Accessing Northern's Test Generator
To access Northern’s Test Generator, go to www.northernc.on.ca, click on Employee Portal.
And underneath Important Links on the page that loads (scroll down a bit on the left), you will see Blackboard Test Generator.
Test Formatting Rules
When you first launch the Test Generator, you have the option to review the text-to-test formatting rules by clicking this link.
The 5 Sample Questions
You can also insert sample questions for each of the 5 different types of test questions that the test generator can handle. Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer, True or False, Fill in the blank, and Essay question. These 5 questions can be combined and inputted into the generator in any order.
Let’s insert a Multiple choice question.
As you can see, the question is on the top line and immediately followed by the three answers. The correct answer is indicated with an asterisk prior to the letter.
A Multiple Answer is the same formatting; question on the top line, immediately followed by all of the answer variations. But in this example, more than one answer is indicated as correct with an asterisk prior to the letter.
NOTE: there is one space of the last answer of the first question and the next question.
True or False
For True or False questions, it’s a little bit different. The top line holds the question. Immediately underneath is the answer True or False. There is no asterisk and there is no requirement to put both.
Fill in the Blank
Fill in the blank you have your question at the top indicated in this case by two separate answers. So the students could write out the word four or put the number 4 for their answer and both will be correct. There is no asterisk prior to the answer.
For this example, all you have to do is type the question in. Do not put in an answer.
NOTE: again, notice, that there is one space between every question.
If you insert sample questions when you are using the Test Generator, make sure to highlight and delete them before adding your own questions. Otherwise, those questions would be included in your test.
Inserting Your Own Questions from a Word Document
Here is a test created in word already, (next page). There are 2 multiple choice questions, 2 true or false questions, a multiple answer, 2 fill in the blank, and an essay question.
Test # 1
1. Starters intended to protect motors that operate on 240 volts should contain___ load contacts?
2. A line Voltage sensing device (such as a line level thermostat) is:
a. A device that measure the voltage on the motor supply line
b. A sensing device that can handle the rated voltage and current of a motor
c. A sensing device that can handle lower voltage and current levels than the motor
d. A sensing device that measure the voltage on the control circuit
3. There are two types of overload relays: Magnetic and Thermal
True or False
4. All overload relays contain a set of bimetallic contacts.
True or False
5. Select four ways of producing electricity
6. Electronic overload relays employ a current _________ to sense the motor current
7. Triplex cable has ___________ conductors
Anytime a motor has tripped on overload, the electrician should check the motor and circuit to determine why the overload tripped. Now all you have to do is highlight all of the questions in your document. Take note not to highlight any titles or instruction in the document. You simply want the questions. Once highlighted, right click/copy. Then paste them in the large area in the test generator. You will now see all of the questions with their possible answers.
Essay: Question 8 is an essay. So it will simply stay as is.
NOTE: when copying over your questions from a word document, if you used the formatting with the letters and numbers in front of each of the answers, then you’d want to leave this default of Automatically remove leading numbers and letters from questions and answers.
If your document didn’t have an leading numbers or letters, then you would choose “Do not remove leading numbers and letters…”. Once completed, click continue. This next page gives you an opportunity to review the information you put in. And review how the test generator interpreted that information. This allows you to be sure that your formatting is correct and the generator is interpreting questions correctly.
So for question 1 and 2, here is the questions and the answers that we put in as multiple choice.
And the generator is picking it up as a multiple choice. Here’s the question and the 4 possible answers, with the correct answer indicated with a check mark. For questions 3 and 4, they are both being picked up as a true and false with the answer indicated as true in both cases.
Question 5 is a Multiple answer question, showing the 4 answers that are correct.
Question 6 and 7 are both fill in the blank with the question indicated and the answer (or answers) immediately below,
NOTE: if you made any mistakes at this point, you could go back to previous page and fix the errors.
Let’s go back just to show you if you didn’t format a question correctly. Let’s say for example, question 4, remove the answer true, add a space and then type the answer true. Keep everything else the same. Scroll back down and click continue.
Then when you scroll down, all the questions are correct. However, when you get to question 4 which you just changed, it no longer picks it up as a true and false. Because of the extra space, all it sees is the question and not an answer. So it assumes it’s an essay. And then, the word true is on a line by itself because it’s also being picked up as an Essay question.
To fix the error, click the back to previous button.
Remove the space before true. And then continue.
Now all of the questions, are now again, correct. Once your document is correct and you are ready, click on “Download Test Question File”. This will download a Blackboard text file (blackboard.txt) into your downloads folder.
There is no need to open this file, just needs to remain there so that when we go back into blackboard, we can pull it forward. In this example, it’s called “BlackboardTest(5).txt.
Every time you create a new test, it increases the number within that bracket.
Navigate back to your Blackboard course where we are ready to create questions. Rather than clicking on “Create Question” you will choose “Upload Questions”. Click on Browse and find the file that was just downloaded in your download folder.
You will see the latest test you created at the top. Click on it and choose Open.
At this point, Blackboard allows us to change the default value for all of the questions. So instead of 10, you can assign a value of 1 to every questions. Then once you get into the test, you can manually assign a different value to questions that might be worth more, like the Essay questions.
You will now see that your test has a total of 8 questions with a value of 8 points. You can now scroll down to see all your questions created.
You could also at this point insert your own questions if they are something different than the 5 question types that the generator can handle. So if you wanted to put in a Calculated Numeric, or a Jumbled Sentence, you can add those manually now.
And that is how you use the Generator.