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Blackboard Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Blackboard FAQ: Students, Accommodating


I am planning on having my students take tests in my Blackboard course and one student has indicated he will need to be accommodated with extended test times.  Do I need to create a separate exam for this student with different criteria?

While you can, technically, create a second version of your test, this can be difficult to manage in Blackboard. Deploying a second test creates a second column in the Grade Center that should be hidden from students (to maintain confidentiality that a student is receiving accommodations) and not included in Grade Center calculations (to preserve the integrity of grades calculated in the Grade Center). The second version must be hidden from other students, both so that they do not take the version with the longer timer and so that student accommodations are kept confidential. Finally, when students complete the version of the exam with extended time, their score will need to be manually added to the column for the primary exam, since the second column is not included in Grade Center calculations.

The simplest approach is to allow the students needing the accommodations to take whatever time has been alloted for them to complete the online test and to ignore the timer.  When the timer ends, they will still be able to complete and submit their exam (as long as Auto-Submit is set to Off). Blackboard will flag their attempt with an exclamation mark (!) in the Grade Center to indicate that they exceeded the time limit, and as a result they won't see their score immediately within "My Grades" in Blackboard.  You will need to review any such attempt and then click the "Submit" button on the exam attempt to approve it. The student will not be able to view his/her grade until this is done.  If you choose to do this, we recommend that you discuss this with the student so that he/she is aware that the timer is to be disregarded.

If it is preferred to create a version of the exam with the extended time limit, there are three general steps. First, create a second version of the test. Then deploy the test with an Adaptive Release rule that makes the test only visible to the student(s) with extended time. Finally, edit the Grade Center column for the second version so that it is not visible to students and is not included in the Grade Center calculations.

To create a second version of the test:

  1. In the Control Panel, click Course Tools
  2. In the Course Tools panel, click Tests, Surveys, and Pools
  3. Click Tests
  4. Click the round drop down arrow next to the test to be copied
  5. From the menu, click Copy

When deploying the second version, we recommend changing the name to indicate that this version has an extended timer. Once this second version is deployed, set up an Adaptive Release rule so that it is only visible to a single student.

To create the Adaptive Release rule for the extended test:

  1. Navigate to the content area where the test is deployed
  2. Click the round drop down arrow next to the test with extended time
  3. Click Adaptive Release in the menu
  4. In section 2, enter the student's Z-ID in the Username field or click the Browse button to search by name
  5. For multiple students, type their Z-ID's in the Username field separated by a comma or click the Browse button to search for each by name
  6. Click the Submit button

Do not fill out other areas of the Adaptive Release page, as this may prevent students from seeing the exam. 

The final step is to modify the settings of the Grade Center column:

  1. In the Control Panel, click Grade Center and then Full Grade Center
  2. Click the round drop down arrow to the right of the column for the test with extended time
  3. From the menu, click Edit Column Information
  4. In section 3, change the setting for Include this Column in Grade Center Calculations to No
  5. In section 3, change the setting for Show this Column to Students to No 
  6. Click the Submit button

 The student who has the extended time accommodation will be able to see both versions of the test. Be sure to clarify to the student which version of the test he or she should use.

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Last Updated: 02/27/2014