Essential Tips for Taking Online Tests in UVACollab
Taking tests can be stressful and taking online tests can be especially so, particularly when technical issues arise. The following guidelines will help you avoid the most common technical difficulties while taking online tests in UVACollab and ensure that your work is submitted successfully.
Use a supported browser and close unneeded applications.
Using an unsupported browser or enabling browser add-ons can introduce unexpected behaviors, including lost test answers!
- Use a supported browser. Google Chrome, Safari, or Internet Explorer on laptop or desktop computers are the ONLY supported browsers for UVACollab. Browsers on mobile devices (phones and tablets) are NOT supported.
- Close unneeded applications and processes running on your computer to reduce network interference.
- Don't use Opera or another unsupported browser, such as a browser on a mobile device (phone or tablet), while taking a high-stakes test or exam! Problems with lost data have been reported by students who used unsupported browsers while taking online tests in UVACollab.
- Don't use mobile devices to avoid submission problems.
Disable ad blockers and browser extensions.
Temporarily disable browser add-ons, extensions, and plugins, especially ad blockers, before beginning an online test. Instructions to disable browser extensions can be found on the following web pages:
IMPORTANT: Ad blockers may interfere with loading content in tests! Turn them off before your test to avoid issues!
Additionally, if your instructor includes media such as audio or video files in your test, you will need to have cookies enabled in the browser for the media to display.
- Follow the steps in How do I enable cookies to view my media gallery? to enable cookies in your browser.
Verify your internet connectivity.
Use the most reliable Internet connection available when you are taking an online test.
- Ensure that your computer and internet connection are configured correctly. See the ITS Online Readiness Checklist (opens new window) for more information. You can access the UVA Speed Test (opens new window) and select the Go button to check the quality of your connection to UVA networks.
- Use UVaAnywhere (opens new window) for off-grounds connections before starting to take a test. This will ensure your NetBadge session (opens new window) doesn't expire during a test.
- Turn off cell phones and other network devices such as video game consoles, internet-capable TVs, etc., or set them to Airplane mode to reduce network congestion and interference. We also recommend asking others in your household not to use devices that will consume internet bandwidth while you are taking a test. Note: Some devices, such as video game consoles, may remain connected to the internet in sleep mode and continue to use internet bandwidth even when you don't realize it!
Avoid having multiple devices connected to the internet during a test.
What if I lose my network connection while taking a test?
If you lose network access while taking a test and there is still time left to complete it, return to the course site and go back into the test. You should be able to pick up where you left off.
Important: Unsaved answers may be lost if your network connection is dropped.
Avoid Using Mobile Devices.
Tests & Quizzes does not yet have a mobile interface, therefore...
- Use a laptop or desktop computer instead of a mobile device (phone OR tablet) to take an online test or quiz.
- Ensure that all mobile devices are either shut off or in Airplane mode.
Don't use a mobile device to take an online test.
Don't lose your answers - Don't open multiple browser windows or tabs!
Accessing Tests & Quizzes in multiple browser windows or tabs, or being logged into UVACollab on more than one device (computer or mobile device) at once, can result in completely losing your test submission answers!
Why is this important? Multiple browser windows or tabs share the same session to a test, thus a window or tab with no responses may auto-submit after you submit your answers in the primary window and overwrite your responses!
- Log out of UVACollab on ALL devices (computers and mobile devices) completely prior to taking an online test. On a laptop or desktop computer, open only ONE browser window or tab and log into UVACollab to access the test.
- If you need to leave your test to access some other content in the site, Save and Exit the test, then, staying in the same browser window, access the other content. Return to your test as soon as you're done.
- Submit OR Save and Exit one test or quiz BEFORE starting another one!
Don't open more than one browser window or tab to Tests & Quizzes or to your online test while taking a test in UVACollab.
Taking an open resource test?
REMEMBER: You CANNOT have multiple windows open to Tests & Quizzes!
Trying to review feedback from a previous assessment while taking a test can cause errors, including lost test answers!
INSTEAD, BEFORE YOU START THE TEST:
Save past Feedback as a PDF (See image below for screen shots of steps.)
- Click the Feedback link for the previous assessment.
- Using your internet browser's Print function, select Print.
- Choose to print/save the page as a PDF.
- On your local computer, open the PDF, DO NOT open a new window to Tests & Quizzes.
Use the Built-in Navigation.
You can avoid losing your work or encountering errors by following these important navigation guidelines.
- Use the built-in navigation in Tests & Quizzes to move between screens.
- Use the question links in the Table of Contents or the question progress box to jump to a question.
- Single-click links and buttons and be patient while a new screen loads.
- Don't use the browser's Back and Forward buttons to navigate an online test. Using the browser's navigation can produce unexpected results, including loss of data!
- Don't double-click buttons and links! Double-clicking will actually slow down screen loads and could produce errors.
- Don't navigate away from a test without saving or submitting your content! A timer on a timed test will NOT pause if you exit the test, so be sure to return to your test as soon as possible if it is timed!
Save Your Work Often.
Save your work as you go to avoid lost work due to Internet connection interruptions or other technical issues.
- Select the Save button at the bottom of each screen after answering each question.
- Save your work often!
How often should I save my work?
If the test displays one question per page, your answer will be saved automatically when you select Next and move to the next question.
If the test displays multiple questions on the same page, scroll down to the bottom and select Save periodically to protect yourself from losing answers if a technical problem occurs.
If the test contains an essay question that takes time to answer, select Save periodically to save your work.
My test has a time limit. Will the timer continue to count down if I Save and Exit the test?
Be aware that the timer keeps running while you are out of the test, so try to return to the test as quickly as possible. If you are still taking a test when the timer expires, it will automatically save your answers and submit when the time limit is reached.
Important: If you navigate away from the test screen without submitting and before the timer expires, any unsaved answers will be lost! Save your work often!
Verify Your Submission Confirmation Screen.
Upon selecting Submit for Grading, wait for the submission confirmation screen to appear to ensure that your submission was successful.
- Select the Submit for Grading button.
- Select the second confirmation Submit for Grading button on the Assessment Submission Warning screen.
- Wait for the submission confirmation screen to appear before closing your browser or navigating away from the test.
- Don't navigate away from Tests & Quizzes or close your browser before the confirmation screen appears.
What if I have a problem during my test?
Try to clear the error.
If you encounter an error:
- Log out of UVACollab.
- Close your your internet browser completely (if using a Mac, you'll need to select the name of the browser menu, then Quit, e.g., select Safari, then Quit Safari).
- Open just one browser window and log back into UVACollab.
- Return to your test as quickly as possible.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as you encounter an error or discover a problem with your online test submission.
- Your computing ID.
- The title of your course.
- The name of your instructor.
- The title of the test.
- The date and approximate time of your submission or occurrence of an issue.
- A description of the problem, to include the text of any error message you may have encountered.
- The internet browser you are using, and its version (if known).
- Information about your internet connection speed, if the issue involves pages loading slowly. Access the UVA Speed Test (opens new window) and select the Go button. Copy the details from the speed test, as well as the date and time of the speed test to include in your email.