Monday, January 12, 2009

Force Completion... Huh... Yeah... What is it good for?

Absolutely Nothing

Seriously though, what legitimate reason would an instructor have for using Force Completion on an exam? Why does this setting exist?

Some things it DOESN'T do:
- Doesn't enforce time limits
- Doesn't submit the exam when time limit is up
- Doesn't prevent students from opening other browser windows, or other browsers
- Doesn't prevent using IM clients or other collaboration tools
- Doesn't prevent using their textbook

What it DOES do is make life difficult for students who for whatever reason, lose their connection in the middle of a test. This forces them to ask the instructor to let them access it again.

There is one argument in favor of this setting, which is that it prevents students stopping in the middle of a test and looking up the answers. However, this setting doesn't prevent them from just opening another browser or their text and looking up the answer. A better setting to use is to make your tests timed, so that there is a limit to how much looking up they can do. This timer keeps running even if the browser is closed, so if the student loses their connection and gets back in, they lose the amount of time it took to do so.

If you currently use the "Force Completion" setting on your tests, please reconsider and just say no!

For those that remember the Edwin Starr song that inspired the title of this post (War... huh... yeah... what is it good for... absolutely nothing... ), here's a YouTube video of it:


Mccamman said...

From an earlier post:
So now you have a problem. You can't copy any of the classes from your old username to this new username. The solution is to log back in using your old Blackboard username. Then enroll your new WebAdvisor/Blackboard username into your old classes as an instructor.

Thanks for having this info available! Just what I needed and I don't have to call anyone!

Rhonda Bauerlein said...

Glad that helped you out! In case you missed it, the post that answers the problem he's referring to is "Where are my Spring containers" at