Understanding test options

In this quick primer, let’s take a quick look at the settings available when you deploy a test in your course.

Making the test available

The first setting listed under the ‘Test Availability’ settings is a yes or no toggle to make the test available for students — make sure this is set to ‘Yes’ if you’ll be setting the dates in which the test will open and close. The only reason you’d set this to ‘No’ would be if you plan to manually open the test for students.

Further down the list, you will see the ‘Display After’ and ‘Display Until’ dates, which control the visibility of the link that students will use to start the test. Note that the test link, description, and instructions are only visible to students during this date range, and the dates themselves do not display for students. These dates do not determine how long students have to answer questions once beginning the test — that is set via the test timer.

The Due Date, which has its own header midway down the Test Options page, is the date that displays for students in the My Grades tool, on the Calendar, and in other areas of Blackboard. It’s possible for students to submit the test after the due date, but late submissions will be marked as such in the Full Grade center and will display a needs grading notification. To stop students from submitting after the due date, just match it to the ‘Display Until’ date. Avoid checking the ‘Do not allow students to start the test after the due date has passed’ setting, especially if there’s a chance you’ll need to allow students to retake the test.

Controlling access to the test

Once you’ve set up the timeframe in which students can take the test, there are a few options you can adjust that determine how students access the test.

You can set the timer to control how long students have to answer questions once they start the test. The auto-submit option that appears with the timer, if enabled, will submit the test when the timer runs out. If you don’t use auto-submit, students will be able to continue answering questions after time elapses, but their attempt will be marked as ‘late’ in the grade center.

The force completion setting submits the student’s attempt if they close the test window for any reason. If a student encounters a technical issue while taking a test that forces them to close the test window, for example, you will need to reset their attempt in order for them to start over.

The test presentation options that appear at the bottom of the Test options page allow you to control how students navigate through the test. You can adjust the default setting that shows all questions at once so that students have to page through questions — this can make it harder for students to copy and share your test questions, but if you’re using force completion, will also make it more likely for them to encounter a network issue that could kick them out of their attempt.

Showing feedback

The feedback settings at the bottom of the Test Options page give you control of what kinds of info is displayed to students after completing the test.

The dropdown in the feedback settings allows you to select when students can view what you elect to show. The default is to show feedback after submission, but you can restrict feedback from being displayed until after the availability end date, due date, or until after all attempts have been graded.

You can also choose what is displayed on the feedback page. The score per question option simply lets students know which questions they answered incorrectly. You can also choose to show the full list of answer options, the correct answer, and the answer that the student chose. Select all three if you want to give student a self-study guide, or leave these unchecked to protect your exam questions.

If you provide question-level feedback on tests, be sure to check the ‘Show feedback’ option.

Please contact us if you have any questions about setting up your tests within your UA Little Rock Blackboard course!

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