Top Success Tips for Students Taking Blackboard Exams

Following these suggestions will reduce the likelihood of having technical problems completing your exams, and reduce the need for your instructor to reset your exam if you have problems.

Before your test:

  • Ensure you have a stable and strong internet connection such as a cable modem or DSL.  Use a laptop or desktop computer, not a phone or tablet.
  • Test your computer – Is it ready? Do you have the plugins you need?

During the test:

  • Keep track of your time and avoid distractions such as telephones, family, children, pets, etc.  Ensure you complete the exam within the allowable time.  Plan accordingly.
  • Save as you go, at least every few minutes.  If you’re answering questions quickly, don’t click Save repeatedly.  Allow time for the system to respond.  (Look for the the green progress bar at the bottom of the screen.)  If the test presents one question at a time, your answers will be automatically saved as you go.  You don’t have to save each question.
  • Answer essay question on a PC in notepad (or WordPad depending on your operating system) (Start > All Programs > Accessories).  (Mac Users: Application > TextEdit).  You should write your essay responses in Notepad, save a copy to your hard drive, then copy and paste the text in to Blackboard.  Do not copy and paste from Microsoft Word.
  • DO NOT DOUBLE-CLICK.  Double-clicking either the Save Answer, Next Question, or Submit buttons may cause an error.

If you have sort of technical difficulty, contact your instructor and the Student Helpdesk immediately.

Student Helpdesk Contact Information

Email: studenthelp@miracosta.edu
Phone:  (760) 795-6655
Toll Free:  (888) 201-8480 ext. 6655
Website:  http://www.miracosta.edu/studenthelp

 

Setting up Notifications E mail, SMS Text Messages, or Text to Voice Messages in Blackboard

This feature is currently not working for SMS text messages and voice messages.  Email is still working.  Bb is working on a fix for the issue.  At this time we do not know of a resolution date.  8/12/2015


The notification system alerts you when events occur in your courses, such as when items are due, grades are available, new content and tests are made available, and when you have unread discussions and blogs. Notifications are generated automatically whenever their associated events occur.

The following video will show you how to setup notifications within Bb.

Archive your Course

The Archive Course feature allows you to archive (save a backup) of your courses that includes student records  in .zip format.  The archive course zip file is intended for backup purposes only.   You will be able to import an archive file in to any Blackboard system, however if you need the archive restored with student records, contact  Karen Korstad.

  • If you wish to save a copy of a course’s Grade Center for easier access than a course archive, see here
  • If you wish to copy a course from one semester to another, use the export/import functions, not this archive procedure.

Course Archive Directions

  1. Enter your Blackboard course
  2. Scroll down to the Control Panel area on the left
  3. Click Packages and Utilities
  4. Click Export / Archive Course
  5. Click the Archive button.
  6. On the next page, select the check box if you want the Grade Center history to be included in the archive.
  7. Click the Submit button.
  8. Blackboard will generate a message “This action has been successfully queued. An email will be sent when the process is complete.” Click the Ok button to confirm.
  9. Once you receive the email that your course has been archived, return to this area (see steps 1 and 2).
  10. The .zip package of your archived course should now be listed.
  11. Click on the .zip file and choose to Save it.
  12. Save zipped course to the hard drive or onto a removable storage device (Floppy, CD, Flash drive, etc.).

NOTE: Archiving a course does not remove the original from the system

Review the Student Total Column and Export your Grade Center to Excel

At the end of the semester it is important to ensure that your student grades are calculated correctly within the Blackboard Grade Center, and that you export a copy of the Grade Center for future reference. Watch the video and/or read the text instructions below to learn how.

The Total Column

Running Total – If you have set your Grade Center Total column to Calculate as a Running Total (you selected Yes to this option) you MUST either enter a 0 in each grade column row for assignments a student has not completed or change the Total column Running Total setting to No. Completion of this step will help you avoid situations with angered students who think they are doing better than they are.

Directions to Modify the Totals Column

  1. Enter your Blackboard course
  2. Scroll down to the Control Panel area on the left
  3. Click on Grade Center
  4. Click on Full Grade Center
  5. Click on the drop down arrow in the Total column to right of the heading Total
  6. Select Modify Column
  7. Scroll down to section #3 – Select Columns. Make sure you select No for Calculate as a Running Total
  8. Click Submit

 Or…

  1. Enter a 0 in every cell where a student currently does not have a grade.

Backup/Export your Grade Center and store it in a secure location

It is important to maintain a copy of your grade center.  You may need to refer to it in the future to check a student’s grade and/or respond to a student’s grade appeal.

  1. Enter your Blackboard course
  2. Scroll down to the Control Panel area on the left
  3. Click on Grade Center
  4. Click on Full Grade Center
  5. Click Work Offline (on the right hand side)
  6. Leave all the defaults (Full Grade Center, Tab, Tab) – Click Submit
  7. Click the Download button
  8. Save the resulting file to your computer, and ensure that it is secure.
  • Full time faculty  I suggest using your H: drive (aka home folder/private on campus only network storage).
  • Associate Faculty  store this file in a secure password protected location.
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