Assessment Activities

instructor reviewing test problems on a paper

Making the Most of Blackboard Features

The functionality of Blackboard provides a number of different ways for students to show knowledge.

Examples of Assessments

In addition to timed tests and quizzes, in Blackboard there are many other ways to create learning activities that allow for graded written assignments, collaborative exercises, case studies, as well as interactive discussions and presentations.

Timed tests

  • Low stakes or self-scoring Blackboard quizzes can be created with Blackboard’s Tests tool. Tests are useful to help students check their understanding for each instructional topic. There are a variety of question types to choose from. Using advanced features such as Adaptive Release and Achievements, you can create games or Escape Rooms to encourage learning and increase motivation.
  • Questions can also be imported in bulk from a document using the Respondus 4.0 tool available to UMass Boston faculty.

Activities to develop thinking, writing or speaking skills

  • Composition writing assignments such as essays, research papers, literature reviews, reflection papers. Useful for evaluating complex knowledge, higher-order skills, and creativity. In Blackboard set up periodic Assignments for students to submit their written work. Or use the Essay question type in Tests for timed responses.
  • VoiceThread assignments for paper reviews as well as individual and group student presentations.
  • Use Gradescope for assessments that require solving equations by hand, drawing diagrams, or heavily annotating answers.
  • Ask students to create a presentation to share their learning. Students can present in real time using Blackboard Collaborate, with screen-sharing in Zoom, or pre-record for asynchronous review and interactive feedback using VoiceThread.
  • Weekly Discussions prompting students to reflect on a question you posed and respond with additional sources, and engage in discourse with peers.
  • Weekly or monthly one-on-one reflection Journals between the instructor and each student.

Peer assessment

  • Google Forms or Blackboard Self and Peer Assessments can be used to allow your students to learn about their peers' projects and give feedback. You can create a form with some criteria established which students follow to evaluate their peers' assignments.
Tips and Tricks
  • Use SafeAssign or Turnitin,  the plagiarism prevention tools available at UMass Boston, to educate students about plagiarism and proper citation practices.
  • Use Digital Rubrics to facilitate grading for discussions and assignments.
  • Set all activities as “gradable” in Blackboard so that a column is created in the Grade Center.
  • While grading don't forget to add feedback, suggestions or share and/or review with students the correct answers.