Creating a Blackboard Test / Survey

This guide looks at how to create a Test or Survey in your Blackboard module. You should also read Deploying a Blackboard Test/Survey to see how to make your test/survey available to students after creating it. The Tests, Surveys and the Grade Centre guide explains how to grade your tests and view results in the Grade Centre.

Before creating a Test, it’s important to make some decisions about what you are creating and why. Our pedagogical guide to Blackboard Quizzes discusses the benefits of using tests in your Blackboard module and explains some of the techniques you can use to make the most of them, including the use of Pools to build up banks of questions which can be reused and randomly drawn upon to generate tests automatically.
Creating a Test/Survey

Although the Test tool is used in this example, the process for creating a Survey is almost identical. Remember though that with a Survey, responses are anonymous and points cannot be scored for questions.

  1. Expand the Evaluation section of the Control Panel, then click on Tests, Surveys and Pools.Select Tests, Surveys & Pools from the Control Panel
  2. Click on Tests.
  3. Click on the Build Test button.
  4. Enter a Name for the test. Description and Instructions are optional, but it is recommended that you enter something in at least one of these fields to indicate to students what is expected from them.
  5. Click Submit. This will take you to the Test Canvas where you can start to build up your Test.
Question Types

To start adding questions to your test, simply move your mouse over the Create Question button to reveal a list of different question types. You will see that there are a wide range of different question types available, including multiple choice/answer, true/false, calculated formulas and even essay style questions. Fill in the Blank, Multiple Choice and True/False are the most commonly used question types.

Calculated Formula: Contain a formula, the variables of which can be set to change for each user. The variable range is created by specifying a minimum value and a maximum value for each variable. Answer sets are randomly generated.

Calculated Numeric: Require the student to enter a number as an answer to a specific question.

Either/Or: Require the student to choose from two possible answers. A choice of answers is available: Yes/No, True/False, Agree/Disagree, and Right/Wrong.

Essay: Allow text to be entered into a text box. This text is not automatically marked and will require manual marking.

File Response: Allow students to upload files to answer a question.

Fill in Multiple Blanks: These are like fill in the blank questions, but with more than one blank. Text is entered with variables in square brackets used to mark where blanks should be. Then the variables are matched with the answers.

Fill in the Blank: Require the student to type in a single word answer. This has to match the answer(s) that you mark as correct.

Hot Spot: Require the student to click on a picture in order to answer a question.

Jumbled Sentence: Require a student to complete a sentence, choosing words using drop down lists.

Matching: Require a student to match one value to another. This could be matching text to text, text to pictures, etc.

Multiple Answer: Require a student to answer a question by selecting one or more answers.

Multiple Choice: Require a student to answer a question by selecting a single answer.

Opinion Scale/Likert: These are usually used in surveys. The respondent is asked to state their opinion based on a scale.

Ordering: Requires the student to sort a number of items. This could be chronological or procedural.

Quiz Bowl: Present an answer and require the student to type in the question.

Short Answer: Allow text to be entered into a text box. This text is not automatically marked and will require manual marking.

True/False: Require the student to choose whether something is true or false.

Create Random Block: Requires the student to answer randomly selected questions from a given pool (of questions). Each student sees a different set of questions drawn at random from a list of questions in the pool.

Find from Pool or Test: Lets you use questions from previously created question pools or other tests in the module.

Adding a Question

The following talks though the process of adding a typical multiple choice question; the process for adding other question types is very similar.

  1. Click on Create Question and then click Multiple Choice.
  2. Enter a Question Title (this is for your reference and will not be visible to students) and then enter the actual text of the question itself in the Question Text box.Entering a question
  3. In the Options section, you can specify some settings for the question:
  • Specifying options for the questionAnswer Numbering – Specify the way in which answers are numbered – either by Arabic Numerals (1,2,3), Roman Numerals (I, II, III), uppercase letters (A, B, C) or lowercase letters (a, b, c).
  • Answer Orientation – Choose whether or not to display answers vertically or horizontally on the screen.
  • Specify partial credit options for answers – selecting this option means that you can specify what percentage of the total points should be awarded for each incorrect answer. You can also allow negative scores for incorrect answers.
  • Show answers in random order – selecting this option will randomise the answers for each question. This can be useful if you have students taking the test together and don’t want their answer options to be the same.
Note: These options will only be available if they are switched on in the Question Settings which can be accessed from the Test Canvas page by clicking the Question Settings button. Not all options are available for all question types.
  1. In the Answers section, specify the number of answers available for students to select from and use the check box to identify the correct answer. Type your answers into the text boxes provided. Click the Remove button next to an answer to remove it. By default, four answer options are provided.Entering an answer for a multiple choice question
  2. Enter Feedback to be shown to students for both a correct and incorrect answer to the question. This is entirely optional, but can be used to signpost students to materials which may help them with the answer should they answer it incorrectly. You can also provide feedback for individual answers for certain question types if this option is switched on in the Test Question Settings. An additional feedback box will appear beneath each answer so that you can type your feedback.
  3. In the Categories and Keywords section you can add Categories, Topics, Levels of Difficulty and Keywords to the question. When searching for questions from a Question Pool or other Tests, you can search based on categories, topics etc.
  4. Instructor Notes lets you enter some notes about the question either for yourself or fellow tutors. These will not be visible to students.
  5. Finally, click Submit to save your question.
Adding More Questions

The process for adding other question types is very similar to the steps outlined above, but the options available will vary.

  1. Add Question ButtonFrom the Test Canvas page, click the Create Question button and select the type of question you want to add. Alternatively you can insert a question at any position in the test by clicking the Add Question button which appears when you hover your mouse between questions.
  2. Fill out the information required, which usually includes the Question Text, Answers and Feedback.
  3. Click Submit when you have finished editing the question.
  4. Repeat the process for all of the questions you would like to add.
Warning: Do not copy and paste text from Microsoft Word as this can break the formatting.

You can change the order the questions will appear by clicking on the double-ended arrows next to each question and dragging them up or down the page.