Exams on Blackboard Help & Support

Guidelines for using Blackboard Tests for off-campus summative Exams

This page provides guidance for staff using Blackboard Tests for online off-campus summative exams. Following these steps will ensure that potential problems can be mitigated.

Before the summative exam

There are two important preparatory steps to complete ahead of the exam. Getting the preparation right can help to mitigate potential problems during the exam.

STEP ONE: Configure the Blackboard Test Settings

  • Set the time on the Due Date on the Blackboard Test to be 30 minutes after the actual Due Date time. This to allow a 30 minute window to absorb any potential interruptions. After the exam, the module leader needs to check if students used this additional time.
  • Force Complete should NOT be ticked and Allow Multiple Attempts should be set to two. These settings allow all students one opportunity to pick up where they left off in the event of a technical issue.
  • Auto-Submit must be set to On in order for all student submissions to go to Grade Centre

STEP TWO: Communicate the code of conduct to students:

During the exam

N.B. if for any of the issues you are unsure of the best course of action and need urgent help, contact your DED via Teams to discuss the best way forward.

The main types of potential technical failures and user errors that may occur during an exam are detailed below.

Category 1

  • Student’s home network goes down
  • Student’s computer shuts down suddenly
  • Student’s test crashed out and they were
    unable to complete the test
  • Student accidently closes the browser tab
    with the exam on.
  • Blackboard crashes

For those issues listed above, the same guidance applies. As per the above guidance, if two Attempts have been set and Force Completion is off, students will be able to continue from where they left off if they retry once the network/Blackboard returns/computer comes back on.
N.B. If staff choose to use Force Completion and Allow Single Attempt this makes the process of applying mitigating actions difficult and the test may need to be run again.

Category 2

  • Accidental submission

Ask the student to re-enter the test and use their second attempt. Attempts can be reconciled post-exam if you contact digitaleducation@lincoln.ac.uk

Category 3

  • The questions are not displaying properly

Advise the student to make sure they are using Google Chrome and to clear their cache.

After the exam

  • Make a note of when the exam formally finished.
  • Check the submission times in Grade Centre to ensure that no attempts were made post-exam finishing and before the additional 30 minutes were up, in the event that a student re-accessed the exam within that narrow window and used an additional attempt.
  • Check which students used their second attempt and clarify why, if needed.

Support and Regulations

  • For additional support and guidance, please contact your College Digital Education Developer.
  • Please also see the section in the University General Regulations on Code of Conduct for Candidates in Examinations. The latest version of the regulations can be found here: http://secretariat.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/university-regulations
  • You can direct students to the assessment materials on Learning@Lincoln.