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Quizzes & Tests

This article will go over how to create question pools and tests/quizzes in Blackboard. Creating quizzes and tests in Blackboard is a multi step process.

You can create the questions outside of Blackboard in a text editor, upload them as question pools, and then build your test from that. This article will look at that method.

Technical Details

Quizzes/tests/assessments in Blackboard are composed of question pools.

Question pools are a group of questions with each one worth the same point value.

All questions in a given pool need to be the same point value.
For example, if you had a quiz with 10 multiple choice questions and wanted each one to be worth 1 point those questions would be grouped into one pool. If you also wanted to include 5 short answer questions each worth 5 points those questions would go into a different pool. The quiz would then be populated with both these question pools. The total point value for a quiz is the number of questions per pool multiplied by the point value per question.

Add Feedback

At some point, you may want to add some default feedback to your quizzes. Use our article on test feedback to complete this process.

Create the Question Pool

First we will create the question pool on your local computer, turn it into a zip package, then upload it to Blackboard. Remember question pools should consist of questions that all have the same point value. You can mix question types, for example multiple choice, true false, and short answer.

Question pools will be created in a plain text editor, ideally one that shows line numbers. Do not use Microsoft Word for this. Try one of these plain-text options:
  • Notepad ++ free and runs on Windows computers
  • Sublime Text free; runs on both Windows and Mac
  • Notepad (Windows)
  • TextEdit (Mac)

Quiz question pools should be saved as text files using the .txt extension. Each question pool should be separate text file.

Question Format

  • The question starts with a number, followed by a period, then a space, then the question text on a single line.
  • Do not use returns or new line characters unless you are going on to the answer or another question. If the question text runs over to a second line let the software do that automatically. This is where it is nice to be able to see line numbers in your text editor. If you see a new number line within the question text that indicates a manual line break.
  • Use a new line when indicating each answer. The answer starts with a letter, a period, a space, then the answer text. The correct answer should be proceeded with an asterisk.
  • There should be a blank line between each question.

Let’s look at the different type of questions. The four main ones are: multiple choice, true/false, essay, matching, and fill in the blank. You can also refer to this documentation for more examples.

Multiple Choice

The format is as follows:
  • Question on a single line.
  • Answer immediately follows the question.
  • lowercase letter, period, and space preceding each answer choice.
  • Asterisk in front of the correct choice.
  • There should be no manual line breaks in the question. (Don't hit enter to start a new line.)

    Multiple Choice Example
    1. Which of the following is a prime number?
    a) 4
    *b) 5
    c) 6
Questions with multiple answers are treated exactly the same, except with asterisk in front of each answer that is correct.

True False

The format is as follows:
  • Questions on a single line.
  • Answer on the next line.
    Can be any of the following. T, t, True, TRUE, true, F, f, false, FALSE, False.
  • You do not need to include both true and false.

    True/False Example
    1. 3 is a prime number. 


These are formatted as a question with no answer given. Remember: Do not to include any manual breaks.
  • Essay Example
  • 1. Tell me your life story.

Fill in the Blank

The format is as follows:
  • Begin your question with the keyword: blank
  • Leave a blank somewhere in the question
  • Give all the possible correct answers

    Fill-in-the-Blank Example
    blank 1. Two plus two equals _____.
    a. four
    b. 4


The format is as follows:
  • Begin your question with the keyword: match
  • Put the matches separated by slashes /.
  • You can have entries with no match (i.e., leave the other side blank).
  • The entries will be randomized.

  • Matching Example
  • match 1. Match the number with its spelling.
    a. 3 / three
    b. 1 / one
    c. 12 / twelve
    d. 4 /
    e. / fore 

Sample Question Pool

The screen shot shows a few correct sample questions in Sublime Text. There is a blank line between each question and each answer starts on a new line. Question 3 is a short answer or essay with no answer. We insert a new line at line 9 when the text ran over.

Test the Tool

Copy the text below and paste into your plain-text editor to create your own sample test pool. Run the test pool through Blackboard Quiz Generator using the instructions in the next section, Create the Zip Package.
1. Which of the following is a prime number?
a) 4
*b) 5
c) 6
2. 3 is a prime number.
3. Tell me your life story.
blank 4. Two plus two equals _____.
a. four
b. 4
match 5. Match the number with its spelling.
a. 3 / three
b. 1 / one
c. 12 / twelve
d. 4 /
e. / fore

Create the Zip Package

Once you have your question pool correctly formatted in a text file it is time to turn it into a zip package.
  1. Navigate to this website in your browser: Blackboard Quiz Generator
  2. Paste your questions from the next file to the main content box. It is easier to copy all the questions at once you preserve formatting and line breaks.
  3. Type a title in the Quiz Name box.
  4. Click the Create Quiz button.
  5. You will get a button to download your question pool zip file.
  6. Confirm that the number questions matches from your text file.
    If not, recheck the formatting of the text file. It is likely an unintended line break somewhere.
  7. Click the here button to download the zip file.
  8. Save the zip to a location on your personal computer.
  9. Repeat the above steps if you have multiple question pools to create.

Upload Question Pools

So you have your question pools created as zip files, its time to upload them to Blackboard.
  1. Log into your Blackboard class.
  2. Expand the Course Tools menu section on your left course sidebar menu.
  3. Select Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
  4. On the next screen, click on Pools.
  5. Click Import Pool then Browse My Computer and select your zip file package.
  6. Click Submit.
  7. Click OK in the lower right hand corner to go back to the Pools area.
  8. Click the drop down arrow that appears when you place your cursor into a specific pool row, then click Edit.
  9. On the next screen scan through the question to make sure that questions have designated as the correct type, multiple choice, true false, essay, etc. If any of them are not correct you will need to recreate the zip file and import it into Blackboard again. Check your formatting, often this occurs due to an unintentional line break or not having a space between questions.

Create the Test

Once you have your question pools all imported it is time to create the test. Remember tests consist of one or more question pools.
  1. Click Tests, Surveys, and Pools from the Course Tools menu.
  2. On the next screen, click Tests.
  3. On the next screen, click Build Test.
  4. On the next screen type in a test name, description and instructions if desired.
  5. Click Submit.
  6. The next screen is where we populate the Test with the Question Pools.
  7. Hover over Reuse Question, then click Create Question Set.
  8. On the next screen check the box in the left hand column to indicate which pool you want to use. You can select multiple question pools, but remember they will all need to be set to the same number of points per question. In the right hand column click a check box next to each question you want, or if you want all the questions click the top most check box. Then click Submit.
  9. Next you can modify the number of questions displayed, as well as the points per question. If you choose any less than the total number of questions for that pool it will show a random selection. Alter the number of points per question if so desired.
  10. Go back to step 5 and repeat to add another question pool.
  11. Click OK when finished. Your test has now been created.

Deploy the Test

Now that the test is created you will need to deploy it in your class so students can take it.
  1. Click Assessments and then Test in the area of the class where you want to deploy your test.
  2. On the next screen select one of the tests you have created and then click Submit
  3. The next screen will let you set various options for the test.
    • Setting Make Link Available to Yes allows students to see the test.
    • You can set if students are allowed multiple attempts and how many.
    • Score attempts using specifies which attempt to use as the grade. This is usually either last graded attempt or highest attempt.
    • Force completion means the student must complete the test in one sitting. They cannot pause it, get up from their computer, and come back to it later.
    • Set Timer lets you specify a time limit for the test.
    • Auto Submit = On means that the test submits automatically when time is up.
    • You can set a date range for the students to see the test, as well as a due date.
  4. Adjust the settings to Show Test Results and Feedback to Students.
    These are delicate settings; make your selections for the settings carefully from the information presented below:
    • Score per Question (Automatically set by default): Shows the overall test scores and the scores earned for each individual question.
      • Note: If this default box is left selected, all exam questions (but not answer choices) will be available for the student to view after they submit their exam.
    • All Answers: Shows the questions and all answer choices.
    • Correct: Shows the questions and correct answers.
    • Submitted: Shows the questions and the answer choices selected by students.
    • Feedback: Shows the questions and any instructor feedback messages for each question.
    • Show Incorrect Questions: Shows the questions and the answer choices selected by students with an indication that the answer is incorrect.
  5. Once you are done, click Submit. The test is now ready for students to take.