I have noticed the last 2 times I used Blackboard to submit end of unit exams that some answers are automatically being saved without my clicking on the 'Save Answer' icon.
Additionally, in the last 2 units I have correctly answered questions and saved them. After clicking Save and Submit the answer has been changed and is marked wrong. I print out the unit exam and use it to answer the questions before submitting the exams. I also reference the page number in the class book so I can always check where I found the answer. I am also very careful to click the correct radio box for the answer I have selected. I have missed 1 question on each of the last 2 unit exams.
In new versions of Blackboard, test answers are saved automatically after 10-15 seconds.
Are these tests using multiple-choice questions, and do you use the mouse wheel to move between questions? The only situations I've heard of with answers being "changed" is on multiple-choice questions, where the student has used the mouse wheel to move back and forth between questions. The mouse wheel is also a way to change selections on a radio button (such as a multiple-choice question), so if you use the radio button to move between questions, that can also change your answers, and the changes will be saved a few seconds later by the new auto-save that happens in the test.
Since almost everyone uses a scroll mouse to move around within documents, web pages, etc., is this issue going to be fixed with Blackboard? For me and perhaps others it is turning out to be an issue of grade points. It is almost second nature to use the scroll mouse.
Additionally, the software program is not saving within 10-15 seconds but a much shorter time frame. It saves both multiple choice and essay questions within 1-2 seconds. With so many save buttons within the unit exam why is there an automatic save anyway?
The mouse wheel changing selections in radio buttons is not a "Blackboard" thing--it's a the way radio buttons work in ALL web forms. That's the way browsers interpret mouse wheel movements when the mouse focus is on a set of radio buttons in a web form.
In my testing, the automatic saves happen in 10-15 seconds, but it may be different on your school's server. The reason the automatic save was added is because people often didn't use the manual "Save" buttons, and ended up losing work if they got disconnected or had browser problems.
In cases of users using extremely old versions of Firefox, or Microsoft Internet Explorer, this can be the case. In modern browsers, which blackboard REQUIRES, this is not the case. The developer would specifically have to model a script to make this functionality occur.
With that said, this has happened to be twice in the past week where i have lost points in a class because of this error. Nobody even believes that it happens. In one case I submitted my exam (and was not told of any missing answers like normally happens) and missed two questions because of no answer. I tried to recreate this on a practice exam and was unable to do so because of a dialog that stated I was missing answers to those questions and would I like to proceed. This evening I changed the last answer on my exam, waited for it to save and after it was submitted I got the question wrong because it had accepted the incorrect answer, not the one I had selected, as the final answer.
This has to be looked into and can't just be overlooked. People are losing points on exams and quizzes, which is lowering their overall grade. This all occurring because of an error in a piece of software that we are forced to use, that is broken. At this point I can't even get anyone to believe me that it actually happened, which is disheartening.
To thwart this, i will be taking a screenshot of my original test, the final test with my answers filled in, and then the final review page. Amazing that i have to do this, but my academic career rests int he hands of software developers who can't make radio buttons not move with the mouse wheel. I apologize if my comments seem flippant but it's extremely aggravating.
You are correct, it looks like the radio button selections on the forms are not changing anymore with the recent Firefox versions that I tested. As I said, that was the situation under which I had heard of answers changing in the past.
If you have evidence that answers are being changed on your tests, you need to talk to the help desk at your school and have them open a ticket with Blackboard to investigate what may be happening. You'll need to be prepared to provide some verification, though, so screen shots are probably a good idea.
Thank you for your reply. I have done what you suggested and the only thing they said they can do is "email us when it's happening and we can send it off to blackboard to look into it". So, that I will do.
Yes, digging into the Blackboard code is likely beyond your local support folks! But if there's a larger underlying issue that can be verified, I'm sure that Blackboard would want to find out about it. Unfortunately, it's the kind of thing that's pretty difficult to verify and reproduce, so the more documentation you can do, the better.
My school recently changed to Black Board from Web CT and for the last week we have been having problems. I wrote 0.000009/s^-2 and the format changed the answer to .0000090/s. I had the correct answer and now it is incorrect. Also, half of one of my answers last week was completely cut off after submission. I had typed it in, it was there, submitted it and then it was gone. So, a bad grade resulted. Now, because parts of this exam were not view-able to the professor (another error) we got an extra credit test. However, the same thing happened in this exam. This means that I am losing points and possibly entire grades because of software not because I do not know the answer. Furthermore, our professor has been unable to see the values the test has set on one exam. When will these problems be fixed in the system? They are unacceptable.
Have you talked to the IT Help Desk at your school? We at Dr. C have no connection to your school and no access to your test or Blackboard server, so we can't see what happened with your submissions. You need to talk to someone at your school who can look at the tests and see what's going on.
© Blackboard, Inc.