Category Archives: 5. Post exam

Batch regrading

It is possible to regrade a test after it has taken place through the Blackboard interface. This is particularly useful if the answer key for a question was set incorrectly, or if a question needs to be withdrawn.We recommend creating a backup of the course first:

Click Packages and Utilities, Export and Archive and wait until you get an email from the system to tell you it is ready. If you did need to get the original data, ISS could help you using the backup.

To regrade the questions, identify the question that needs to be amended in the test canvas. When you make the amendment you will be given the option to “submit and update attempts” – choosing this option will automatically re-grade all of the attempts in light of this amendment.

See separate post on grading free text questions.

Regrading questions individually

If a question needs to be removed or the answer key changed and regraded for all students who have taken a test, you can do this by editing the test and regrading (separate post).

It is possible to manually regrade a question for each student. This is particularly useful if you have used text entry questions (e.g. fill in the blank). For fill in the blank questions, you may just want to focus on the students who have submitted answers that are marked as incorrect and think about updating the test for the following year to account for different spellings etc.The 2013/2014 version will have wildcard features to make things easier.

To regrade a question:

  1. Go to the module/organisation in Blackboard and click Grade Centre, then Full Grade Centre under Control Panel. 
  2. Find the column for your exam/test. You may need to scroll to the right to find it.
  3. Use the drop down menu on the Column Header for your exam to access the Grade Questions feature.
  4. You will see a list of the questions. Click the response number on the right hand side to start grading that question.
  5. You can choose to regrade anonymously by ticking the box at the top left. Click Edit next to any given answer to make the change.

Student advice: Checking your score and viewing feedback

For OLAF Exams the scores are not released immediately after the exam.

Once the school decides to release the scores (and feedback if applicable) they should follow the steps below.


Student guide to accessing the score:

  1. Go to any computer with Internet access.
  2. Go to
  3. Log in with your Newcastle University username and password.
  4. On the first screen that you come to after logging in (My Institution), click My Grades (under Tools)
  5. In My Grades, select the module for the exam you have taken.
  6. Find the row showing the grade for the exam. (If the test was an OLAF exam the exam name will include the word OLAF and the date the exam took place).
Image of My Grades screen
Click on the image to view full size

Student guide to viewing feedback:

In some cases, particularly practice tests, you can click the score and see more specific feedback.  Your tutor will let you know if this is available for your test.

  1. Click on the name of the test in the My Grades screen (see image above).
  2. In the View Attempts screen click on the grade
Image of View Attempts screen
Click on the image to view full size

Different types of feedback available are different for different tests.  Your feedback may include some or all of the following:

  • Your score for each question
  • Your answer, marked with a green tick if it is correct, or with a red cross if it is incorrect
  • The answer options, with a green tick next to the correct answer or answers
  • Feedback from the instructor about your answer

You can see examples of each of these types of feedback in the image below:

Image of example feedback types
Click on the image to view full size


Checking scores and post exam reports


To see the scores:

  1. Click ‘Grade Centre’ in the Control Panel (bottom left of the screen).
  2. Choose ‘Tests‘.
  3. Scroll to the right until you see the column for the exam. You can hover over the column headers to see the test’s full name.
  4. Scroll down to see individual student scores.
  5. Click a cell and choose View attempts to see an individual student’s answers.

To save the scores to a spreadsheet (CSV file)

  1. From the Grade Centre, click Work offline (near top right) and then Download. 
  2. Choose selected column and then find the column for the exam form the drop-down list.
  3. Where it says delimiter type, choose Comma. 
  4. Scroll down and click Submit. 


There are a number of reports built into Blackboard. Some do not work for exams with randomised question sets.

Attempts report

This report is helpful to check immediately after the exam to ensure the questions and answer key were correct. To see the Attempts report:

  1. Click the column header and then click the downward pointing arrow to bring up the drop down menu.
  2. Click Attempt statistics. 

Please note, this report may take a while to process.

The report will appear onscreen. Scroll down to see each questions, and the percentage of students that choose each answer. If you find that a large number of students have chosen the wrong answer, you might want to check the question is correct.  It is possible to re-score a question or test.  Get in touch with OLAF Admin if you need to do this.

Other settings/reports.

General statistics

  1. Click the column header and then click the downward pointing arrow to bring up the drop down menu
  2. Click Column statistics.

This will display score distributions and averages.

Setting the column to display a percentage instead of  a raw score

  1. Click the column header and then click the downward pointing arrow to bring up the drop down menu.
  2. Click Edit Column settings. 
  3. Change the primary display to percentage.
  4. You can also change the secondary display to score if you want to see both. The secondary display appears in brackets.

Hiding/unhiding scores and feedback

Sometimes it is appropriate to show students the results of their test, and possibly even feedback on each question, through Blackboard. If using this, please inform students whether the mark is final or provisional. We recommend viewing the Attempt Statistics report where possible to ensure the test looks correct.

Note: Whichever method you use, students will only see their own scores/feedback.

To reveal/hide the score in Grade Centre:

1. Log into the course.
2. Under Control Panel, click Grade Centre, then Full Grade Centre.
3. Scroll to the right to find the column for your test. Hover over the headers to see the full name.
4. Use the drop down menu to see the options. Click show/hide to users

This will allow students to see the scores by going to My Grades on the first page they come to after logging into Blackboard.

Displaying individual questions, answer and feedback.

These settings are under the test options.

  1. In the Module/Organisation, go to the area where the test was set (e.g. for OLAF exams the OLAF Admin area).
  2. Hover over the name of the test and click the downward pointing arrow that appears.
  3. Choose Edit test settings. 
  4. Scroll down to the section on feedback and tick the boxes as required. (click on image to see the details of the options available to you)


Students can either return to this area and click the name of the assessment again to then find the option to view feedback, or find it through My Grades on the My Institution page they see when first logging into Blackboard.

Releasing Scores and feedback to students

To release the scores so that students can access their results from My Grades (in the My Institution page after login):

  1. Click Grade Centre and Tests.
  2. Click the column for the exam (you may have to scroll to the right). Use the drop down arrow to see the options.
  3. Click Show/Hide to Users.

If you are happy to release the exam questions and answers and therefore write new questions next year:

In addition to the above-

  1. Within your Blackboard module, find the exam the students sat. This is likely to be in an area in the left hand menu called OLAF Admin.The assessment title will include the word OLAF and the date of the exams.
  2. Click the drop down menu and click Edit Test Options.
  3. Scroll down to Section 5. TEST FEEDBACK and select the options for score, submitted answer, correct answer and feedback as appropriate.
  4. Click Submit

Students will then be able to access this feedback through My Grades on the first page after logging in. You may wish to communicate with them via email to let them know.

Amending or deleting a question from a test after it has taken place

We often get queries about whether it’s possible to amend or delete questions from a test in Blackboard when the test has already taken place.  The answer is yes – and if the test uses question types that have automatic grading Blackboard will automatically regrade the test to reflect the changes you make.

That said, there is a bug in Blackboard which on rare occasions can cause problems with students’ test attempts when you amend or delete a question.  To help safeguard against this we recommend that you take the steps below before you make any changes to a test after it has taken place.

Close the test and make sure that there are no attempts in progress

Ensure that the test is no longer available to students, so that there is no danger that they might be taking the test when you make the change.  To check this:

  1. Go to the Content Area where the test is deployed in the module, and hover over the name of the test.  Click on the dropdown arrow that appears, and select Edit test options:Edit test options
  2. EITHER under Test Availability make sure that for Make the link available the No option is selected:         Make link avail No
  3. OR/AND scroll down to the Display Until date, and make sure this is set to a date and time in the past (this can be 5 minutes from the current time):Display Until date & time
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the test options screen and click Submit to save any changes you have made.
  5. Open the Grade Centre by clicking on Control Panel > Grade Centre > Full Grade Centre.
  6. Find the column for the test, and scroll down to check whether there are any attempts in progress, shown with the ‘Attempt in progress’ icon of a blue clock:Attempt in progress icon
  7. If there are any attempts in progress submit them on behalf of the student if appropriate.  See ‘Attempt in progress’ grade centre icon for an explanation and instructions .

Export grade centre

  1. In the module, open the Full Grade Centre.  In menu bar at the top of the screen you’ll see the option Work Offline on the right hand side.  Click the down arrow and select Download:Work Offline
  2. In the Download Grades screen leave the default options selected, and click Submit.
  3. On the next screen click the Download button and save the file to an appropriate location (e.g. your H: drive or shared file space for your school).

Download test results

  1. In the Grade Centre find the column for the test, and click the dropdown arrow to the right of the column name.  Select Download Results from the menu:Download results
  2. In the Download Results screen leave the default options selected.  Click the button to download results, and again save to an appropriate location.

Note: both of these actions produce a .csv file, which you can open and amend in Excel as required.

Amend or delete a test question and regrade attempts

Once you have completed the steps above  you can go ahead and make the required changes to the test.

  1. Open the test canvas.  You can do this via the Control Panel > Tests, Surveys and Pools > Tests, then hover over the name of the exam and click the dropdown arrow.  Select the Edit Test option.
  2. Scroll to the question that you need to amend or delete, and hover over the title.  Click the dropdown arrow that appears:Edit question dropdown
  3. To amend a question select Edit from the dropdown menu.  Make the required changes.  Click Submit and Update Attempts.  Blackboard will display a warning message; click OK, and the test will automatically be regraded:amending question warning
  4. To delete a question select Delete and Regrade from the dropdown menu.  Blackboard will display a warning message.  Click OK, and the test will automatically be regraded:deleting question warning
  5. Once you have amended or deleted all of the required questions, check the Grade Centre column for the test to ensure that the attempts have been automatically graded as expected.

Don’t re-invent the wheel each year!

In following years, it is much more efficient and effective to work from the questions that were tested online by students in exams, than to get a Word version converted from scratch again. The conversion process, particularly if you have not followed the suggested format, can introduce errors.

You can:

  1. Tag and use last year’s questions.
  2. Copy and amend last year’s test.
  3. Ask us to produce an editable version of last year’s test that will convert more easily.

‘Attempt in Progress’ icon in grade centre

Why this happens:

After you have run a Blackboard test or an OLAF exam that is automatically marked, the students’ grades appear in the grade centre as soon as they press the ‘Save and Submit’ button at the end of the test.  If a student forgets to press the button, instead of their grade in the grade centre you will see an ‘attempt in progress’ icon of a blue clock.   An example of this is shown below:

Gradecentre attempt in progress

To override this you can submit the attempt on behalf of the student.


To submit a test attempt on behalf of a student:

1. Hover your mouse over the grade centre cell with the attempt in progress icon, and click on the dropdown arrow.  Click on ‘Attempt’, as shown below:

Gradecentre click on attempt

2. The student’s attempt will open.  Click on the arrow at the right of the ‘Test Information’ bar to expand it.

3. The Status will show ‘In Progress’.  Click on the ‘Submit Attempt’ button, circled in the example below:

Expand test info, submit attempt button

4. A popup will appear asking you to confirm that you want to submit the attempt on behalf of the student.  Click OK.

5. The Status will now show ‘Completed’.  Either click ‘Exit’ to return to the grade centre, or use the left and right arrows on either side of the student’s name near the top of the screen to scroll to the next student’s attempt.

New Item analysis tool

See also the video guide from Blackboard on Demand

Item analysis tool Blackboard guide pages

Use this:

  • Immediately after an exam to highlight questions that need checking for errors
  • Before updating the exam for the following year to check for errors and assess how difficult your questions are and how well individual questions discriminate between high and low performers

To run an item analysis report:

  1. Go to the module and the Grade Centre (‘Tests‘ or ‘Full Grade Centre’).
  2. Find the column relating to your exam/test
  3. Click the column header and access the drop down menu to find ‘Item Analysis
  4. Select the test and click Run. It may take a while depending on the complexity of the exam, numbers of examinees and the load on the system. You will see a message telling you that the report is running. You can check back later.
  5. When the analysis has run, you will be able to select it from the list.

Interpreting the report

A summary at the top of the page shows you how many questions are good discriminators (distinguish between low and  high scoring students on the test overall). It also shows you the number of Easy, Medium and Hard questions.

Further down, you can see Discrimination and Difficulty scores for the individual questions. It also indicates questions that may need to be reviewed. See the key on the page.

Questions marked with a red dot have poor discrimination scores and/or easy or hard difficulty values. Click the blue question text to get more info on that individual question.

  • A higher discrimination score number suggests a question is a good discriminator. A low or negative score is a poor discriminator
  • The higher the difficulty score, the ‘easier’ the question was for the students taking the test

Click Edit Test to make a change to the question. If you change the correct answer, you can then ‘Re score’ the test. This will make the change for future tests as well.
See also the video guide from Blackboard on Demand

Item analysis tool Blackboard guide page