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Instructional Design and Technology in Education

Blackboard Quiz Timer

Sometimes it is necessary to give students a limited amount of time to complete quizzes and exams in an online class. Research shows that it can be beneficial for some students and unfavorable for other students who have different learning styles to put a time limit on a test. When you do set a maximum time allowed, often very good students who quickly finish the quiz will go back and change answers and begin to second guess their first choices while students with anxiety might spend more energy worrying about the test itself then concentrating on the individual questions. On the other side, by not giving a time limit student find it harder to manage their time and many end up looking up the answers in lieu of learning the material.

If you decide to put a time limit on your quiz or exam, Blackboard has a built-in timer. It is helpful to be able to see what the elapsed time is and how much longer one has to finish the questions. You can set this up in Blackboard, but this capability resides in the particular browser the student has chosen to open Blackboard in and that browser’s settings. Most browser set-ups do not show the elapsed time by default.

It’s a good idea, especially if your quizzes are set up for single attempts, to create a “Test your Timer” quiz so students can see if their browser is set up to show the elapsed time. It doesn’t have to be a long and complicated test. If you give 2 minutes to answer 1 true/false question this should be enough time for them to see if the timer is working.

Create a new test and give it a description. Change the creation settings so you can include a picture and to give feedback for each answer.

Blackboard Test Creation Settings

Create a True/False question and add an image so the students know what to look for, then add feedback so a student has the resources to solve the issue.

Add True and False question

Set up the quiz so student can take it multiple times without penalty. Set the clock to a couple minutes and make sure you check the box by Set Timer.

Blackboard Test Options showing allow multiple attempts and set timer

Make sure to also check the Detailed Results so that your feedback will appear if the student gets the incorrect answer.

Blackboard Test Feedback options

In the gradebook: assign zero points to the quiz, change the Display as to Complete/Incomplete so that only a checkmark shows in the gradebook, and change the grading options so that it won’t affect the total points and doesn’t show up in the student’s view of the gradebook.

Blackboard Gradebook Settings showing zero points

Note that you will see it but the asterick in the column header means that the student’s won’t. You will also see if a student’ tried it out because a green checkmark will appear.

Blackboard Gradebook Settings

When you preview a quiz as an instructor, you will not be able to see if the timer works or not. If you’re interested to see if your browser is set up to show a time, log into Blackboard and search for CDE Showcase to self-enroll yourself. Go to the Lesson Examples and then to Test your Browser for Elapsed Time Quiz. Feel free to take the verbiage and the image to use in your course or let us know and we can add it for you.

Go here for instructions on how to change your settings if the timer does not show up.

https://www.answers.vt.edu/ask4help/academic/vtkb3045.htm

Author: Heidi Olson

Heidi enjoys working with content experts in developing eCampus courses to provide alternatives for students. Her other interests include faculty training in best practices for eCampus and researching eCampus tools to help fulfill learning outcomes. Having worked in the distance education arena for over 20 years, she has a wide range of experiences in supporting students and faculty as technology and pedagogy evolve.

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