What guidance is available when using Blackboard tests for formative/self-guided study?

These are recommended deployment options when using Blackboard tests for formative or self-guided study.

Setting the test

  • Avoid using the Short Answer, Essay and File Response type questions. Students will not receive immediate scoring and feedback, as these need manually reviewing by tutors
  • Check that answers to any Fill in the Blank, Fill in Multiple Blank and Quiz Bowl questions allow for alternative spellings, abbreviations, common mis-spellings, synonyms, punctuation and the inclusion or omission of units of measurement to numerical answers
  • Avoid lengthy instructions within the test page. Provide instructions separately in advance of the test to aid student preparation. An editable set of instructions that you can download, customise and publish in your site in order to provide students with appropriate preparatory guidance when taking Blackboard tests outside of class is available: General instructions for Blackboard tests
  • Only use images and multimedia (e.g. audio, video) if they are relevant to the item, as students accessing the assessment from home may be disadvantaged by slow connection or lack of appropriate software to view them
  • When using the test as practice material prior to a high-stakes assessment, include all relevant features of the software, all question types, and a sample of items similar in content, style and difficulty to those to be used in the actual test

Deploying the test

  • Allow students to have multiple attempts
  • Do not select the Force Completion option. Should any student experience technical difficulties during the test, they will be able to exit the test and re-enter to complete the remaining questions
  • Avoid setting automated time limits or Test Availability Exception rules to allow students to complete the test at their own pace and to take account of any slow connection speeds

Test Results and Feedback

  • Keep the correct answers hidden from student feedback, but allow students to see the submitted answers and feedback and score for each question. This displays the student’s ‘marked’ test page identifying incorrect responses, and will ensure students have valid multiple attempts as they will have to work out, rather than be told, the correct answers
  • When allowing student access to specific feedback depending on whether responses to questions are correct or incorrect, refer them to the source of information in your Blackboard site or points in their learning, along with links to further resources

Test Presentation

  • Use the All at Once test presentation option. Students can see all questions on one page, allowing them to choose the order in which they want to answer questions. It also makes it easier for students to review their responses before submitting their answers. If you chose the One at a Time option, do not Prohibit Backtracking as they will not be able to preview all questions, nor return to previously answered questions
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