The Blackboard test canvas

Assessment (CC BY-SA 3.0 NY) By nyphotographic

The Blackboard test canvas contains a large number of options making it an extremely flexible tool for the creation of online quizzes and tests. Features include:

  • 17 different question types to choose from
  • Randomly generate quizzes using a pool of questions
  • Allow students to retake an unlimited amount of times or set a limit on the number of reattempts
  • Blackboard can grade all answers (for the majority of the 17 question types) and release the marks to the student
  • Design feedback into the marking to inform students why their answer is in/correct and signpost where they can find the correct answer

Feedback on understanding and performance is critical in learning. A well designed quiz or test can give students and staff valuable information about student’s prior knowledge, misconceptions, understanding or progression. If feedback is rapid enough it can also be a diagnostic tool that students can use to gauge their own performance and highlight areas for improvement.

Some suggested uses for online quizzes/tests include:

  • Quick assessment of knowledge and understanding
  • Gauge prior knowledge and adapt teaching accordingly/refer students to additional or essential reading
  • Summative module assessment
  • Skills test
  • Assign mini quizzes based on reading assignments/tasks to assess completion and understanding
  • Combine quiz grades with adaptive release to create a learning journey within a module
  • Import quizzes from the publishers of key text books (where licencing agreements allow) to support student learning

Anatomy Online Exam, March 2008 (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Stanford EdTech

If you would like to explore the Blackboard test canvas and learn more about its functions and features we have devised an online self-paced learning module within Blackboard itself. The module contains all of the resources and guidance needed to help you create and deploy online tests/quizzes. To gain access to the Blackboard module please click the link below which will open a new email message which you can send to the team.

Access Blackboard Test CPD Module request link


We would advise that if you plan on designing and implementing a high stakes summative assessment using the Blackboard test canvas you should consult with SALT prior to developing the assessment in the first instance. The following document also provides some guidance: Guidance for Summative high stakes assessment in Blackboard.pdf

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