About the Tests and Surveys Feature

What is it?

Blackboard tests are graded assessments that are created by instructors and taken by students in an online format.  "Test" is a generic term and the same tool may be used to create assessments ranging from low-stakes quizzes to high-stakes cumulative exams.  Surveys have the same functionality as tests, with the exception that they are anonymous by default; faculty can see when a student has taken a survey, but not their specific feedback or input.


  • Tests can be taken anywhere the student has an internet connection
  • Blackboard offers a wide range of question types. 
  • Tests can consist of one type of question or question types can be mixed and matched.
  • Instructors can select from a wide range of settings when deploying a test (i.e. when  making it available to students); some options include:
    • Many question options are self-grading
    • Randomizing question order
    • Randomizing answer order
    • Allowing multiple attempts
    • Setting time limits
    • Customizing availability or time limits for students who are entitled to accommodations
    • Creating date and time windows
    • Customizing what students can see or review after taking the test
    • Providing feedback to students to turn the test into a learning experience
    • Password functionality if proctoring services are used 

Best Use Cases

  • Low-stakes comprehension-type quizzes
  • Self-assessment
  • Open-book, learning while testing
  • Quantitative testing (usually under proctored conditions)

Considerations for Use

  • Students should be advised to take tests under proper conditions whenever possible:
    • Using a wired connection or a strong wireless signal
    • On a desktop or laptop (as opposed to a mobile device)
    • In good weather (to avoid outages)
  • Instructors should have a clear policy about how they will handle situations where students claim their test was interrupted, encountered a glitch, or was otherwise compromised.
  • While Blackboard testing is great for low-stakes testing or learning through assessments, instructors should always try to consider whether high-stakes testing - which usually requires proctors - is necessary.  We encourage project-based learning for summative assessment whenever possible.

Creating a Test (Blackboard Tutorial Video)

A quick, but thorough video that walks you through the main steps of 1) creating a test; 2) adding questions to the test; and 3) deploying the test to students.

Question Types (Blackboard Documentation)

Scroll down the page to the listing of all question types for a detailed explanation of how each type is used and created.

Question Settings

Important: On this documentation, pay close attention to the first setting about providing feedback for individual answers.  If you want to provide feedback to students for correct or incorrect answers, this option must be checked!  If it is not checked, students will not receive feedback, even if you have completed the feedback areas.

Test and Survey Options

This Blackboard documentation explains all of the test and survey options available when you deploy a test (in Blackboard, deploy means to make it available to students) and provides helpful hints about when certain settings might be applicable.  

Keep in mind, we don't recommend the use of the Force Completion option - this option results in a lot of issues and other options can be used to obtain the same effect.   If you have questions about Force Completion or any other options, it is a good idea to discuss them with your instructional designer.

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Article ID: 85058
Fri 8/16/19 1:06 PM
Thu 3/26/20 12:09 PM