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Tests and Surveys

Last Modified
15:31, 20 Feb 2014

You can find tests and surveys—referred to collectively as assessments—in any content area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder.

Tests are used to assess your knowledge. Your instructor assigns point values to questions in the test. Your answers are submitted for grading, and the results are recorded in the Grade Center.

Surveys are used for polling purposes and evaluations. This type of assessment is not graded.

Do not refresh the page, close the window, or click the browser's back button while taking an assessment. If you experience problems during a test or survey, contact your instructor immediately.

Question Types

There are many types of questions that can be included in an assessment. Your instructor decides what type of questions to include, what order the questions appear, and whether you are allowed to go back and change your answers. Read all instructions first so you understand what your instructor expects.

  • Calculated Formula: Contains a formula with a number of variables. The correct answer can be a specific value or a range of values.
  • Calculated Numeric Response: Resembles a fill-in-the-blank question except a number is entered to complete the statement. The correct answer can be a specific number or within a range of numbers. The answer must be numeric (42 instead of forty-two) .
  • Either/Or: A statement with a predefined choice of two answers (Yes/No, On/Off).
  • Essay: A question where the answer must be typed in a text box.
  • File Response: Uploaded files are used to respond to the question.
  • Fill in Multiple Blanks: Multiple responses are inserted into a sentence or paragraph.
  • Fill in the Blank: A statement that requires an answer to complete it. Answers are evaluated based on an exact text match.
  • Hot Spot: A specific point on an image is used to indicate the answer. For example, selecting all the countries in South America by clicking on each one on a map.
  • Jumbled Sentence: A sentence with a number of variables within it.
  • Matching: Two columns of items where each item in the first column must be matched to an item in the second column.
  • Multiple Answer: A number of choices with one or more correct answers.
  • Multiple Choice: Allows a number of choices with one correct answer. Indicate the correct answer by selecting the correct answer.
  • Opinion Scale/Likert: A rating scale used to measure attitudes or reactions.
  • Ordering: A question that requires users to provide an answer by selecting the correct order of a series of items.
  • Quiz Bowl: An answer appears; the users responds with a who, what, or where question to respond.
  • Short Answer: Similar to Essay questions; answer length is limited.
  • True/False: A statement with the option to choose either true or false. True/False answer options are limited to the words True and False.

Grading Questions

The majority of questions in assessments are auto-graded. Your instructor defines the correct answers and assigns a certain number of points to each question when the assessment is created. The system validates your answers against the key and assigns the score. You may see your score immediately after completing the test if all questions are auto-graded and your instructor releases this information.

Essay questions, file response, and short answer questions are not auto-graded. Your instructor must grade these questions manually. If an assessment contains these question types, the grade for the assessment is released after your instructor finishes grading.

If your instructor has associated a rubric with an essay, file response, or short answer question and made it available, a View Rubric button appears next to the Save Answer button. Click View Rubric to review the criteria your instructor has chosen.

Taking an Assessment

Your instructor lets you know when an assessment is available and where to find it in your course. 

Tips for Taking an Assessment

  • Start your assessment as soon as you can. If your instructor schedules three days for your assessment, plan to take the assessment early on the first day. That way, if you have an issue, you will have time to contact technical support and your instructor.
  • Be prepared. Have any materials that you need at hand.
  • Read all of the instructions. If you have any trouble taking your assessment or understanding questions, contact your instructor immediately. 
  • Check your Internet connection. You need to make sure that you have a strong internet connection.
    • A wired connection is usually more reliable than a wireless connection. 
    • Check with your instructor and institution before taking an assessment using a cellular data connection. Most institutions will advise you to avoid using a cellular data connection unless your institution is a Blackboard Mobile Learn-enabled site with a Mobile Learn app available AND your instructor has created a Mobile-compatible assessment.
  • Do not refresh the page, close the window, or click the browser's back button while taking an assessment. If you experience problems during an assessment, contact your instructor immediately.

How to Take an Assessment

Assessments are located within content areas in a course.

Contact your instructor if you encounter issues or problems while taking your assessment.

  1. Navigate to an assessment and click the link associated with it.
  2. Click Begin to take the assessment.

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  3. Your instructor may choose to have you type a password to begin taking an assessment. If necessary, type the valid password and click Submit to begin the assessment. The assessment continues to prompt for a valid password until the correct one is provided.

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  4. As you work, answers will be saved automatically, or you can click the Save button by each question or the Save All Answers button at the top or bottom of the page as you work.

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  5. Click Save and Submit when you complete the assessment.

    Do not use the browser's Back button during an assessment. This may cause loss of data. If you have difficulties while taking an assessment, contact your instructor.

    If your instructor has associated a rubric with an essay, file response, or short answer question on a test, click View Rubric to display grading criteria.

Timed Assessments

If your instructor chooses a timed assessment, the scheduled time is included in the instructions before you begin.

You are notified of the instructor's choice of Timer Setting, which determines whether the assessment saves and submits automatically when time expires, or if you have the option to continue beyond the time limit.

There is no automatic penalty for continuing beyond the time limit, however, final scoring decisions are made by your instructor. Talk to your instructor if you have questions about this setting.

The total time you spend on the assessment is recorded and available to the instructor when the test is submitted.

If you save and exit the assessment, the timer continues running. If you start your test on Tuesday, save and exit it, then complete it on Thursday the timer will show that it took you 48 hours to complete the assessment.

If the auto-submit feature is selected, when the timer runs out, the test saves and submits and the Test Submitted page appears. If the option is not selected, a pop-up window appears with the choice to submit or continue.

The remaining time appears on the assessment page. Click the chevron next to the timer to collapse or expand it.

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Timer warnings appear when half the time, five minutes, one minute, and thirty seconds remain. When the remaining time reads 1 minute, 30 seconds, the status bar will turn yellow. At 1 minute, the warning will be red, and at 30 seconds, both the status bar and the warning are red. If the timer is collapsed, the color changes are not visible.

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Feedback and Grades

The performance results you receive after completing a test depend on the options selected by your instructor. For example, your instructor may only show the final score for one test, while for another test the final score and correct answers are displayed. Feedback includes one or more of the following:

  • Final score for the test
  • Answers submitted
  • Correct answers
  • Feedback for the questions

To access feedback and grade information, select the test in the content area or use My Grades.

If your instructor used a rubric for grading an essay, file response, or short answer test question and made it available, click View Rubric while viewing the graded test to display detailed information.

Multiple Assessment Attempts

If you are allowed to take an assessment multiple times, it is noted at the top of the assessment. If there is a limit on the number of attempts it is also noted at the top. A link to take the test again appears when the test is re-opened. Your instructor determines if one or more of the test attempt scores are recorded in the Grade Center.

Presentation Options

Force Assessment Completion

If force completion is enabled, you must complete the assessment the first time it is launched. If force completion is enabled, it is noted at the top of the assessment. You are not allowed to exit the assessment and continue working on it at a later date. The Save function is available for you to save the assessment as you work through it, but you are not allowed to exit and re-enter the assessment.

Backtrack Prohibited

You are not allowed to go back to questions you have already answered if backtracking is prohibited. If backtracking is prohibited, it is noted at the top of the assessment. When you take an assessment that does not allow backtracking, an error appears when you attempt to use the Back function within the assessment.

Assessment Presentation

Your instructor has two different options for presenting questions in an assessments: all-at-once and one-at-a-time.

All-at-once assessments present all of the questions at the same time. The following options are available while taking this type of assessment:

All-at-Once Options
Function Action
Store answers Select Save All Answers. A saved icon appears in the question status indicator. You are allowed to change answers after they are saved.
Finish the assessment Select Save and Submit. You receive a confirmation followed by a receipt page stating that the assessment is completed.

One-at-a-time assessments present questions separately. Only one question appears on the screen at a time. You decide when you are ready to move onto the next question. The following options are available while taking this type of assessment:

One-at-a-Time Options
Function Action
Navigate through questions Use the navigation arrows (<<, <, >, or >>). The question/section indicator describes the current location in the assessment and the overall number of questions. When backtracking is prohibited, these arrows do not appear.
Save answers Select Save All Answers. Questions answered up to this point are saved.
Finish the assessment Select Save and Submit. You receive a confirmation followed by a receipt page stating the assessment is completed.

Question Completion Status

The question completion status indicator provides an up-to-date look at complete or incomplete questions in an assessment.

The status of which questions have been answered is displayed at the top of the page. Click the chevron next to the question completion status to collapse or expand it.

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When you answer a question and move to the next question in a question-by-question assessment, the status box is edited on the next page to show that the previous question was answered. If you do not answer a question and move on to the next page in a question-by-question assessment, the status box will show on the next page that the previous question was not answered. Navigate between questions by clicking on the question number in the status indicator.

When you take an all-at-once assessment (an assessment where the questions all appear on the same page), click Save Answer to save a specific question without scrolling to the bottom of the page to save. Saving either a single question or all of the questions that have been answered (with the Save All Answers at the top or bottom of the page) changes the status indicator to show which questions have been completed.

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