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We encourage you to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Burke Library - 3rd Floor
helpdesk@hamilton.edu

859-4181
859-4185 - fax

Suggestions for Online Test-Taking

If you are having trouble using Blackboard (especially from home), check the following issues that might resolve your problems:

  1. Do not use the AOL browser for working in Blackboard. If you get your internet connection through AOL, then use AOL just to establish a connection to the Internet. Then, minimize the browser window and use some other browser to access Blackboard. There should be a default browser installed on your computer (Internet Explorer on Windows, Safari on the Macintosh) or you can download Firefox for free.
  2. Do not use a very slow telephone dial-up Internet connection. If that is what you have at home, use one of the public labs instead. Blackboard is a graphics-intensive application.
  3. Be sure to run virus and anti-spyware software regularly. Try rebooting the computer to free up system resources.
  4. Enable cookies (check the privacy settings of your browser).
  5. Check that Java is installed and enabled (free plugins are available from http://java.sun.com).
  6. If you are using Internet Explorer or any other browser with popup blocking turned on, you may need to enable popups from the Blackboard site. Click the yellow message bar in IE or set the options in the Preferences/Tools.
  7. You may need to disable your personal firewall software (Norton or McAfee).
  8. To eliminate messages about mixed secure and insecure content in IE: Go to Internet Options; Security; Custom Level; Make sure that at "Miscellaneous," "Display mixed content" is set to "Enable."
  9. To eliminate spurious trusted site messages in IE: Go to Internet Options; Security; Trusted Sites; List your site as Trusted and uncheck "Require server verification."
  10. Do not resize (minimize or maximize) the browser window while taking a test.
  11. Do not open another window and surf the net while taking a test; if a website opens back into the Blackboard window, your work will be lost.
  12. Do not take a quiz with other applications running in the background, for example, watching movies, listening to music, sending e-mail or running IM.
  13. Do not start a quiz and then walk away for several hours; the Blackboard system has a timeout for security purposes and will end your session (if idle) after one hour.
  14. Do not use the browser's Back or Forward buttons; use only the navigation buttons within Blackboard.
  15. Remember to click Submit (not Save) when done! The Save button will save an interim version of your work, but only the Submit button will allow your work to be graded.

For further information, or if you still have questions, please contact blackboard@hamilton.edu, or call 4877.

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