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Creating Tests and Surveys

Creating a test in Blackboard
Deployment and availability of a test
Can students save their tests?
A student needs to retake a test that is only available for students to take once. How do I make the test available for that student only?
A student has missed a test (or assignment) and the time limit has passed. How can I allow this student to take the test?
Adding Bonus Questions
Can students view a test after they have taken it?
Moving questions from a test to a pool
Creating a test using questions from a pool
Points for students to consider when test-taking
Creating Assignments
Can I use Blackboard to conduct a survey?
Deployment and availability of a survey.
How do I view survey results?

Creating a test in Blackboard

To modify a test that has already been created you can get to it through "Tests, Surveys, and Pools" in the Control Panel.  After clicking the 'Test' option, use the action menu to the right of the test's name to make the changes in the Test Canvas. IMPORTANT: If the test has already been taken by students you can only make textual changes, i.e. correcting a typo. Changing anything else will erase the scores of students who have already taken the test (If the test has been deployed you can also edit it by clicking on the action menu next to the test in whatever content area the test has been deployed).

Video Tutorial for Creating a Test

Video Tutorial for Selecting Question Types

Deployment and availability of a test

In order for students to see and take a test the test must be added as content or ‘deployed’. To do this:

As with most content in Blackboard, you have the ability to set date and time parameters and other availability criteria around a test. To set the options for a test:

Video Tutorial for Deploying Tests


Can students save their tests?

For each question, there is a Save Answer button that students can click to record their responses. If the test is displayed one question at a time, moving to the next question will automatically save the answer.

A student needs to retake a test that is only available for students to take once.

An instructor can clear a student’s attempt on a test through the Grade Center. This will then allow the student to retake the test. Be aware though, that clearing a test attempt deletes any recorded answers or grades and will be overwritten with the new test attempt.


A student has missed a test (or assignment) and the time limit has passed.

To allow a particular student to take a past test, an instructor can set the Adaptive Release feature for that test:

The selected student will now be able to take the test at the time and date specified under the Adaptive Release, but the rest of the class will not have access to the item.


Adding Bonus Questions

An instructor can add bonus questions to a test without penalizing students who don’t answer them. In the Test Canvas, add your bonus questions with their designated point value as you would any other question. Deploy the test into the desired content area. Prior to making the test available to students, go into the Grade Center and change the total points value on the test:


Can students view a test after they have taken it?

Students can only view tests if you have selected all Test Feedback categories (Score, Submitted Answers, Correct Answers and Feedback) when indicating the Modify the Test Options settings.


Moving questions from a test to a pool

Pool Manager acts as a repository for test questions. You can then create new tests using questions stored in the Pool Manager. If you use a course cartridge or a publisher-provided test bank, many of these upload question pools into Pools Manager from which you can then pull questions into a new test. However, just because you create a test in Test Manager, does not automatically put the questions created into Pool Manager. To add the questions from your existing test into the Pool Manager:

You can continue to add questions from different tests to the same pool by clicking on the Modify button next to the Pool name. This opens the Pool Canvas where you can add and edit your pool questions.

Creating a test using questions from a Pool

To create a test using questions from a pool...


Points for students to consider when test-taking

→ The greater the length of the test (as far as number of questions) and, therefore, the longer the time allotted for students to take a test, the more open it is to delay and issues. A test that is over an hour long will inevitably start being problematic. If necessary, a test should be broken down into parts so that students experience the minimum amount of time within the Blackboard testing environment.
→ Students should not wait until the last minute to take a test. If studetns do experience technical difficulties, there needs to be adequate time to resolve the issues and complete the test.
→ Log into Blackboard through http://sf.blackboard.com rather than going through the sf.edu website
→ If working from a computer with a dial-up connection, ensure the ISP time-out settings are set to the maximum allowed time. Many ISPs will disconnect or time out a test because of the lack of activity on the page. Even though a student is scrolling, checking boxes, etc., within the test, as far as the browser is concerned it is on the same page and "inactive". This is particularly prevalent if a test is untimed or exceeds 35-45 minutes.
→ Using a wireless network when taking a test can be unstable.
→ If using Internet Explorer, version 8.0 or above is required, but you will have a better test-taking experience if you use Firefox.
→ Turn off pop-up blockers and phishing filters and make sure security settings are low enough not to be blocking traffic. Spyware and other programs running in the background can interfere with test taking.
→ The browser must be enabled to accept Cookies.
→ Don't have any other applications open, just the Internet browser on Blackboard (not multi-tasking on other sites, either).
→ Do not resize, minimize or refresh the browser window once the test has started.
→ Students shouldn’t use the browser back and forward buttons to navigate within a test. To move from question to question, only use the arrows within the testing window.
→ When entering the test, only click once. Sometimes it takes a while to load (give it at least a full minute). If, after clicking once, nothing happens for a while, then contact the instructor immediately. Do not click again. If students click twice, a message indicating they already took the test pops up and barrs them from being able to retry taking the test.
→ If the test is presented all on one page, it's not necessary to save every single answer (which refreshes and therefore reloads the page every time). Just save the answers every so often and then complete the final submission. If there are multiple users taking the test at the same time and continually saving answers, this can cause the test to run very slowly for all users actively within the test. Students can still decide to change answers up until the time of test submission.
→ Do not click the Submit button until the test is complete.
→ Students should contact their instructor immediately if they experience a problem or a technical difficulty that has prevented them from finishing the test. The instructor is the only person who can clear students' attempts through the Grade Center and allow them to re-take the test. When an instructor clears the attempt, however, all previously submitted answers are erased. 

Creating Assignments in a Content Area

The Assignment feature within Blackboard is a useful mechanism that allows instructors to post an assignment containing attachments in any content area of a course site, automatically creating an item entry for it in Grade Center. The instructor can then view and download the complete assignment, grade it and provide feedback all from the comfort of Grade Center.

To create an assignment using the Assignment feature:

To view and grade individual assignments:

Grade Center Cell Action Menu

To view and grade all assignments:

A really nice feature of creating Assignments within Blackboard is that you can download multiple completed assignments at the same time from Grade Center:

Video Tutorial for Creating an Assignment

Video Tutorial for Creating and Using Rubrics

If you would like to use a rubric created and shared with the Blackboar community, you can download them on the Sharing Rubrics page.

Video Tutorial for Creating a SafeAssignment

How do I create a survey in Blackboard?

Surveys are created in much the same way as tests, using the Survey feature under Create Assessment within a content area. Surveys however, are not graded (although the results are viewed through the Grade Center) and are anonymous. This means an instructor can view overall results and individual comments without knowing the author of the score or comments.

To create a survey:


Deployment and availability of a survey

In order for students to see and take a survey, the survey must be added as content or "deployed". To do this:

As with most content in Blackboard, you have the ability to set date and time parameters and other availability criteria around a survey. To set the options for a survey:

How do I view survey results?

Survey results are viewed through Grade Center

Video Tutorial for Creating and Deploying a Survey

Frequently Asked Faculty Questions

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