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Archive for May, 2014

Tips for Taking Tests in Blackboard

Before Taking a Test

  • Install a preferred web browser. Learning Ventures highly recommends the use of Google Chrome (Download Chrome) when taking online tests in Blackboard. We highly recommend AGAINST using Internet Explorer as your web browser when working in Blackboard. If your instructor requires that you use Respondus Lockdown Browser, please make sure to read the section Note Regarding Respondus Lockdown Browser below.
  • It is also advisable that students clear their cache prior to testing. (Click here for instructions)
  • Please use a wired Ethernet connection when taking tests, if possible.  Avoid public WiFi connections that may not be available for extended times.
  • Blackboard maintenance is performed each morning from 4:00 am to 5:00 am. During this time, Blackboard will be unavailable. Please plan your Blackboard activities accordingly and avoid starting exams close to this time period.

Notes about test settings:

There are various settings in Blackboard that may be applied to the test you are taking.  You will see a list of the settings that are applied to a specific test once you click on the link to the test.  Below are in-depth descriptions of what those settings mean for you:

  • Force Completion: When force completion is enabled, you will not be able to exit and return to your test. If you encounter problems or you get kicked off, your instructor will need to clear your test attempt-in this case you will need to retake the entire test. If force completion is not enabled, you can exit and reenter the test if you encounter technical problems.
  • Timer: The Blackboard timer will run continuously from the time you start the test, and will run until the time you click Submit. The timer will run even if you exit the test or log out of Blackboard.  Therefore, if you leave the test for five minutes, those five minutes would be removed from the timer.  It is not possible to “pause” a blackboard test, so you should plan to take the test in one sitting.
  • Auto Submit: After time expires, the test will automatically submit regardless of whether you are on the test page or not.
  • Prohibit Backtracking: You will not be able to review or make changes once you move to the next question. Be sure you have chosen your answer prior to advancing. Do not double click on the next question button, as this may cause you to skip questions.

During the test:

  • Do NOT try to navigate away from the test area of Blackboard or close the test window.
  • Do NOT click any button on the Browser navigation menu (such as back, next, refresh etc.).
  • Do NOT click the “Save answer” button for each question; you only need to click the “Save and Submit” button when you finish the test.  Your responses will save automatically.
  • Do NOT “double click” on anything in the exam.
  • Click outside of the answer selection radio buttons before scrolling with the mouse wheel or arrow buttons. Otherwise, this will change the selected answer.
  • It will take 5-30 seconds for the system to update the “Save answer” button into “Saved” after selecting an answer. Do NOT panic.

If problems occur…

  • Don’t touch your keyboard or click on anything, wait for a few minutes to see if the problem resolves by itself.
  • If your test freezes, or you seem to no longer be able to advance or select answers, you will need to clear your cache and browsing history.
  • Call Learning Ventures Help Desk at 419-530-8835 or 1-866-886-5336 and let us know the problem you encountered. Be prepared to let us know both the operating system (Windows or Mac OS) and the browser (Firefox, IE, Safari, Chrome) you were using at the time the problem occurred. The more information you can provide, the easier it will be for us to help troubleshoot the problem.
  • Contact your instructor about the problem you encountered.
  • Capture a screenshot (if possible) and send it to utdl@utoledo.edu if you encounter a problem after our support hours. Make sure you include the course number and section number, name of the test, the platform you use (Mac or Windows), and the time you experienced the problem in the message.

Taking an Online Test

  1. Close all programs (browsers, Word etc.).
  2. Launch Firefox or Chrome and log onto your Blackboard course site.
  3. Access the test page.
  4. Click the test you want to take. Single click on the link only. Double clicking the link will open the link twice, which may cause the system to act like you have already taken the test.
  5. Read the instructions carefully.
  6. Click the Begin button.
  7. Select a correct answer (single click) or enter your answer for short answer and essay questions. You do NOT need to click “Save answer” for each question.
  8. Use the scroll bars on the right side of the window to scroll, and click outside where the answer choices are prior to scrolling to the next question. Scrolling using the mouse wheel or the arrow keys may change your answer selections.
  9. Use the navigation buttons within the test window to navigate between questions.  Do not click the Black, Forward, or Refresh/Reload buttons in your browser toolbar.
  10. Please verify that you have answered all questions prior to submitting your test.
  11. Click the Save and Submit button at the bottom of the page when finished.

Note Regarding Respondus Lockdown Browser

Some instructors may require students to take tests using Respondus Lockdown Browser, which is a special browser intended only for taking tests.  In order to take tests that require Respondus Lockdown Browser, students must first download the program and install it on their computers.  Then students will need to launch Lockdown Browser in order to take exams that require it.  Exams that require Lockdown Browser cannot be launched in a regular browser. The Lockdown browser can be downloaded from our downloads and plugins page.  Respondus Lockdown Browser is based off Internet Explorer, so some settings may need to be changed in Internet Explorer in order to ensure optimal performance when taking tests.

Instructions for taking exams in Lockdown Browser:

  1. Click on the LockDown Browser icon on your computer’s desktop or locate within your computer’s program list.
  2. The Choose a Server window will pop open, prompting you to choose an eLearning system. Select Blackboard from the drop?down menu and then click OK.
  3. If prompted to close a blocked program (Instant Messenger, Skype, etc.), choose Yes or Kill These Applications.
  4. The Blackboard login screen will appear. Login to your course.
  5. Enter your course, click on the name of the test and click the Begin button.
  6. A new window will pop open asking whether the instructor has required a password for the test. If the instructor has provided a password, select Yes and enter the password and then click Continue to begin the exam.
  7. If the instructor did not provide a password, select No and click Continue. Respondus LockDown Browser will automatically fill in a special password on the next screen. This password should not be modified.
  8. Submit your answers and then click the Submit button when finished to complete your test.

Tips for using Lockdown Browser:

  • Use the Lockdown Browser for all exams that require the browser
  • Download the Lockdown Browser directly from UT.  Do not search the internet to find a download link for the browser, as each institution’s version of the browser is unique to that institution, and you will be taken to that institution’s login page, and not to the login page for UT.
  • On Windows, be sure to have the latest updates or Internet Explorer installed, even if you do not use Internet Explorer
  • Please set Internet Explorer (for Windows users) to the Medium security setting under Safety>Internet Options
  • Add “lockdown.exe” (Windows) or “LockDown Browser.app” (Macintosh) as a “trusted application” and https://blackboard.utdl.edu address as a “trusted site” in any security software.
  • Turn off any “private browsing” features in Internet Explorer.