The Slacker: The dog ate my computer!

When assignments were given on paper, the excuse was “The dog ate my paper” - Now it's “The dog ate my computer”.

For little Buster\'s sake, we hope this is still just an excuse.

When online Tests are being given, the excuses why these are not completed are still there, however the types of excuses have definitely changed.

Top 10 Reasons Excuses:

Why users couldn't take their online Tests

  1. Lost Internet Connection - wait, did I just see them on Facebook?
  2. Computer Crash
  3. Forgot login details - could not access
  4. Computer was frozen on Netflix..until the fav movie ended.
  5. Test pages were not loading
  6. Time limit ended before finishing
  7. Test Link wasn't working
  8. Laptop overheated
  9. Battery died
  10. What Test?

Top 10 ways to eliminate the Top 10 Excuses:

Prepared for anything!

  1. Lost Internet Connection:
    Use an online Testing system (we have a great one) that have measures in place for both loss of internet or browser/computer crashes.
  2. Computer Crash:
    ClassMarker Exams work on any computer, iPhone, Smart Phone, Tablet, Playstation, Xbox, even Grandma's iPad (She's not sure what it is, but she sure can Blu-Tack a photo to it with the best of em).
  3. Forgot login details:
    That old chestnut! Ensure that users have the correct login details they need. If this is a Test where they have the option to retrieve/reset forgotten details, also provide them with this information. They will have no excuses!
  4. Computer was frozen on Netflix:
    ... We'll keep thinking on this one.
  5. Test pages were not Loading/Freezing:
    Ask the user to check browser apps, such as music apps, plugins, search toolbars, etc. These may be causing an issue. Suggest they disable all browser apps/toolbars. Have them update to the latest browser version and pause Netflix until they have completed their Test!
  6. Time limit ended before finishing:
    If time limits have ended and you feel your users should have more time, reopen the Test for a specific user and provide them more time. They can then go back into that same Test. Or, there's always the option of giving another attempt.
  7. Test Link wasn't working:
    If giving Tests via ClassMarker Links, always ensure you are providing your users with not only the correct Test link but always check that you have copied/pasted the entire Test link. Test it by copying/pasting it into your browser to ensure it's all there.
  8. Laptop overheated:
    Ask your users to refrain from taking the Test while still laying in bed. Devices can definitely overheat while sitting on or under blankets. If however, you're ok with them doing this, suggest they place their laptop on some type of flat surface for best ventilation.
  9. Battery died:
    Suggest they plug it in to charge and while it's charging, to hop on another device (there is always at least one charged device) and continue taking the Test. Isn't it great that Tests can now be taken on any type of device?
  10. What Test:
    Notify your users of an upcoming Test ahead of time. Send these in an email so each user receives the notification, with all information they need.

Where are My Manners?

Online quiz making etiquette

Consider your users! Let's go over a couple of things you may want to take into consideration when creating your Tests - besides the Tests themselves and the questions within them.

In the world of online Tests, people are giving and taking Tests on all types of devices, from all types of locations including; from home, work, school, on a job site, in a hotel if travelling, remote locations.

Consider Internet Connections - With online Tests, not all users will be on the same type of internet service with lightning fast internet speeds. If you have lots of images, audio and video on your Test pages, consider having less questions per Test page. Your users that are on slower or unstable connections will thank you for it.

Add Contact Info: Add a way for users to contact you if they need to. This is especially important when giving online Tests. In a classroom, your users can ask you directly. If at home or another location, you don't want them to feel lost, if they need help. If your Test is on a web page, be sure to include a 'Contact Us' option or an email address.. Just some way for users to get in touch for any inquiries they may have. There is nothing worse than having that 'Gilligan's Island' feeling where you're stuck on an island without a boat and all you have are a bunch of coconuts to figure out how you will communicate. (If your Test takers can create a phone out of coconuts, you should just give them that A+ instantly!) You get the point!