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Settings in Blackboard Tests - Staff Guide

Accessing Test Settings

As you build a test, key settings are displayed to the right of the page. Click on the cog icon to open all the Test Settings available.

Details and Information

Enter the due date, or select 'No Due Date', and consider which settings you wish to apply. Importantly, here you can choose to:

  • Prohibit late submissions or new attempts after the due date

Presentation Options

  • Display questions one at a time
  • Prohibit backtracking
  • Randomise questions (where you use page breaks, the questions randomise within their assigned page)
  • Randomise answers (for Multiple Choice/Matching questions)
  • Randomise pages (with the option to not randomise the first page) - relevant if you use page breaks

Formative Tools

Here you can mark an assessment as formative and choose whether students see this information (if they can, a formative label appears alongside the link to the Test). You can then filter the Gradebook for formative assessments. It is advisable to be consistent in your approach so as to not confuse students.

Grading & Submissions

Consider how many attempts are allowed.

Anonymous grading can be selected (this cannot be enabled if 'post grades automatically' is selected). Note that once a Test has attempts, anonymous grading cannot be switched off.

Set grading options - notably you can set up parallel grading (two graders per student) or delegated marking (assign markers for students via Groups).

Parallel grading

If enabled, graders are randomly assigned to submissions. Only 2 graders per student are allowed.

To set up parallel grading:

  1. Enable two graders per student
  2. Select the Assign graders option
  3. Select which staff will grade the paper (assign as Grader)
  4. Select who will reconcile the grades (assign as Reconciler). Nobody can be a grader and reconciler at the same time. However, you can switch people’s roles during the grading process.

See parallel grading on Blackboard's website for detailed guidance.

Delegated Grading

For larger modules, it can be useful to delegate grading to different staff members. Delegated Grading facilitates this via Minerva Groups. To set up Delegated Grading, first create a Group Set. The Group Set should contain Groups for the different graders e.g. Group Tutor A for those Tutor A will mark, Group Tutor B for those Tutor B will mark etc. Assign the students to the groups as required (or use the randomise feature).

Once you have your Group Set ready, select the Delegated Grading option in the settings and assign staff to mark the different Groups. Be aware that if you assign 2 staff to a group this is not parallel grading - if they both graded the same paper the original grade/feedback would just be overwritten for example.

This is a new feature (introduced October 2023) and does not support group assessments or parallel grading at this time.

Read our guide on Minerva Groups for more information on how to set these up.

Return of grades/submission and feedback

Decide here if you want students to see the total assessment grade as soon as it is marked (which could be on completion if automatically marked). Ensure Post grades automatically is deselected if you want to control manually the release of grades.

You can also set when students will be able to see:

  • Their submission
  • Automated feedback
  • Question scores
  • Correct answers

Note: the setting ‘After all marks have been posted’ requires every student on the module to have a mark posted.

Therefore, if any user with the student role does not complete the test, this condition cannot be reached. We recommend you release this information by date to avoid any issue. If you are not sure which date to set, select a date weeks in advance and manually adjust when you are ready to release. Bear in mind students will see this date in Minerva.

In this section you can also add a time limit and grading rubric.

Exceptions and Accommodations

Accommodations can be set for a student on a module level. Students can have a due date accommodation which means their work is never graded as late in the Gradebook. Students can also have a time limit accommodation which will be applied to all Blackboard Tests and Blackboard Assignments in the module where a time limit has been specified.

Exceptions can also be set for individual Blackboard Tests (and Assignments). You can give an individual an additional attempt(s) on a Test or a different due date. You can also extend their access to an item e.g. if it is hidden from other students, you can allow an individual student to have access.

See set exceptions and accommodations in Gradebook for step-by-step guidance. 

Related Guidance