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.

Access tests to grade

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

You access tests that need grading on the Needs Grading page or in the Grade Center.

A Grade Center column is created automatically for each test you create and link in your course. A test that has been submitted, but not graded, is indicated with the Needs Grading icon. Although the system scores many question types, you must grade some questions manually such as Essays, Short Answer, and File Response.

You have the options to grade tests anonymously, to grade all responses to a specific question, and to give full credit for all responses to a question. You can also delete questions from a test or clear a test attempt to allow a student to retake a test.


Send reminders about missing coursework

You can send email reminders from Grade Center columns to students and members of groups who have missing coursework. Students receive a system-generated email that lists the course, coursework, and the due date if you assigned one.

More on sending reminders


Assign test grades on the Needs Grading page

For courses with many enrolled students and gradable items, the Needs Grading page can help you determine which tests need grading first.

Tests in progress don't appear on the Needs Grading page.

For example, you can sort by the due date so that your final tests are graded before your institution's deadline. If you have a designated turnaround schedule set for all gradable items, you can customize the view of items with a Needs Grading status. You can sort and filter the list and grade the most urgent tests first.

Control Panel > Grade Center section > Needs Grading page

More on the Needs Grading page


Assign test grades in the Grade Center

The Grade Center shows all gradable items. The number of items may influence how you organize your time for grading tasks. You may also find it beneficial to view a student's previous grades as you grade.

Access the Grade Center:

  1. On the Control Panel, expand the Grade Center section.
  2. Select Full Grade Center or the Tests smart view, if available, to access test attempts.

Grade a single test:

  1. Locate the cell for a student's test with the Needs Grading icon.
  2. Access the cell's menu and select Attempt. The Grade Test page appears.

Grade all attempts for one test:

  1. Access the test column's menu.
  2. Select Grade Attempts. The Grade Test page appears.

More on assigning grades in the Grade Center


Grade Test page

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about the test page.

On the Grade Test page, you can navigate among students and attempts, view rubrics, grade anonymously, and view information about a test.

Expand the Test Information link to view the status, instructions, and pertinent date and times. You can clear a test attempt so that a student can submit the test again. You can also submit a test that is in progress so that you can grade it.

If a test has questions that you need to assign scores for, the test status is Needs Grading and the Attempt Score is 0.

  1. On the Grade Test page, type a score for each question that isn't graded automatically. You can also change existing scores.
  2. Optionally, if you associated a rubric with Essay, Short Answer, or File Response questions, select View Rubric to grade the question with the rubric.
  3. Optionally, add Response Feedback specific to the individual question. If you want your feedback to show for individual questions such as Essays, select that option on the Questions Settings page. Though a Response Feedback text box displays by default, students won't see any feedback you add unless you select the option. You can't provide individual feedback for answers to True/False, Ordering, and Matching questions.
  4. Optionally, type comments in the Feedback to Learner box.
  5. Optionally, type comments in the Grading Notes box. This text is not seen by students.
  6. Select Save and Exit to return to the Full Grade Center, the Needs Grading page, or the Grade Details page, based on where grading began.

    -OR-

    Select Save and Next to display the next student, if available.

    -OR-

    Use the arrows to navigate to the previous or next student, if available.

If you allowed multiple attempts for a test, a student's grade isn't released until you have graded all of the attempts.

Add feedback recordings

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about recording feedback.

You can embed an audio/video recording of your feedback in the editor as you grade attempts. The recording option appears in the feedback editor for most graded items in your course. Students watch or listen to your feedback alongside any text you include.

More on adding audio/video feedback


Grade tests with student names hidden

When you grade tests, you have can hide user names any time during the grading process to eliminate grading bias for high-stake tests.

Grading anonymously adds another layer of fairness and impartiality. You won't know who made the submission, so you aren't unduly influenced by a student's previous performance, class participation, conflicts, race, gender, or perceived student aptitude. This practice can also contribute to the student-instructor relationship because students are assured that grading was unbiased.

When you grade anonymously, all identifying information is hidden and test attempts appear in random order. Each student is assigned a number, such as Student 8.

Access the Needs Grading page:

  1. Access a test attempt's menu.
  2. Select Grade with User Names Hidden. The Grade Test page appears.

Access the Grade Center:

  1. Access the test column heading's menu.
  2. Select Grade with User Names Hidden. The Grade Test page appears.

Start from the Grade Test page:

  1. Select Hide User Names.
  2. Select OK. If grading was in progress, any unsaved changes to the open attempt are lost. The Grade Test page refreshes, a new attempt appears, and all identifying information is hidden.

Grade tests by question

For each test, you can choose to grade all responses to a specific question. You can move through submissions, and view and score the same question for each student. You can save time as you concentrate only on the answers submitted for one question. You can see how all students responded, and provide immediate feedback about how the group performed on that particular question. Also, you can grade by question when you want to revisit a question that requires a score adjustment for all or many students.

At the same time, you can grade questions with student names hidden. All test attempts remain in Needs Grading status until you've graded all of the responses for all of the questions.

  1. In the Grade Center, access a test column's menu and select Grade Questions.

    -OR-

    On the Needs Grading page, access a test's menu and select Grade by Question.

  2. On the Grade Questions page, you can filter the questions by status: Graded, Needs Grading, or In Progress. You may also select the check box for Grade with User Names Hidden, if needed.
  3. For each question, select the number in the Responses column.
  4. On the Grade Responses page, expand the Question Information link to view the question. If you didn't previously select anonymous grading, select Hide User Names. Select OK in the pop-up window.
  5. Select Edit next to the score for a student.
  6. Type a grade in the Score box. Optionally, add Response Feedback specific to the individual question. The feedback box only appears for certain question types, such as Essays. Select Submit.
  7. Optionally, if you associated a rubric with Essay, Short Answer, or File Response questions, select View Rubric to grade the question with the rubric.
  8. After grading all student responses, select Back to Questions to return to the Grade Questions page.

Give or remove full credit

You can Give Full Credit for all test submissions for the question you are viewing. Subsequent submissions are given full credit as well. After you give full credit, you can Remove Full Credit to revert to the automatic grade or to a previously assigned manual grade.

  1. Follow steps 1-3 in the preceding section to access the Grade Responses page.
  2. Expand the Question Information link to view the question. If you didn't previously select anonymous grading, select Hide User Names. Select OK in the pop-up window.
  3. Select Give Full Credit to assign full credit for the question -OR- Remove Full Credit.
  4. Select Back to Questions to return to the Grade Questions page.

Delete or change the value of questions

On the Test or Survey Canvas, you can add, edit, and delete questions. You can also add question sets or random blocks, reorder questions, and edit a test or survey's information before students make submissions.

After a test has submissions, you can't add a question, modify the number of questions in a question set, or change a random block definition or options.

Even after you deploy a test or survey and students make submissions, you can delete questions. All affected test submissions are regraded and all affected survey results are updated. The question numbers update automatically. If test submissions exist and you delete a question, the question is removed from the test, along with any possible points earned. Test attempts are regraded as if the question wasn't included in the test.

More on editing and deleting questions


ULTRA: Where do I start grading?

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

You can choose where you want to start grading!

Want to see how many tests are ready to grade in all your courses? In the list where your name appears, you have immediate access to all your courses' grading tasks on the global Grades page. All your grading tasks are organized by course. You can quickly scan your progress, set priorities across the board, and even begin grading. No need to navigate to each course to see what's ready for grading.

The page only displays information if you need to take action. You see tests that are ready to grade or which tests are overdue for how many students.

Want to narrow your focus? In a course, you can access the course gradebook on the navigation bar. You can see who has made submissions and start grading.

From the activity stream, you're alerted when student submissions are ready for grading. Select the link to go to the gradebook. Or, select a test on the Course Content page to see how many students have made submissions.


ULTRA: Start grading from a test

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about the Grade Test page.

When you access a test, the Content and Settings page displays the questions and settings, such as the due date and maximum score. Select the Test Settings icon to make changes. For example, you can change the grading schema at any time and the change will show to students and in your gradebook.

Keep up with the conversation. If you allowed conversations about this test, select the Open class conversation icon to see what students are saying. 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. These conversations stay with the test, and you can access them on this page or from the test submissions page.

A purple circle appears with the conversation icon to indicate new activity since you last opened the conversation panel.

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

More on test conversations

Check how many need grading. Select the Submissions link to see how many students have completed the test.


ULTRA: Test submissions list page

The submissions list page displays all enrolled students.

Keep track of all submissions on one page. Quickly see which attempts are ready to grade. Student profile pictures appear with a red circle when they have late submissions or the due date has passed with no attempt submitted.

Access the details. Review the instructions and settings at any time. For example, select the Content and Settings link to return to the test page.

View students with accommodations. You can set accommodations for individual students and exempt them from requirements, such as assessment due dates and time limits. Use accommodations to help students progress in the course even though they may have difficulty with some requirements. In the gradebook and roster, icons appear next to the names of students with accommodations.

More on accommodations

Review the conversation. Select the Open class conversation icon to see what students are saying.

Start grading. Select student names to access their individual submissions, and assign grades and provide feedback. You can also assign grades directly on this page. These grades are override grades. An override label appears next to the grade. After you assign a value, click anywhere outside the grade area to save.

More on override grades

Ready to post grades? Post appears next to each grade that you haven't released yet. You can choose which grades to post and when. Posted grades appear with a Posted message in the column. You can also grade all submissions for an item in succession and then select Post all grades to release all grades in one action.

View submission timestamps

When you start or review grading, you can point to a submission timestamp to view more information. Timestamps appear on students' submission pages and on their attempts panels when you've allowed multiple attempts for an assessment.

For example, on a student's submission page, you can view when the student made the submission and when you posted the grade. The timestamp appears in red with a "late" label after the due date passes.

For multiple attempts, on the Submissions list page, select a student's name to open the attempts panel. Point to a timestamp to view the additional information.

Feedback panel appears next to submission

The feedback icon appears next to each attempt. Select the icon to open the feedback panel, which persists on the side of the screen. You can scroll through the test and add overall feedback.

Insert a feedback recording in the editor

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about recording feedback.

You can embed an audio/video recording of your feedback in the editor as you grade attempts. The recording option appears in the feedback editor for most graded items in your course. Students watch or listen to your feedback alongside any text you include.

This function isn't supported on all browsers. For the best experience, use Chrome or Firefox.

More on adding audio/video feedback


ULTRA: Student's submission page

Access student submissions from the test submissions list page.

Review student work. Students answers appear for each question. They can't format with HTML code or add files to an individual question at this time. However, students can add comments and files to the end of their tests.

See a count of how many you've graded. As you grade each submission and move on to the next one, you can view your progress in the upper-right corner.

Navigate to other submissions. Use the arrows to move to another submission ready for grading.

View the rubric. If you associated a rubric with this test, select the rubric icon within the empty grade pill to view the criteria. The screen adjusts so you can view the student's submission alongside the rubric.

More on grading with rubrics

Grade, provide feedback, and post. Assign points for each question. You can use up to two decimal places. Click anywhere outside the grade pill to save. When you've finished, the total appears at the top of the test. A test's score consists of the sum total of all the questions' points.

Next to the test's grade pill, access the menu to select the options. Select the feedback icon to add a note with suggestions, encouragement, and overall feedback about the submission. Post the grade or delete the submission so that the student can try again.

More on grade pills

What do students see? After you grade tests and post the results, students can view their scores on their grades pages or in the activity stream. They can also access the test, their submissions, your feedback, and their grades from the Course Content page.

More on the activity stream

More on grade pills

View student comments and files

You might ask students to provide citations for essay questions, include lab work, or prepare content ahead of the test. Students can also add comments about their work. Or, you might create a test with no questions and add instructions to upload a document to fulfill the test.

If your students added content for you to view with their tests, it appears at the end of the submission. If allowed by your institution, you can annotate and grade student files that appear at the end of a test directly within the browser. The inline viewer is powered by a third-party, cloud-based technology called New Box View.

You can view and annotate these document types in the browser:

  • Microsoft® Word (DOC, DOCX)
  • Microsoft® PowerPoint® (PPT, PPTX)
  • PDF

You can view other document types in the browser, such as images and videos, but you can’t annotate them. Comments students create with the editor aren't compatible with inline grading.

Supported files open automatically in the browser. Original formatting and embedded images are preserved. If a student has uploaded an unsupported file, you're prompted to download it.

You can use two annotation types in New Box View:

  • Highlighting: Point and drag your cursor to highlight text, then select Highlight text. Select Add comment to highlighted text to add a comment to a highlighted area.
  • Point-based comments: Select the comment icon and point to wherever you want to add a comment for the student.

Students won’t see any annotations in their files until you post grades.

To remove a comment, select the Delete icon in the comment window. To remove a highlighted area, point to the area and select Highlight text again. You can also zoom in and out, and navigate to other pages in a student's file.

You can add and edit annotations even after you post grades.

For files that you can annotate, access the menu and select Hide File or Download File. You can also download and print the file from the menu in the inline viewer. Your annotations won’t appear in the downloaded or printed file.


ULTRA: Grade a test with multiple attempts

When you create a test, you can choose to let students submit more than one attempt. Multiple attempts change how the test's final grade is automatically calculated. Choose how you want to calculate the final grade:

  • Average of all attempts
  • First attempt with a grade
  • Attempt with highest grade
  • Last attempt with a grade
  • Attempt with lowest grade

You can't allow multiple attempts on a group test or when you collect submissions offline.

The Grade Attempts setting determines how the final grade is automatically calculated, but you have the option to override the grade. Each attempt is subject to the due date you set for the test. If a student submits an attempt after the due date, the attempt is marked late. Attempts submitted before the deadline are shown as on time.

You can only override the final grade, not the grades for each attempt.

More about the ramifications of overridding grades

View individual attempts

You can start grading a test with multiple attempts from the same places you grade an ordinary test:

  • Activity stream
  • Gradebook
  • The test

When you select a student's name, a panel appears that displays each attempt, along with the date it was submitted. Select an attempt to view the submission.

The feedback icon appears next to each attempt. Select the icon to open the feedback panel, which persists on the side of the screen. You can scroll through the test and add overall feedback and a grade.

If you used a rubric or questions that are scored automatically, the grade may already exist for the attempt.

Final grades

The final grade for a multiple attempt test is calculated based on the Grade Attempts setting you chose in the Test Settings. In the panel that lists a student's attempts, the final grade appears when the needed attempts are graded. For example, if the final grade is calculated based on the highest graded attempt, the final grade appears immediately after at least one attempt is graded. But, the grade may change as you continue grading more attempts.

After you finish grading the attempts, you can post the final grade to the student to see.

What do students see?

Tests with multiple attempts list the number of attempts allowed, as well as how the final grade is calculated. Students view this information on the Details & Information page before they begin. When grades are posted, students can view grades for each of their attempts, as well as the final grade. If you decide to override the final grade, a message appears to let the student know.

More on how students access tests in Blackboard Learn—use your browser's back function to return here


ULTRA: Grade a test with a time limit

When you allow students to work past the time limit for a test, you're able to view which tests exceeded the time limit. You can also view how many questions were answered after the time limit.

On a student's submission page, you can see the date and time the student submitted the test. You can also see if the time limit was exceeded. Hover over that timestamp to view how many questions were answered after the time limit. Questions answered after the time limit are designated in yellow and appear with: (Answered after time limit).

You can manually deduct points from a student's test total for questions answered after the time limit. If you allow multiple attempts, when you manually edit the final grade for the test, you're assigning an override grade.

Override grades

You can only override the final grade, not the grades for each attempt. An override grade takes precedence over all other grade entries, including attempts a student submits after you assign an override grade. If you go on to grade another attempt after you manually changed the final grade, the override grade still supersedes the second attempt grade you assign. You may want to deduct points after a student has made all attempts or the due date has passed.

Time limit accommodation + time limit

If students have a time limit accommodation and you allow more time to complete an assessment in the settings, the times are combined.

More about time limit accommodations