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Blackboard Basics Guide



Blackboard provides the ability to create tests and surveys for use in courses.  You can also add questions to pools for later use. 

  • Tests are generally used when you want to grade student responses to questions.  
  • Surveys are for collecting anonymous feedback. 
    Surveys are included in the Grade Center and display a green check mark for students who completes the survey.

  • Pools are used to hold groups of questions and can be used as a source of questions when creating tests and surveys.  Tests and surveys can be created without using pools by adding questions directly to the test/survey.  

Creating tests and surveys involves three activities:

  • Creating / Uploading Questions
  • Creating the Test / Survey
  • Deploying the Test / Survey 

You can approach the creation of tests and surveys two different ways.  You can create the test or survey and add questions to it, or you can store questions in Pools then draw from the Pools when creating tests and surveys.  

Since the process for creating and deploying a survey is very similar to creating and deploying a test, we will focus just on tests. 

Creating / Uploading Test Questions

Blackboard provides many question types, everything from the basic multiple choice and true/false questions to jumbled sentence and hot spot questions.

  Check out the Question Types help page for additional information.

Test questions can be created directly in a test or questions can be created in a pool and then be added to a test later on.  Pools can be useful since they allow you to organize questions by a topic, chapter, or other method that makes sense for your course.  

The easiest way to add a test to a course is to create the test then add questions that you have created directly to the test. 

  View the Creating Test Questions video here or below to learn how to do this.  

Note that this video shows the template used previously at the college. 
See the
Blackboard Template 2020 guide to learn about the current course template. 

Another option for getting test questions into Blackboard is to use test banks provided by a publisher.  Many publishers provide test banks in a format that can be loaded directly into Blackboard.  There are also ways to load test questions into Blackboard even if they are not already in a Blackboard format. 

Test question generators can be used to load questions from sources such as Word documents.  

  Read Uploading Test Questions to Blackboard.  

Test Creation

The process used to create tests and surveys is very similar. One of the main differences is that survey questions do not have points associated with them since surveys are not graded. If you can create a test, you can also create a survey.

 Read Test Creation to learn how to create a test in Blackboard.

Test Deployment

Once tests and surveys have been created, they need to be deployed within the course. Deploying a survey is similar to deploying a test but has fewer options available. We will look at deploying a test.

To begin deploying a test, access the desired Coursework folder, move your mouse over the Assessments button then click Test.


Select a test from the list of existing tests or click the Create button.

There are many options available and it is important that you take your time making the appropriate selections for your situation. 

 Read these document to learn how to configure a test:


Additional Resources:

Blackboard Help: Tests, Pools, and Surveys

Using a Test in Another Course