Blackboard Frequently Asked Questions:
Tests and Quizzes


What steps can I take to reduce browser problems or server timeouts that can occur while taking tests?
I am trying to submit a test or assignment that includes text, but the Submit button will not work. What should I do?
My answers changed as I moved between questions. What is happening?
How can I have my test or quiz reset?
Why doesn’t my Test Timer appear?
How can I install and use Respondus Lockdown Browser to take my test?
Can I use Blackboard Mobile Learn on my mobile device to take my test?


What steps can I take to reduce browser problems or server timeouts that can occur while taking tests?
  1. Make sure your Internet browser is up to date.
    Supported Internet browsers at Fort Hays State University include the most recent version of Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. Safari (for Mac users) may also be used with Blackboard, but please note that it may not be compatible with some systems at FHSU. The recommended browser for use with Blackboard is the most recent version of Mozilla Firefox, which is available for  use on both Windows and Macintosh platforms and can be downloaded free at www.mozilla.com. While taking tests or quizzes, avoid using Google Chrome and older versions of any browser.

  2. Make sure Java Runtime Environment is installed.
    You will need to have Sun Microsystems Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installed in order for Blackboard to function properly. It can be downloaded free at www.java.com. For more information, see also How to Install or Update Java.

  3. Make sure Javascript is enabled in your browser.
    See these websites to view instructions for enabling JavaScript in your browser:
      Firefox   Internet Explorer   Safari

  4. Make sure cookies from third parties are allowed by your browser.
    See these websites to view instructions for enabling cookies in your browser:
      Firefox   Internet Explorer   Safari

  5. Make sure Pop-up blockers are disabled.
    While using Blackboard, if you are unable to view discussion postings, quiz windows, and download links, then you may need to disable pop-up blocking for the FHSU Blackboard website. See these websites to view instructions for disabling pop-up blockers in your browser:
      Firefox   Internet Explorer   Safari

  6. Click "Save" frequently while you are taking your test.
    The Blackboard timeout is a security feature, which logs the student out in case someone leaves his/her computer unattended. It occurs due to inactivity between the student's computer and the server, not due to an inactive Internet connection. Blackboard sessions are automatically timed out after 60 minutes of inactivity.  Students are encouraged to click Save frequently while working to reset this server timeout feature.

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I am trying to submit a test or assignment that includes text, but the Submit button will not work. What should I do?

Please make sure that the Text Editor is ON before beginning work on your test or assignment. (Note that there is no way to change this setting during a test.) The Text Editor button is located in the upper right corner of the essay window. The option to change the default setting for the Text Editor can be found by going to Welcome Tab - Personal Settings (located under Tools) - Change Personal Settings. If this information does not resolve the problem you are experiencing, please contact the CTC HelpDesk.

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My answers changed as I moved between questions. What is happening?

This can happen when you use the scroll wheel on a mouse while taking a test. The system selects different answers as you scroll, because the question field becomes the active cursor spot. A way to avoid this is to click a blank area on the test before using the scroll wheel. Remember to check your answers before submitting if you use the scroll wheel on your mouse.

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How can I have my test or quiz reset?

The instructor is the only person who can reset a test or quiz. The student should contact the department for assistance if the instructor cannot be reached. It is recommended that students save their work frequently while taking tests and quizzes so their answers are not lost.

If you experience problems with having to have a test or quiz reset multiple times, please consider the following possibilities:

  • Sometimes when taking a test, a small window may pop up under the Blackboard window (asking the user to accept a certificate for running Java). Since this window is hidden under the Blackboard window, you might not see it. You can use Alt+Tab to scroll through your open windows to see if this is happening. If you receive this prompt, accept the certificate.

If you are normally able to complete tests with no problems, and multiple students in your class are experiencing problems submitting a particular test or quiz, please contact your instructor to report the issue.

For further assistance, students should contact the CTC HelpDesk. You will need to provide the following information:

  • Your name
  • The instructor's name
  • The Course Name and Number
  • Which specific test(s) you are having problems with

For assistance with test or course design issues, instructors should contact CTELT.

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Why doesn’t my Test Timer appear?

In order for the Test Timer to appear, Javascript must be enabled in your browser.  See instructions listed above for how to enable Javascript.

If the problem continues to persist after following the instructions for enabling Javascript, there may be a problem with the Java installation on your computer. For more information, see How to Install or Update Java.

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How can I install and use Respondus Lockdown Browser to take my test?

The Respondus Lockdown Browser is used by some instructors to provide a more secure environment for administering tests. It should ONLY be used while taking online tests; it should not be used for any other purpose.

 Installing Respondus LockDown Browser won't modify Internet Explorer or Safari in any way; it is a separate program that displays a custom interface and features. However, it does use the same security features and service packs installed for Internet Explorer or Safari, so it is necessary for Windows users to set their default browser to Internet Explorer and Macintosh users to set their default browser to Safari while using the Lockdown Browser.

To download and install the Lockdown Browser program, FHSU students must use the link provided on the Respondus Lockdown Browser page on the Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning Technologies (CTELT) Web site.

For additional information, see the Respondus Lockdown Browser Student Guide (PDF) (view with Adobe Reader-Free).

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Can I Use Blackboard Mobile Learn on my mobile device to take my test?

It is not recommended. While Blackboard Mobile Learn can be used for performing many Blackboard tasks on your mobile device, for best results a computer should be used to take tests and quizzes.

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