Tests & Surveys

Blackboard offers two assessment tools in addition to the ability to create assignment activities, which are also used for assessment purposes. Before deploying these tools it is important to understand the differences between them. While the Test and Survey tools within Blackboard appear to offer the same question types and functionality the data available from these tools is not.

If it is the intention of the Instructor to gather and align responses with individual students, but does not wish such an activity to be worth points toward the final grade, it is recommended that the Instructor create a zero point test instead of using the survey tool.

Creating a Test

Quick Start Instructions

The primary purpose of the Test Tool is to evaluate student understanding of concepts and/or to provide drills or other practice exercises. Blackboard offers 17 question types, and questions can be reused in other tests and surveys in your courses. New in Blackboard 9.1 is the ability to easily find questions you have created, to link to questions (and have changes reflected to all quizzes using the link), to reorder questions via drag-and-drop, to build reusable question sets, and on the grading side, to quickly grade individual questions across your class (e.g. grade only the essay questions submitted by your students). You can no longer attach files to test questions, but using the Add Mashup tool, you can add online media from YouTube, Flickr and Slideshare. [See the “Using Media in Tests and Surveys” tutorial for more information.]

To Create a Test

  1. In the Course Management menu, click to expand the Course Tools, then click on Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
  2. On the Tests, Surveys, and Pools page, click the Tests link.
  3. Click on the [Build Test] button.
    build test
  4. The Test Information page will appear:
    test information
    Give the test a Name (1), and (optionally) a Description (2). Then, complete the Instructions box (3) with information for your students.
  5. Click the [Submit] button.
  6. You will now see the Test Canvas page.
    create question
    From the Create Question tab (1), select the type of question you want to create, for example, a Multiple Choice (2) question.
  7. Enter the Question Text in the box provided. [Question Title is optional]
  8. In the Options section:
    1. Answer Numbering – allows you to change between numbers, Roman numerals, or uppercase or lowercase letters.
    2. Answer Orientation – allows you to display questions vertically down the page or horizontally across the page.
    3. Allow Partial Credit - If partial credit is allowed, each incorrect answer can specify what percentage of the total points should be given for that answer.
    4. Show Answers in Random Order – if checked, this will display the answers in a random order each time the question is presented
  9. In the Answers section:
    answer options
    Choose the Number of Answers (1) you want to offer. If there are too many choices, click the [Remove] button (2) from one of the existing choices. Next, enter the text for each Answer choice (3). By default, the first answer will be the correct one. If in Section 2 you check Show Answers in Random Order, you can leave the Correct Answer (4) as 1 since all of the answer choices will be randomly displayed to the students.
  10. In the Feedback section, you can enter optional feedback for correct and incorrect student responses. This can often be helpful, for example, in pointing students back to text from class materials when they make mistakes.
  11. In the Categories and Keywords section, you can optionally describe the test questions with metadata in order to assist with locating questions that meet certain requirements when creating future tests. categories
  12. The Instructor Notes section is also optional.
  13. Click the [Submit] button to continue and return to the Test Canvas page. Next to the question you just created, on the right side of the screen, you can now assign a point value by clicking in the Points: box and entering a number.
  14. Repeat the Create Question process until you have sufficiently built-out your test.
  15. If you need to edit your test questions, you can do so at any time on the Test Canvas page by clicking the double down arrows next to the question.
  16. When you are finished adding questions, click the [OK] button at the bottom of the page. This completes creating the test, but the test is not yet available to students. See the “Making a Test Available” tutorial below to continue.

Resources

    • Click here to access a PDF version of this quickstart guide.

 

Making a Test Available

After creating a test in Blackboard, you will need to make it available to students in a Content area of your course.

Making a Test Available:

  1. Click the Edit Mode switch to turn on editing.
  2. Click on a Content Area in the Course Menu to the left of the page.
  3. Navigate to the appropriate location within that area where the blog is to be added.
  4. From the Create Assessment tab, select Test.
  5. On the Create Test page, within the Add Test area, select the test you want to make available to students, then click the [Submit] button.
  6. On the Test Options page, you have another chance to give the test an optional Description, and you can also choose to Open Test in New Window.
  7. In the Test Availability section:
    1. Select Yes to Make the Link Available.
    2. Choose whether or not to Add a New Announcement for this Test
    3. Allow students to have Multiple Attempts or not. [Note] Giving students the opportunity for multiple attempts will affect certain aspects about the grading of this test. [See note online]
    4. Force Completion will require students to complete the test the first time they open it.
    5. If you Set Timer, students will see a countdown timer while taking the test. If the allotted time passes, you will see a green exclamation point in the Grade Center column for this attempt, with a note that the student exceeded his/her time.
    6. You can control the availability of the test with the Display After and Display Until settings.
    7. You can further limit access to a test by setting a Password for it. Make sure you provide the password to students in some way.
  8. Setting a Due Date gives the students a deadline to complete the test. As with the Set Timer option above, late submissions will be noted in the Grade Center column with a green exclamation point.
  9. In the Self-assessment Options section, the default is to Include this Test in Grade Center Score Calculations, for a normal graded exam. If you a providing the test as a way to self-check, with no grade implications, then you can select Hide Results for this Test Completely from Instructor and the Grade Center.
  10. In the Test Feedback section, choose the kind of feedback to offer to students at the completion of the test.
  11. In the Test Presentation section, decide whether to offer all the questions on a single page (All at Once), or to present the questions One at a Time. You can also choose to Randomize Questions.
  12. Finally, click the [Submit] button. The test is now available to students.
  13. If you need to make any changes to the test, click the double-down arrows to the right of the test name, and select Edit the Test, Edit the Test Options, or Delete as needed.

Grading Tests

Blackboard offers several ways to navigate to pages where Test Grades are entered.   The first three links described below are accessed from the course’s Grade Center located under the Control Panel in the Course Management menu within the course.  The fourth link, -Tests Submitted is accessed from the Notifications tab on the main page.

  1. Needs Grading shows only assessments that need grading.  Items that “Need Grading” can be filtered by the Test category and a specific test name.
  2. Full Grade Center shows all assessments with the grades recorded, the ones not yet submitted for grading, and submissions awaiting grading as indicated by this green exclaimation point icon ().
  3. Tests Smartview located within the Grade Center offers the same functionality as Full Grade Center but will show only those columns categorized as Tests.
    Note: In order for the Tests Smartview to appear under Full Grade Center it must be selected as a favorite from Full Grade Center > Manage > Smartviews.

Additional grading options such as exempting a test grade, grading by test question and grading anonymously will also be covered below.

Grading Tests from Needs Grading

Quick Start Tutorial

To grade tests from Needs Grading:

  1. Click on Grade Centerin the Control Panel under Course Management and select Needs Grading.
  2. On the Needs Grading page click on the Chevron symbol next to the Test’s name.
  3. Select the Grade All Users link from the resulting drop down list.Image illustrating the Needs Grading screen
    Note:  Numbers displayed next to the links on the dropdown list indicate the number of submissions needing grading with the exception of the Grade By Question link.  Once a Question has been selected it will show the total number that need grading.
  4. The Grade Test page will open  
    1. (Optional) Hide Users Names.  This option creates a randomized list of submissions without the students’ names and thus allows the Instructor/TA to grade anonymously.
      Image illustrating the Grade Test page accessed from Needs Grading.
    2. (Optional) Test Information view additional information about the submission(s) for this student and an option to clear any Attempt.
    3. Points:  Enter the points earned by the student.
      Image illustrating the interface for grading an essay question.
    4. (Recommended) Response Feedback: provide feedback to the student on the response for this Question.
    5. Feedback & Notes for Attempt: Feedback to User (Recommended) provide feedback to the student on the overall attempt for this test.
      Image illustrating the feedback to users and grading notes to provide feedback to the student.
    6. Feedback & Notes for Attempt: Grading Notes (Optional) Share notes between Instructor and TA’s but not visible to the student.
  5. Click on [Save and Next] or [Save and Exit].
  6. Note: if multiple attempts are allowed for a Test the Detail Grade Page will show the current attempt and the total number of attempts submitted by that student next to the student’s name.  The [Save and Next] button will advance to the next attempt for the same student.

Resources

  • Click here to access the PDF version of the Quick Start Instructions.

 

Grading Tests from Full Grade Center

Quick Start Tutorial

To grade tests from Full Grade Center (or Tests SmartView):

  1. Go to Grade Center under Control Panel in the Course Management Area and click on Full Grade Center.
    Note: To view only columns categorized as Test, select the Tests Smart View found under Full Grade Center.
  2. Locate the column with the name of the Test and click on the chevron symbol next to the name of the test.Image illustrating the Grade Attempts option within Full Grade Center.
  3. Click the Grade Attempts link from the resulting drop down list.
  4. The Grade Test page will open. Options within this page include:
    1. (Optional) Hide Users Names.  This option creates a randomized list of submissions without the students’ names and thus allows the Instructor/TA to grade anonymously.
      Image illustrating the Grade Test page.
    2. Test Information reveals additional information about the test for this student.
    3. Points:  Enter the points earned by the student.
      Image illustrating the Grade Essay page
    4. Response Feedback: (Recommended)  to provide feedback to the student on the response for this question.
    5. Feedback  & Notes for Attempt: Feedback to User  (Recommended) to provide feedback to the student on the overall attempt for this test.
      Image illustrating the Feedback to User and Grading Notes section.
    6. Feedback & Notes for Attempt: Grading Notes (Optional) to share>notes between Instructor and TA’s but not with the student.
  5. Click on [Save and Next] or [Save and Exit].
    Note:  If multiple attempts are allowed for a Test the Detail Grade page will show the current attempt and the total number of attempts submitted by the student.  The [Save and Next] button will advance to the next attempt for the same student.

Resources

  • Click here to access the PDF version of the Quick Start Instructions.

 

Grading Tests from Needs Attention in the Instructor NotificationsDashboard (NEW!)

Quick Start Tutorial

The Notifications tab also provides access to all assessments submitted and in need of grading.  For Instructors or TA’s teaching more than one course, it will aggregate the submissions for all courses grouped by Test name and course.  It provides the Instructor or TA with an overview of all submission attempts and quick access to either a student’s specific Test submission(s) or Full Grade Center.   

To access the grading screen for a specific test from Needs Attention:

  1. Click on Notifications.
  2. Click on Instructor Dashboard.
  3. In the Needs Attention section, click on the chevron symbol next to the Test Submitted.  (See Note:  below to grade a specific student’s submission)
  4. Locate the name of the Test and click on the chevron symbol next to the name of the Test.
  5. Click on Grade to open the grading screen from the resulting dropdown list.Image illustrating the act of accessing a Test from Needs Attention in the Instructor Dashboard.

To view and grade a specific student’s submission from Needs Attention:

  1. Locate the Test’s Name.
    1. Click on the + sign in front of the name
      Note: A list of all submissions will be displayed. Multiple submissions, if permitted, will appear in chronological order from oldest to newest attempt.
      Image illustrating how to access an individual student's test from the Needs Attention module on the Instructor Dashboard.
    2. Click on the chevron symbol next to a Student’s name.
    3. Select Grade from the resulting drop down list.
  2. The Grade Test page for that student’s attempt will open.
  3. Enter the Points and Feedback sections (Recommended) and click on Submit.
  4. The Needs Grading Page will open to allow you to select another submission or exit.

Resources

  • Click here to access the PDF version of the Quick Start Instructions.

 

Grading by Question from Needs Grading (NEW!)

Quick Start Tutorial

Instructors can now grade submissions by Question.  This option may be helpful when trying to gauge all the submissions for a specific Test Question and grade the submissions accordingly.    

To grade by question from Needs Grading:  

  1. Click on Needs Grading and under the Items List locate the first instance of the Test’s name.
  2. On the Needs Grading page, click on the chevron symbol next to the Test’s name.
  3. Select the Grade by Question link from the resulting drop down list.Image illustrating the Grade by Question option within Needs Grading.
  4. To create a list of the attempts for a specific Question to be graded: Image illustrating the Grade Questions page accessed from Needs Grading.
    1. In the Filter Questions by Status drop down list select Need Grading and click [Go]
    2. Click on Test Information to reveal additional information about the Test parameters and this Student’s submission(s).(Optional)
    3. Clicking Grade Anonymously will randomize the list of submissions and hide the name of the students. (Optional)
    4. In the Responses column, click on the response number to start the grading process.
      Note: In this example, you would click on the number 9.
  5. A list of all Submissions by Student that need grading appears. On this page you can:
    1. Limit the list of the submissions to a specific Student. (Optional)
    2. Click on Hide User Names to create a random list of Submissions without the students’ names.(Optional)
    3. Click on Question Information to display information about this Question. (Optional)
      Image illustrating the Grade Responses page for the Essay Question being graded.
    4. Click on Edit to record the grade and notes.

Note: If multiple attempts are allowed for a Test the Detail Grade page will show the current attempt and the total number of attempts submitted by that student next to the student’s name. The [Save and Next] button will advance to the next attempt for the same student.

Resources

  • Click here to access the PDF version of the Quick Start Instructions.

 

Grading Tests by Question from Full Grade Center

Quick Start Tutorial

  1. In Full Grade Center locate the column with the name of the test.Image illustrating the Grade by Question option from Full Grade Center.
  2. Click the chevron symbol next to the name of the test.
  3.  Click on Grade Questions from the resulting drop down list.
  4. Create a list of attempts for a specific Question to be graded: Image illustrating the Grade Questions page for the question selected from Full Grade Center.
    1. In the Filter Questions by Status drop down list select Need Grading and click [Go].
    2. (Optional) click on Test Information to reveal additional information about the Test parameters and this Student’s submission(s).
    3. (Optional) Grade Anonymously will randomize the list of submissions and hide the name of the students.
    4. In the Responses column click on (the number) to start the grading process.
  5. A list of all Submissions by Student that need grading appears: Image illustrating the Grade Responses page.
    1. Click on Hide User Names to create a random list of Submissions without the students’ names. (Optional)
    2. Limit the list of the submissions to a specific Student. (Optional)
    3. Click on Question Information to display information about this Question.(Optional)
    4. To open the Grade Detail page click on Edit next to the Score label.
  6. Enter the Score Image illustrating the enter score and feedback prompt.
  7. (Recommended) Enter text to provide Feedback to the student.
  8. Click on Submit to save.

Resources

  • Click here to access the PDF version of the Quick Start Instructions.

 

Exempt an Individual Student's Grade

Quick Start Tutorial

If a Test submission is optional, for example for extra credit, the Exempt Grade option would be used if a student elects not to submit an attempt.  Exempt Grade excludes the attempt from the Total Column and calculated Columns in Grade Center.

  1. Locate the cell for the test and the student’s name. Image illustrating the Exempt Grade option in Full Grade Center.
  2. Click on the chevron symbol in that cell.
  3. Select Exempt Grade from the resulting dropdown list.
  4. Click on Save.  
    Note: The Cell should now contain the blue exempt icon.Image illustrating that a student's test has been marked exempt.

Note: To reverse the Exempt action, follow the same steps above.  Instead of Exempt Grade the Instructor or TA will now have access to a Clear Exemption link in the dropdown list.  If a grade had been recorded prior to granting the exemption that grade will reappear.

Resources

  • Click here to access the PDF version of the Quick Start Instructions.

 

Set Grade Calculation Options for Multiple Attempt Tests

Quick Start Tutorial

Tests configured to allow Multiple Attempts support multiple calculations options:

  • the Grade of Last Attempt only (Default)
  • the Highest Grade
  • the Lowest Grade
  • the Grade of First Attempt
  • the Average of Attempt Grades

To view or change the calculation method for a test configured to permit multiple submissions:

  1. Click on Full Grade Center.
  2. Locate the column with the name of the test.Image illustrating the Full Grade Center column for a test.
  3. Click on the chevron symbol in the column heading.Image illustrating the Edit Column Information option.
  4. Select Edit Column Information from the resulting dropdown list
  5. Under Option 1: Edit Column click on the down arrow next to the value displayed for the Score attempts using label.Image illustrating the Score attempts using option.
  6. Select an option from the resulting dropdown lis.
  7. Click on Submit to save the new value.

Resources

  • Click here to access the PDF version of the Quick Start Instructions.

Surveys

The survey tool within Blackboard is rather rudimentary, but provides enough question options to gather feedback from Users. See instructions for Creating a Survey.

Note: If you are looking for more advanced functionality such as branching, clustering, etc it is recommended that another survey tool be used and then "embedded" within Blackboard for easy access. When using third party tools, it is important to be aware of the Terms of Use and Privacy statements particularly where potentially sensitive data is being collected.

Creating a Survey

The survey is an assessments type that records answers anonymously. Use this when you want to perform course surveys or opinion polls. Survey results are non-graded and anonymous. New in Blackboard 9.1 is the ability to easily find questions you have created, to link to questions (and have changes reflected to all quizzes using the link), to reorder questions via drag-and-drop, to build reusable question sets. You can no longer attach files to test questions, but using the Add Mashup tool, you can add online media from YouTube, Flickr and Slideshare. [See the “Using Media in Tests and Surveys” tutorial for more information.]

Creating a Survey:

  1. In the Course Management menu, click to expand the Course Tools, then click on Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
  2. On the Tests, Surveys, and Pools page, click the Surveys link.
  3. Click on the [Build Survey] button.
    build survey
  4. The Survey Information page will appear:
    survey information
    Give the test a Name (1), and (optionally) a Description (2). Then, complete the Instructions box (3) with information for your students. Then click the [Submit] button (4).
  5. You will now see the Survey Canvas page.
    likert question
    From the Create Question tab (1), select the type of question you want to create, for example, an Opinion Scale/Likert (2) question.
  6. You will now see the Create/Edit Question page:
    enter question
    Enter the Question Text (1) in the box provided. [Question Title is optional]
    In the Options section:
    1. Answer Numbering (2)– allows you to change between numbers, Roman numerals, or uppercase or lowercase letters.
    2. Answer Orientation (3)– allows you to display questions vertically down the page or horizontally across the page.
    3. Show Answers in Random Order (4)– if checked, this will display the answers in a random order each time the question is presented
  7. In the Answers section:
    survey answers
    Choose the Number of Answers (1) you want to offer. Next, enter the text for each Answer choice (2). [Note: In this example, an Opinion Scale/Likert question has 6 answers ranging from “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree” and “Not Applicable.” These answers can be changed to suit your needs.] If there are too many choices, click the [Remove] button (3) next to one of the existing choices.
  8. In the Categories and Keywords section, you can optionally describe the test questions with metadata in order to assist with locating questions that meet certain requirements when creating future tests.
    categories and keywords
  9. The Instructor Notes section is also optional.
  10. Click the [Submit] button to continue and return to the Survey Canvas page.
  11. Repeat the Create Question process until you have sufficiently built-out your survey.
  12. If you need to edit your survey questions, you can do so at any time on the Survey Canvas page by clicking the double down arrows next to the question.
    edit question
  13. When you are finished adding questions, click the [OK] button at the bottom of the page. This completes creating the survey, but the survey is not yet available to students. See the “Making a Survey Available” tutorial to continue.

 

Using The Mashup Tool to Add Online Media to Tests and Surveys

You may find it useful to include Internet-based photos and videos in your tests and surveys, and Blackboard 9.1 offers a tool to do this. The Add Mashup tool allows you to easily add videos from YouTube, photos from Flickr, and presentations from Slideshare, into your test and survey questions and answers.

Adding Online Media to Tests and Survey Questions with the Add Mashup Tool:

  1. You should begin by following the steps to create a new test, survey or question pool. In the following steps we are starting with the Test Canvas open for our Sample Test.
  2. From the Create Question tab, select the type of question you want to create, for example, a True/False question.
  3. The toolbar for the Question Text initially shows only one line of icons. Click the downward facing triangle on the left of the toolbar to reveal the extended toolbar palette.
    expand toolbar
  4. The last icon on the second row is the Add Mashup tool.
    mashup tool
    Click to choose between a Slideshare Presentation, a YouTube Video, or a Flickr Photo.
  5. Regardless of your choice, you will open a search box allowing you to search for appropriate content. In the following example, a search for “tumbling Chinese robot” returned three items.
    search results
  6. Click the [Preview] button to see a preview of the video. Close the Preview window to continue.
  7. If you want to use the video/photo/presentation, click the [Select] button to continue.
  8. On the Create Mashup Item form:
    create mashup form
    1. Change the Name field if desired.
    2. For YouTube Videos
      youtube options
      1. Choose to View as Thumbnail, Text Link with Player, or Embed Player.
      2. Decide whether or not to Show YoutTube URL and Show YouTube information.
    3. For Flickr Photos
      flickr options
      1. Choose to View as Embed Photo or Thumbnail
      2. Choose the Size of the image
      3. Decide whether or not to Show Flickr URL and Show Flickr Information.
    4. For SlideShare presentations
      slideshare options
      1. Although there are several View options, we recommend that you use the Embed Player option, due to problems with some web browsers.
      2. Decide whether or not to Show SlideShare URL and Show SlideShare Information.
  9. Click the [Submit] button to insert the item. Below are examples of each type of mashup added as Thumbnail views.
    YouTube Example
    youtube example
    Flickr Example
    flickr example
    SlideShare Example
    slideshare example

Resources

    • Click here to access a PDF version of this quickstart guide.

 

Downloading Survey Results

The results of a survey may be downloaded. It provides a breakdown of the responses, but never the students’ identities.  Essay attempts will include the text of the response.

Quick Start Tutorial

  1. In Full Grade Center locate the survey Column.
    • The checkmark icon indicates that attempts have been submitted.
  2. Click on the chevron in the column header.
    Image illustrating the symbol present within Grade Center when a student has completed a survey.
  3. Click Download Results on the resulting drop down list.
    Image illustrating the Download Results option within the Grade Center.
  4. On the Download Results page, select the preferences:
    Image illustrating the Download Results Options selected prior to downloading the survey results.
    1. Select Tab or Comma delimited file – Tab delimited is the preferred option.
    2. Select By User or By Question to determine the order of the output file.
    3. Leave Only Valid Attempts checked.
  5. Click on Click to download results to create the export file.
  6. Save the resulting export to a preferred location and open it with Excel.

Note:  If copy and paste from Word was used to create or respond to the survey questions, which is not recommended, a parsing error may occur during the download.  If this occurs, please contact BlackBoard Support for assistance.

Resources

  • Click Here to download a PDF copy of the Quick Start Tutorial.