Assessment Options

There are three choices for assessing individual students in Learn:

  • Tests
  • Assignments
  • Self and Peer Assessment

Tests, Surveys and Pools. Tests and surveys are located in the tool, accessible under Control Panel ==> Course Tools. When you are ready to add a test or survey to a content area, you deploy it using the Assessments menu. Once added to a content area, test/survey properties such as availability and presentation options are managed there. You can view and grade tests submitted by students in the Grade Center. Tests and surveys submitted by students may not be viewed or graded from the content area where they are deployed. You may use the Respondus third party software to create and deploy tests.

Assignments allow you to create coursework and manage the grades and feedback for each student separately. In an assignment, you can include a description, point value, and file attachments. You can create assignments in several courses areas, such as in a content area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder. Students access the assignment, type a submission, attach files, and submit it. You can respond to each student separately with comments and attached files. Unlike tests, there is no "assignment tool". Wherever you add an assignment is where it exists. You may create a course link to that assignment elsewhere, but the availability controls are with the original link.

Self and Peer Assessment. Due to ongoing issues and extremely low usage, we have turned this tool off by default.  Please be aware if you use it you may run into issues, including the following:

  •     Lack of control over the assignment of reviewers, including the inability to exclude the demo student or inactive students
  •     Rigidity in modifying existing assessments
  •     The need to rebuild the assessments each term

To enable the Self and Peer Assessment tool in a course:
        1. On the left Course Management menu, expand the 'Customization' options.
        2. Select 'Tool Availability'.
        3. Scroll down to the two 'Self and Peer Assessment' items.  Select the check box in the 'Available' column for the first item, and select the check box in the 'Available in Content Area' column for the second item.
        4. Click the 'Submit' button at the bottom of the page.

This tool allows you to create an assessment, with one or more questions with model responses. Then you can add criteria by which the individual or the rest of the class can evaluate the responses. The questions would be similar to essay questions, so you can create a question that guides students through writing a short paper.  You can determine how many of their peers each student will evaluate after the deadline for the assessment. Learn will randomly assign them. See the documentation for this assessment under How-To Articles for a description of the pedagogical strategy of this tool.

Tests and Test Pools

We do not recommend use of the "Force Completion" option for your test, selecting it means a dropped Internet connection will end the exam. You will have to clear the attempt to let that student continue.

We DO recommend setting the time limit plus Auto-Submit.

All tests and pools of test questions exist in their own area: the "Tests, Surveys & Pools" tool under Course Management --> Course Tools. Students can only access a test if you add a link to a content area, such as a folder or learning module. 

  • You can create a link and then build the test from a content area page, or create it first in the "Tests, Surveys and Pools" tool and then add the link later.
  • After you add a link to a test, use "Edit Test Options" for the test controls (settings, i.e. availability dates, how many attempts, etc.) and "Edit Test" to manage the test questions (i.e. change point values, order, modify a question, etc.).
  • Respondus Users: Download version 4.0.5 and update the license number under Respondus File --> Preferences menu.
  • To determine which score is used for calculation purposes in the grade center column, choose the option you want from the "Edit Test Options" page, and/ or go to the Full Grade Center.  Find the correct column, and from the top, use the Options menu for that column to select "Edit Column Information." You can choose from highest, lowest, average, first or last attempt.
  • A pool can be created by itself and can be used to serve more than one test:
    • To draw questions randomly from an entire pool, use Reuse Question ==> Create random block.
    • To draw questions randomly from a portion of a pool, use Reuse Question ==> Create question set.
  • If you are concerned about what instructions students see for a test, click the link for the test -- you will see how the test will appear to students.

Due Dates

  • The only way to enforce a hard due date/ keep students from taking a test or turning in an assignment is to use the "Display Before/Display Until" dates, which apply to the link. This makes the link to that activity invisible, which can be disconcerting, so you may want to mention it to them to avoid confusion.
  • The "Due Date" property is used for the Alert/Notification functions, and to mark assessments as "Late" in the grade center.  But to repeat, it does NOT stop students from taking quizzes late or turning in assignments after the listed due date has passed.
  • Using the "Due Date" field will put an entry on the calendar for that test.
  • When selecting display and due dates, use "End of Day" at the bottom of the time menu for midnight.

Extending Tests and Assignments

Through the "Test Options" screen for any test (accessed via the drop-down menu for the link in a content area) you can:

  • Extend the display date on a test for an individual or group and not the rest of the class, 
  • Make a version of a test available with an extended time limit
  • Give a student additional time, or allow them another attempt at an assignment or test

Through the Full Grade Center, use the menu at the top of the test's column to:

  • Reset an existing test attempt for a particular student:  Use the "View Grade Details" option for that student's cell in the Grade Center column. Click "Clear Attempt."
  • Give a student another attempt at an assignment or test:  Use the "View Grade Details" option for that student's cell in the Grade Center column. Click "Clear Attempt."

Blackboard How-to articles

Tests, Surveys and Pools (all topics)
This is a complex subject. Here are a few topics to get you started:

Assignment Overview

Blackboard How-to videos

Please note that some of these videos were created from an earlier version of Learn. If you prefer video instruction, you will see enough similarities to help you become familiar with the tools.