Tests & Assignments
A Blackboard test is a method of assessing student comprehension of course material. Tests can also be used for pre-testing to assess the students’ level of knowledge of a topic and for review of content previously learned, in preparation for an in-class quiz. An open-book quiz is another appropriate use of this tool.
Blackboard Surveys are a tool to gain information from your students, and are similar to the Blackboard Test tool. Surveys are different from Tests in that all responses are anonymous, there are no correct/incorrect answers, and they are generally not graded because you are not able to grade individual questions.
Faculty members use Blackboard Assignments to manage the file upload of essays, papers or other documents submitted by students. Assignments allow students to type in a short answer or essay response and/or attach a document with their submission. Instructors can allow one or multiple attempts. Once student work is submitted, download the documents from the grade center one-by-one or as a “batch” per assignment. You can respond to each student separately with comments and attached files.
Like other assessment tools, you can provide instructions for your students and a point value for the assignment. Written assignments allow for the assessment of critical thinking, synthesis and other higher order skills.
Inline Assignment Grading provides a way to grade assignments within your Blackboard course. Instead of needing to download student files for viewing, instructors are able to view these files “inline,” i.e. in the web browser, without the need for plug-ins or additional software. Many different file types are supported for inline grading with Blackboard’s Bb Annotate. You can find the full list of the supported file types at Bb Annotate. If a student uploads a file type that is not supported for inline grading you will be prompted to download it.
The tools available for annotation include: highlighting/underlining/strikethrough, drawing/brush/eraser, image/stamp, text, shapes (line, arrow, rectangle, etc.). Anchored comments can be added anywhere in the text and the comments appear in a panel next to the document.
SafeAssign compares submitted assignments against a collection of academic papers to identify areas of overlap between the submitted assignment and existing works. SafeAssign is integrated into regular Blackboard Learn assignments and can be selected on the settings page.
Use SafeAssign to review assignment submissions for plagiarism potential and create opportunities to help students identify how to properly attribute sources rather than paraphrase. SafeAssign is effective as both a deterrent and an educational tool.
SafeAssign is based on a unique text matching algorithm capable of detecting exact and inexact matching between a paper and source material. Submissions are compared against several databases:
- Internet: Comprehensive index of documents available for public access on the Internet.
- ProQuest ABI/Inform database: More than 1,100 publication titles and about 2.6 million articles from 1990 to present time, updated weekly (exclusive access).
- Institutional document archives: Contains all papers submitted to SafeAssign by users in their respective institutions.
- Global Reference Database: Contains papers that were volunteered by students from Blackboard client institutions to help prevent cross-institution plagiarism.
A rubric is a scoring tool you can use to evaluate graded work. When you create a rubric, you divide the assigned work into parts. You can provide clear descriptions of the characteristics of the work associated with each part, at varying levels of skill.
Students can use a rubric to organize their efforts to meet the requirements of the graded work. When you allow students access to rubrics before they complete their work, you provide transparency into your grading methods.
Item analysis provides statistics on overall test performance and individual test questions. This data can help instructors recognize questions that might be poor discriminators of student performance.
Uses for item analysis:
- Improve questions for future test administrations or to adjust credit on current attempts
- Discuss test results with your class
- Provide a basis for remedial work
- Improve classroom instruction