How can students avoid problems when taking online tests?
Online testing has more variables than the traditional classroom setting, and thinking about them before test time is helpful for instructors and students. Based on our testing of Duke’s Sakai system, we offer the following guidelines to ensure students can successfully complete tests and quizzes in Sakai.
Open only one window and one browser
If the quiz is open in multiple tabs, browsers, or computers, your answers may be submitted incorrectly and the test timer may be incorrect. Sakai might also temporarily close your exam and display a ‘data discrepancy’ warning—forcing you to reopen the exam in only one window and browser. Revisiting old exams while taking an exam might also trigger these warnings and/or result in lost answers.
Save your answers frequently
If all of the questions are on one page, the save button will be at the bottom of the page. Periodically click “save” and then scroll back up to answer the questions. Click only once when saving your answer. Even if the system is slow, clicking more than once could cause further delay.
Use a reliable network connection when possible
If the Internet connection is lost or the browser closes unexpectedly, your answers may be lost. Avoid taking tests at coffee shops or where wireless access is inconsistent.
Complete the exam promptly
Open the exam only when you are ready to complete it. Do not leave the exam open while you do other things, because you could get distracted and lose your answers before they are submitted. If your instructor has created an exam with a time limit, your answers will be submitted automatically when the timer expires.
Do not use your browser's Back and Forward buttons
This can cause problems with your assessment (answers might not be saved or could be submitted automatically). If you need to move to another question, use the Previous and Next buttons at the bottom of the screen.
You may be timed out after a certain amount of inactivity
If you are working on a quiz question and there is no interaction between you and Sakai for some amount of time, you will be logged out of the system or your test will be auto-submitted. Depending on the quiz settings, you may be prevented from accessing the test or question. Timed tests begin when you start the test and launch the timer. Even if you log out, the timer continues to track remaining time available to complete the test.
Wait for a confirmation number
After clicking “Submit for Grading,” wait for the submission screen that includes your Confirmation Number (depending on your connection, it may take several minutes). If you close your browser before seeing this screen, your test may not be recorded.