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Blackboard Assessments Quizzes, Assignments, Surveys, and the Gradebook

Using online quizzes and surveys and the Blackboard gradebook can be very helpful to you and your students. There are, however, some potential pitfalls you should be aware of and plan for. Things to consider · Practice quizzes are a wonderful study tool for students. · Online quizzes give students instant feedback. · The quizzes are graded automatically! This is an obvious help to faculty with very large classes. · Using the Assignment tool is an easy way for you to exchange documents with your students electronically and make comments on their work. · If you choose to use the Blackboard gradebook your students will always know their grades. This should reduce the number of calls and email inquiries you receive. · You can export the Blackboard gradebook to a spreadsheet and also import grades into Blackboard from a spreadsheet. Avoiding problems · If you plan to use online testing remember Murphy's Law and decide in advance what to do if things go wrong. Have a backup plan, and a policy for make up tests! · Tell your students who use dial up connections to the Internet to TURN OFF call waiting when taking a test. On most phone systems this can be accomplished by dialing *70, before the phone number they use to connect to their Internet service provider. · Warn students NOT to use the builtin AOL web browser. Students can use AOL to connect to the Internet as they normally do, but should minimize the AOL window once connected and use either Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape to log on to Blackboard. Both Internet Explorer and Netscape are free and can be downloaded from the Web.

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· If you are going to give a test that you expect to take longer than 30 or 40 minutes, you should present the questions one at a time. That way the student has to click submit for each question and will keep their Internet connection active. Just filling in test answers does not. · Using question pools to build quizzes and randomizing the questions can reduce the possibility of cheating. · Some faculty divide their pools by question type then randomly add set numbers of each type to their tests. · To keep students from printing a copy of the test or the feedback type the following bit of html code as the first part of the test name or if you are not presenting random questions, it can go into the first part of the first question. <style type="text/css">@media print {BODY {display:none}}</style> · If you set up a timed test and a student goes over the time limit, you will have to manually grade the test.

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Assessment Questions The seven possible question types in Blackboard are: · · · · · · · Multiple choice True/False Multiple answer Ordering Matching Fill in the blank Essay

For matching, multiple answer, and ordering questions Blackboard will give partial credit. You can also add questions from old quizzes, or from question pools. Questions may contain pictures. To add a picture to a question: · When you are on the Test Canvas screen in the Test Manager, click the Creation Settings link (page 215). · Click the check box for "Add images, files, and URLs to questions". · Click Submit and then click OK. Creating an Assessment Basic steps are: · Create an assessment "shell" (i.e. give the quiz a name, description, and basic instructions). · Add questions to the quiz, including feedback for correct and incorrect answers, if you wish. · Make the quiz available to students by "deploying" the quiz in a content area of the course. Timed quizzes · Time elapsed shows at the bottom of the browser window. · Students receive a oneminute warning.

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· Students will not be kicked out of a quiz once the time has elapsed. · A time stamp at the top of the student's quiz will indicate how much the time limit was exceeded. Making a quiz visible and invisible by setting times and dates · Use the "Modify the Test Options" link on the Modify Test screen to set test availability options. You will see this screen as soon as you finish adding questions to your quiz and click OK. · Please note: Don't click the check box next to "Display After" unless you want to set a specific time and date. By default the quiz will be visible as soon as you make it available. Question Pool Manager in Blackboard (p. 252) Using question pools allows you to easily manage quiz questions, group them into categories, and have Blackboard randomly select questions from multiple groups of questions for a quiz. Using questions pools gives you greater flexibility for creating quizzes and allows you to create your own library of questions over time. You can also export questions from one class and import them into another class.

Accessing the Online Gradebook (p. 256) The Blackboard grade book displays student names and grade book items in a spreadsheet view. You can look at entries for an individual student by clicking the student's name or look at all entries for a particular grade book item by clicking the item name. Adding a New Gradebook Item and Entering Grades The basic steps are: · In the grade book, click Add Item. · Give the item a name, category, possible points, etc. · Click Submit.

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To enter grades for the item: · Click the item name in the grade book. · Click Item Grade List and enter the grades. Understanding Gradebook Symbols The icons that appear in the grade book are explained in the legend at the bottom left corner of the spreadsheet. Clear Attempt If a student begins a quiz but fails to complete it a lock icon or exclamation point will appear in the gradebook. When you click the icon and then click the View button you will see a Clear Attempt button. Clearing the attempt will allow the student to take the quiz again. Weighting Grades To weight grades go to the grade book and click the Weight Grades icon at the top of the spreadsheet. You can weight grades by individual item, or by categories, such as homework, quizzes, and so on. Downloading and Uploading Grades · Clicking Download Grades will download the grade book as a CSV file that you can open with Microsoft Excel. · Clicking Upload Grades will allow you to upload grades from a spreadsheet to the Blackboard grade book. Blackboard recommends that you first download your grade book, then enter the grades into the spreadsheet, and upload them.

Surveys (p. 250) Surveys are created the same way as quizzes. Just click the Survey Manager option in the Control Panel, and then click Add Survey.

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Surveys are not graded. By looking in the grade book you can see who has completed a survey but the individual responses are anonymous. To view survey responses: · Click Gradebook in the Control Panel · Click the name of the survey. · Click the Assessment Attempt Details link to view the survey responses. Adding assignments The assignment function in Blackboard allows you to easily create, grade, and make comments on student assignments. This feature also allows you to exchange documents with students electronically. To create an assignment: 1. Go to the Control Panel and then select the content are of your class where you want the assignment to appear (such as Course Documents or Assignments). 2. Choose Assignment from the drop down menu on the right and then click GO. 3. Type a name, assign the point value, and write instructions if you wish. 4. Set the options of your choice and attach a files or files if desired. 5. Click Submit. The assignment will be added to the content area you specified and to the grade book. To view a completed assignment go to the grade book. Clicking on the ! in the row next to a student's name will allow you to grade an assignment for that individual, add comments, and send a file attachment back to the student. If you click on the name of the assignment at the top of the grade book column you'll go to the Item Options screen where you can choose Item Download to download multiple files. After you've graded the assignments you can use the Item File Clean Up to delete multiple files at once.

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