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The central LMS Blackboard provides manifold possibilities for designing tests and surveys.

Blackboard tests can be used in order to assess the knowledge level of the students before a course starts or to support the preparation for an exam with self-tests and mock exams.

Blackboard surveys are suitable for polling the expectations anonymously before a course starts and to gather feedback after a course has taken place. A transmission of the tests and surveys results into the Campus Management system does not take place. 

Table of contents

Implementation forms

Evaluation tools in Blackboard

Test"Traditional" test
  • Personalized and graded
  • Lecturers can enter questions, answers and feedback
Test for mobile
  • Tests for mobile devices
  • Contains fewer question types
  • Anonymous and not graded
  • Tasks in the form of one or more files
  • Personalized
  • Students work on the task and upload a file
Self- and peer tests
  • Personalized
  • The grading takes place through the participants based on stipulated criteria 

Illustration 1: Content page

Functions of tests and surveys

Blackboard tests

Blackboard surveys

Assessment exams such as language placement tests

Anonymous surveys for teaching evaluation, feedback

Formative exams such as mock exams, self-tests

Pre-surveys on the expectations of students before a course

Collecting student contributions

Anonymous survey of the knowledge level of a group


Settings for tests and surveys

  • Making tests, surveys available
  • Publishing an announcement
  • Setting the number of attempts allowed
  • Forcing the completion of the tests in one session
  • Defining the maximum time for the completion of a test
  • Defining the timespan in which the test is viewable
  • Setting a password for test access

Overview of the possible question types

  • Questions with calculation (formula): Students enter a number as the result.
    Example: What surface does a cylinder have with a base radius 7cm and a height 46cm?
  • Questions with calculation (numeric): Students enter a number as the result. 
    Example: Note down the exact value of pi up to 4 numbers after the comma.
  • Either/or: Students say yes or no to a given statement.
    Example: Does the green coloring in green plants really only stem from chlorophyll?
  • Essay: Students enter a text into a text field.
    Example: Shortly summarize the family relationships of the Skywalker family within the frame of the "Star Wars" six-part series.  
  • File response: Students upload a file as the answer.
    Example: Create a handout for your presentation for the seminar group and upload it at the latest one week before the presentation in the discussion forum. 

  • Cloze text: Students enter terms into a text entry field.
    Example: When the programming language ____ was developed, the developers - based on their love of coffee - gave it a similar name.
  • Hotspot: Students select a certain point by using a mouse click.

  • Jumbled sentence: Students select the fitting text snippet from a drop-down menu in order to complete a defined text section.

  • Matching: Students match two fitting elements with each other.

  • Multiple answers: Students select several answers from a myriad of answer possibilities.
    Example: The light of which color has a lower wavelength than green light?
    • Blue
    • Red
    • Yellow
    • Violet
  • Multiple choice: Students select exactly one answer out of a myriad of possible answers.
    Example: Who was Isaac Asimov?
    • A sci-fi author and scientist
    • A robotics engineer
    • A information scientist that wrote famous books on AI (artificial intelligence)
    • A Russian cosmonaut
  • Likert scale: Students assess a statement.
    Example: Assess the following statement: "From empirical data causal relationships can be deducted."
    • Totally agree
    • Agree

    • Neutral

    • Disagree
    • Not applicable
  • Ordering: Students order the statements into the correct positions.

  • Quiz bowl: Students enter a text (minimum of 2 words).
    Example: He scored the most goals in the soccer Bundesliga, all in all 365 goals. 
  • Short answer: Students enter their answer using few sentences in the text entry field.
    Example: Explain in 3 sentences or less where the idiom "In space no one hears you scream" comes from.
  • True/false: Students enter if a statement is true or false.
    Example: The 5 elements of Chinese mythology are: fire, water, air, metal and wood.

Results of tests and surveys

  • The results of tests and surveys can be viewed if one follows the path: Course management > Grade center > Full grade center.
  • In the grade center lecturers can view the results, grade these and write down their feedback. 
  • The results can be downloaded as an excel file.

Practical examples at the Freie Universität Berlin

Data protection and terms of use

Further information

  • Landing page: Blackboard - Learning Management System 
  • An overview of the services for lecturers and researchers can be found here.

Support offered by CeDiS

  • Consulting services for the implementation of digital solutions in teaching: The Center for Digital Systems (CeDiS) has extensive experience of many years when it comes to the implementation of digital media and systems within the fields of teaching, learning and research. We offer a wide variety of consulting services on the implementation of these tools and systems within the entire academic scope and especially at Freie Universität Berlin. 
  • Training courses and workshops: For lecturers at Freie Universität Berlin (professors, employees, tutors) as well as lecturers of other universities CeDiS offers training courses and workshops on the topic of teaching and learning with digital media. These course enable participants to implement online elements within their own sphere of teaching.
  • The Executive Board of the Freie Universität supports e-learning initiatives: With the e-learning funding program financial resources are provided to lecturers that enrich and improve their courses quality-wise by implementing technological and media-related support. All of the academic staff teaching, the lecturers or even the institutions of the Freie Universität - without the Charité-Universitätsmedizin - can be supported within this program. 
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