Learning and Teaching Development Service’s Rebecca Gill answers your questions about making this software work for you….
1) What is Respondus for?
Respondus is a piece of software that can be used with Blackboard to help set up online tests or exams. It is widely used by the Online Assessment and Feedback (OLAF) Service, and it can also be very useful to academic and professional services staff who are running their own formative or summative online tests.
2) How might staff be able to use it?
The software converts test questions written in Microsoft Word into Blackboard test questions. Respondus allows staff to quickly and easily create large sets of questions, to build exams or question pools in Blackboard. It works with a range of question types, including multiple choice, multiple answer, matching, jumbled sentence and fill in the blanks questions. Respondus can also be used to download exams from Blackboard to create a Word version, with or without answers.
3) How might it benefit students?
Respondus makes it easy to create large sets of questions in Blackboard, which means that as well as building summative assessments, staff can more easily create practice tests for their students to use in revision. It also has the option to add feedback for correct and incorrect answers to each question, making it easier for staff to provide detailed feedback on exams – this is particularly useful for large group teaching, because the amount of time needed to add the feedback is the same whether you are setting an exam for 20 or 200 students.
4) How might it benefit staff?
Respondus can help save time when setting up Blackboard tests, and streamlines the process of deploying a test with required settings. The ability to download Blackboard tests to Word means that you can edit existing test questions in Word and easily reimport them to Blackboard. Once you have set up a series of test questions they can easily be edited and reused in future years.
The software can also be used to create a paper version of a test without answers, which is a helpful backup if any students have problems logging in when you are running an online test or exam. Some Schools also use Respondus to download a copy of Blackboard test questions with answers, so that it can easily be made available to the external examiner(s).
5) How can I start using Respondus?
Book a workshop on using Respondus to create Blackboard tests.
6) What will the workshops do?
The workshop starts by introducing Blackboard tests and question pools. You will then learn how to create exam questions in Microsoft Word using Respondus format, and will practice importing the questions into Respondus, and uploading them to Blackboard to create a test or question pool. The workshop will also cover using test settings to control availability, question display, and releasing scores and feedback to students. Finally you’ll practice downloading tests from Blackboard to create a copy in Word.
7) Who might/should be interested?
Any member of academic or professional services staff who is responsible for creating Blackboard tests/exams, and would like to learn how Respondus can help. The workshops are suitable for anyone who has general experience of Blackboard.