Welcome! This is a guide to help you prepare for taking a test in Blackboard with least amount of errors possible. Click each of the test topics below to view the helpful tips.
Make sure your browser is up to date – The Internet browsers supported by Blackboard are Mozilla Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer. The Mozilla Firefox browser has provided the most stable and stress-free Blackboard experience since the upgrade to Blackboard 9. You can download the most recent versions of browsers here.
Make sure your computer is up-to-date – When you login to your online course, click on "System Check" tab at the top and make sure you computer is up to date. Mac users, run Software Update. PC users, be sure you are getting automatic updates. It’s a good idea to make sure your antivirus software is up to date as well, since spyware might interfere with your taking the test.
Make sure you have a reliable and fast Internet connection – If you lose your Internet connection you’ll be booted out of the test. If you’re on campus, your best bet is a wired network connection, since WiFi can be unstable. Consider using a lab or library computer to take your test.
Minimize interruptions – Turn off any browser pop-up blockers, instant messaging, social networking sites (Facebook), email notification or other programs that may distract you from the test or interfere with it. To turn off the pop-up blocker on a PC:
To turn off the pop-up blocker on a MAC:
Plan your time– Give yourself time to take the test, accounting for any technical problems that may occur. Once you enter a test, do not leave the test or do anything else until you’re finished. Commit your full attention to the test and don’t try to multitask.
Start the test—The test will be located in a Content Area of your Blackboard course and will have an icon similar to the example at the right. When you single-click the name, you’ll be prompted to Begin the test.
Once you do so, your attempt will be noted by the Attempt in Progress icon .
Read the instructions carefully – Since online tests may have a variety of features, it's important to read the instructions to determine how your instructor has structured the test. Some features your instructor may use include:
Avoid multitasking – Don’t try to do several things in different browser windows while you’re taking a quiz. You might accidentally close the window that contains the test, and if you try to interact with your Blackboard course in a different window of the same browser while the test is in progress you will have problems. Also, turn off Facebook, instant messenger and other distractions before you start the test.
Click, don’t double-click – Click only once on each of the links throughout a test including the link to take the test, the Begin button, navigation buttons inside the exam, the Save button, the Save and Submit button at the end of the test, and the OK button to see your results. Double-clicking may be the single most common error made by students when taking a Blackboard quiz.
Save frequently – You can save an individual question or (if the test is presented all at once) all of your answers. Saving is not the same as submitting the test, but it does mean that if your session is interrupted you may be able to resume where you left off. This, of course, is only a possibility if Force Completion is not enabled.
Avoid the Back button and delete key – Don’t use the browser’s Back and Forward buttons. Use the small arrows (single click) to move between questions in a test that displays the questions One-at-a-Time. Don’t click the main Blackboard menu or the breadcrumb trail while you’re in the test. It is best to avoid the browser’s Refresh command. Also do not resize your browser window.
Stay active in the test window – The assessment feature in Blackboard is set to time-out after periods of inactivity. You must do more than just type or click answers to keep the test active. Save the assessment or individual questions periodically to reset the activity clock.
Keep your computer on and awake – If you have a laptop and close it, or even if you just take a break while taking the test, the laptop may go to sleep and lose its network connection. In some cases the result will be that when you open it you won’t be able to continue the test.
If you get disconnected, immediately resume – If you’re booted out of the test or get disconnected, you’ll likely have to log back into Blackboard. Immediately return to your course site and click the link to resume the test, without exiting your Browser. Depending upon how your Instructor set-up the test, you may not be able to resume your test. In those cases, you must contact the instructor. Your instructor can only reset your test.
Don’t turn off the visual editor – If a question requires an essay answer, you’ll have a “visual editor” available that allows you to format your answer. Don’t turn the editor on or off during the test; use it in the current state.
Don’t copy and paste from Word – Even if a question expects an essay answer, don’t write it in Word and copy/paste. Doing so is very likely to also copy bogus HTML code that will break your browser. Thus, compose your response in Notepad or Wordpad and copy/paste your answer into the Blackboard exam text box. Save a copy of your Notepad/Wordpad responses in case a submission error occurs.
Use simple file names – If a test includes a file response question, the name of the file on your hard disk MUST NOT contain special characters. Use only letters, numbers, “-” (dash), and “_” (underscore), and be sure the file has an appropriate extension (doc, txt, rtf, etc.).
Submitting the test
Click the Save and Submit button – You will not get credit for your answers until you have clicked Submit at the end of the test. You should see a confirmation and/or feedback for the test.
Don’t ignore warning messages – you may receive a warning message that some questions are incomplete, even if you’ve answered all the questions. If you get that message:
You can access your submission confirmation by going to My Grades. Look in the Grade column to see either a score or a special symbol indicating its status. A green exclamation means that the test was submitted successfully, but that the instructor needs to grade it (i.e. - because there was an essay question). An icon resembling a page with a pencil means that you are still taking the exam. If so, try going back to the test and continuing where you left off. If you cannot gain access again, email the instructor that you are locked out of your test.
Blackboard uses Java for almost everything so verify your Java is current at: http://www.java.com/en/download/installed.jsp.