Taking a Test in Online Classes
Online classes have quizzes and exams just as their face-to-face counterparts do.
Your instructor may choose to have proctored exams. Students within driving distance of one of the Central Arizona College campuses will be required to schedule an appointment at one of the Testing Centers to take the proctored exam. Other students will be required to arrange for test proctoring at an approved site. Read the syllabus and contact your instructor to make proctoring arrangements.
Know where to find the "Time Elapsed" message when taking a timed exam in Blackboard.
The Visual Text Box Editor is the "word processor" used in Blackboard when posting to the Discussion Board or answering an Essay question.
Suggestions for Successful Online Testing:
Use a compatible browser and operating system. Using Google Chrome in any operating system or using Safari on a PC can cause problems with online testing as those browsers are not recommended for use with Blackboard. Blackboard has specific Brower and operating system requirements.. More information available here.
Use a new version of Java and verify that only one version of Java is installed on your computer. Blackboard requires Java to function correctly. Some of the older versions of Java are not compatible with the newer versions of Blackboard. More information available here.
Have up-to-date internet security software and anti-virus software installed. Only install one internet security software package as more is not better with internet security. Too much security can cause browsing issues. Not enough security or no updated anti-virus can leave your computer vulnerable. Viruses can make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to take an online class successfully.
Set your internet security software to allow cookies. When internet security software is set to not accept cookies or to "expire" the cookies very quickly – this can log you out of Blackboard but you will not be aware of being logged out until clicking “Save”.
Keep browser toolbars to a minimum. Each toolbar tries to control a different browsing feature. Some of them can disable Blackboard features. The fewer toolbars the better.
Whenever possible take online exams on a computer with a physical cable connection. Wi-fi and cellular wireless internet connections are not as reliable as wired connections. The "can you hear me now" moment which happens during a phone conversation can happen when taking an exam. Unfortunately in the case of the exam, you suddenly discover that the exam is gone due to signal loss.
Try to not multi-task on the computer when taking an online exam. If possible do the exam and nothing else. The more you are doing on the computer the greater the likelihood of problem.
When working on very long exams with essay answers copy your answers into WordPad or Notepad. If something should happen to your test those answers will be saved and you will not need to start over. You will be able to copy and paste the answers back into Blackboard.
If you are experiencing many difficulties when using Internet Explorer switch to FireFox.
Technical Suggestions for Blackboard Tests:
- Check the pop-up blocker settings on your computer - this includes browser toolbars such as Google and Yahoo.
- Check the browser and internet security settings on your computer. Check these settings before EVERY test when using Internet Explorer. Sometimes Windows Updates change internet security settings without your knowledge.
- Close all windows on the computer and then open a new browser window to access Blackboard.
- Close other applications before taking the quiz/test (including chat programs).
- Single-click when clicking the link to the test. Try not to double-click in Blackboard
- Blackboard runs a Java applet which allows the text boxes to work correctly. If you see a Security Warning asking you to accept a Java script click "Yes" or "Run". If you have the option of "Run Always" select that option.
- After opening the test, before answering any questions, scroll to the bottom of the page to be sure the save and submit buttons are available. Click "Save all answers" to verify that the exam is working correctly.
- If you are only able to answer one question at a time (questions present themselves on separate pages), make sure you only single-click the "Next" button to move forward.
- If you are experiencing many difficulties when using Internet Explorer switch to FireFox.
- Do NOT click "Save and Submit" until you have completed the exam.
- Do NOT click the small "Save" buttons to the right of each question. The save button opens a popup window and can cause problems if you are blocking popups. You can click "Save all answers" at any time.
- Do NOT use any of the browser navigation buttons (i.e. Back, Forward, Home, etc.) during the quiz/test.
- Do NOT click the Refresh or Reload buttons in your browser while taking the quiz/test.
- Do NOT leave the assessment page (if it is a forced completion test) without completing the assessment and clicking the "Save and Submit" button at the end.
- Do NOT open other browser windows or applications while taking the quiz/test.
- Do NOT click on buttons in the Blackboard navigation while taking a quiz/test.
If you would like take a practice test, or if you would like to verify that your computer is correctly setup for online testing, a sample quiz available in "SCHOOL".