University of Vermont

Center for Teaching and Learning

Tests and Surveys

Blackboard Tests and Surveys are a great way to assess the progress of your students. Faculty find the test tool helpful for short self assessments on the course material. Surveys are anonymous and have the same functions as the test tool but the answers are not associated with a particular student in the class. Faculty use surveys for student evaluations of the course and for quick polls about how students feel the course is moving along during the semester.

Creating Tests

The process for creating a test is the same as for a survey. After creating (or copying/importing from another course), you will need to deploy the test in order for students to access it.

Item Analysis

You can obtain statistics on overall test performance and on individual test questions using item analysis. This data helps you recognize questions that might not adequately discriminate between students who understand the material and those who do not. You can use this information to improve questions for future tests or to adjust credit on current attempts. Ineffective or misleading question are identified easily, corrected in the Test Canvas, and are re-graded automatically.

To learn more, see Running Item Analysis on a Test.

Test Availability Exceptions

To fulfill accommodation requests, instructors can choose students for whom they want to provide a longer time limit or they can choose groups to assign different date ranges of availability.

These settings can be changed at any time, even after the test has been attempted by some students. If conflicts in rules occur, the most permissive settings for that user or group of users is granted. For example, students would receive the greatest number of attempts, longest availability time, and so on.

Test availability can be managed within the test options area.

Test Access Log

The test access log shows a detailed list of every interaction that students engage in when taking a test. If a student claims to have started a test the log will show the time the test was started. If a network or internet disruption occurred during the test for example, the log would show an unusual gap in the time. The access log can be retrieved when viewing the assessment attempt:

how to view the access log

Reviewing Survey Results

Surveys are anonymous, so you cannot see individuals' answers. You can only see which students have completed the survey because of green checkmarks that appear in the grade box in the survey column.

There are a couple of ways to view the results:

  1. In the Grade Center, click the drop down button at the top of the survey column and choose "Attempts Statistics." Here you see the percentages of responses by question.
  2. To view the results in a spreadsheet, click the drop down button at the top of the survey column and choose "Download Results." The defaults can be left alone, and choose "Click to download results." You can either open them directly with Excel or save the file to your computer.


More on tests can be found here:

Using Respondus (Windows only) for importing questions from MSWord documents

Blackboard Library: Tests, Surveys, and Pools

Download a PDF [24mb] Getting Started with Building a Test

See these Blackboard Videos: (scroll down to find the tests, surveys and pools videos as well as assignments)

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