Blackboard Feedback at Exam Time

It seems like midterms are barely behind us and already final exams loom on the horizon. Writing good test questions, creating multiple versions of a test, and grading the tests in a timely manner can be a trial. Thankfully, Blackboard can grade a number of different test questions (multiple choice, fill in the blank, calculations) immediately upon submission, and provide a test item analysis that highlights problem questions. That’s good news for professors, but Blackboard also has help for students.

Feedback Options for Students

As an instructor, you can set Blackboard to allow students to see the answers they submitted as well as the correct answers. In the “Test Options” area, select “Submitted Answers” and “Correct Answers.”

This option combination will show the student’s answers and the correct answers.

This option combination will show the student’s answers and the correct answers.

This feedback allows students to target their study habits and seek help more efficiently. To view the information students can click on “OK” after submitting a test. Results are also available for students in “My Grades” by clicking on “Calculated Grade.”

The calculated grade (20 in the example above) is highlighted to show that it is linked.

The calculated grade (20 in the example above) is highlighted to show that it is linked.

Student information, including when they began the exam and when it ended are shown at the top of the test submission. Our example student didn’t spend very long on the questions, and his score (shown on the seventh line) reflects that. For each question, the number of points received is listed on the upper right, while the selected answer and correct answer are listed beneath the question number:

The Review Test Submission page from a sample exam.

The Review Test Submission page from a sample exam.

For fill in the blank questions students see all of the possible correct answers. For “hotspot” questions students see the correct answer area highlighted with a white box and the target icon on the location they selected.

Example of fill in the blank and hot spot question information.

Example of fill in the blank and hotspot question information.

By carefully reviewing the test our example student might realize that his answer to question 4 “glucose” is similar to the correct answers “energy” and “food.” With ten points on the line he might make an appointment to discuss the credit with the professor. If the professor does change the answer, Blackboard will re-grade all of the tests, enter the new grades into the gradebook, and change the reports for all students.

Your Feedback for Blackboard Defaults

The new course shell options

The new course shell options — you’ll be seeing these as the default if you create a new course in Blackboard starting in December 2013.

Thank you to everyone who voted on the Blackboard default course shell options. Your feedback told us that an assignments area and a syllabus section would be most helpful. Other links that received a high marks were “Instructor Contact Information” and “Send Mail.”  The course shell options will be in place in December. Please remember, default options are not included when you create a new course by copying from an existing course.

If you have any questions about using Blackboard for testing or customizing your course shell please email our Blackboard help account (bbhelp@wm.edu) or contact me directly. Hopefully, Blackboard can make this test season less of a hardship for students and professors.