How do I upload questions to my Test or Survey in Blackboard? (Staff)

Users can upload a 'tab-delimited' file that contains a list of questions and possible responses for a test, survey or question pool. This way, you can prepare one question, copy and paste it as many times as you want, and then change the text of the question to suit your needs. It may be faster than adding many questions separately.

Create the file

The easiest way to create a tab-delimited file is in Excel, where you have one column for each 'field'. The file must be saved as Text (tab-delimited) with the .TXT file extension. Alternatively, you can create the file in Notepad or other text-editor using a single tab character between each field. For example, to create a multiple-choice question, follow the format below:

  • The first column indicates the question type. For multiple choice, it should say MC.
  • The second column indicates the text of the question. Just type the question normally in the cell.
  • The third column should have the first response.
  • The fourth column has either correct or incorrect.
  • The fifth and sixth columns are similar to the third and fourth. Repeat until you have the desired number of responses.

Note: Even if the question is being used in a survey, it must have answers indicated as correct and incorrect. When imported into a survey, the correct/incorrect aspects will be ignored.

An example of how a file might appear in Notepad for multiple choice questions is depicted below. Please note that each item is separated by a tab character. If the questions or answers are of various lengths, as here, the tabs won't necessarily line up in Notepad.

MC	What does 'vert' mean in French?	red	incorrect	green	correct	blue	incorrect MC	What does 'rouge' mean in French?	red	correct	green	incorrect	blue	incorrect

Other questions types can be created in a similar way. Several different types of questions can be included in the same file for upload. Below are examples of some common types. If using Notepad or other text editors, please replace TAB with an actual tab character. If using Excel, the tab indicates a new column.

  • Multiple Choice
    • MC TAB question text TAB first answer text TAB correct TAB second answer text TAB incorrect
    • You may add as many responses as needed up to 20, and alter the sequence so that the position of the correct answer is different for each question.
  • Multiple Answer
    • MA TAB question text TAB first answer text TAB correct TAB second answer text TAB incorrect
    • You may add as many responses as needed up to 20, and alter the sequence so that the position of the correct answer is different for each question.
  • True/False
    • TF TAB question text TAB true
    • TF TAB question text TAB false
  • Ordering
    • ORD TAB question text TAB first answer text TAB second answer text
    • The order entered in the file should be the correct order. The system will randomly order the answers.
    • You may add as many responses as needed up to 20.
  • Matching
    • MAT TAB question text TAB first answer text TAB first matching text TAB second answer text TAB second matching text
    • You may add as many pairs of answer and matching text as needed up to 20.
  • Fill in the Blank
    • FIB TAB question text TAB first answer text TAB second answer text
    • You may add as many possible correct answers as you wish up to 20.
    • When students view the question, the blank will appear as a text box below the question text. Therefore, indicate clearly within the question text itself where the blank is, such as by putting an asterisk (*) where the word should be inserted.

For more examples, please see the Blackboard help pages, available by clicking on More Help from the Upload Questions page.

Upload the file

  • Once you have created the file, go to the Control Panel and select Course Tools, Tests, Surveys and Pools .
  • Select if it is a test, survey or pool you are uploading.
  • Either create a new test, How do I do that?, or edit an existing test by clicking on the arrow next to the test name and select Edit.
  • Click Upload Questions.

  • Click the Browse button and browse to your file.
  • Enter a point value for each question.
  • Click Submit. You should be returned to the test, survey, or pool where you will see your new questions.

If questions need further editing, click on the arrow next to the individual question and select Edit.

Contact for this page:
Information Services, Aberystwyth University, Hugh Owen Library, Penglais, Aberystwyth, SY23 3DZ
Tel: 01970 62 2400 Email: is@aber.ac.uk