Case study: Blackboard

Delivering Blackboard Online Exams at scale, across multiple sites

Kirstie Harrison – School of Nursing


As a Module Leader for a module that is taught across three sites – The challenge is to ensure there is parity across the 3 geographical sites which span from Preston, over to Burnley and all the way up and across to the Whitehaven!


In order to allow staff to prepare and post session information and that all student receive the information at the correct time, in the correct tabs on the same day – The Blackboard Team supported me in the amalgamation of the 3 separate Blackboard spaces and in effect the creation of the ‘parent and child’ Blackboard spaces were born! This meant that myself and the module staff would only need to update and populate the ‘parent’ site in order for all students to receive and access the same materials.  This allowed the staff to efficiently update the Blackboard space, safe in the knowledge that all students would have access to the module materials without having to copy files from one Blackboard site to another.

As a Module Leader for a module spanning across the 3 sites on different days during the same week – arranging a summative assessment can be tricky!  Therefore, with the help of the Blackboard Team, the module team and I were able to compile a MCQ Exam, have this created in the Blackboard Space and allowed for password protected exams to appear on the correct date and time for the correct group of students, across the 3 sites on the day their summative assessment was due to take place. I was also able to add extra time for those students who required it.  In order to ensure students were familiar with the format of the MCQ within Blackboard, the Blackboard Team supported me in creating a formative MCQ exam and set the option, so students were able to repeat the test as many times as they like. This approach to an MCQ exam did not only ease the marking load upon the team but is a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective approach of students undertaking an assessment.