Survey, Tests and Pools

How To Create a Test in Blackboard Learn

What are surveys, tests and pools?

You can use tests and surveys to measure student knowledge, gauge progress, and gather information from students.

Tests are sets of questions that marked to measure student performance. A score and feedback can be attached to each question. There is a range of question types from multiple choice to short answer questions, which will need marking by a tutor.

Surveys are used to gather information that is not used to evaluate student performance. Student responses are anonymous.

Pools are sets of questions that can be added to any test or survey. They are useful for storing questions and reusing them in more than one test or survey.

Why would I use survey, tests and pools with my students?

  • Assess and check students' understanding and knowledge for formative and summative assessment.  Automatic marking and instant feedback can assist students in identifying their strengths and any gaps in knowledge they need to review.
  • Use tests for initial assessment of students.  This is particularly useful when you are teaching a new cohort of students and need to find out more about their starting points, prior knowledge and understanding.
  • Tests and surveys can be used as a self- assessment tool for students, with a set of questions for them to answer to check their own understanding or to help them reflect on their learning journey.
  • If the identity of students is not needed, use the survey tool to gather information from students.
  • Statistics can provide you with information about questions which students commonly answer incorrectly helping to guide the creation of further learning materials and activities.
  • After the initial setting up of surveys and tests, questions can easily be reused for another purpose or for the following year.

How do I use survey, tests and pools with my students?

  • There are several stages to go through in creating and using tests:  Design questions, author test, deploy and download results.
  • Questions can include multimedia such as images, audio, videos or virtual simulations.
  • You can set the test so that students can take it multiple times or you can set the test to ‘force completion’ so that students have to complete the test once they have opened it and they can only open the test once.   A time limit for completing the test or survey can also be set.
  • Questions can be randomised and can be selected at random from a pool of questions, for instance 10 questions selected from a pool of 30.  
  • Questions can be adaptive with the next question released based on the previous answer.
  • You will need to view and grade tests in the Grade Centre.  If you need to add marks to PeopleSoft you will need to add these manually.
  • For FAQs go to the following link:  FAQs

Please note:

  • Deleting a deployed test with student attempts has consequences and a warning will appear with options of deleting the test but preserving the marks in the Grade Centre or deleting the content, item from Grade Centre, marks from Grade Centre and all attempts.  Instead you can make it unavailable rather than deleting it.
  • Feedback is only available to students at the end of the test and not immediately after answering each individual question. 

Good Practice

Accessibility Notes

It is important to note the following:

  • Images may not have alternative text added (unless added).
  • Audio and video may not have transcripts of sound (unless added).
  • Video may not have captions for audio content (unless these have been added to the video before it was added to the test).


Tests, Surveys and Pools


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