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

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

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

The following narrated video provides a visual and auditory representation of some of the information included on this page. For a detailed description of what is portrayed in the video, open the video on YouTube, navigate to More actions, and select Open transcript.


Video: How to Create a Test in Blackboard Learn explains how to create a test and add questions in the Original Course View. You'll also learn how to make the test available to students.


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's "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. To prevent confusion, don't use numbers to reference other questions within the test.

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.

More on creating tests for groups of students

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 and True/False, those scores are posted automatically for students to view.


ULTRA: Watch a video about creating tests

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

The following narrated video provides a visual and auditory representation of some of the information included on this page. For a detailed description of what is portrayed in the video, open the video on YouTube, navigate to More actions, and select Open transcript.


Video: Tests in the Ultra Course View in Blackboard Learn explains how to create a test and add questions in the Ultra Course View. You'll also learn how to make the test available to students.


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 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 the plus sign to open the menu and make a selection. You can choose a question type or reuse questions and content from existing assessments. You can also add files and text, such as instructions for the test. You can also add files from cloud storage, such as OneDrive® and Google Drive™.

More on adding questions

More on reusing questions and assessment content

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 availability conditions based on date, time, and performance on other items in the course gradebook. 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. Students receive a pop-up course notice when they first access a course on the day a test is due and overdue. Late submissions appear with a Late label in the course gradebook. Encourage students to review what’s due now and what’s ahead so they can ask questions as soon as possible.

View accommodations. You can set accommodations for students and make them exempt from certain course requirements, such as test due dates and time limits. To select accommodations, go to the Roster and access the student's menu. The number of accommodations you've made appears on the test page in the Test Settings section.

More on accommodations

Add a time limit. A time limit can keep students on track and focused on the test because each person has a limited amount of time to submit. The test attempts are saved and submitted automatically when time is up. You can also allow students to work past the time limit. At this time, you can't add a time limit to group tests.

Allow class conversations. If you allow 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.

More on conversations

Collect external submissions. You may want to grade student work that doesn’t require students to upload a submission. For example, you can add grades to your gradebook for oral presentations, science fair projects, acting performances, and artwork delivered in person.

More on external submissions

Randomize questions and answers. You can randomize questions and their answers to support practice/drilling activities and help students avoid academic dishonesty. You can use one or both settings so tests appear differently for each student. You can't randomize questions in a test with text blocks or attachments.

Questions appear in order to you but are randomized for students. To prevent confusion, don't add numbers to reference other questions within the test.

More on randomizing questions and answers

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. You can use the default and custom categories 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. At this time, you can't allow multiple attempts on a group test.

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.

Enable SafeAssign. You can use SafeAssign to check for potential plagiarism in student submissions. You can enable the SafeAssign Originality Report any time, even after students have started their submissions, but submissions are only checked when SafeAssign is enabled.

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.


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 the plus sign to open the menu and select a question type. You can also reuse questions and content from existing assessments.

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.

More on the question types you can add

You can use the options 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.

To help keep your test content organized, you can add files within individual questions. Make a selection from the editor's Insert Content menu, such as Insert from Cloud Storage.

More about adding files and text blocks

Edit and delete questions

Select a question's menu to access available options.

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

Before students open the test, select the menu to access Edit or Delete. You can also select a question or answer to enable edit mode. To change the points, select the score pill and type a new value.

You can edit the text of most questions and answers, even after students have made submissions. After students open the test, you can't add new questions, delete a question, move the content, edit the values, or change the correct answers.

You can't edit Fill in the Blank or Fill in Multiple Blanks questions after students open the test.

Select Align with goal from the menu to align goals with individual test questions to help your institution measure achievement. After you make the test available, students can view information for the goals you align with tests and questions so 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 to open the menu 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.

You can also use the editor to embed images and attach files along with your text.

If you create a test that only includes text blocks, you can manually change the Maximum score in the Test Settings panel. For example, you may want students to upload submissions or use the freeform text fields.

Add files. Select Add local file to browse for files on your computer. Your institution controls the maximum size of a file that you can upload. You can't add a folder of files.

Add file from Cloud Storage: You can instantly connect to multiple web apps where you store files, such as OneDrive. The files you add are copies. If you make a change to a file in cloud storage, you need to upload a new copy in your course. If your browser allows, media files you add from cloud storage display inline.

More on cloud storage

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 cloud storage behave in the same way.

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

Access a media file's menu and select Edit. In the Edit File Settings window, 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 describes the image for people who use screen readers or visit web pages with images turned off.

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 the menu and select Preview File or Download File. Instructors have the additional options of move, edit, and delete.

Edit files within questions

You can edit settings for the files you've added to questions. Select the file in the editor and then select the Edit Attachment icon in the row of editor options. You can add a Display name and Alternative text.

You can also choose whether to insert the file as a link in the editor or to embed the file directly so it appears inline with other content you've added.

More on editing tests and questions


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't reorder the elements of your test after students have opened the test.

Point to a test item to access the Move icon. Press and drag the question, text block, or file to a new location.

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: What do students see?

If no time limit exists, students can view a test and they don't have to submit it. When students select View assessment, they can just view the test or add some work, and then select Save and Close in the panel. If students previously started the test, their work is saved. They can select View assessment to resume working or Submit when they've finished.

However, if you added a time limit, students see Start attempt instead of View assessment.

The time limit appears alongside other test details on the Course Content page. Students also see the time limit on the test's Details & Information panel and within the test as they work.

When students select Start attempt, they'll receive a pop-up window to start the timer before they can access the test. If they're not ready to start, they can select Cancel. After they start, the test auto-submits when time is up. 

If you allowed students to submit multiple attempts, the time limit applies to each attempt.

More on the student workflow


ULTRA: Tests and the activity stream

When you create a test and make it visible to students, they're 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 after the test title.

You'll 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: Collect external submissions

You can create assessments that appear on the Course Content page that don't require students to upload submissions. You can add instructions, files, a rubric, and goals so students can prepare for the offline work. You can also enable conversations, but you can't add questions.

Examples of offline work:

  • Oral presentations
  • Science fair projects
  • Acting performances
  • Artwork delivered in person
  • Face-to-face team building exercises, panel discussions, and debates

Instructors who teach hybrid courses may find this type of assessment most useful. For example, you can use a rubric to grade an in-class presentation as a student presents. No need to take notes or add a score later.

When you create an assessment, you can choose to collect external submissions in the settings panel. When students open this type of assessment, they're informed they can't submit work online. If you create groups to collect external submissions, students can view their group members.

For external submissions, you can't allow multiple attempts, allow a time limit, or use SafeAssign.

For grades that require students to be present outside of class, such as for a guest speaker or a field trip, you can add meetings to the attendance feature.

More on adding a meeting

What do students see?

Students can view the assessment alongside other content on the Course Content page and on their global and course grades pages. When students access the assessment from these course areas, they're informed they can't submit work online. They can access other information, such as the instructions and a rubric if you added one.

When you assign a grade, students are notified in their activity streams.