Assessment and Grading FAQ 

This page address common questions about creating, administering, and grading assignments & tests in Blackboard.

Creating Assessments

I want to administer my courses exam online. How do I create a test in Ultra?

In Ultra, test items are created following the same process for creating any and all content items.

  1. Navigate to the learning module, folder, etc. that you want the test item to live in. (If you wish for the test item to be a standalone item within the course, skip to step 3)
  2. Hover your mouse in the are where you wish to create the test item until you see a line with a (plus) icon appear in purple. Click the add icon.
  3. Click the "Create" button in the dropdown menu
  4. Select the "Test" item in the sidebar menu that appears to the right of your screen which will create a blank test item that you can now develop for your course.

Blackboard continues to expand test creating capabilities for instructors in Ultra View. To learn more about creating tests in Ultra, please visit our "Ultra Course - Tests" page

Additionally, you can visit Ultra Course - Question Banks to learn more about creating and importing question banks to utilize in your course assessments.

Are there measures I can take to help ensure academic integrity during test taking?

There are several options in Ultra assignment/test settings that you can use to help deter dishonest test taking practices. Some of these settings include:

  • randomizing question/answer orders
  • displaying one question at a time
  • preventing backtracking
  • delaying test results
  • assigning an access code

You can read Blackboard's documentation on these settings here.

Another way to help secure test results is the use of question pools.

Finally, if your assessment is in the form of an essay response, Turnitin is a popular tool that can be access on Ultra's Content Marketplace.

I have a student that will need to be provided accommodations for one or more of our assessments. Am I able to do this in Blackboard?

Yes! To manage accommodations for a student:

  1. Navigate to the course roster from the control center in your course by clicking the link "View everyone in your course," located on the left hand side of your course homepage.
  2. Click on the options menu (shown as a link with three dots) next to the student whose accommodations you need to edit
  3. When the options appear, click "Accommodations"
  4. Check the accommodations that you wish to apply to the student
  5. Click the black "Save" button.

Additionally, you can set exceptions or exemptions for individual students on specific assignments. To do so:

  1. Open the assignment you need to edit
  2. Click on the "Submission" option in the navigation menu at the top of the page
  3. Locate the student account you need and click on the options menu (shown as a link with three dots) to the far right of the row.
  4. Choose "Add or edit exceptions" or "Add or edit exemptions" based on the accommodation you need to provide.

Please visit this Answers page for more in depth information on providing accommodations, exceptions, and exemptions in your Blackboard course.

How can I assign a group project?

  1. Once you have created an assignment item, open the Assignment Settings
  2. Scroll down to Additional Tools and click the option "Assign to groups".
  3. At this point you can choose to create custom groups for that particular project, randomly assign groups, or choose groups that already exist within the course.

Please visit our Answers page on groups  for more information on creating groups and assigning groups projects/discussions.

Am I able to apply different grading schemas  to assignments/assessments?

Yes! Blackboard's default setting is for all assignments and test to be graded using a "Points" schema. To change this:

  1. Open the Assignment Settings in the assignment you wish to edit.
  2. Scroll down to the "Grading & Submissions" category of the settings.
  3. You will see a setting that states "Grade using" with a drop down menu.
  4. Click the drop down menu and select the grading schema that you wish to use.

If you wish to create a custom grading schema that is not already in the system. please visit Ultra Course - Grade Schemas.

For ideas on different ways to use grade schemas throughout your course, please visit Grade Schemas - Additional Uses.

Grading Assessments FAQs

Where could I find information on using rubrics in Ultra view?

In order to create a rubric in Ultra

  1. Navigate to the Gradebook using the menu at the top of the course page.
  2. Click on the settings icon (gear) located on the far right side of the page.
  3. When the Gradebook settings open, scroll down to the bottom of the settings.
  4. Click "Create" under Course Rubrics.

To apply a grading rubric you have created to an assignment, open the Assignment Settings and scroll down to the "Additional Tools." Click the option to "Add grading rubric" and you will be able to create a new rubric or apply an existing rubric to the assignment. 

Our team is currently working on our own documentation for using rubrics in Ultra courses, but for the time being Blackboard has some great documentation here.

How do I apply weights to different grading categories in order to calculate an overall grade for my course?

  1. Navigate to the Gradebook using the menu at the top of the course page.
  2. Click on the grade item "Overall Grade."
  3.  If you click this item in Grid View, select "Edit," if you click on this item from List View, click "Calculation Details." (Both navigations will ultimately take you to the same page.)
  4. Once in the Calculation Details, you can select a calculation type: Points, Weighted, or Advanced.

You can find more detailed information about weighted categories and other aspects of calculating an overall grade here.

How do I view and provide feedback on student submissions?

Feedback can be provided in the student submission view page. This page is accessed differently based on whether you are viewing your Gradebook in List View or Grid View.

Accessing student submissions via Grid View:

  1. Find the column that contains the grade item you wish to view submissions for.
  2. Within that column, click on the grade box located in the row of the student whose submission you wish to view.
  3. Click the "View" option in the drop down menu that appears. (If a "View" option does not appear, this means that a student has not yet made a submission.)

Accessing student submissions via List View:

  1. Click the grade item you wish to view submissions for.
  2. Click the name of the name of the student whose submission you wish to view (if a submission does not open, this means that a submission has not yet been made.)

For both of these methods, once in a student's submission view page, you can navigate to other students' submissions by click individuals names on the left hand side of the screen.

If you wish to leave feedback for a student, click the gray circle containing an arrow which is located on the right hand side of the view page.

For information on viewing submissions and providing feedback, visit our Answers page, Viewing Student Submissions.                       

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