Online Test Integrity

Moving courses to alternate and remote delivery creates the need to move assessments, as well as tests/exams online. This can pose many challenges for faculty and students including access created by required software, insufficient internet, and limited devices.

Given these unusual circumstances, we encourage faculty to consider an alternate assessment form to meet the course learning outcomes wherever possible. Feel free to connect with the Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning for more information regarding alternate options. CATL@loyalistcollege.com  

That being said, there are certainly times when a test or exam is required. In those cases, the following are some suggestions to ensure academic integrity during testing.

Standard Test Settings in Blackboard that Help to Ensure Test Integrity

Respondus Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor require that a student has a personal computer or an ipad with the required app, and if using Respondus Monitor it further requires the use of a webcam.  These are highly effective test invigilation tools; however, many students are opting to purchase smart phones with word processing capabilities in lieu of a personal computer.  If your students do not have the above resources: computer or ipad, and webcam, then they will not be able to write the test using lockdown and monitor. 

Given the unprecedented situation that we are facing, we cannot expect students to obtain the required resources; however, we can still implement settings that will help to ensure online test integrity. 

The following are a list of settings that can be utilized to ensure online test integrity. 

A question set is a collection of questions drawn from selected tests or pools. The questions are then randomly chosen each time a student takes the test.

If you have already created the questions in a previous assessment, you can add them to your test as a question set.  A question set will allow you to identify what questions you want to include, and pull in a random number of questions from that set. If you do not already have questions created you can move to Create a Test Pool.  

Step 1. When creating a test, select “reuse question” instead of “create question”.  On the list of options under reuse question, select “create question set”

Create a Question Set drop down option highlighted in red 

Step 2. Expand the test category, and select the test(s) that contain the questions that you would like to bring into this new test.  Then select the question that you want to include by clicking on the radio button beside the question title.  
Add questions from a previous test into a question set

Step 3. Click submit. 

Step 4. The question set will now be visible in your test canvas.  To identify the number of questions to pull into the test from the set, at random, click on “number of questions to display”, and then click submit. 

Identify the number of questions to display in the test.

Note: you can preview the questions that are inlcuded in the set if need be.

If you have not yet created your questions in Blackboard, it is recommended that you create your questions in a pool, and then create a random block in your test.

Create your questions in a test pool instead of building them directly into the test.   This will allow you to create a random block in your test. 

A question pool is a database of questions that can be reused in multiple tests or can be used to create random blocks or questions sets within a single test.  

Step 1. On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Tests, Surveys, and Pools. 

Location of tests, surveys, and pools in the control panel underneath the course menu.

Step 2. On the Tests, Surveys, and Pools page, select Pools. 

Step 3. On the Pools page, select Build Pool.

Step 4. Complete the Pool Information page and select Submit. At minimum, a name must be added.  Consider naming your pool after the test that it corresponds to ie. final test pool.  

Step 5. To add questions, you can use Create Questions, or Find Questions.

Create Questions:  If you have not yet created your questions in Blackboard, use the create questions button to add test questions to your pool.  To learn more about how to create test questions go to Creating Tests and jump to the Adding Questions section. 

Find Questions: If you have already created questions in a different test in your course, click Find Questions to add the questions to the pool.  To add questions from an existing test, expand the test category, and then select the test where the question(s) are located.  

Expand the test category, and select the test to find questions.  

Step 6. To preview a question before adding it to your pool, click on the preview question icon: 

Preview questions before adding them to a pool

Step 7. Once you have previewed your questions, add them to your pool by selecting the button to the left hand side of the question: 

Select questions to add to a pool

Step 8. Click Submit 

The following video provides information on Building a Pool of Test Questions. 

Add questions from your pool to your test using a random block.  This will allow to have blackboard pull a randomized number of questions from the pool into your test.  For instance, the test would pull 25 questions from a pool of 50 questions.  Each student would get 25 questions at random.  

When creating a test, select “reuse question” instead of “create question”.  On the list of options under reuse question, select “create random block”:

Select create random block from reuse question.

Select your test pool from the list of available pools, and then select the type of question that you would like to add from the pool.  To review all questions available in the pool, select “all pool questions”:

Select your pool and your question types to include in the random block.

To review a question before deciding to add it to your test, click on the preview question icon:

Preview your questions before adding them to your test.

After submitting the pool questions to your test, click on the number of questions to display to identify how many randomized questions to include in the test:

Select the number of questions to include in your test.

Set the point value for questions by changing the default point value from 10 to 1.

Set the point value for each question by changing the "points per questions".

The following video provides information on how to Create a Random Block of Questions. 

You can randomize the answer order in multiple choice questions. For instance, answer ‘a’ is the correct answer for one student, but answer ‘c’ is the correct answer for another student. When setting up a multiple choice question, remember to select “show answers in random order”:

Select show answers in random order when creating a multiple choice question.

To learn more about how to set up a multiple choice question, click on the following link. Multiple Choice Questions

This ensures that questions will be presented to students in a random order.  For instance, question 1 in your test may be presented as question 7 for one student, and question 12 for another student.  When editing the test options, remember to select “randomize questions”:

Select randomize questions when editing the test options

To learn more about setting and editing test options please click in the following link. Creating Tests in Bb

After submitting a test on Blackboard, students can receive a test review that shows them their submitted answers and the correct/incorrect answers.  Consider delaying this review to a later date once all students have completed the test.  This ensure that students cannot share test answers.

When editing the test options for your test, be sure to deselect all options “after submission”, and change the secondary setting to a later date (ie. after the availability end date), and select all options to release the test results and review at the designated time to students. To learn more about test options you can click on the following link. Creating Test in Bb

Delay test results and review to students.

Note: This setting will allow you to be flexible in scheduling the test to accommodate student schedules, and to reduce the load on the blackboard server from having all students write at the same time.