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When you are preparing an exam in Blackboard there are test development factors that you can implement that will help to reduce testing issues and test lockups for you and your students.
It is important to remember that consistent access to online content is dependent upon the student’s computer, the student’s home network system, the student’s ISP, as well as the college’s network and systems.
• An efficiently developed exam will produce fewest technical complications for students while taking exams.
• The more complex you make the test and the test settings the more likely it will cause submission failures and test lockups for students.
Avoid creating large exams involving many different question types that are presented all at once. Keep in mind that the more technical functionalities that are added to an exam will incre ase the likelihood for technical difficulties while the exam is being taken.
• If an exam is more than 25-30 questions, divide the exam into separate exams within Blackboard (ex. Midterm part A and Midterm part B.)
• When using random selection of questions from pools, keep the overall number of questions shorter or divide into separate exams.
If a test uses a combination of automatically graded and manually graded questions it is recommended that the exam be divided into two separate exams based on grading methods. This will help to avoid technical difficulties due to conflicting functionalities.
If you are using randomized display order for exams, it is recommended that you avoid using the question-by-question display. This will reduce the likelihood of technical difficulties caused by multiple technical functions processing for each time a new question is displayed.
Be conservative when using online exam time limits. Online exams depend on a variety of technologies all working together at the same time, student computers, student home networks, student ISP access/service, as well as college network and system services. All of these technologies must work together to create the access route between students and their online exams.
• The likelihood of a technical difficulty between any of these access points increases the longer the time limit is for an online exam.
• If a time limit for an exam should be longer that 30 to 45 minutes, it is recommended that the exam be divided into separate parts to reduce the possibility of disconnects and test lockups.
Share the Online Testing Tips website with your students prior to each exam.