Thursday, August 29, 2013

Blackboard Tests and Special Accommodations

If you need to set up a test/quiz to meet a time accommodation for one student in a course, there are two ways to do this. I will first provide the way I would recommend implementing this task.

Sonny's Recommended Method

Set up your quiz as you normality would with access to all students and all test options set to how the test/quiz had been released in prior course offerings.

Here are the changes you need to make:
A. Make sure "Force Completion" is always off.
B. Set your timer for the usual time requirement for the test/quiz.
C. Make sure the Auto-Submit is set to "OFF."

What this will do is allow all students to go over the time requirement. Students who complete an auto-graded test/quiz before the timer will see their score (if you have it set up this way) immediately after completing the test/quiz. Students who go over the time requirement will not see a grade. The instructor will have to go into the Grade Center and see the late submissions. The test/quiz will be graded, but you will have to manually update the late submitted grades.

So, for your student who needs the time accommodation:

  • Meet with them before they take the test/quiz. 
  • Tell them that the timer is set to X-minutes, but they will have 1.5X-minutes (time and a half) to complete the test/quiz. 
  • Tell them that they will need to set their own timer up (a smartphone has a timer or any timer device is okay). Blackboard will track when they submit there test/quiz, so don't won't about the Blackboard timer reaching zero. They are allowed to go over time. 
  • Let them know that you will manual review and update their grade once you have time to review it. Again, they will not be penalized for going over the time limit, but you will check to see how much time over the limit they went.


When you set up tests/quizzes in this manner, you will also need to provide some instructors to those who go over the time limit. For example, you add to the instructions that students will be penalized 10% their total grade per minute over the time limit. This prevents other students from exceeding the time limit too much, but allows additional time for your student who needs it.

The good aspect of this method keeps all grades in one column in your Grade Center. The negatives can be a little more attention by the instructor to review all the students who go over the time limit, and it may cause some stress for the student with the time accommodation as they see a false timer running. Hopefully, the later can be reduce by talking with them in-person to reduce their stress.

The Other Method

There is another method to set up a test/quiz for a student who need a time accommodation. Follow this tutorial if you are interested in this method. It involves creating an additional test/quiz for this one student and setting up adaptive release so that the right students take the correct test/quiz. Here are the reasons that I DO NOT recommend this method:

  • All students will see two of the same test/quiz in their grade center. They will see only the score for the one they took and see the other one not completed. This may indicate that there is a special test/quiz and may suggest there is a student with special accommodation in the class.
  • It makes the grade center double in size. Now, you have two columns for every test/quiz. If you have a lot tests/quizzes in your course, it makes it harder to navigate.
  • You have to set up adaptive releases to every test/quiz to make sure students are taking the right test/quiz. More work for the instructor.


If you have any question about set up a test/quiz to meet time accommodations, you can always contact TLT at 913-588-7107.

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