There are a number of reasons and means of deploying tests within the blackboard environment. The focus of this episode is the possible uses of online tests and how you might construct useful multiple choice questions to get you started.

Some of the ways and reasons why you might use online tests in your courses are: –

Testing knowledge: Well-written quizzes are a useful way of measuring student engagement and have the advantages of being able to query the depth of knowledge.

Looking at Development over time: The deployment of quizzes early, mid and late throughout a course can provide metric to assess increases in understanding and application of knowledge.

Proof of Work: Quizzes can be used to identify if a student has undertaken a portion of the work provided

Breadth of Knowledge – (Weekly) Weekly quizzes can provide a useful self-feedback (formative) which will allow students to gauge their understanding of materials.

Depth of Knowledge – (Key Points): This type will allow for a course wide means of assessing students understanding, comprehension and application of concepts covered in the course.

Constructing Questions

The following video talks through how you can construct good multiple choice questions that can help with the validity of your tests.


These examples come from a scientific faculty but the basic premise still applies

Building Tests in Blackboard

Another strategy you can use to help with the validity of your tests, is to utilise the Pools function within Blackboard. Pools allow us to construct tests where each student can have a different set of questions from each other reducing the opportunity for collusion (as a rule of thumb, use 2.5 – 3 times the number of questions to ensure good random delineation between questions delivered to students). You can create multiple pools, organising your questions by topics or difficulty level so that you can create complex tests that draw on multiple pools.

Lastly, in the Mark Centre you are able to run an Item Analysis on the test and the student answers so that you check on the design of your questions. This tipsheet explains how to read these reports.


Learning@Griffith support page on Tests

AEL Creating Tests tipsheet

AEL Creating Tests from Pools tipsheet