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Blackboard Help

Create Tests and Surveys

Your institution controls which tools are available in the Original Course View. Tests are always available to instructors in the Ultra Course View.

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

Remind your students that they need to use a wired connection when they take tests. Wireless connections are more prone to network issues. The stability of the signal depends on how long and how much bandwidth students draw, similar to 4G phone data connections.

Watch a video about creating tests

This video explains how to create a test, add questions, and make the test available to students in the Original Course View.

Video: How to create a test in Blackboard Learn


Test and survey basics

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about creating tests.

After you build a test or survey, you create questions or add existing questions from other tests, surveys, and pools. On the Question Settings page, you can adjust question settings for a test, survey, or pool. For example, you can set options for scoring, feedback, images, metadata, extra credit, and how questions are displayed to students.

More on question settings

Then, you choose the options and deploy the test or survey in a content area or folder. When you add a test or survey to a content area, it is "deployed."

More on test and survey options

More on deploying tests

You add questions to tests and surveys in the same way, but you add no points to survey questions. Survey questions aren't graded, and student responses are anonymous. You can see if a student has completed a survey and view aggregate results for each survey question.

More on test and survey results


Create a test or survey and add questions

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about creating tests.

Control Panel > Course Tools > Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Tests or Surveys

  1. On the Tests page, select Build Test.
  2. On the Test Information page, type a name. Optionally, provide a description and instructions.
  3. Select Submit.
  4. On the Test Canvas, from the Create Question menu, select a question type.
  5. On the Create/Edit page, provide the necessary information to create a question.
  6. Select Submit.
  7. When you have added all the questions you need, select OK. The test is added to the list on the Tests page and is ready to make available to students.

The next section explains how to add new questions exactly where you want them.

More on creating tests with JAWS


Add questions to an existing test or survey

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about adding questions.

You can add new questions exactly where you want them on the Test or Survey Canvas. Select the plus sign before or after another question and choose a question type.

You can also change the value for individual questions as needed.

Reorder questions

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about reordering questions.

Questions are numbered automatically in the order you add them. The question numbers update when you reorder or randomize them. Therefore, use caution when you refer to specific question numbers in the questions' text.

On the Test or Survey Canvas, you can use the drag-and-drop function to reorder questions. Press the arrows next to a question and drag it to a new location.

Or, select the Keyboard Accessible Reordering icon. Select a question and use the Move Up and Move Down icons following the Items box to adjust the order.

Only new test attempts are affected by the changed order if the test isn't set to display questions in random order. Students who have already made submissions see the original order.


Add a test or survey to a content area

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about adding tests to the Course Content page.

After you create a test or survey, the next step is to deploy it. First, you add the test or survey to a content area, folder, learning module, or lesson plan. Then, you make the test or survey available to students.

  1. Navigate to where you want to add a test or survey.
  2. Select Assessments to access the menu and select Test or Survey.
  3. Select a test or survey from the list.
  4. Select Submit. The Test or Survey Options page appears.
  5. Make the test or survey available to students.
  6. Optionally, select the options for feedback and display, and set the due date and display dates.
  7. Select Submit.

More on test and survey options


ULTRA: Create a test

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about the basics of tests.

Tests are always available to instructors in the Ultra Course View, but anonymously submitted surveys aren't supported at this time.

You can create tests alongside the other content students need as they prepare.

Feel free to experiment! Students can't see what you add until you make your tests visible.

More on how to edit an existing test

On the Course Content page, select the plus sign wherever you want to add a test. You can also expand or create a folder and add a test.

Select Create to open the Create Item panel. Expand the Assessment section and select Test. The New Test page opens.

When you create a test, a gradebook item is created automatically. A test's score consists of the sum total of all the questions' points.

After you post test grades, students can view their scores on their grades pages or in the activity stream. They can also access a test, associated rubrics, their submissions, your feedback, and their grades from the test link on the Course Content page.

If a test only has automatically scored questions such as Multiple Choice, those scores are posted automatically for students to view.


ULTRA: New Test page

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about creating tests.

Type a title. Provide an intuitive test title so that students can easily find the test among your course content. The title appears as the link students select to view the materials. If you don't add a title, "New Test" appears in the content list.

Add questions and more. Select Add Question and select a question type. You can also add files and text, such as instructions for the test.

More on adding questions

Show or hide the test. Students can't see a test until you choose to show it. You can create all your content ahead of time and choose what you want students to see based on your schedule. You can also set a test's availability with show and hide dates. On the Course Content page, students can see when you set the test to show.

Apply test settings. Select the Test Settings icon to open the panel where you provide the test's details and information.

Provide a due date. Due dates appear on the calendar and in the activity stream. Late submissions appear with a Late label in the course gradebook. Encourage students to review what's due now, what's ahead, and to ask questions early on.

Add a time limit. Add a time limit to keep students focused on their work. The test attempt is automatically submitted when time is up.

You can't add a time limit to group tests at this time.

Allow class conversations. What if your students have questions about a test? You can allow conversations within a test, and anyone can contribute. As the conversation develops, it appears only with the relevant test.

Change the grade category. You can change the test's grade category to be part of one of the custom gradebook categories you set up in your course. You can create new categories to customize how coursework is grouped in your course. Custom categories can be useful when you set up the overall grade.

Determine the number of attempts. You can let your students submit more than one attempt at a test. When you allow multiple attempts, you can also choose how the final grade is calculated.

Select the grading schema. From the Grade using menu, select an existing grading schema such as Points. A test's score consists of the sum total of all the questions' points. You can change the grading schema at any time and the change will show to students and in your gradebook.

If you create a test that only consists of text blocks, you can manually set the maximum score.

Add a rubric. Rubrics can help you evaluate student submissions based on key criteria that you define. In Test Settings, you can create a new rubric or associate a rubric that you've already created in your course.

At this time, you can only add a rubric to a test without questions.

Add goals and standards. You can align a test to one or multiple goals. You and your institution can use goals to measure student achievement across programs and curriculums. You can also align individual test questions to goals.

Make a group test. You can create a test for groups of students. By default, you assign a grade to each group as a whole, but you can change a group member's individual grade.

Add an optional description. The description appears with the test title on the Course Content page. You can ask students to upload files to the end of their tests. For example, you might ask them to provide citations for essay questions, include lab work, or prepare content ahead of the test. They can also add comments about their work.


ULTRA: Add questions to a test

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about adding questions.

When you create a new test, select Add Question to open the Add Question panel and select a question type.

The Test Content area opens where you type the question and answer choices if required, such as for Multiple Choice questions. Questions have a default value of 10 points. Select the points box to type a new value.

You can use the functions in the editor to format the text.

To use your keyboard to jump to the editor toolbar, press ALT + F10. On a Mac, press Fn + ALT + F10. Use the arrow keys to select an option, such as a numbered list.

After you add the first question, select the plus sign wherever you want to add another question, text, or a file.

More on the types of questions you can add

More about adding files and text blocks

Edit and delete questions

To change the value of an existing question, select the score pill and type a new value. You can also select the More options icon to access the question options and select Edit or Delete.

You can edit the text of any question, even after students have made submissions. After submissions exist, you can't add new questions, delete any question, edit the values, or change the correct answers.

If you add files to a test question, enter edit mode to edit or to add more. You can choose to display the file as an attachment or inline if your browser allows, and to add alternative text to improve accessibility.

You can align goals with individual test questions to help your institution measure achievement. Select the More options icon next to the question, and select Align with Goal. After you make the test available, students can view information for the goals you align with tests and questions so that they know your expectations.

More on how to align goals with course content


ULTRA: Add files and text blocks to tests

Select the plus sign wherever you want to add questions, text, or a file. You can add as many text blocks and files as you want.

Add text blocks. Select Add Text to open the editor. You can include instructions for a section of the test or introductory text for an audio file or image. You can also paste text from a Word doc. If you click outside of the text box, your work is saved automatically.

If you create a test that only includes text blocks, you can manually change the Maximum score in the Test Settings. This is useful if you want students to upload submissions or use the freeform text fields.

Add files. Select Add File to browse for files on your computer or in OneDrive. You can drag files from your computer, such as a Word doc and an audio file. You can't add a folder of items. You're asked if you want to add the individual items inside the folder. Your institution controls the maximum size of a file that you can upload.

If you're creating a test on a mobile device, the option appears as "Upload from Device."

More on how media files appear

OneDrive: Microsoft OneDrive is a cloud-based storage platform for your files and photos. You can access OneDrive from multiple devices. The files you add are copies. If you make a change to a file in OneDrive, you need to upload a new copy in your course. If your browser allows, media files you add from OneDrive display inline. If you choose a folder of files from OneDrive, the contents of the folder are removed and appear as single items in the document.

On small devices, you can't access OneDrive.

Students see the content just as you see it, without the editing options.

Media file viewing options

If your browser allows, media files you add to tests display inline by default. If your browser can't display a media file inline, it appears as an attachment. Files you add from OneDrive behave in the same way.

Images that display inline are embedded in a 768 px block at the biggest breakpoints. The closer to that size the images are, the less padding appears around them.

Select a media file's More options icon to access the menu and select Edit File. In the panel, you can choose how your video, audio, or image file appears in the test: inline or as an attachment. For example, you can display extremely large files as attachments that students can download. You can edit the file names for files displayed as attachments.

You can also add alternative text to describe images you add. Alternative text is read aloud by screen readers and helps describe what some users can’t see. Alternative text is limited to 100 characters.

For image files that appear inline, students can select an image to view it separately.

For video and audio files that appear inline, students have controls for play, pause, and volume control. For video files, students can view the video in full screen.

View media files as attachments

For media files that appear as attachments, students access a file's menu to view them. Select Download File to open the file in a new window or tab. Select View File to open the file on the document page. Instructors have the additional functions of move, edit, and delete.

Add files to questions

To help keep your test content organized, you can also add files within individual questions. Point your cursor to the space below the question text. Select the plus sign to add more text, upload a file from your computer, or choose a file from your OneDrive. To edit the files you added, enter edit mode for the question. Use the same process described above to edit the files.


ULTRA: Reorder questions, text, and files

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about reordering questions.

Questions are numbered automatically in the order you add them. The question numbers update when you reorder. You can reorder the elements of your test even after students have made submissions.

Point to a question to access the Move icon. Press and drag the question, text block, or file to a new location. At any time, you can reorder items in your test, even after students have made submissions.

You can use your keyboard to move an item.

  1. Tab to an item's Move icon.
  2. Press Enter to activate move mode.
  3. Use the arrow keys to choose a location.
  4. Press Enter to drop the item in the new location.

ULTRA: Tests and the activity stream

When you create a test and make it visible to students, they are alerted in their activity streams.

After you post test grades, students can select View your grade to display their grades. Any feedback you provide appears following the test title.

You will see an alert in the stream when you have submissions to grade. Select the test title to begin grading on the test submissions page.

More on the activity stream


ULTRA: Enable conversations for tests

If you enable class conversations, students can discuss the test with you and their classmates while the test is available.

Students can contribute to the conversation before, during, and after the test. As the conversation develops, it appears only with the relevant test. Conversations don't appear on the discussions page.

To view the conversation, select the speech bubble icon in the test's row on the Course Content page. You can also access the conversation in the upper-right corner of the test page or the submissions page. You can read what your students have written and add your thoughts. Optionally, use the functions in the editor to format the text.

To use your keyboard to jump to the editor toolbar, press ALT + F10. On a Mac, press Fn + ALT + F10. Use the arrow keys to select an option, such as a numbered list.

Select the Delete icon to remove anyone's contribution. Students can delete their own contributions, but no one may make edits.


ULTRA: Create a group test

Use group test to teach students how to effectively work in teams. This type of test helps students realize that each team member can contribute something useful when tasked with solving a problem. Students demonstrate knowledge while learning to appreciate the perspective of others.

You create a group test nearly the same way you create tests for students to complete individually. When you create a group test, a gradebook item is created automatically.

You can allow class conversations for a group test. Students can choose between a conversation with the class as a whole or only among group members. Additionally, students can also hold virtual meetings with other group members if Collaborate Ultra is available in your course and you enable conversations for the test.

More on using Collaborate Ultra in your course

On the New Test page, select the Test Settings icon to open the panel and select Assign to groups.

Students are automatically grouped when you get to the Create Groups page, but you can change how groups are formed:

  • Randomly Assign: Students are randomly assigned to the number of groups you want to create. Choose how many groups to create in the Number of Groups menu. The system distributes students equally among the number of groups you create.
  • Custom: You can create as many groups as you want, with any number of students in each group. You can also create new groups or remove groups based on how many you want for this assignment. The setting changes to Custom if you move students to different groups after they are grouped automatically or with random assign.

To name the groups, select the group title to edit.

Move students between groups

You can move a student from one group to another on the Create Groups page. Select the More options icon next to a name to access these options:

  • Start a new group for this student.
  • To assign the student to a different group that already exists, select the group's name in the list.
  • Select Unassign to remove the student from the group.

You can also move multiple students to a different group or create a new group for them.

Select multiple students

To save time, you can select more than one student and change the students' associated group. You can select multiple students and move them if they're all in the same group or all unassigned.

  1. Select each student's name to select multiple people at the same time. The selected students' names are highlighted with a purple border.
  2. Select a student's name again to remove the selection.
  3. After you select the students, select the More options icon next to one of the names to access the options. You can start a new group, move the students to an existing group, or remove the students from a group.

Delete a group

To delete a group, select the group and then select the Delete icon. The students in that group are automatically unassigned and the Group Students setting is set to Custom.

You can manually assign these students to new groups. Or, select Randomly Assign to automatically assign students evenly among the new number of groups.

Ready to grade?

You can assign one grade for each group, or grade students on their individual contributions.

More on grading a group test