KU's Learning Management System


Blackboard offers several options for assessing individual courses and entire programs. These include simple lists of averages; graphs of scores from tests and rubrics; reports on how well students are meeting departmental or university core goals. The following is a short list of tools within Blackboard:


A column statistics report can be created about any gradable item and will display the spread of scores like the table shown below, it will also provide the minimum and maximum value received, range, average, median, standard deviation and variance. To generate this report, go into the Full Grade Center, select the pull down menu associated with the grading column, and select column statistics.

Screenshot of sample column statistics in Blackboard Grade Center

Course reports can provide expanded information by comparing different gradable activities like assignments, tests, and discussion board forums. To create the report shown below activities must be aligned with the same goal, then select Evaluation, Course Reports, and Course Performance. This allows faculty to evaluate students’ scores on different activities that all assess the same outcome/objective.  This report also includes specific individual student scores (the student data shown below is fictitious).

Screenshot of sample course report showing the average score over different item types   Screenshot of a Student Overview Report

To learn more, visit Blackboard's' Goals ».


Two statistics reports are available for Blackboard tests. Use these reports to examine the results for a test that covers objectives used in assessment. Using the pull down menu next to the column name in the full grade center, choose Attempt Statistics or Item Analysis.

  • Attempt Statistics shows response statistics on each question for the class.
  • Item Analysis provides statistics on overall test performance and individual test questions. For more information, visit Blackboard's Item Analysis . See the partial report below:

Screenshot of sample partial Item Analysis report

Rubrics and Rubric Reports

Rubrics can be associated with any gradable activity. Once all activities are graded, the instructor can run a Rubric Report that generates the following information.

Screenshot of a Rubric Statistics Report   Screenshot of an example rubric statistics report

If the grading rubric is different than the assessment rubric, two rubrics can be associated with one activity (one for grading and one for secondary assessment). A rubric report can be generated from either rubric by selecting the rubric report you desire from the pull down menu next to the appropriate grading column title (see below).

Screenshot of how to select the rubric desired for rubric report when a grade item has multiple rubrics associated with it

Outcomes Assessment

Outcomes Assessment only works if faculty have created an Assignment in Blackboard where students are able to attach different file types or type into a text box. (No reports can be generated from tests, discussion boards, wikis, blogs, journals, etc.)

Recommended Use of Outcomes Assessment

Outcomes Assessment is designed to work best following these criteria:

  • Faculty create “Assignments” in Blackboard. These assignments must be set to individual submissions, single attempts, and aligned to a goal.
  • A rubric is standardized where all artifacts will be assessed with the same rubric. This rubric is created in the Outcomes Assessment area, not inside the course.
  • A secondary group will complete the assessment. (NOTE: If your assessment plan does not allow for a secondary group to evaluate but rather relies on instructor evaluation, you might consider the following "Alternative Use of Outcomes".)
  • Once all artifacts have been evaluated by the assessment team, data is analyzed and reports are generated by Outcomes Assessment. Reports have data like the rubric report but also include a detailed spreadsheet which includes information like the student name, reviewer (to allow for norming), scores provided, and feedback, if included when assessing:

Screenshot of sample spreadsheet generated from Outcomes Assessment Report

Alternative Use of Outcomes

If the teacher completes both grading and assessment of artifacts, it is possible to still utilize the Outcomes Assessment functionality and detailed spreadsheet reports, it just requires a bit more planning and work.

  • The faculty create assignments that must be set to individual submissions, single attempts, and aligned to a goal.
  • A grading or secondary rubric can be used for assessment. This rubric resides in the course as opposed to the previous use of OA where the rubric is stored in the Outcomes area.
  • Faculty complete assessment.
  • An Outcomes Assessment administrator is able to generate a report for each class. This must be done individually, so if a department wants to look at multiple sections of the same course, they would need to merge the spreadsheets generated from this method. 

Screenshot of sample merged spreadsheet with Outcomes Assessment data from multiple sections

Blackboard Assessment Resources at KU

Questions About Technology:
For additional technology questions, please contact KU Educational Technology at itedtech@ku.edu or 785-864-2600.

Questions About Assessment Methods:
For questions on which method is the best fit for your assessment needs, contact KU Center for Teaching Excellence at cte@ku.edu or 785-864-4199.

Questions About Assessment in Course Design:
For information on how to include assessment in course design, contact the KU Center for Online & Distance Learning at onlinelearning@ku.edu or 785-864-1000.

Source: Blackboard Help »

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