Monday, March 21, 2011

Minimizing Issues with Tests and Quizzes in Blackboard

There are many reasons - ranging from network to browser to Blackboard itself - that students may have issues taking assessments in Blackboard. Depending on circumstances, students can be disconnected from Blackboard while they are taking a quiz. This is not unique to Blackboard as other learning management systems have similar problems.

There are best practices instructors should follow to minimize the risk of something going wrong during and assessment.
  1. Set the exam to be given one question at a time. This ensures that the user's session is continuously updated, and the likelihood of the user getting kicked out due to inactivity is reduced.
  2. Do not select the "force complete" option. Without this option selected, users are able to re-enter the exam from the last point that they saved an answer if they should get kicked out.
  3. Advise students to not "double click" when they hit the Submit button.
  4. Firefox is the recommended browser.
Have students read the Instructions for Taking Online Exams found on the Blackboard website in the Student area.

    Monday, March 14, 2011

    Quickly Find Items That Need Grading

    Instructors can now access assignment, test and SafeAssignment attempts that need grading from a new Needs Grading page accessed in the Grade Center section of the Control Panel. On the Needs Grading page, instructors can view how many attempts are ready for grading and sort and filter the items. Attempts are placed in a queue for easy navigation among items when grading or reviewing. Once an attempt is graded, it no longer appears on the Needs Grading page.

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    Cleaning Up Your Course List

    Every semester, Blackboard courses are created and populated automatically with instructors and students. As an instructor, your course sites will appear in Course List on your My Blackboard page with the notation (unavailable) after their names, which means that they're unavailable to students, but are still available for instructors to work on. Depending on the number of courses you are teaching, you may have accumulated a long list. You can avoid a long list of course sites by hiding them from your view.

    1. Click on the "gear" icon located in the upper right corner of the Course List.

    2. "Uncheck" the attributes of the courses that you do not want appearing on your Course List.

    3. Click Submit.
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