read the questions above", which is just one question.
I am going to save my answer. One other thing I could do is I could scroll down to the bottom of the page and save all my answers so far. So Blackboard will save the answers,. What that means is if I am disconnected my answers aren't going to be lost. So the fourth problem, students can accidentally leave the test before they have submitted, this happens a lot on wireless. If the browser crashes, if the students hit the back button, refresh, or they go down here and click Save but they never actually submit their test.
My suggestions? Don't force completion and teach your students to save and if you need to, if a student actually does get locked out, you can go into the Grade Center and reset the students test attempt by going to View Grade Details and clearing the attempt. And then finally, the fifth problem is saving but not submitting. The student has the answer, but they didn't click on Submit down here in the bottom right-hand corner. That happens occasionally. My suggestion? Again don't force completion. Allow the students to go back in.
You could reset the test attempt in the Grade Center, but my recommendation is the students will click on Save and Submit, they are going to say, you haven't answered 3, 4, and 5 Blackboard will warn the students, guess what? You're not done. The student can say no, cancel, let me go back and answer those, and we'll do Bandurra. I will misspell it on purpose and choose Expectancy, which is a wrong answer. Now Save and Submit. It will now say you still haven't answered the essay.
Yeah, I know that. I am going to click on OK. That's going to say "No, really, you still haven't finished. Are you sure?" So notice the Blackboard stops the students twice before they submit their final grades. Only when the students click on OK is the test actually submitted. Bottom right-hand corner the students now can click on OK and depending on my settings, I can actually see the answers. So in this case question number one is correct. Turns out question number two is incorrect although it's only worth 0 points.
The essay still needs to be graded. I misspelled Bandurra. Even though it's the same, we can kind of see this as humans, Blackboard is a computer. It didn't know that this was the correct spelling or close enough, so 0 points and then I have got this one wrong. So the student now has taken a test in Blackboard and that shows you some of the problems that the students can encounter. In the next movie, we are going to show you how to view and grade your student test results.
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