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About  question banks

Instructors can use question banks to create a database of questions they can reuse in multiple assessments. You can create new question banks or import existing ones to use in your courses. Visit the "Reuse Questions" topic to learn more about reusing questions in assessments. 

Go to Question Banks to:

  • Create new, empty question banks in your Ultra courses.
  • View and search for questions within a question bank.
  • Add, edit, and delete all aspects of a question within new and existing question banks.
  • Copy questions from other banks or assessments into a question bank.
  • Import question banks from Original courses to Ultra.

This feature is available both on the desktop and in the mobile app. You can access these options from Manage banks in the Details & Actions section of your course's main page. 

Location of Manage banks highlighted in the Details & Actions panel on the left of the Course Content page

Topics on this page include:


Watch a video about Question Banks

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 on Youtube: Question Banks in Blackboard Learn

 


Create or edit question banks

Select the plus sign on the Question Banks panel. Select New from the dropdown menu.

Question Banks panel, showing the dropdown menu to create a new question bank

Enter a title and an optional description. You can now add questions. View the “Question Type” topic for more information about types of questions in Ultra. 


Generate question banks from Ultra Documents

Ultra Documents blend text and media components, enriching content presentation. Visit the “Create Ultra Documents” topic to learn more about how to create Ultra Documents.

Question Banks are sets of questions you can use across multiple assessments. The AI Design Assistant can build question banks based on an Ultra Document to gauge your students’ comprehension of the document’s topic while saving yourself time. Visit the "AI Design Assistant" topic for more information about the AI Design Assistant.

Select Generate question bank in your Ultra Document.

Generate a question bank from the text content of an Ultra Document

You have several ways to define the questions that the AI Design Assistant generates.

  • Enter a description (limited to 2000 characters) to narrow the focus of the questions
  • Adjust the complexity of the questions
  • Select the number of questions
  • Select the arrow beside Advanced options to change the output language 

You can select from the following question types:

  • Essay
  • Fill in the blank
  • Matching
  • Multiple choice
  • True/False

The "Inspire me!" question type suggests a variety of question types to give you more options. Visit the “Question Types” topic to learn more about different types of questions in Learn.

Question bank generation page, showing options on the left and questions on the right

Once you’ve finalized your settings, select Generate. Choose the questions that you’d like to add to your Question Bank, then select Add to Question Bank.

Generated question bank, with options to filter, search, and edit questions

Review each question for accuracy. You can also edit questions to better fit your learning goals. Visit the “Edit Tests and Questions” topic to learn more about editing questions.


Using question banks

When you select questions from a bank and add them to an assessment, copies of the questions are created and added to the assessment. Select Reuse questions from the dropdown menu when you go to create a new question in an assessment by selecting the plus sign.

The dropdown menu for adding a question for a new assessment, with Reuse Questions highlighted

Question banks will appear as a category. You can select from multiple question banks. Select any questions that you want to add to your assessment, then select Copy Questions.

You can edit the questions that you've copied to your assessment.. Changes you make to one instance of the question or content aren't reflected in the other instances. If you want changes to show in all instances, you must find and edit each copied instance. 

You can import question pools previously exported from the Original Course View into your course. 

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


Sort and search question banks

Use sorting controls to easily navigate question banks. You can sort question banks by name, number of questions in a bank, or by date the bank was last edited.
 

Question Banks sorting controls: Sorting arrows added for name, number of questions, and last edited date

The search bar allows you to easily locate a specific question bank in a course. You can search by name or description.

Search field for Question Banks; descriptions appear beneath the Question Bank name

Copy question banks from other courses

Reusing assessment questions across courses can save time for instructors.  You can copy question banks from both Original and Ultra courses to save time. 

From the Copy Content menu, select the Question Banks folder from the desired course. To copy all banks, select the checkbox for the Question Banks folder. 
 

Question Banks folder option from Copy Content menu


To copy individual banks, open the Question Banks folder and select the checkbox for each bank you want to copy. 

List of all Question Banks

Copied banks  appear in the Question Banks area. Select Manage banks in the Details & Actions panel on the main course page  to review all question banks in the course. 


Import question banks

On the Course Content page, select Manage banks in the Details & Actions panel. On the Question banks page, select the plus icon and browse for one or more ZIP files to import.

Question Banks panel when there are no question banks, prompting the user to either create or import a question bank

As the file imports, you can view the supported question types. You'll receive a success message when the file imports successfully. You'll also receive a message if the file or some question types weren't uploaded.

The message can take some time to generate. You can refresh the page to see if the import was successful or not. You'll also receive an email when the operation is completed.

The most recently imported bank appears first on the list. An exclamation icon appears in banks where one or more unsupported questions were removed.

Question banks file processing banner

Watch a video about importing questions

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: Importing assessment questions explains how to import questions to course assessments.


Supported question types

These supported question types appear in a question bank after import:

  • Calculated Formula
  • Calculated numeric
  • Essay
  • Fill in the Blank
  • Fill in Multiple Blanks
  • Hot Spot
  • Likert
  • Matching
  • Multiple Choice
  • Multiple Answer
  • True/False

Unsupported question types are removed. If your file has no supported question types, the question bank isn't added to your course.

If you uploaded a file with multiple banks and some items weren't imported, select the View Details link. The Import Details panel opens with more information.

Alert saying the file type wasn't supported with the link to learn more details

Other messages may appear:

  • Unsupported question types were removed: Only supported questions in this file appear in the Question Banks section on the Reuse Questions page.
  • The bank wasn't imported as no compatible questions were found: No questions in this file appear in the Question Banks section on the Reuse Questions page. The question bank isn't added to the Question Banks page.

Delete question banks

When you delete a question bank, it is permanently removed from your course. If you copied questions from the bank into one or more assessments, those questions remain in your assessments after you delete the bank. However, you can't delete question banks used in question pools. Visit the "Tests, Pools, and Surveys" topic for more information on question pools.


Frequently asked questions about question banks

On the Question Banks page, can I import files from a third-party or publisher?

Yes, you can import question banks from a third-party or publisher if the package is in a Blackboard Original or Ultra format previously listed.

What happens to Original course question pools when converted to Ultra?

Your Original course's question pools appear as Ultra question banks after conversion. Unsupported question types are removed.

When you convert an Original course to Ultra, two decimal places carry over.

On the Question Banks page, can I import files from the Original Course View?

Yes, you can import these files:

  • Course packages that contain question pools
    • Only the question pools are imported and converted to Ultra question banks.
  • Question pools exported from the Original Course View
    • If you unpackage the file and change it, the import may fail.

What workarounds can I use for importing files from the Original Course View?

If you have other types of files that work in the Original Course View, you can import the files into an Original course and export them on the Pools page. Next, import the ZIP files into your Ultra course on the Question Banks page.

You can also convert an Original course to Ultra to convert the existing question pools into Ultra question banks.

On the Question Banks page, can I import files from the Ultra Course View?

Yes, you can import Ultra Course View packages that contain question banks. Only the question banks are imported.


Ultra versus 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 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 ViewOriginal Course View
Question poolRandom block and question set
Question bankQuestion pool
Question analysisItem analysis