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A question pool is a collection of questions that is stored for repeated use.

You can use pools to create tests and surveys. You can also export and import pools for use in tests in other courses.

Questions in a pool are almost identical to test questions. They can contain feedback, metadata, and all the other elements of a test question, but they don't contain point values.

Instructors typically use pools to create a database of questions they can reuse in multiple tests. For example, an instructor for a Sustainable Living course can create a question pool for each of the central topics taught: Diet, Housing, and Energy. The instructor can then use these pools in multiple tests and in other courses.

Ultra vs. Original Course View assessment terminology

We’ve made some changes to assessment feature names based on user research and current industry standards. The Ultra Course View includes the new terminology that aligns with current standards.

This table lists the names of assessment question features in the two course views.

Ultra vs. Original terminology in assessments
Ultra Course View Original Course View
Question pool Random block and question set
Question bank Question pool
Question analysis Item analysis

Watch a video about building a question pool

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 Build a Pool of Test Questions explains how to build a pool, set pool details, and add questions.

Pool Canvas

From the Pool Canvas, you can manage and search for questions to add to a pool. You can edit the pool name and instructions, create or edit questions, and upload questions. You can also delete them or change the point values.

When you select pool questions for a test, links are created between the test and the pool questions. So, if you change the original question, the revised version of the question appears.

When you create pool questions intended for use in ungraded surveys, you must select correct answers. Then, you can use the questions in tests as well as surveys. Answers are ignored after the questions are added to a survey.

You can also use question pools to import and export test questions using the QTI standard.

Build a pool

  1. On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
  2. On the Tests, Surveys, and Pools page, select Pools.
  3. On the Pools page, select Build Pool.
  4. Complete the Pool Information page and select Submit.
  5. To add questions, you can use Create Questions, Find Questions, and Upload Questions.

When you select Find Questions, you can choose from existing tests in your course and any tests you've imported from other courses. If you have no tests, the section is blank.

More on importing tests

Edit existing pools

  1. On the Pools page, access a pool's menu and select Edit.
  2. Add questions, delete questions, or change point values.
  3. Select OK to return to the Pools page.

Edit questions

After students start a test, you shouldn't make changes to pool questions deployed in the test. If you edit a pool question, students see the new, modified question when they view their grades and feedback. They won't see the original question.

Changes to linked questions produce a warning message that the changes take effect everywhere the question appears.

If a question has attempts and you change it, submitted attempts have to be regraded and may affect test scores. Affected instructors and students are notified.

Use these steps to edit a question in a pool:

  1. On the Pools page, access a pool's menu and select Edit.
  2. On the Pool Canvas, you can filter the list of questions. In the Browse Criteria panel, expand the criteria sections and select specific criteria.
  3. Access a question's menu and select Edit to make your changes.
  4. Select Submit to commit your changes in all tests where that question appears. Alternatively, you can Save as New to create a new question, which doesn't require regrading of existing attempts.

QTI Packages

About QTI packages

Instructors and course builders may rely on third-party content to build their curriculum and complement materials such as textbooks. To help ensure compatibility, publishers and other content creators develop this material using industry standards.

Industry standards ensure that learning management systems are ready and able to process this content. The IMS Global Learning Consortium established the Question and Test Interoperability (QTI) standard to support compatibility between questions and a course, regardless of the learning management system.

If your institution uses a newer release of Blackboard Learn, you can import and export QTI packages to use in your assessments.

Questions imported from a QTI package are supported in the Original Course View only.

What’s supported in a QTI package?

  • Blackboard Learn supports certain questions types in a QTI package: True/False, Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer, Fill in the Blank, and Essay.
  • If a question contains embedded media, HTML 5 and HTML object tags are imported. HTML5 is exported.
  • Question metadata such as tags, categories, and alignments aren’t supported and aren't imported or exported.
  • Questions using the optional QTI response processing are skipped and not imported.
  • When question configuration options don’t match, Blackboard Learn prioritizes fidelity of the question and answer text over settings. For example, some exam systems allow differing partial credit allocations to be set per possible answer response, whereas Blackboard Learn maintains a list of correct answers. In this case, all answer options are imported as correct so they can be reviewed for continued applicability in Blackboard Learn.

Because different assessment tools have different features and varying media, HTML, and equation handling capabilities, you should always review and test questions after transfer between solutions.

Import a QTI package

You’ll need to import QTI packages into your course as question pools. After you import the questions, you can use them in assessments.

  1. In your course, go to Course Tools > Tests, Surveys, Pools > Pools.
  2. Select Import QTI 2.1 Package.
  3. Browse your computer or the Content Collection to locate the QTI package.
  4. Select Submit.
  5. After Blackboard Learn processes the package, you’ll see a status page to show the results. Select OK to return to the Pools page.

You can edit the questions in the pool. When you're ready, use the questions in a test.

Use questions in a test

Now that you’ve imported a QTI package, you can use the questions in a test. To build a test with questions in a pool:

  1. In your course, go to Course Tools > Tests, Surveys, Pools > Tests.
  2. Select Tests > Build Test.
  3. Type a name and optional description or instructions. Select Submit.
  4. In the Reuse Questions menu, select Find Questions.
  5. You’re brought to a library of test questions in your course, including those in pools. Select the pool created from the QTI package import.
  6. Select the questions you want to use and select Submit.
  7. The questions are added to your test.

Export a QTI package

Just like they’re imported into Blackboard Learn, QTI packages are exported as question pools. You need to move questions from an assessment to a question pool to export the QTI package.

  1. You can build a pool with questions from any assessments in your course.
  2. After you build the pool, return to the Pools page.
  3. In the pool’s menu, select Export QTI 2.1 Package.
  4. The package downloads to your computer as a ZIP file.