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Bb Tip #54: Random Block vs Question Set

Random blocks and question sets allow you to create tests that retrieve questions from pools so that each student does not get exactly the same questions when they take the test. A random block allows you to select question pools to retrieve questions from. You specify the question types (e.g. multiple choice, true/false) and the number of questions to be included in the random block. Question sets, on the other hand, allow more flexibility than random blocks. Question sets can be setup to retrieve questions from pools and/or other tests. Question sets allow you to browse to select specific questions from pools and/or other tests. With question sets, you can also set a filter based on other criteria such as categories, topics, keywords, and levels of difficulty.

Question sets may be particularly useful when working with publisher supplied test banks (question pools). The publisher supplied question pools are likely to be based on the book’s chapters and therefore may include questions in more categories and/or topics than you want to include in your test.

For example, let’s say you have a publisher supplied test bank (question pool) that has a total of seventy-five questions covering four different topics related to Chapter 4. You want each student to take a test that includes 3 questions from a possible 15 on one topic; and 2 questions from a possible 10 on another topic. All five test questions the students are to receive will be drawn from the same "Chapter 4" question pool. You can setup two question sets when creating your test to accomplish this. Using the “Chapter 4” question pool, you would setup the first question set selecting the first topic and number of questions to be randomly drawn from that topic. Then setup the second question set selecting the second topic and number of questions to be randomly drawn from the second topic. Attempting to create a test like this with random blocks would require you to split up your “Chapter 4” question pool into multiple pools to accomplish it.

When creating tests, you can include a combination of question pools, question sets, and static questions that all students will receive when taking the test.

Want more information?
Building/Using Question Pools [PDF] [Video].
Creating Question Sets [PDF].
Explore Blackboard's On Demand Learning Center [HTML].
Visit the Blackboard FAQs for additional blackboard information
or email or call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418

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