The Test tool can be used for low-stakes quizzes or high-stakes exams. Unless a test is given in a proctored environment (or using the Respondus Lockdown Browser), it should be considered open book.

Surveys and Tests have similar functionality, but the results are displayed differently:

With Surveys, you can see a report of the aggregated responses and who completed the survey, but not how individuals answered.

With Tests, questions that have correct/incorrect answers are graded automatically while open-ended questions are graded by the instructor or TA.

Some instructors create self-study quizzes that have no impact on the grade and can be taken by students multiple times.


Test questions can be added in a few ways. They can be built one at a time, imported (some textbook publishers provide question pools), or converted from a Word document. Question types to choose from are:

  • Calculated Formula Questions
  • Calculated Numeric Questions
  • Either/Or Questions
  • Essay Questions
  • File Response Questions
  • Fill in Multiple Blanks Questions
  • Fill in the Blank Questions
  • Hot Spot Questions
  • Matching Questions
  • Multiple Answer Questions
  • Multiple Choice Questions
  • Opinion Scale and Likert Questions
  • Ordering Questions
  • Quiz Bowl Questions
  • Short Answer Questions
  • True or False Questions

Question Pools

Pools are collections of questions that can be categorized by topic and/or by difficulty. The test can be designed to give students random sets of questions on the same topics and at the same levels of difficulty. Pools are most commonly imported from textbook publishers and are editable.

Giving Tests to Students

When setting up a test for students to take—or “deploying” it, in Blackboard terminology—you have many choices to make about how it’s administered, when students can see their grades, and how much information you wish to share with them about correct or incorrect answers. There are too many options to list here but a few examples are:

Timed tests with exceptions means that you can set a time limit on a test but allow longer times for individuals who require accommodation.

Reveal grades only after all students have taken the test or after the availability period of the test is closed.

Adaptive Release Option is where course content can be made available to students contingent upon their achieving a minimum grade on a test. They can have the option to take the test unlimited times until they receive that minimum grade and can move on.

Respondus Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor

The Respondus Lockdown Browser is an option to minimize cheating opportunities when giving higher stakes online tests. After the instructor takes the steps to employ this tool (see link below), the student then has to download a special browser to log into Blackboard and take the test. While they use it, it prevents them from using other applications or visiting other webpages.

Read more about the Respondus Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor in this knowledge base article.

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