Information Technology A to Z Index IT Service Support Request

Use Microsoft Excel to create Blackboard test questions

Here are directions to create Bb test questions/answers through an Excel spreadsheet. This method is especially efficient when you want to create new multiple-choice questions.

  1. Open a new Excel spreadsheet.
  2. The first column is question type, like MC (for multiple-choice—must be uppercase!), press tab
  3. Next column is the question, press tab
  4. Next column is the first answer, press tab
  5. Next column is correct or incorrect, press tab
  6. And so on for all of the answers
  7. Press Return to start the next question (in the next spreadsheet row).

For each answer, you must type the full word “correct” or “incorrect” in the next column.

You do not need to label the answers unless you need references for complex answers like “A and B.” Any labels would be typed directly with the words of the answers.

  • When complete, save the file (as an Excel workbook) to keep all that you’ve done.
  • Then  — click File > Save As . . . .
  • Set the Format to TAB DELIMITED TEXT (.txt)
  • Click Save, and confirm that you want to “Continue."
  • The .txt file is ready for upload into Blackboard.

Note: When you “close" the file in Excel, it will tell you to save it again. You don’t need to do that.

  1. Inside Blackboard, you need to be on the Test Canvas page (or the Pool Canvas page), which is where you can see the options to “Create Question” and “Reuse Question” and “Upload Questions.” (To reach the Test Canvas or Pool Canvas page, see the note at the end of these directions.)
  2. On the Test Canvas, click “Upload Questions.” Click to “Browse” to the file you’ve saved — remember to select the “.txt” file — set the number of points per question, and click Submit.
  3. Proofread the questions and answers. When you click OK, the test is ready to be deployed.

This process works well for all typed characters except quotation marks.

Apostrophes and other symbols are handled correctly (with a few exceptions).

To get quotation marks, type this special string: " where they should appear, like this:

The word "mitochondria" comes from which language?

That will be displayed like this: The word "mitochondria" comes from which language?

To work with other question types, the Blackboard Help site offers full description of the upload file formats.

Note: The Test Canvas page is what you see after you give a new test its Name, or when you click to edit an existing test. You can start a new test from any content area, by clicking Assessment > Test > Create, or from Course Tools > Tests, Surveys and Pools > Tests, by clicking Build Test. (Ignore “Import Test.”) Submit a Name, and you will see Test Canvas. For an existing test, you can open the Test Canvas from the link you’ve set up for students, by using the option to Edit the Test, or from the page of Tests (as mentioned in the second sentence), by using the option to Edit that item. To create a Pool, go to Course Tools > Tests, Surveys and Pools > Pools > Build Pool. (Be sure to select Build Pool, not “Import Pool,” for this task.)

Contact Information

IT Service Desk