Reviewed: 01/06/2022

Deploying Assessments in Blackboard

When you deploy an assessment in Blackboard, the system requires you to input settings that affect the behaviour of the assessment. It is vitally important to get this behaviour right, as incorrect set up can result in students being unable to use the quiz as you would like.

Two attempt assessment model is standard for 1st year assessments and assessments that have a low percentage point value allocation of the unit. Assessments that are worth more than about 2% each should be be single attempt only, with a formative version for practice (optional). Making high percentage assessments two attempts is essentially giving away marks for very little effort.

The following tables list out all the setting options (in the left hand column) alongside the recommended choice based on the 4 most recommended types of assessment run in the faculty:

  • 2 attempt = Students have 2 attempts to complete the assessment, they get feedback after each attempt, their highest score is taken as their overall mark.
  • Revision = Students have unlimited attempts at an assessment that is worth no marks but has a lot of feedback. Often this is a copy of the 2 attempt assessment type that becomes available after the deadline for the initial 2 attempt assessment has passed.
  • Practice = A “Practice” assessment, is a formative assessment that gives the students no marks towards the unit, however, it precedes an “Assessed” assessment (see below). The practice assessment contains detailed feedback on a subject that will be assessed later. There are unlimited attempts at this assessment type, as a minimum score is required.
  • 1 Attempt assessed = Ideally preceded by a “Practice” assessment, the Assessed assessment type only opens when a student received a pre-defined mark in their “practice” assessment. Recommended as 1 attempt. There is no feedback in this assessment, only the overall score is released in order to cut down on collusion. The other feedback can be released after the deadline to avoid cheating/collusion.

To deploy an existing test

Go to the “Assessments” page of your Blackboard course > Hover over “Assessment” > click on “Test” > choose the appropriate test from the menu >Click submit.

You will now be presented with the following questions, you should choose the most appropriate settings based on below:

Option 2 attempt Revision Practice Assessed Notes
Test information          
Name Required Required Required Required  
Description Optional Optional Optional Optional This information will only appear on the page where the assessment is linked; it will not appear within the assessment. You might want to use this space to explain how the assessment will be graded, for example.
Open test in new window No No No No You can set this to ‘Yes’ if you want to encourage students to use their notes to complete the assessment.
Test Availability          
Make the link available Yes* Yes* Yes* Yes* *If you do not yet know the availability dates, and you do not want the assessment to be available immediately, set this option to ‘No’ and alter it later.
Add a new announcement for this test Optional Optional Optional Optional If you add an announcement for the test, it will show up on the notice board for your course.
Multiple attempts Tick and put 2 in the number of attempts box Tick and select allow unlimited attempts Tick and select allow unlimited attempts Leave unticked unless you are allowing multiple attempts The type of assessment, percentage contribution to the overall marks and the year of study will have an impact on the type of assessments that you should be using. If you have any questions about this, please contact the eLearning team.
Score attempts using Highest Grade* Highest Grade* Highest Grade* Not available if there is only 1 attempt *In general you would want to use the student’s highest score across all assessment attempts. There may be situations where you only want to use the student’s final attempt. Please be aware that if the student opens an attempt after their best score, and closes it without answering or submitting anything, this will count as an attempt and will give a score of zero, which could affect the student’s grade.
Force Completion No No No No We strongly recommend that you do not use this setting, or that you only use it in conjunction with multiple attempts. This setting would mean that a student could not close an assessment once they have opened it without submitting. If, for example, a student opened an assessment and then their internet connection failed, or they were told to leave a PC cluster due to a class starting, they would not be able to close the assessment and reopen it from another PC/at a later time. If you are going to use this setting, you need to be explicit with the students that they need to ensure they only start the assessment if they are ready to complete it in full (similar to an exam).
Set Timer and auto-submit See notes* See notes* See notes* See notes* *Not recommended as standard. Timer does not stop/pause if the student leaves the assessment for another day. If you have a timer, the force submission option will ensure that students cannot submit late. This will however mean that if a student opens a 30 minute timed assessment, the assessment will auto submit after 30 minutes, even if the student has closed the window/their computer crashes/their internet connection fails.
Display after/until Friday 4pm ideally with 2 weeks or more between these dates Friday 4pm ideally with 2 weeks or more between these dates Friday 4pm ideally with 2 weeks or more between these dates Friday 4pm ideally with 2 weeks or more between these dates It is recommended that assessments are open for at least 2 weeks. Assessments can open at any time, but must close on a Friday at 4pm within term time, unless there is a specific need to differ from this. If assessments close at a different time, this needs to be made very clear to the students. Please be aware that students often leave assessments until close to the deadline, and if the deadline is not Friday 4pm, there may not be sufficient eLearning support available if the students experience issues.
Password Optional Optional Optional Optional This is recommended for in class assessments.
Restrict Location No No No No This is only recommended for in class exams.
Test availability Exceptions See notes* See notes* See notes* See notes* This setting can be used to allow additional time for DSO registered students if you have a list of these students. Contact the eLearning team if you need help setting this up.
Due Date and Do not allow students to start the Test if the due date has passed Blank Blank Blank Blank We strongly recommend that you do not use the due date setting, as it has a known bug that prevents access if you change the due date. If you are certain of the final deadline then you can set a due date; however, ticking the option: ‘do not allow students to start the test if the due date has passed’ will prevent any extensions. As such, we recommend that these settings are left blank.
Self assessment options          
Include this test in the Grade Centre score calculations Ticked Unticked Unticked Ticked This is recommended for summative but not formative quizzes.
Hide results for this test completely from the instructor and the Grade Centre Unticked Unticked Unticked Unticked This setting is only recommended for self-assessment where the staff will never need to see any attempts. If you tick this, you will not see the students results at all.
Show test results and feedback          
After submission Ticks for score, all answers, submitted, feedback, show incorrect Question Ticks for score, all answers, submitted, feedback, show incorrect Question Ticks for score, all answers, submitted, feedback, show incorrect Question Tick Score only You can use these settings to determine when different answer indicators should be released. If your assessment is single attempt, it is recommended that you either: (a) make only the score immediately available or, (b) keep all scores and feedback hidden until after the deadline. Once the deadline has passed, you will want to make the scores, answer options, indication of submitted answers, feedback and indications of incorrect answers available to the students. You should never tick Correct before the deadline, as this would show students what the correct answer is meant to be.
After Availability end date/after attempts are graded N/A N/A N/A Ticks for score, all answers, submitted, feedback, show incorrect Question  
Test Presentation All at once All at once All at once Optional We recommend that, for single attempt assessments, questions are shown one at a time and backtracking is prohibited, as these settings will help to prevent collusion.
Randomise Questions Optional Optional Optional Optional We recommend that questions are shown in a random order, to help prevent collusion – unless the questions follow on from one another.

Once deployed, you can edit these settings through ‘edit the test options’. For some options you can use ‘edit the column information’ from the Grade Centre column for this assessment.

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Blackboard Deploying Assessments Guidelines