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Blackboard Help

Question Settings

On the Question Settings page, you can adjust question settings for a test, survey, or pool. Question settings include:

  • Enabling feedback for answers.
  • Adding images, files, or web links to answers and feedback.
  • Determining default point values for questions in tests.
  • Specifying whether or not to offer partial, negative, and extra credit.
  • Adding metadata to questions.
  • Determining display options such as numbering and ordering of answers.

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How to Change Question Settings

In this example, a test is accessed. Use the same steps to access surveys and pools.

  1. On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and click Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
  2. On the Tests, Surveys, and Pools page, click Tests.
  3. On the Tests page, access the test's contextual menu and click Edit.
  4. On the Test Canvas, click Question Settings on the action bar.
  5. On the Test Question Settings page, make your changes to the following options.
    Test Question Settings
    Option Description
    Provide feedback for individual answers Allow response feedback boxes for individual answers rather than just one set of feedback boxes for correct or incorrect answers. You cannot provide individual feedback for answers to True/False, Ordering, and Matching questions.
    Add images, files, and web links to individual feedback and answers Allow adding images, files, and web links to individual feedback and answers.
    Add categories, topics, levels of difficulty, keywords and instructor notes to questions Allow adding categories, topics, levels of difficulty, and keywords metadata to questions. When searching for questions from a pool or other tests and surveys, you may search for questions by these criteria. To learn more, see Question Metadata.
    Specify default points when creating questions You can automatically assign all questions in a test the same default point value. To be effective, you must set the default point value before creating questions. If you change the default point value, only new questions will have the new value. Questions you created before the modification have the old point value.

    You cannot specify a default point value for questions in pools or surveys.

    Specify partial credit options for answers Make partial credit available for questions included in a test. If selected, an option to give partial credit appears when you create or edit questions.

    The partial credit option does not appear for pools or surveys.

    Specify negative points options for answers Make negative points available for questions included in a test. The partial credit option must be enabled before the negative points option will appear. Negative points—used to penalize wrong answers or guesses—are typed as a negative percentage value in the partial credit box for each incorrect answer. If selected, an option to allow for negative scoring for answers appears when you create or edit questions.

    The negative points option does not appear for pools or surveys.

    Provide option to assign questions as extra credit Make extra credit available for questions included in the test. If selected, extra credit is assigned for each question individually after you create it.

    The extra credit option does not appear for pools or surveys.

    Specify random ordering of answers Allow answers to appear in a random order. If selected, the option appears when you create or edit each question.
    Specify the horizontal or vertical display of answers Select whether answers appear vertically or horizontally. If selected, the option appears when you create or edit each question.
    Specify numbering options for answers Determine the answer numbering such as 1 2, 3 or A, B, C. If selected, the option appears when you create or edit each question.

    When the answer is a number, test takers can confuse numbers that denote the order of the answers as part of answer itself. To avoid confusion, use letters to denote the order of answers.

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  6. Click Submit.

Scoring Options

On the Question Settings page, you can enable partial credit, negative points, or extra credit for questions. When you select these scoring options, they appear when you create questions. If you do not select the options for these question settings, they do not appear as choices when you create questions.

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When you add partial credit, negative points, or extra credit questions to your test, mention how scoring will work in the test or question instructions to inform students how your tests are scored.

How to Assign Partial Credit

When you enable partial credit, a portion of the total points for a question is awarded when an answer is not entirely correct. You can enable partial credit during question creation or when editing a question.

Partial credit is available for the following question types:

  • Calculated Formula
  • Fill in Multiple Blanks
  • Jumbled Sentence
  • Matching
  • Multiple Answer
  • Multiple Choice
  • Opinion Scale/Likert Question
  • Ordering
  • Quiz Bowl

For example, you include the following Multiple Choice question with four answers: "What is on a beach?" If the correct answer, "sand," is awarded 5 points, but another choice is "the ocean," you can set partial credit to 40%, awarding 2 points for that answer. If partial credit is enabled but negative points is not, valid percentage values for a question are 0.0 to 100.0.

The partial credit option does not appear for pools or surveys.

Use the following steps to enable the partial credit option and use it for individual questions:

  1. On the Test Canvas, click Question Settings on the action bar.
  2. On the Test Question Settings page, select Specify partial credit options for answers.
  3. Click Submit.
  4. For each appropriate question, select the check box for Allow Partial Credit.
  5. For each incorrect answer, type a value in the Partial Credit % box. This number is read as a percent. For example, typing 50 will give the student 50% of the question’s possible points for selecting that answer. Zero is an acceptable value.
  6. Click Submit.

After students submit attempts, you may not disable the partial credit option on the Test Question Settings page. To remove the partial credit option from an individual question in a test with attempts, clear the question's check box for Allow Partial Credit. Click Submit and Update Attempts and then OK. All test attempt scores are recalculated.

If you make partial credit available, mention this in the test instructions to encourage a greater degree of test participation.

How to Use Negative Points

You can penalize students' incorrect answers with negative points. Use this feature for multiple choice tests to discourage guessing. You can enable the negative points option during question creation or when editing a question.

Negative points for incorrect answers are available for the following question types:

  • Matching
  • Multiple answer
  • Multiple choice

For example, if a Multiple Choice question awards 5 points for a correct answer and 0 points for skipping it, you can set -20% (or -1 point) for each of the incorrect answers. Valid negative point percentage values for a question are -100.0 to -0.0.

The negative points option does not appear for pools or surveys.

Use the following steps to enable the negative points option and use it for individual questions:

  1. On the Test Canvas, click Question Settings on the action bar.
  2. On the Test Question Settings page, select Specify negative points options for answers.

    The negative points option appears only if you enabled the Specify partial credit options for answers option.

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  3. Click Submit.
  4. For each appropriate question, select the check boxes for Allow Partial Credit and Allow Negative Scores for Incorrect Answers.
  5. For each incorrect answer, type a negative percentage in the Partial Credit % box. For example, typing -50 will subtract 50% of the question’s possible points from a student’s total grade for selecting that answer. Zero is an acceptable value.
  6. Click Submit.

After students submit attempts, you may not disable the negative points option on the Test Question Settings page. To remove the negative points option from an individual question in a test with attempts, clear the question's check box for Allow Partial Credit, which also disables negative scoring. Click Submit and Update Attempts and then OK. All test attempt scores are recalculated.

If you are using negative points as a guessing deterrent, mention this in the test instructions.

How to Award Extra Credit

When you enable extra credit and apply it to an individual question, a correct answer results in adding the points listed in the question's Points box to the points earned for the test. An incorrect answer does not result in a point deduction. Questions designated as extra credit are removed from the total points calculation for the purpose of grading. If a student answers all questions correctly on a test with an extra credit question, he or she is awarded a score greater than 100% on the test. You enable extra credit after you create questions.

The extra credit option does not appear for pools or surveys.

  1. On the Test Question Settings page, select Provide option to assign questions as extra credit.
  2. Click Submit.
  3. For each appropriate question, click the Points box.

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  4. In the pop-up box, select the check box for Extra Credit.
  5. Click Submit.

To remove extra credit for an individual question, click the Points box. In the pop-up box, clear the Extra Credit check box. You may disable extra credit for the entire test on the Test Question Settings page.

If you make extra credit available, mention it in the question or in the test instructions.

Related Tutorials   video  Negative Points  (Flash movie | 4m 13s)