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Blackboard Help: Tests, Pools, Surveys

What are my options for getting a test into Blackboard?

  • Create a test in Blackboard and copy/paste the questions and answers from a Word or other document into the parts of the appropriate type of question (multiple choice, essay, short answer, true/false, matching, etc.).
  • Follow the instructions "Converting a Test from Word" (in the left column of this page) for converting a Word document into a Blackboard-readable text file that can be imported into a Blackboard test.
  • Import questions using "Existing question banks provided by textbook provider" (below).

Using existing question banks from your textbook provider

Many textbook publishers provide Test Question banks via the publisher interface. Usually, you will have to register with the publisher at their website (e.g. McGraw-Hill Connect, Cengage, and so on) to get access to these questions, but they are freely available depending on publisher resources.

Questions will need to be converted and exported from the publisher site in a Blackboard-compatible format, "QTI," in order to be imported into a Blackboard course. This conversion process can differ, again depending on publisher interface and resources. 

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Downloading tests

To print a test in Blackboard as a PDF, follow these steps:
  • In the Test Options edit mode, set the test to show the test questions to "present all at once." Save.
  • Go into the test in Student Preview mode
  • Print the test using the standard PC printing option. 
  • If the test need to be in Word format (strongly discouraged, unless you need to edit the test after printing) then run it through a PDF to Word converter, which is available from a variety of online sources and Adobe Acrobat Pro. 

To export a test for use later in Blackboard, follow these steps.
NOTE: Tests exported this way can ONLY be imported back to Blackboard, they are not readable outside the Blackboard environment.

Giving Exceptions for Students Who Need Accommodations

It is simple to create an accommodation for one or more students who need to have an extended time limit for a test. The test exception must be set for each test individually. This can also be used to make the test available during a different window for a student taking the test early or late.

  1. Create the test questions
  2. Deploy the test to access the test options (or click the round drop down arrow and select Edit the Test Options if the test is already deployed)
  3. Under the Test Availability Exceptions heading, click the Add User or Group button
  4. Search for and select the student who needs an accommodation, then click the Submit button
  5. Under Timer, change the length of the timer or deselect it to turn it off entirely for that student. You can also de-select Auto Submit, if it was enabled for the test
  6. Click the Submit button to save the test options

Converting a Test from Word

Word documents that contain test questions may be imported into Blackboard using an outside conversion tool.

There are a few formatting requirements before converting the document into a .txt file.

  • Questions start with a number followed by a period or parenthesis.
  • Answers start with a letter followed by a period or parenthesis. Correct answer(s) have an asterisk (*) immediately in front of them.
  • If you enter questions/answers without numbers/letters, then questions must be tagged:
    • MC for multiple choice
    • TF for true/false
    • MA for multiple answer
    • ESS for essay
    • MAT for matching
  • Separate your questions with one blank line.
  • Avoid leaving blank rows, except when you're going on to the next question or answer.
  • True/false questions follow this format, or can be written exactly like a multiple choice question:
    • 1. 3 is a prime number. 
  • Matching questions follow this format, with a slash between the first column and second column match:
    • match 1. Match the chapters with their topics. 
      a) Chapter 13/Exception Handling
      b) Chapter 16/File Processing
      c) Chapter 10/OOP & Classes
      d) Chapter 15/Chars, C-Strings, & the String Class
      e) Chapter 12/Not covered in this class
  • Fill in the blank questions follow this format (you may have more than one correct answer):
    • blank 1. Two plus two equals _____.
      a. four
      b. 4

If you have indicated correct answers with formatting on your Word document (bold, highlight, italics, etc.), here is how to replace them with asterisks. Using Replace, enter the following values:

  • Find what: ([A-D]\.) (edit the letters to match the largest number of choices you have), then click on Format|Font and select highlighting, bold, italic, etc.
  • Replace with: *\1
  • Click on the box Use Wildcards
  • Click Replace All

See the image below for an example in Word for Windows.

You're now ready to convert your questions!

Go to this site: (Oklahoma Christian University)

Enter a Test Name, then copy and paste your newly reformatted Word document into the text box. Click Generate Test Questions.

Review your questions, and if they look ok, click Download Test Questions. You will now have a .txt file with your questions.

Importing a .txt file of questions into a Test

  1. Go to your course in Blackboard/Control Panel/Course Tools/Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
  2. Click either “Tests” or “Pools”. Then select "Build Test."
  3. Complete "Name," "Description," and "Instructions" sections and click "Submit."
  4. Select “Upload Questions.” Then select “Browse” and navigate to the location on your computer containing the .txt file that you saved earlier, and click “Open.”
  5. Blackboard will ask that you provide point values for the questions, which you may also change at a later time.
  6. Click “Submit.”