Academic Technology @ Palomar College

Force Completion of a Blackboard Test

If you are a faculty member here at Palomar who uses Blackboard tests and selects the Force Completion option during test deployment, I have some advise: Stop.

Force Completion is one of those functions that sounds like it will be useful, but really is just a way of going swimming in cement boots. Among faculty who previously used the Force Completion test option, then stopped, I hear reports across the board that it has diminished the number of times students call asking for test attempt resets. Since the Force Completion option exacerbates network connection problems (as well as other potential bugs in Blackboard) for students without truly adding anything to the security of testing, I have to recommend that faculty stop using it.

Of course, if you have some strong reasons for using Force Completion (or if you have a story one way or the other about switching use of that option), I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

3 Responses to “ “Force Completion of a Blackboard Test”

  1. Kalyna says:

    My teaching life improved radically when I stopped using the Force Completion option. I can”t remember who first advised me to stop using it a number of years ago (I think it may have been Fred Rose, from Psychology), but I have never looked back. Now when students run into a problem when taking a quiz online, they just immediately close down their browser and then open it up again and go right back into the quiz. Seems to solve the problem almost all of the time.

  2. Kelly F says:

    I agree Kalyna! I can”t remember who told me not to use it, but thankfully they did. People use it as a means to increase test security by using time constraints, but that can still be accomplished by using a timer but not setting it to force completion.
    I have my tests set to a timer, if the student goes over then I deduct points. Their grade shows up as an exclamation (needs grading) if they go over the time. By not selecting force completion they can access the exam again if they are disconnected, I don”t have to reset their attempt. I can”t think of any reason to select force completion. It also helps for those students that may not be native speakers or are DRC students that need a little extra time. They can go over and I can decide if their will be points deducted.

  3. Kalyna says:

    Kelly, have you tried using the Auto Submit feature? The quiz automatically closes down after a certain time (whatever amount of time I allowed for the quiz); this is like collecting the quizzes from the students in a face-to-face class when the time is up. I really like the feature. I did wonder what to do about my DRC students who get extra time, and the way I deal with this is to also put up another password-protected quiz for them. It”s not that difficult to make a copy of each quiz.

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