Blackboard Tests

Creating Tests in Blackboard

You can use tests and surveys to measure student knowledge, gauge progress, and gather information from students.

Creating Tests in Blackboard

Infographic on Creating Tests on Blackboard

Download the instructions - Click here 

1 The first step, is to build the test in Blackboard and then create the test questions. As previously mentioned, blackboard provides various question types ranging from subjective to objective. The question types varies from simple True/False, Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer, Ordering, Matching, Fill-in-the-Blank, and Essay question types to more advanced question types such as Jumbled Sentence, Fill-in-Multiple-Blanks, Hot Spot, Opinion Scale/Likert, Quiz Bowl, and Calculated Numeric question types. A single blackboard test can also be composed of multiple question types.

When creating questions in Blackboard you can provide feedback for individual answers as well as providing images, files and external links in questions and answers. The Blackboard test question creation process also provides the ability to set question metadata options such as level of difficulty, topics and keywords for each question in a test.

When populating test with questions in Blackboard you are not restricted to creating each question individually. However, Blackboard allows you to pool test questions from other test you already have to create your new test. You can also import a pool of questions from an outside source such as another teacher, or a book publisher.

2 - The second step, is deploying the created test. Once a test is created it must be deployed within a content area before students can take the test. To Deploy the test navigate to the content area, where the test will be deployed, then click on the Assessments menu button and from the dropdown menu select Test. In the list that appears select the appropriate Test and Submit. The Test Options page then appears where you can specify Test Information, Test Availability Exceptions, Due Date, Self-Assessment Options, Test Results and Feedback criteria, Test Presentation conditions and Test Availability such as the number of test attempts permitted and setting the time duration for the test.

3 - The third step, in order for students to take the test in Blackboard, the instructor has to make the test available. The students can then login to their Blackboard course, navigate to the test within their course content area and take it. When they are finished they should click the submit button to submit their test. In some cases, if the test is configured for a force completion, it will automatically submit at the end of the allotted time for the test completion, regardless if the student is finished or not. Students should never use the back button on the browser to go back to previous questions when taking the test, instead they should use the navigation buttons provided in the test. Should the student use the back button in the browser he/ she will be kicked out of the test and their score will be based on the questions they had completed by that time in the test.  When taking test in Blackboard we recommend that students use a Laptop or desktop computer running the latest version of the Firefox or Chrome browser (preferably Firefox). 

4 - The Forth Step, is to grade the test. Some test question types are automatically graded by the system such as multiple choice, multiple answer, and true/false questions for which the grades are automatically posted to the grade center whereas other question types such as essay questions will require the instructor to review the student’s submitted answer and manually grade their response. To access and grade the test in Blackboard instructor have to go the Full Grade Center, locate the column associated with the test, viewing the students attempt and grading it. To do this, go to the Course Management section of the course menu and under the Control Panel select Grade center. In the sub-menu that appears select Full Grade center. The Full Grade Center will appear on the right of the page, locate the column associated with the test (the column name should be the same as the test) look for the needs grading icon (yellow circle with white exclamation mark in the middle). Hover, the mouse over the cell associated with the student whose test needs grading. Click on the chevron (circle with arrow pointing down). In the drop down menu, select the Attempt and the test page will appear, grade the students Test Attempt and save it when completed. The saved grade will then be posted to the grade center.    

5 - The Fifth Step, is to post the students grade. This step automatically occurs after the test questions are graded and saved, regardless of whether the grading was done automatically or manually. Once the tests are graded and saved the grades will automatically reflect in the appropriate column associated with the test in the Blackboard Grade center.

6 - The Sixth Step, is for students to view their grades in Blackboard.  Students can view grades by clicking on the My Grades menu option from the course main Menu.

Download the instructions - Click here 

Administering an Online Exam - Best Practices

1. Familiarize yourself with the various options that apply to each question type that you plan to use in your test. For example, some question types allow you to randomize answers, and some provide for possible partial credit for selected answers. Understanding the available options and their implications for grading the questions will help avoid confusion and issues for you and your students.

2. To help your students identify and solve technical issues before actual on-line tests begin, prepare a practice on-line test. Make the practice test as similar as possible in the settings and types of questions you will use in graded tests. You might even include questions about the on-line testing environment itself to reinforce student best practices. Make it a requirement for your students to take the practice test in the same location and circumstances they plan to take the graded tests. Have them report any problems or issues that they encounter while taking the practice test to you.

3. After you create an on-line test and have selected deployment options, take the test yourself as a student. If your students will be taking the exam in a computer/testing lab be sure to try your exam in the lab to be certain that the specific computer configurations do not interfere with the way the exam is displayed. This serves two important purposes:

  • First, if you don’t make a perfect score on your own test, you should check the questions you missed to ensure that the correct answers are indicated.
  • Second, you will be sure that all your questions display properly in the browser. If possible, take your entire test using more than one of the supported browsers. This is especially important if you copy and paste text into your test questions and/or answers (see Step 4 below), embed images or special characters in the test editor, or use an equation editor in composing the test.

4. When creating questions, copying text from Word documents or other formatted sources can create problems when “unseen” formatting codes are carried over with the visible text. Such codes can interfere with the proper display of questions and answers when students take the test. If text needs to be copied into tests, use a text editor such as Notepad as an intermediate step. Or contact for information on the Respondus test authoring software, which can convert test documents into a form that is ready for use with Blackboard.

5. If you have your students take your test in the classroom with you, it is possible that some students may have technical issues with their computer at that time. If it is not possible to provide alternate computers in the room, you will want to print a few copies of the test as a “Plan B” so they can still take the test at that time.

6. Once students have begun taking a test you should not make changes in the test other than to correct typographical mistakes. Other changes will create inconsistencies in grading and can even corrupt the test to make it inaccessible by other students.

Online Resources


Setting Test Options

How to Export and Import a Test


Technical Support

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See Blackboard Ultra's troubleshooting page

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