Blackboard - How to Avoid Technical Issues with Online Tests
Many courses, especially online courses, choose to offer online tests and exams taken through the Blackboard Learning System. Although errors during online tests are uncommon, this document will describe tips to avoid issues while taking tests online and tell you how to get help quickly if you do encounter issues.
- Avoid multiple browser tabs, especially other instances of Blackboard - Having multiple Blackboard tabs open at the same time can cause the system to get confused as to which session is active. To avoid this, only have one tab open while taking your online test.
- Use a wired internet connection - Wireless internet speed and strength constantly changes while you use it. Most of the time you don't really notice this, because your computer downloads information in chunks and presents it to you at once. However when taking a test your computer constantly needs to communicate with the Blackboard system, which if there's a big enough change in your connection can cause the session to disconnect. To avoid this, we recommend using a wired internet connection whenever possible to take a test.
- Good browser hygiene - Keeping your browser in tip-top shape is a great way to avoid issues during tests. To do this:
- Keep your plugins installed up to date - Java and Flash are required components of Blackboard. Make sure they're installed and up to date.
- Clearing your cache periodically to avoid old data - https://www.trentu.ca/it/services/user-guides/clear-your-cache-sounds-like-cash
- Just in case - it's a good idea to copy and paste the answers to essay or long answer questions into a word document as a backup.
How to get help
If you do find that you've had a technical issue during a test, try the following:
- Remain calm - There are detailed logs of your activities in Blackboard, and test issues are generally solved very quickly.
- Go back into the test - Often times closing your browser and going back in are enough to solve the issue and let you complete the test.
- If you're unable to launch the test again:
- Contact your instructor - Your instructor can open a test for you again to give you another try.
- Contact email@example.com - The IT service desk team can provide limited assistance during an a test. However, if an additional attempt is required generally it will require your instructors approval.
- Please include the following information when contacting IT - The course code for the class, and the name of the test you experienced an issue with.