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June 15, 2012 / maureen

Deploying a Test and Setting Test Options

After a test is created in or imported to Blackboard it is necessary to "deploy" it to a content area. This "posts" the test and also created a column in the Gradebook (Grade Center).

In Blackboard both computer graded quizzes and essay tests are considered "Tests" – the only difference is the question type.

A test can be deployed in any Content Area or Folder. You’ll want to decide on a predictable place for your students to find the test. One option is to put the test inside a folder corresponding to that unit or week along with other content and activities that go with that unit.

Tests are located in the Test Manager.

  • Go to the Control Panel located in the lower left below the course menu (1)
  • Click on Course Tools to expand it (2)
  • Click on Tests, Surveys and Pools (3)
  • Click on Tests (4)

Now you’ll be in the Test Manager. There you’ll see all your tests (both quizzes and essays) (5) and an indication of whether or not they are deployed (6).

To deploy a test you’ll need to go to the content area where you wish to post it.

Browse to the Content Area where you wish to deploy the test.


Using the Course Menu and clicking on Folders within your main Content Areas, browse to the Content Area or Folder in which you wish to deploy the test. In the example above, the test is being deployed in Week Two, so I click on Course Content and then the Week Two folder.

Create Assessment > Test


At the top of any Content Area you’ll see the buttons "Build Content", :"Create Assessment", "Add Interactive Tool" etc.

Mover your cursor over Create Assessment and select Test.

You can create a new test or deploy an existing test

  • At this point you have the option to create a new Test or deploy an existing Test.
  • You’ll only see Tests that are not yet deployed to a Content Area – you can’t deploy a test in two different places.

What you can do is write a notice or do a "cross course link" so that students looking in one Content Area or Folder are aware that the test is (or will be) deployed elsewhere.

  • After selecting the Test, click Submit.

Test Options


There are many test options – the following describes the most common. Additional help for setting test options can be found by following a link on the Blackboard page (1) or by viewing the tutorial at

The Test Name is mandatory as indicated by the orange asterisk. A description is optional – it will appear below the link to the Test and the students will see it before they take the test (but only if the test is available to them).

Make the Test available


By default the Test is NOT available. This is so you don’t accidentally have it available before you are ready. At the very least you must change this selection to Yes.
No means the test will NEVER be available to students.

Set options for availability


(1) For the Test to EVER be available you must set this option to "Yes" – you can then set a time window to limit availability
(2) Set number of allowed attempts
(3) Check these boxes if you want to set a time window – you must both check the boxes AND choose dates and times
(4) Choose dates and times. When choosing a time at the end of the day – scroll down the list and choose "End of Day"
(5) You can set a password for a proctored test.

There is also a "Due Date" option – this does not limit availability. It simply provides information to the student and can also be used in the Blackboard early warning system.

Test Feedback


This section determines the level of feedback the students will see both after they complete the test and whenever they go to "My Grades" (their view of the gradebook) and click on the score.

  • During the time the test is open and available – you may want to limit the feedback (to Score for example)
  • After the test is no longer available (the link to it will disappear) you can change the level of feedback. If you want to let students see the correct answers you can check the boxes for Submitted Answers and Correct Answers. They will view these by going to "My Grades" and clicking on their score.
  • The box labeled "Feedback" does not apply unless there is feedback entered for a test question.

Set any other options you wish and click Submit.

Link to Test in Content Area


The Test link will now be available to you in the Content Area or Folder. If the test is not available, it will be grayed out and a message will indicate its status.

  • If the message simply says "This item is not available" – that means "No" is still checked. It will never be available unless you manually change this.
  • If the message says "Item is not available. It will be available after date." or "Item is not available. It was last available on date" then the Availability is set to "Yes" but you are outside the time window.

Editing the Test or Test Options


Use the drop-down menu found by clicking on the two downward arrows next to the Test name. This is how you change the availability dates or feedback levels.

There is usually no need to remove a test from a Content Area or Folder unless you don’t plan to use it again. You can make it unavailable and then the next time you teach the course you can edit the options for availability and feedback. You also use this menu to delete a test.

The Test in the Gradebook


Deploying a Test automatically puts it in the gradebook. It will be at the end of the list. You can change its position by going to "Manage" and then "Column Organization".

Hiding a Column


Gradebook columns that are still linked to things that are deployed can NOT be deleted from the gradebook. You must first locate and delete them from the Content Area.or Folder. If you don’t want students to see this column in the gradebook then you can choose "Show Hide to Users" from the drop-downmenu next to the column name.

Be sure to choose "Show/Hide to Users" and not the entry "Hide Column" which is lower down on the list!

Columns Hidden from Students


If a column is hidden from students then you will see a circle with slash through it next to the column name. Make sure you see this indication – if the column simply disappears, it means you have hidden it from yourself but not your students! You will need to go to "Manage" and "Column Organization to reverse this. After hiding it from your students you can also hide it from yourself, if you wish.

Moving a Test

A test cannot be moved – instead it must be deleted and then re-deployed in a new location.

NOTE – deleting a test from a Content Area or Folder does NOT delete it from the test manager.

If there are no grades associated with this test then deleting it will also delete the column from the gradebook. If there are grades, you will be asked whether or not you wish to delete the column.


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