Creating a Question Pool in Blackboard

How to Build a Pool

When you create pool questions that are intended for use in surveys (which are not graded), correct answers must be added during question creation. This enables the questions to be used in tests as well as surveys. These answers will be ignored after the question is added to a survey.

On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section.
Click Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
On the Tests, Surveys, and Pools page, click Pools.
On the Pools page, click Build Pool on the action bar.
Complete the Pool Information page and click Submit.
To add questions, you can Create Questions, Upload Questions, or Find Questions in other tests, surveys, and pools.
Click OK to return to the Pools page.

How to Edit Existing Pools

On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section.
Click Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
On the Tests, Surveys, and Pools page, click Pools.
On the Pools page, access a pool’s contextual menu.
Select Edit.
Add questions, delete questions, or change point values.
Click OK to return to the Pools page.

How to Edit Questions in a Pool

Linked questions are indicated by a globe icon. Changes to linked questions produce a warning message that the changes take effect everywhere the question appears.

If the question has attempts, changing it will require any submitted attempts to be regraded and may affect test scores. If this happens, affected instructors and students are notified.

On the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section.
Click Tests, Surveys, and Pools.
On the Tests, Surveys, and Pools page, click Pools.
On the Pools page, access a pool’s contextual menu.
Select Edit.
On the Pool Canvas, you can filter the list of questions by selecting from the list in the Browse Criteria panel.
Access a question’s contextual menu.
Select Edit and make your changes.
Click Submit to commit your changes in all tests where that question appears. Alternatively, you can Save as New to create a new question, which does not require regrading of existing attempts.

Including Video in an Online Course

Videos can enhance your course by offering examples, explanations of concepts, and can be a visual for your students to refer to when learning new content.

There are several ways to add video to your course:

Hollywood movies or documentaries (copyrighted)

Brookens Library has many films freely available through film collections to which the campus subscribes. If you find a video you would like to include, contact the library for help linking to it in your Blackboard site.

If the film you wish to show is not available in these collections, it may be available in the library’s film collection or available for purchase. The library can work with you to find obtain copyright clearance for the film.

You can also request that your students find a film at a local library or video store. Contact your Brookens Library Liaison for help teaching your students to use the WorldCat database to find films at their local library.

Free videos from the Web

YouTube and are just two of many great sites for free video on the Web. The embed codes provided by sites like these make it easy to add the videos to Blackboard.

To embed a video player from or in your Blackboard course site:

  1. Copy the embed code from the video website.
  2. Go to your Blackboard course.
  3. In the upper right corner of your Blackboard site, make sure Edit Mode is ON.
  4. Click on the content area in which you would like the video to appear (for example, Course Materials or Course Information).
  5. Click on Create Item.
  6. Enter the title of your video next to Name.
  7. In the Text box that appears on the screen, click on the HTML button to view the HTML code.
  8. Paste the embed code you previously copied.
  9. Click Submit.

Create your own video

Check out a digital video camera from ITS or record your screen using Camtasia Relay. Once you have created your video, you need to put up for your students to see it.

Please upload the video to Kaltura Media through Blackboard. Learn more about Kaltura Media here.

Hints about videos in online courses

  • Remember that large files can take a long time to download if a student has dial up internet service. Please be careful not to upload videos directly into your Blackboard course. Always link from an outside source as stated above.
  • Videos should supplement content. Use videos to explain text book content more in depth, create examples of concepts, and extend the learning environment with outside curriculum resources.
  • Other purposes for video in your course might be:
    • Introduce yourself to students
    • Student presentations
    • Specific examples of past projects
    • Feedback on assignments

Request Electronic Library Reserves

E-Reserves are a way of placing documents on hold and linking them in your course for your students to observe for a short period of time. These items can supplement your online instruction and can offer your students a plethera of information that can enhance their online learning experience.

Reserve resources and review the Library policies for E-Reserves

Ideas for including E-Reserves in your course include:

  • Streaming media to offer examples of concepts
  • Journal articles used for example and research
  • Case studies for course application and assessment

Create a Blackboard Course Banner

Would you like to create a banner image for your Blackboard course? Though many of us do not have image editing software available on our computers, we can still create effective and attractive course banners with PowerPoint — a tool that most of have and know how to use, at least for presentations.

There are only three easy steps to adding a banner to your course. — Create, Save, Upload.

Create Your Banner

  1. Open PowerPoint
  2. Go to the page setup area under Design tab > Page Setup button.
  3. Under the Slides sized for dropdown list choose banner
  4. Click OK.
  5. Design your banner with tools available in PowerPoint — background colors, slide designs, text, images, clip art, word art, etc.

Saving Your Banner

  1. Save your file by clicking on the Office Button >Save As > Other Formats.
  2. Choose the location where you would like to save your file.
  3. Name the file.
    Remember that spaces in Blackboard file names is not recommended!
  4. In the Save as type dropdown list choose GIF or JPEG.
    • Choose GIF if you used clip art or only text.
    • Choose JPEG if you used photos.

Upload Your Banner

  1. Go to the Control Panel of the course you wish to add the course banner.
  2. Under Course Options, click on Course Design > Course Banner.
  3. Click the Browse button, select your file, and click Open.
  4. Click Submit to add the banner to your course.
  5. To view your banner, go the front of your course. You may need to refresh your browser your clear your history for the image to appear.

If you do want to use image editing software, a good size for your image is 600 pixels wide by 100 pixels tall at a resolution of 72 pixels per inch.

Online Peer Tutors

The term “Peer Mentor” program refers to a student modeling the role of the successful online student within an online class.

Online peer mentors are not simply representatives of the instructor but play a very distinctive role as peer mentors in classroom activities, sharing their experience, fostering discussion, and modeling the role of a successful student. In addition, they are asked not to perform any activities pertaining to grading.

See the Peer Mentoring website for additional information.

Request an Online Peer Tutor

To request a peer tutor for your online course, please contact your dean. COLRS provides a stipend of $1,250 to the college upon the request of the dean. COLRS will fund up to 2 peer tutors per college each semester.



Submit Final Grades

Both on-campus and online courses have the same deadlines for reporting student grades.

To Enter Grades in Banner:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on UIS.
  3. Login with your UIS NetID/Password.
  4. Click on Faculty & Advisor Services.
  5. Then click Faculty Services.
  6. Click on Final Grade Entry.
  7. Select the desired semester and class.
  8. Enter your grades.
  9. Click Submit to complete the process.

SoftChalk at UIS

SoftChalk is a tool to help enhance text-based lectures. It allows instructors to “chunk” their content into smaller pages, add images, flashcards, graded or self-test quizzes, and more. Learn more about SoftChalk.

Instructors may access SoftChalk using Citrix Virtual Desktop. View instructions for installing and using the Virtual Desktop app.

Import Questions to Respondus

Respondus allows instructors to import questions from a text file and upload them to Blackboard courses.

To import questions from a text document to Respondus, instructors must format the text file in a specific (and simple) manner. Learn about the Respondus Question Import Format (pdf).

Once the text document is formatted, upload the questions following these instructions (pdf).

Kaltura Media Overview

Kaltura Media is the video management solution at UIS. Faculty and students may upload video from other sources (MS Lync, camcorders or phones), record video from a web cam, or access Camtasia Relay recordings.

To Access Kaltura Media

Faculty and students access Kaltura Media through Blackboard. Go to the “My Blackboard” tab and locate the Kaltura Media module on the page. Click on “My Media.”


Camtasia Studio Overview

“Powerful, yet easy-to-use, Camtasia helps you create professional videos without having to be a video pro. Easily record your on-screen activity or import HD camera video, customize and edit content, and share your videos with viewers on nearly any device.” (TechSmith web site)

Camtasia Studio is available for instructors to use in both the COLRS Audio and Video Recording Studios.

Contact COLRS for a tutorial on using the software or to reserve a time in the studios.

Additional Resources