Instructional Design- ONLINE TESTING
Online testing can be an effective way for both you and your students to keep track of their progress throughout the course.
Things to Keep in Mind..
- If you want to do lengthy and/or detailed testing, your best bet right now is to develop your course within Blackboard
- The Blackboard quizzing feature allows you to create both surveys and assessments, and your question options include true/false, multiple choice, many answer, short answer/essay, fill-in-the-blank, and questions from pools
- Fill-in-the-blank questions are generally NOT recommended because it is too difficult to think up every variation of the correct answer a student might type in
- Blackboard gives you the options to allow students to take exams multiple times and to view their results and any feedback you have entered
- You can choose to create very short, customized quizzes outside of the Blackboard environment that are submitted to you via email
- A program called Hot Potatoes allows you to make self-check assessments, where students can take the quizzes multiple times and receive feedback, all without the instructor ever having to grade anything; you can use this product outside of Blackboard, in free-standing web pages
- Always be aware that, much as in a traditional classroom, you cannot completely remove the possibility of students cheating during online assessments
- Online testing, particularly at a distance, can be riddled with problems due to various issues with the students' computers. If you choose do offer online exams, be aware that you may end up spending a good deal of time troubleshooting exam issues that come up based on individual student computer setups, for example, if the student's browser times out, or if the student accidentally clicks to submit the exam too soon, etc....
- Self-check assessments are highly recommended as a means of allowing students to gauge their knowledge, without creating additional grading work for instructors; the Hot Potatoes software mentioned above allows for the very easy creation of these self-check quizzes
- If you want an online exam, you may want to consider short answer/essay questions; although you will have to grade these exams individually (Blackboard can automatically grade standardized questions), it is more difficult for students to successfully cheat on these types of questions
- If you are very concerned about cheating, you may want to arrange for your exams to be proctored; many libraries and other educational institutions are willing to assist with proctored exams
- Always remember that software is not perfect, and problems can arise when students try to take and/or submot an online exam; be prepared to handle problems that can occur, such as resetting an exam for a student whose submission does not come through the first time
- If you have short answer/essay questions, have the students compose and save their answers in a word processing format first, and then they can copy and paste the answers into the online form; this way, if something happens during the online exam, students will not have to re-write all of their responses