Blackboard Tests

Video Videos: “Creating a Test

 Vendor documentation: “Tests, Surveys, and Pools

You can use tests and surveys to measure student knowledge, gauge progress, and gather information from students. You create tests and surveys and then deploy them in a course area. When you add a test or survey to a content area, it is “deployed.”

You assign points to test questions for grading evaluation, but survey questions are not scored. Survey results are anonymous, but you can see whether a student has completed a survey and view aggregate results for each survey question.

Information on this page:

When are Blackboard Tests Appropriate?

A Blackboard test is a method of assessing student comprehension of course material.  Tests can also be used for pre-testing to assess the students’ level of knowledge of a topic and for review of content previously learned, in preparation for an in-class quiz.  An open-book quiz is another appropriate use of this tool.  A Blackboard test is not appropriate for prelims or other high-stakes testing.

A Blackboard test is not recommended when the student is not allowed to reference outside sources or other students when answering the test questions.

Creating a test

To create a Blackboard Test:

  1. On your Course Site, under the Control Panel, click Course Tools, and then click Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
  2. Click Tests, and then click the Build Test button.
  3. On the Test Information page, fill in the name field. Optionally, provide a description and instructions.
  4. Click Submit.

The Test Canvas

The Test Canvas allows instructors to add and edit questions, add Question Sets or Random Blocks, reorder questions, and review the test before deploying it to users.

Question Settings

Question Settings control the options available when creating test questions. Not all options are available for all question types.

To view and modify test question settings:

  1. On the Test Canvas page for your test, click on the Question Settings button.
  2. Review each setting and check or un-check each, as appropriate for this test.  These are the settings for you when you are creating each question, not for when students are answering them. When you have these settings completed, click the Submit button.Question Settings
Note: Negative Scoring, Extra Credit and Partial Credit are can be set in the Question Settings area. For more information, see this Blackboard documentation.

To Create a New Question:

  1. Create a question by pointing to the Create Questions menu and choose the question type.

  1. Fill in the Question Title and Question Text.
  2. Fill in the Options, Answers and Feedback.  Each of these fields will vary depending on the type of question chosen.

Tagging Questions for Reuse

  1. Under the Categories and Keywords section, you can tag each question with your own set of Categories, Topics, Levels of Difficulty and Keywords.  These tags can then be used later when you want to reuse a question in another test.

  1. You may also choose to provide Instructor Notes for your benefit; the students will not see them.
  2. When done with the question details, click the Submit button to save this question in your test.


Deploying a Test

After creating a test, it is not automatically accessible to the students. You must deploy a test in a Content Area of your site in order for students to see it, and take it.

To Deploy a Test:

  1. From your Course Menu, click on the content area where students will access your test.
  2. Select Test from the Assessment menu.
  3. Select a test or survey from the Add Test list.
  4.  Click the Submit button.

A green banner will confirm the addition of this test to your Content Area.  You may now edit the Test Options.  The first section is Test Information. Give your test a name and description.

The second section of the Test Options is Test Availability:

Test Availability

Test Availability Exceptions:

For existing availability settings, you can make exceptions for individual students or groups. Use exceptions to provide an accommodation to a student who is disabled, or for technology and language differences. If the settings exist for a test or survey, you can create the following exceptions:

  • Number of attempts
  • Timer
  • Availability
  • Force completion
  • Restrict location

Due Date and Late Submissions:

To prevent late submissions, you can select the check box for Do not allow students to start the Test/Survey if the due date has passed. Students receive a message after the due date, notifying them that the test or survey can no longer be completed.

Test Due Date

Self Assessment Options:

By default, a deployed test is included in Grade Center calculations. However, you may allow students to take tests for review or practice without impacting Grade Center calculations.

You can turn the test into a self-assessment by hiding students’ scores in the Grade Center. This allows students to take tests to reinforce learning without feeling pressure about a score affecting their total grades. Select the appropriate options in the Show Test Results and Feedback to Students section so they are able to see how they did. If you select all options, students will see the answers they selected and which ones are correct.

Feedback Options:

In the Show Results and Feedback to Students section, you can set which results and feedback are available to students after they complete a test or survey. You can set one or two rules using the drop-down lists. You cannot choose some rules in combination. After you select a rule in the first drop-down list, some may not appear in the second drop-down list. Each rule is mutually exclusive. For example, if View Once is chosen, any selected answer options would be available to users immediately regardless of what the other rule is set to.

Test FeedbackIf conflicts in any of the above test availability rules occur, the most permissive settings for that user or group of users is granted. For example, students will receive the greatest number of attempts and longest availability time.

Test Presentation:

You can select how you would like questions presented to students.

  • All at Once – present the entire test on one screen
  • One at a Time – present one question at a time
  • Prohibit Backtracking – prevent changing the answer to a question that has already bee submitted
  • Randomize Questions – randomize questions for each test attempt


For immediate support:

607 255 9760 (M-F, 9a - 5p ET)

Search Academic Technologies