University of Vermont

Center for Teaching and Learning

Tests and Surveys

NOTE: Some students aren't sure how to find their grades or grade feedback. This short video (1.5mins) explains where to look. Students can also find the link on the My Blackboard page after logging in to Bb.

Blackboard Tests and Surveys provide a way to assess the progress of your students. Both tools have the same functions except that surveys are anonymous. You can see that a student has completed the survey but not how they answered.

For the purposes of this tutorial, we'll refer to tests but the process is the same for surveys.

The 4-Step Process:

Step 1 - create the test
Step 2 - add questions to it
Step 3 - deploy it so students can take it
Step 4 - grade it (if it's not self-grading)

Step 1: Create the Test

This general video by Blackboard is about creating tests and also covers editing and deploying them.

Step 2: Add Questions

Test Question Generators

There are some handy web tools to help convert questions from a Word document to a format that's easy to upload to a Blackboard Test.

» See our tool comparison.

» See info about Respondus

Questions can be manually created (click Create Question and choose type), selected from question pools that have been populated with Blackboard-friendly files, or uploaded from a Word document. If you already have your test in Word, please look at the instructions to the right on using "Test Question Generators." This page on Blackboard's site gives directions about how to add new questions to a test canvas and provides info about question types.

Using Pools

Pools can be a handy way to manage questions, reuse them, and organize them in to randomized blocks. This video by Blackboard explains more about question pools.

Step 3: Deploy the Test

After creating your test or survey (or importing it from another course), you will need to "deploy the test" so that students have access to it. To do this, go to the Blackboard Content Area where you intend to have students find their tests, click Assessments > Tests and choose the specific test from the list. Once you click Submit, you are taken to the Test Options page.

Provide accommodations for students by using Test Availability Exceptions

To fulfill accommodation requests, instructors can choose students (or groups) for whom they want to provide a longer time limit or more than one attempt.

These settings can be changed at any time, even after the test has been attempted by some students.

Test availability can be managed within the Test Options area.

Step 4: Grade the Tests (and View Results)
Question types that need to be graded

Blackboard can automatically grade certain question types, such as multiple choice. Therefore, if the test or quiz contains only self-grading questions, Blackboard can deliver the grade immediately. However, other question types need to be manually graded, such as short answer and essay questions.

If there are questions that need manual grading, you can locate the tests by going to the Control Panel > Grade Center > Needs Grading. Click on the link for each student. This will taking you to their tests where you can enter the grade values in the box to the right of each question.

You can also go to Control Panel > Grade Center > Full Grade Center and scroll to the column for the test. Submissions that are ready to be graded are indicated with a yellow exclamation point. Click on the small button within that cell and choose "View Attempt."

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 need revision. This Blackboard video explains how to use item analysis.

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

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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