Blackboard Tips: Assessment

by Tonia Malone on February 25, 2010

Why should you use Blackboard’s (Bb) test or survey tools? Blackboard A test or survey in Bb can save class time. A mid-quarter survey can be used for a class evaluation to allow your students to give you feedback as well as allow time for you to adjust your teaching methods before the end of the quarter.  A test or survey before class can list content areas where students lack understanding, allowing you to prepare your lecture to address these targeted areas.   A test or survey provides additional methods for students to practice. Low point tests or surveys each week can help students gauge their knowledge, gain feedback, and correct themselves before their grades are drastically affected by a poor midterm score. A test or survey can reduce student midterm anxiety by allowing them to test their knowledge beforehand. Now that we have reviewed some of the ways that assessments in Blackboard can improve your teaching, let’s get started with some easy steps for creating a test or survey in Blackboard:

Use Microsoft Excel or Word to create test or survey questions. This will both save time and headaches. Blackboard may not allow you to create questions within its Test or Survey Manager. This error has been made known to Blackboard (the company) but will not be fixed in the version of Blackboard that Cal Poly is currently using. Learning to use Excel or Word will bypass this problem altogether and make creating tests and surveys much easier.
Upload the Microsoft Excel or Word questions (Tab delimited- TXT) into Blackboard’s Pool Manager This provides you with a repository of reusable questions that can be used multiple times within the course or exported into other Bb courses. (Note: If you don’t use the Pool Manager, you will not be able to copy the questions into a future course.)
Use the Test or Survey Manager to organize your questions in the order you want your students to access them.
Test/Survey Options

  • Provide some instructions within the Description area. This text is displayed to the students before they enter the test/survey.
  • If you use the Timer, make sure to inform your students not to us IE8. However, if they do use IE8 because they don’t have access to another browser, they can get support at the Student FAQ page: – ElapsedTime Do not Force Completion of a Test or Survey. This tends to cause problems requiring the instructor to Clear Attempt so the student can retake the test/survey.
Place the Test or Survey within the Content (Course Materials or Assignments) area of your course.

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