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Blackboard 9.x Essential Training for Instructors
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Best practices for using online assessments


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Blackboard 9.x Essential Training for Instructors

with Patrick Crispen

Video: Best practices for using online assessments

Most instructors get excited when they learn the Blackboard has a built-in test tool that will automatically administer, and sometimes even grade student tests. I mean what's not to get excited about? Well, there are some limitations that you need to keep in mind before you give a test in Blackboard or in any other online environment. The first one is that technology cannot fix character. The students who are cheating in your face-to-face class are going to be cheating online. There's no way in Blackboard to prevent that from happening.
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  1. 7m 51s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the exercise files
      35s
    3. What is an LMS?
      4m 15s
    4. Understanding Blackboard 9.X versions and campus customizations
      1m 52s
  2. 28m 38s
    1. The new graphical user interface
      5m 53s
    2. Exploring course-to-course navigation
      2m 20s
    3. Using course themes
      2m 15s
    4. Looking at course structures and the Quick Setup Guide
      6m 56s
    5. Using new and improved assessments
      7m 24s
    6. Looking at temporary obstacles and workarounds
      2m 36s
    7. Finding more Blackboard information
      1m 14s
  3. 26m 27s
    1. Logging in to Blackboard
      2m 9s
    2. Accessing your course and uploading files
      5m 40s
    3. Creating announcements
      4m 15s
    4. Sending emails
      4m 57s
    5. Viewing your roster
      3m 50s
    6. Downloading the Grade Center
      3m 17s
    7. Setting course availability
      2m 19s
  4. 14m 9s
    1. Understanding the tabs and sub-tabs
      5m 51s
    2. Working with modules
      3m 25s
    3. Personalizing the My Institution page
      1m 40s
    4. Editing the My Courses module
      3m 13s
  5. 12m 38s
    1. Understanding the course layout and breadcrumbs
      5m 13s
    2. Toggling the Edit Mode
      1m 26s
    3. Hiding and unhiding the Course Menu
      1m 9s
    4. Touring the Control Panel
      4m 50s
  6. 23m 53s
    1. Renaming, reorganizing, and deleting
      4m 58s
    2. Adding new menu items
      6m 4s
    3. Managing tools
      3m 40s
    4. Customizing a course
      9m 11s
  7. 16m 17s
    1. Viewing the course roster
      4m 55s
    2. Enrolling students and others
      7m 31s
    3. Why not to unenroll
      3m 51s
  8. 53m 34s
    1. Organizing content into folders
      5m 24s
    2. Uploading files
      11m 49s
    3. Using the Text Editor
      6m 19s
    4. Inserting a multimedia file
      9m 56s
    5. Linking to an external web resource
      4m 25s
    6. Linking to an internal course file
      6m 3s
    7. Making content available to students
      2m 2s
    8. Using the Content Collection
      3m 35s
    9. Copying and moving content
      4m 1s
  9. 24m 24s
    1. Exploring how students view course grades
      4m 1s
    2. Optimizing the Grade Center
      1m 36s
    3. Changing the default letter grading schema
      4m 24s
    4. Creating score columns
      6m 37s
    5. Entering grades
      5m 19s
    6. Viewing grade histories
      2m 27s
  10. 56m 19s
    1. Creating text columns
      3m 1s
    2. Managing columns
      4m 52s
    3. Creating grading periods
      5m 34s
    4. Creating categories
      5m 42s
    5. Dropping scores in the Grade Center
      9m 3s
    6. Weighting grades in the Grade Center
      6m 4s
    7. Downloading grades and editing in Excel
      7m 51s
    8. Uploading student grades
      4m 29s
    9. Changing grades
      3m 37s
    10. Changing a final grade
      6m 6s
  11. 16m 26s
    1. Creating assignments
      6m 22s
    2. Downloading assignments
      5m 16s
    3. Grading assignments
      4m 48s
  12. 37m 51s
    1. Best practices for using online assessments
      4m 21s
    2. Creating an empty test and choosing the Question Settings
      5m 29s
    3. Creating multiple choice questions
      7m 57s
    4. Creating true/false questions
      2m 48s
    5. Creating essay or short answer questions
      4m 5s
    6. Creating fill-in-the-blanks questions
      3m 39s
    7. Creating opinion scale/Likert questions
      5m 51s
    8. Reusing questions
      3m 41s
  13. 30m 28s
    1. Setting test availability and deploying the test
      13m 13s
    2. Assisting students with common testing obstacles
      8m 16s
    3. Viewing the student results
      6m 40s
    4. Reviewing the differences between surveys and tests
      2m 19s
  14. 16m 43s
    1. Sending emails
      6m 20s
    2. Creating announcements
      7m 14s
    3. Using the Course Calendar
      3m 9s
  15. 33m 15s
    1. Creating discussion forums and threads
      13m 1s
    2. Facilitating discussions
      9m 32s
    3. Moderating forums
      3m 36s
    4. Rating posts
      2m 47s
    5. Grading discussions
      4m 19s
  16. 9m 2s
    1. Creating groups
      7m 57s
    2. Adding members to groups
      1m 5s
  17. 4m 32s
    1. Next steps
      4m 32s

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Blackboard 9.x Essential Training for Instructors
6h 52m Beginner Jun 30, 2011 Updated Oct 09, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Accessing a course
  • Creating announcements
  • Viewing the roster
  • Working with modules
  • Adding new menu items
  • Enrolling students and others
  • Making content available to students
  • Entering grades
  • Downloading and editing grades in Excel
  • Creating assignments and collecting papers
  • Creating online tests
  • Adding discussion forums and groups
Subjects:
Elearning Teacher Tools Education Educational Technology Higher Education LMS
Software:
Blackboard
Author:
Patrick Crispen

Best practices for using online assessments

Most instructors get excited when they learn the Blackboard has a built-in test tool that will automatically administer, and sometimes even grade student tests. I mean what's not to get excited about? Well, there are some limitations that you need to keep in mind before you give a test in Blackboard or in any other online environment. The first one is that technology cannot fix character. The students who are cheating in your face-to-face class are going to be cheating online. There's no way in Blackboard to prevent that from happening.

In fact, there is no technological fix that is going to prevent your students from cheating. It's just not going to happen. One of the questions I get asked a lot is, how do I prevent my students from copying my test questions? And yeah, there are scripts out there you can install that prevents students from cutting and pasting. Just do a Google search and you'll find it. But here's a problem with this. You install that script. You're not preventing the students from cutting and pasting. You're not disabling their cell phone and their cell phone camera. You're not disabling simple message system so they can be text message to their friends. You're not disabling the telephone, so they could be on the phone with somebody. You're not disabling instant message, SnagIt, Camtasia, a pencil, someone standing next to them.

Technology just can not fix character. In fact, unless you're giving the test in a proctored lab environment you just have to consider that Blackboard test are going to be take-home exams. And what we say at my institution is, if you're not comfortable with that Blackboard tests, well, just isn't for you. My suggestion from years of experience, treat Blackboard tests like practice exams. Low risk, low score. Now this is a positive. You give the students the opportunity to practice over and over and over again, or conversely think of this as a license to ask really, really difficult questions that will require lots of research and deep reflection.

If you're like me, some of the most difficult tests I've ever taken in my life were take-home exams. Another tip that you need to remember, again from years of experience, don't assume that your students know how to take an online exam. What you need to do is you need to teach your students how to take an online exam. Let me give you some tips that might help you. First of all, make sure that your students know they need to close all other programs running on their computer. Any other program that kind of pops up and tries to install an update or whatever could kick them out of their test.

The test is kind of important so you want to make sure that all other programs are closed. I really strongly recommended that your students don't use a wireless connection if it's possible. The wireless connection at your campus or around your town may be stable, but sometimes it goes up and down. You don't want to lose connection in the middle of a test, especially if that's something that's important to you. Something that may sound a little strange, but don't use your browser's Refresh, Back, or Forward buttons, because you have got this test page open.

If you click Refresh, Back or Forward you're leaving the test. That's a bad idea. And the mouse's scroll wheel, if you haven't thought about this, say I click on an answer and I use the scroll wheel, I may not actually scroll down the page. I may accidentally change my answer. One other thing, students are so used to double clicking on things. You need to teach them that when they're in the test environment they need to single click the buttons. Do not double-click. In fact, when you begin a test in older versions of Blackboard, double-clicking on Begin Test will begin it and then begin it again and if the test can only be taken once you've locked yourself out of the test.

Finally, tell your students to save their work often. I'll show you how to do this inside of a Blackboard test, but it's really important. Check with your institution's help desk while you're at it. To see if they have any additional tips or tricks they would like for you to share with your students. But remember there is no technological fix for character. you need to treat Blackboard online tests as a take-home exam that the students are going to be using notes and other resources on.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Blackboard 9.x Essential Training for Instructors.


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Q: This course was updated on 10/09/2012. What changed?
A: This update adds 7 new movies in the "What's New in Blackboard 9.x SP8 and SP9," on topics such as course themes, new and improved assessments, and other new features found in service packs 8 and 9.
 
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