UNMC Testing Recommended Best Practices

UNMC Recommendations for on-line testing:

General Recommendations

  1. Wireless network is not recommended due to general unreliability of constant connectivity when using a wireless network connection.
  2. Have a back-up plan whenever you plan to use Blackboard for testing. This might include paper copies of the exam (with Scantron sheets if necessary) or an alternate testing site or date
  3. If you are testing a large number of students, consider staggering starting and stopping times to reduce the load on the system. This is especially critical for those administering tests at locations other than the main UNMC campus.
  4. Try to limit the test to a maximum of 30 to 40 minutes. If the required assessment is longer, break the test up into smaller parts (Part One, Part Two, etc.), each being 20 to 30 minutes in length.
  5. Do not use exam questions that require the student to go to another part of the Blackboard course or use external software to answer the questions.
  6. When using essay questions, provide students with a paper copy of the questions. Have them answer the essay questions in a word processing program or a text file, then open the Blackboard test and copy and paste the responses. This will give the student sufficient time to prepare a thoughtful response and not keep the browser open with no activity for an extended time. If you combine objective and essay questions, we recommend you either follow the same procedure, but have the students answer the objective questions after they complete the essay questions and enter the course to copy and paste their answers OR put the essay questions in Part One of the test and the objective questions in Part II.
  7. If you use a password to protect your test, remember that IT support services will not be able to assist students or proctors with the password as it is generated by the test author.
  8. Recommendations for examination settings when preparing the test:
    1. Disable “Force Completion” to allow students to reenter an exam without having to delete all answers and starting over.
  9. Consider a low-stakes or non-graded “trial exam” early in the course to acclimate students to the system and best practices.

During the exam

  1. Ask students not to double click on any of the buttons
  2. Ask students not to use the browser Back button
  3. When taking the examination, students should Save their answers every few questions by scrolling to the top or the bottom of the examination and clicking Save All Should a student leave the browser accidently or be “kicked out” of the exam, before the student reenters the exam or moves to another computer the proctor should:
    1. At a different computer, the proctor should access the course Grade Center in which the examination is being taken
    2. Locate the student and examination column in the Grade Center > click the double-sided arrow for the student > click View attempts to check to see if the student in question has answers recorded for work to that point
    3. Either copy the student’s responses or download the Grade Center or print to pdf or a printer the students current test responses.
    4. After the above is completed, then have the student log back in to the examination, verify that they see the answers the same as observed in the grade center and then have the student continue.unmcit.unmc

Suggestions for students taking the test:

  • Use only the scroll bar to navigate through the test. DO NOT USE the back button on your browser, as it will take you out of the test.
  • Before beginning, scroll to the end of the test and check that the Submit Test Button is present and that the correct number of questions are present.
  • Be certain to Save your answers after every few questions.
  • Prior to the examination students should clear the cache and disable Pop-Up Blockers
  • Prior to the examination students should make certain the http://my8.unmc.edu is an Allowed (trusted) site in their browser settings
  • Have students access the examination using the latest version of the Firefox browser
  • Conduct / offer an online “practice” test prior to the high stakes online examination
  • Spyware is a continuing problem with assessments in Blackboard. If you have students taking exams off-site, highly recommend that they install some type of anti-malware software on the computer they will be using to take exams.
During an exam

Should a student leave the browser accidently or be “kicked out” of the exam, before the student reenters the exam or moves to another computer the proctor should:

  1. At a different computer, the proctor should access the course Grade Center in which the examination is being taken
  2. Locate the student and examination column in the Grade Center > click the double-sided arrow for the student > click View attempts to check to see if the student in question has answers recorded for work to that point
  3. Either copy the student’s responses or download the Grade Center or print to pdf or a printer the students current test responses.
  4. After the above is completed, then have the student log back in to the examination, verify that they see the answers the same as observed in the grade center and then have the student continue.

Additional issues related to the Grade Center:

Currently UNMC has a campus license for Respondus Lock-Down Browser. It is installed on the computers in MSC 1010 at this time. For more information on this feature, please contact LEIS.

Intermittent problem with the Grade Center not loading in Internet Explorer browser. To remedy:

  • Clear cache
  • Make certain all updates have been installed
  • Try alternate browser (recommended: Firefox)
  • Firefox URL for free download: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/

Intermittent problem with the Grade Center not providing scroll bars in Firefox. To remedy:

  • Go to Windows Control Panel>Display>Text size and set to a smaller level
  • Make certain Java and the browsers are updated to current versions

http://www.unmc.edu/its/computerized_assessment.htm

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