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Guidelines for Testing Online

Get Your Test in Blackboard

Blackboard provides the best set of online proctoring tools available to the widest range of students. Wherever possible, we encourage all faculty to use the same tools for the same tasks -- Collaborate for live sessions, Stream for pre-recorded video, and Blackboard tests for testing. This makes the experience easier on your students (they only have to learn to use one tool for similar tasks), and it makes it easier for IDS to provide support both to you and your students. This is especially true of testing, which is generally a high-stress experience for students. If they are testing in a familiar environment, an environment they've tested in before, then they can focus on the test material and not the testing tool.

Blackboard provides a wide range of options (see our overview) for customizing your students' test-taking experience.

Word-to-Test Conversion

To help you get your tests into Blackboard, IDS provides Word-to-Test conversion. Your test will need to follow a specific format, outlined here. Once you have the test appropriately formatted, email your test to the Instructional Design Studio ( Let us know the CRN of the course you want the test added to, the points per question, the options you want set, any availability exceptions, and where in the course you want the test posted. IDS will post the test for you.

We can import tests that include images in questions, but have found tests that have equations created using an equation editor don't import very well. If your test includes equations, please convert these to images before sending us the test for conversion.

Please provide us with test at least two business days before you want it to be available to students. This ensures we will have time to get the test posted for you.

Use LockDown Browser and Monitor for Online Proctoring

Respondus LockDown browser is a web browser (like Chrome or Firefox is a web browser) designed for testing. When running LockDown browser, all a student can do on their computer is take their test. All other functions -- searching the web, launching PowerPoint or Word, using chat services like Discord -- are disabled. But, you say, that doesn't prevent a student from going through their textbook or paper notes, or looking things up on their phone! That's where Monitor comes into play. Monitor uses a student's web camera and microphone to record their test-taking, then uses facial recognition technology to flag suspicious activity for you to review.

The University as licensed both LockDown Browser and Monitor, making them available for our students to use at no extra charge.

If you plan to use Monitor, your syllabus should indicate that students are required to have a working web cam as part of the course.

For faculty with international students, LockDown Browser and Monitor both work internationally (including China).

Our overview for how to set up LockDown Browser and Monitor is here.

Respondus also has a wide range of faculty resources available for both LockDown Browser and Monitor.

Respondus LockDown Browser resources

Respondus Monitor resources

You'll need to provide students with a link to download the Detroit Mercy version of LockDown Browser. Our instructions are here.

Availability Exceptions

Blackboard includes a full set of availability exceptions that can be applied to individual students. If you have one or more students who need extra time, this can easily be set on the test’s options page.

Give a Practice Test

To help your students get over the stress of online test taking, and to shake out any bugs in their test-taking process, we strongly encourage you to provide students with a practice test before they have to take a real test. Let them take this test as many times as they’d like to get comfortable with launching and taking their test. Use the same options and proctoring tools on this test that you’ll use on the real test.

If you’d rather not come up with a set of sample questions, download the practice-test ZIP file linked here. Go to the TESTS, SURVEYS, & POOLS section of your course site, choose tests, then click the IMPORT TEST button. Find this zip file and upload it into your course. You can then add this practice test to any content area in your site, and apply the appropriate test options and proctoring settings.

Permalink Last updated 06/04/2020 by R. Davidson

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