Anyone who has tried to give tests or quizzes in Blackboard knows that in the older version it was difficult to accommodate students with special requirements (like extended time) and that providing timely feedback required instructors to go in and adjust settings after the assessment was completed.
These are not problems any longer! Blackboard’s test tool now come with new sets of options for tests and quizzes for Blackboard.
Test Availability Exceptions
Above and beyond the timer, availability and other previously available criteria, you can set Test Availability Exceptions for individual or groups of students. This allows you to accommodate student requests or special needs (including extended test time).
To access and edit these exceptions, we go to Edit the Test Options for the test or quiz we want to change, and scroll down to the Test Availability Exceptions.
Here, we have the option to Add a User (individually) or Group (created via the Groups tool in Blackboard). This allows you to set up exceptions for a group of students easily, instead of one-by-one.
A new window will pop up with your class list, which includes all Groups in the class. Find the student(s) or group you want to add exceptions for, and click the checkbox to the left of their names. Click Submit at the bottom, and you’ll be brought back to your Test Options page.
Now, the student(s) or groups selected will appear in a list. Here, you’ll be able to change any setting you’ve set for the test. You can change the number of attempts, the amount of time they have to complete the test, when the test is available to them, and if the test is set to Force Completion. This is an absolutely great option when you have a student who needs extra time on a test, or who will be excused from your class for a period of time when you have the test available.
Please note: If you haven’t selected an option for the whole test, such as Force Completion or Timer, the option to change it will NOT appear in the Exceptions section. You cannot set one student to a timer while the rest of the class does not have one.
Show Test Feedback to Students
The other major option that is available is the options regarding providing students feedback on tests. In our last version of Blackboard, we had only one option for providing feedback–immediately after the student has completed the test. This was less than ideal, since setting the feedback to include everything allowed for the possibility of cheating, but remembering to go in to change that setting after the test was over was easy to forget. Now we can customize when and how much students see.
To find these settings, go under Edit Test Options for the test and scroll down to the Show Test Results and Feedback to Students section.
You can set up feedback so that students can see little or nothing (or everything, if that’s your preference) right after submission, and then have that feedback change after attempts are graded, when the due date has passed, or when the test is no longer available. That way students will have access to expanded feedback automatically after the risk of cheating has passed.
These minor changes make test administering much, much easier in Blackboard.
More information about the in-depth options for the Test tool in Blackboard can be found here, including a breakdown of all of the options within the screen. If you find any problems or have any questions about tests in Blackboard, please do contact Tom or Lily.