Online ExamWe’ve arrived at the end of the semester. Let the mad dash to the semester finish line begin! Over the next few days many exams will be given and many final grades will be recorded. If you are considering giving your final exam in UTC Online (Blackboard) below are some practices and test settings to consider before exam day.

Creating a test:

  • Use Questions Sets and Blocks to randomize exam questions from student to student.
  • Create questions that require students to use higher order thinking skills (evaluation, analysis, application).

Deploy a test: (test settings and options)

  • Make the exam available and use Display After and Until to make the exam available to students
  • Use the Timer and Auto Submit to keep students honest. In exams with one attempt and Timer and Auto Submit turned on, students will have a set time to complete the test. The student can log-out or loose their connection and the timer will continue to count down. The student can log back in and start their exam from where they left off.  Auto Submit will automatically submit the student’s attempt when the timer runs out.
  • Display questions All at Once. This setting will limit the possibility of students using their browser navigation tools, which can cause problems. However, keep exams short. Consider breaking longer exams into two shorter tests. Create a separate test for essays.
  • Avoid using Force Submit and Prohibit Backtracking settings.

Following the above recommendations will help faculty avoid the pitfalls of online testing. You can find additional information and recommendations on Ian’s Blackboard Blog.

Have you had success with online exams? What practices and policies have worked for you? Please share your experience in the comments below.


Erin Noseworthy
Senior Instructional Designer
Center for Online/Distance Learning
423.425.5677 | email