Free and Easy

April 2016

Blackboard assessment tools -

This month’s Free and Easy will look at the different assessment tools that Blackboard offers. There are several ways that you can assess learners using Blackboard.

The main assessment tools are:

  • Tests,
  • Assignments
  • Turnitin.


One way of assessing learners is by using Tests. With tests you can create quizzes using an array of different question types, such as:

· Multiple choice/answer

· Either/or

· Fill in the blanks

· Matching

· Ordering

· Essays

· Hotspot

· And many more

Tests can be made up of a selection of different types of questions. Some questions can be set up so that they are self- marking such as multiple choice. Questions that give a choice of answers can be edited so that the answers appear in a random order when presented to the learners.

Here is an example of a Blackboard test:


Tutor Ian Evans on Blackboard Tests

"Currently I use blackboard tests for summative assessment in line with my awarding body’s regulations. This is surprisingly easy, and very effective.

The main tool I use is question pools – found under Course Tools > Tests, Surveys and Pools > Pools

This allows you to create banks of particular types of questions, in my case I might want to create addition sums, subtraction sums, multiplication sums and division sums. I create them quickly using online tools such as these: (I actually use Microsoft Excel and a mail merge technique to create 100s of questions in a mere minute for maths).

Once I have a selection of pools, I can create a blackboard test that draw form them. I might want 2 addition questions, 2 subtraction questions, a single multiplication question and a division question. This means that each student will have a test with 6 questions, whilst they will be the same variety, they will actually get different questions to their neighbour – this allows the tests to retain validity.

Furthermore blackboard has a wide range of options, for instance I choose to only give my students 2 attempts at each test, mimicking the submission/resubmission requirements of my awarding body. I can also set grade centre to only display their highest score out of the two attempts.

Linking this into blackboard badges, I can assess a whole course completely online in a quick, easy and valid way encouraging students to take responsibility for their own learning and assessment."

Assignments –

This is a way for learners to submit assignment work online. As a tutor you can set up an assignment by entering a question in the text box provided and upload any documents that have relevant information for the learners to complete the assignment. The learners can then access the information needed to complete the assignment and once their submission is ready it can be submitted on Blackboard. Once the work has been submitted marking can be done inline on blackboard or documents can be downloaded.

Turnitin assessment -

'Turnitin Originality Check allows educators to check students' work for improper citation or potential plagiarism by comparing it against continuously updated databases. Every Originality Report provides instructors with the opportunity to teach their students proper citation methods as well as to safeguard their students' academic integrity.'

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Contact us

If you have any questions or suggestions of things we can feature in Free and Easy - or if you have a tool that you love using - let us know!

Drop in to see us in room 1.014A or drop an email to our Digital Facilitator, Steph Hughes using the info below.