NOTE: All Banner generated courses, courses that have an assigned CRN number, including XL/cross listed courses, from Fall 2012 to Summer 2017 inclusive will be archived and then fully deleted from Blackboard on the weekend of January 11/12, 2020. Please backup/archive any courses older than Fall 2017 that you wish to keep offline by December 20th, 2019.

Instructors - Tests & Assignments

Create an Assignment

Assignments allow you to create coursework and manage the grades and feedback for each student separately. In an assignment, you can include a description, point value, and file attachments. You can create assignments in several courses areas, such as in a content area or in a learning module, lesson plan, or folder. Students access the assignment, type a submission, attach files, and submit it. You can respond to each student separately with comments and attached files. You access submitted assignments in the Grade Center.

  1. Change edit mode to ON and access the course area where you want to create the assignment.
  2. On the action bar, point to Assessments to access the drop-down list.
  3. Select Assignment.
  4. On the Create Assignment page, type a Name. Students click this name in the course area to access the assignment.
  5. In the Assignment Information box, type instructions for the assignment. Format the text and include images, links, multimedia, Mashups, and attachments using the functions in the content editor, if needed. Attachments added using the content editor can be launched in a new window and have alternate text added to describe the attachment.
  6. Optionally, in the Assignment Files section, attach a file using one of the following options:
    • To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
    • To upload a file from the course's storage repository: -OR-
    • If the course files are in the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.
    • If your school licenses content management, click Browse Content Collection.
  7. Type Points Possible.
  8. Optionally, associate a rubric by pointing to Add Rubric to access the drop-down list. Rubrics are a way to create criteria for evaluating student performance on assignments.
  9. Select the check box to Make the Assignment Available.
  10. Select the appropriate option for Number of Attempts. You can allow students to submit and resubmit work for an assignment more than once, and receive comments and a grade for each submission.
  11. For Limit Availability, you can set the assignment to display on a specific date and time and stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Type dates and times in the boxes or use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and Time Selection Menu to select dates and times. Display restrictions do not affect availability, only when the assignment appears.
  12. Optionally, select a Due Date. Due dates are used to organize and assign gradable items to grading periods in the Grade Center.
  13. In the Recipients section, select the All Students Individually option.
  14. Click Submit.

For more help on Assignments go to the Official Blackboard Help Site.

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Grading an Assignment

You can download assignment submissions to review them offline instead of reviewing them online in the Grade Center. Choose to download all or only selected submissions as a single ZIP file. Unzip or expand the file to view the contents. Each submission is saved as a separate file.

  1. In the Grade Center, locate the column for the assignment you want to download.
  2. Access the assignment column's contextual menu and select Assignment File Download.
  3. On the Download Assignment page, select the student submissions to download
  4. Click Submit.
  5. On the next Download Assignment page, click the Download assignments now link. A pop-up window displays instructions for what to do with the file.
  6. In the pop-up window, select Save File and click OK.
  7. Browse to the location where you want to download the file and click Save.
  8. To return to the Grade Center, click OK on the Download Assignment page.

For more help on Assignments go to the Official Blackboard Help Site.

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Grading an Assessment

Many types of questions within Blackboard are automatically graded. But if you created tests with essay or paragraph type questions, below are instructions for grading those.

  1. On the Control Panel, expand the Grade Centre section.
  2. Select Full Grade Centre.
  3. Click the option menu next to test column you'd like to grade.
  4. From here you may choose to Grade Attempts, Grade Anonymously, View All Attempts, or Grade Questions, etc.
  5. When you're viewing a Grade Attempt, click Test Information to get more details such as their score, start and submission time, and you also may clear the attempt.
  6. For Essay questions, the students response is listed as the Given Answer.
  7. You can score each question as you go along.
  8. For automatically graded questions, a red X indicates an incorrect answer, and a green check indicates a correctly answered questions. You can manually override the score if needed.
  9. Press Submit when you're done grading.

For more help on Assignments go to the Official Blackboard Help Site.

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Adaptive Release - Basic and Advanced

Adaptive Release allows you to control when material is released to students and which students are able to view it.

Adaptive Release: Basic

  1. Locate the item, file, module, content folder, assignment, assessment or specific course material that you would like to add Adaptive Release criteria to.
  2. From the drop-down menu beside the name, select Adaptive Release.
  3. On the Adaptive Release page you can choose to edit the Date, Membership, Grade and Review Status of the selected content.
  4. To edit the Date criteria, input the Days After and/or Days Unit criteria.
  5. To edit the Membership criteria, enter specific usernames or choose pre-made groups.
  6. To edit the Grade criteria, choose a column to associate the content with.
  7. To edit the Review Status criteria, choose an item to mark ad reviewed.
  8. Choose Submit.

Adaptive Release: Advanced

Using the Advanced Adaptive Release, you create a rule that contains specific criteria.

  1. Locate the item, file, module, content folder, assignment, assessment or specific course material that you would like to add Adaptive Release criteria to.
  2. From the drop-down menu beside the name, select Adaptive Release: Advanced
  3. Choose Create Rule.
  4. On the Create Rule page, input a name and choose Submit.
  5. On the Manage Criteria page for the rule, choose Create Criteria and select Date, Membership or Grade.
  6. Input the applicable criteria that you wish to be in the rule.
  7. Click the check box for the rule to select it for the specific content.
  8. Choose Submit.

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Assessment Question Types

Question Pools are used to build tests, quizzes and surveys (collectively termed assessments) one question at a time, as well as for the creation of random blocks and question sets for use in assessments. The following types of questions can be added to online tests or surveys or exams:

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Password Protect a Test/Exam

Password protecting a test requires students to input a password to gain access to a test.

  1. Ensure that the Edit Mode is turned ON
  2. Locate the test in the content area.
  3. Click on the drop-down link and choose "Edit the Test Options"
  1. On the Edit the Test Options page, scroll down to '2. Test Availability'.
  2. Click the checkbox for Password and type a password in the box.
  3. Scroll down and click submit.

The test is now password protected.

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Create an Assessment

  1. On the Course Menu, under Course Tools click on Assessments.
  2. On the action bar, point to Assessments to access the drop-down list.
  3. Select Test or Survey.
  4. Choose Create or select an existing test from the menu.
  5. Provide a name for the assessment. Provide a description if desired. Click Submit.
  6. Click Create Question and select the desired question type from the drop-down list.
  7. On the Create/Edit page, provide the necessary information to create a survey question.
  8. Click Submit.
  9. Repeat Step 6 through Step 8 to add more questions.
  10. Click OK. The Test is added to the list on the Test page and is ready to deploy in a content area.

Reordering Questions

By default, when you create new questions, they are added to the end of the test.

  1. Reorder questions using the drag-and-drop function or the keyboard accessible reordering tool.

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Retention Center

The Retention Center provides an easy way for you to discover which students in your course are at risk. From the Retention Center,   you can communicate with struggling students and help them take immediate action for improvement.

Access the Retention Center

To access the Retention Center go to My Blackboard menu, and also accessible in the Evaluation section of a course's Control Panel.
You can turn the Retention Center on or off in an individual course from the Control Panel > Customization > Tool Availability.

The Retention Center Page

Click the colored bar preceding the table to display a summary of the at-risk students in your course. Click the red dot indicator in a student's cell for more information, to include the student in the monitoring section in the right panel, or to send an email.

Right Side Panel

In the right side panel, you can view two types of information.

  • Students you are monitoring.
  • Other information you are monitoring.

Deleting Rules and Restoring Default Rules

When you delete a rule, all your course content and data remains intact.

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Importing or Exporting Tests in Blackboard

Importing Tests

To import a test onto Blackboard, ensure that you have the file in the correct format. Blackboard will accept tests in a zip file format.

To import the test:

  1. Click Course Tools under Control Panel
  2. Click Tests, Surveys and Pools and click Tests.
  3. Click Import Test
  4. Under Test Import, click Browse My Computer to find the test file. Click Submit to import the test onto Blackboard.

Exporting Tests

To export a test from Blackboard:

  1. Click Course Tools under Control Panel
  2. Click Tests, Surveys and Pools and click Tests.
  3. You will find a list of all tests that are available in Blackboard for a particular course.
  4. To export a test, click the drop down arrow beside the test name and click Export.
  5. Once you click Export, you will be asked to Save or Open the file. Click Save and Ok.

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Importing Test Pools

To import Test pools from a publisher:

  1. Click Course Tools under Control Panel
  2. Click Tests, Surveys and Pools and click Pools.
  3. Click Import Pool
  4. Under Pool Import, click Browse My Computer to find the Test Pool zip file.
  5. Click Submit to import the pool onto Blackboard.

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Test Exceptions

For existing test settings, you can make exceptions for individual students or groups. You might use test exceptions to provide an accommodation to a student who has a disability or technology differences or any other accommodation need.

NOTE: If you've made an adaptive release membership rule that delivers the test to only certain students or groups, only those students can access the test. If you add different students or groups to the Test Availability Exceptions section, they won't be able to access the test.

  1. Click the Add User or Group button.
  2. Select the desired student or students from the dialog box.
  3. Setup the availability exception(s) by defining one or more of the following for each student:
    1. Attempts (e.g. single Attempt or Multiple Attempts)
    2. Timer (e.g. test duration with or without Auto-Submit)
    3. Availability (e.g. override Date After and Date Until settings)
    4. Force Completion (e.g. enable if you want students to complete and submit the test in one sitting)

  4. NTOE: If the exception you create includes changes to the test availability dates, do not check the "Do not allow students to start the Test if the due date has passed" option. Availability exceptions do not overrule due dates and, if checked, your students with date exceptions will not be allowed access.

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