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Instructional Design and Technology in Education

Evaluating Bb Quizzes for Missed Questions

When revising your online course is it always good to review the effectiveness of the self-assessments and quiz questions. Are certain questions constantly being answered incorrectly? Do the questions need to be rewritten or are students not prepared enough to give a thorough and complete answer. It might not be obvious as students progress through the course but it is something that you should be aware of and change during a revision, if not sooner.

In Blackboard, you are able to review statistics about how your students are accessing the site, what time of day, how often, how long, but there is no information about the results of quizzes and which questions are most often missed. One solution is to download a spreadsheet with quiz questions and answers through the gradecenter, add some calculations and evaluate.

In the GradeCenter click on the downdown arrows in the quiz column heading and select Download Results.


You are then given some choices in what kind of file you want to download. I suggest selecting the tab-delimited option so you can use it in excel where you’ll want to manipulate the data.


I would also suggest you select By Question by User since you want to make conculsions on individual questions, not users.


If your tests are set up for multiple attempts and you want to see what the progression of missed questions might be, select all attempts to see the results of every attempt the students have made. Otherwise, select Only valid attempts.

Click on the Download Results link at the bottom of the page to download a copy of the file to your computer. Once you get the file you’ll see a lot of data that you might be able to remove. The columns that you are really interested in are the Question ID Question, Answer, Possible Points, Auto Score and Manual Score.


Open your document in excel or other spreadsheet application. Now its time to enter a couple of equations so that you are able to make decisions. I suggest:

  1. Total up the Possible Points column.
  2. Total up the Auto Score column.
  3. Then determine what the percentage between these two columns is to determine the question’s success.

When reviewing the questions with a low percentage you can also identify the incorrect answer that is most often given. This might help to determine whether you need to  rewrite the question or answers,  readjust your content, , or make sure concepts are more thoroughly discussed or more examples are given.  In this example 60% of the students got the wrong answer (FALSE).


Author: Heidi Olson

Heidi enjoys working with content experts in developing eCampus courses to provide alternatives for students. Her other interests include faculty training in best practices for eCampus and researching eCampus tools to help fulfill learning outcomes. Having worked in the distance education arena for over 20 years, she has a wide range of experiences in supporting students and faculty as technology and pedagogy evolve.

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