Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tip #48: Best Practices for Student Test Taking

A Blackboard Tip of the Week:  Best Practices for Student Test Taking

Tip:  You can help students reduce the chances of technological mishaps while taking exams by encouraging them to follow a few best practices.

Best Practices for Students Preparing to Take a Test:

  • Students should view Blackboard using Internet Explorer 7 or Firefox 3.5
    • Students who have already updated to Internet Explorer 8 should enable Compatibility View by clicking on the Compatibility View button located to the right of the Address Bar
  • Students should run a System Check at least 30 minutes before an exam
    • On the TWU Blackboard system front page under the Getting Started Guide, they should click on System Check 
  • Students should disable pop-up blocking in their browsers
    • In Firefox, they should: 
      • Go to Tools > Options > Content
      • Uncheck Block pop-up windows
      • Click OK
    • In Internet Explorer, they should:
      • Go to Tools > Pop-up Blocker
      • Click on Turn Off Pop-up Blocker
  • Students should close all other applications and browsers before starting their test, and not open any others for the duration of their exam session
  • Students should check for possible firewall issues before choosing their test taking location—especially if they plan on taking an exam at their places of employment
    • Students can make sure their test submission will not be blocked by a corporate or home firewall by submitting the Sample Exam in the Blackboard Sample Course
      1. Go to and log in with “online” as the username and password
      2. Click on TWU Sample Course and click on Exams
      3. Take the Sample Exam (choose to “take the assessment again” if given the option)
    • If, after agreeing to submit the exam, the student receives “Assessment successfully submitted” message, then there should not be a test taking firewall problem on that location’s connection

Best Practices for Students While Taking a Test:

  • Students should not open any other browser window or application for the duration of their exam session
  • Students should not click outside of the test—including the navigation on the left side panel in Blackboard
  • Students should not click on any browser navigation such as the Back, Forward, or Home buttons
  • Students should not use the scroll wheel on their mouse as this will sometimes inadvertently change answers
  • Students should click the Save button every five questions to save their answers unless questions are being delivered one at a time—in which case, they will need to press save on every question
  • When ready to submit, students should click the Submitbutton just once

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