Author Archives: Anthony Cressey

Reading Course IDs in Blackboard

One way to see what the course ID is for a specific course is to sign into Blackboard, and enter a course. Once you are inside of your course, as a professor you can click on “Files” in the control panel section.

This will open up the files menu making the Course ID visible.

The first 5 numbers are the “CRN” (Course Reference Number). All courses have their own unique CRN for that semester.

  • Fall courses will all start with a “1″
  • Winter courses will all start with a “2″
  • Summer courses will all start with a “3″

The second string of numbers are the Course ID. The first 3 letters in the Course ID is the course program, followed by 4 numbers that represent the course, then the section number.

The last 4 numbers are the academic fiscal year. All courses in the 2012-2013 fiscal year would be designated with “2013″. All courses in the 2013-2014 fiscal year would be designated with “2014″ and so on.


you can see the Course ID’s by moving your mouse over the “My Courses” header bar on your “My Knowledge” tab in Blackboard, & clicking on the “Gear” icon labeled “Manage My Courses Module Settings”.

There are several options you can do on the “Personalize: My Courses” page, such as “group your courses by term” & “manage your my courses list.”

Under option #2 “Edit Course List”;
you can see your course ID’s listed for each course.
This is a good time while you are in this page to organize your courses, possibly turning off old courses from previous semesters, & re-arranging courses in a different order. For more info, please visit “group your courses by term” & “manage your my courses list.”

Converting a Word File to Test Questions (With Help From IDS)

The question-creation process in Blackboard can be a little tedious. If you’re looking to create a test or pool of questions quickly, a faster option may be to send IDS an appropriately formatted Word file. IDS can generate a question pool or test from that Word (or other simple text) file in about two business days. Just email the file to

In your email, indicate the course you’d like the questions added to, preferably by CRN or courseID (e.g., 20472_CIS1000-03_2016). If you’d like a full test created, indicate where in the course you’d like the test added, along with any settings you’d like applied (points per question, availability dates, time limit, force completion, etc).

NOTE: IDS CAN ONLY CONVERT PROPERLY FORMATTED WORD FILES. If your file is not properly formatted, it will be returned with instructions on how to correct the format. IDS WILL NOT REFORMAT IMPROPERLY FORMATTED FILES.

Fortunately, the format is extremely easy to follow.


Formatting a Text File for Conversion to a Test or Pool

Respondus will import Multiple Choice, True-False, Essay, Fill in the Blank, and Multiple Answer questions.

You may use Notepad (.txt) or Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx), Text edit (for mac), and save the file in the “Standard Format” before it can be imported into Respondus.

(NOTE: You may download the Standard formatting for Respondus question types Microsoft Word document & save it to your computer for future reference.)

MS Word, auto-formats your document for you, which does not work well in Respondus. By using Notepad to create your test questions document, you will avoid formatting issues associated with Microsoft Word.

If you choose to use MS Word, you must turn off the automatic formatting option by clicking on the little lightning bolt option that appears when you start to type the number “1″.

  • If you select the “Undo Automatic Numbering” option, this should tell Word to quit making automatic numbered lists for this document. This will allow you to put the much needed asterisk in front of the correct answer.
  • If you select the “Stop Automatically Creating Numbered Lists”, this option sill turn off the numbered lists for this document and future documents.
    Note: You can turn it back on by going into [File > Options > Proofing > Auto Correct Options > Auto Format As You Type.

OR: Simply use Notepad (PC) or Textedit (Mac) instead.

Importing Multiple Choice Questions

The question wording must follow the question number. (Note: One space should be between the question number and the question wording.)

Example: 3. Who determined the exact speed of light?

Note: Each answer must begin with a letter (A-T) followed by a period and a space “. “ The correct answer must be marked with an asterisk before the letter.


3.  Who determined the exact speed of light?

a. Albert Einstein
*b. Albert Michelson
c. Thomas Edison
d. Guglielmo Marconi

Note: Correct answer must be marked with an asterisk before the letter.

Importing True and False Questions

The process of importing “true and false” questions is similar to that used for importing multiple choice questions (see above).


3. Albert Michelson determined the exact speed of light?

*a. True
b. False

Importing Essay Questions

The logic for importing essay questions is similar to what is described above for Multiple Choice and True & False questions. The primary difference is that the first line of formatting must begin with “Type: E”. This is followed by the question.


Type: E

4. How is the Michelson-Morley experiment related to Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity?

If you would like to add a “Fill in the blank”, “Matching”, or “Multiple Answers” question type, you can find examples in the Standard Formatting for Respondus question types Word document.

Adding your Blackboard profile image and bio

To add your image and update your profile, click on your name in the upper right corner once you are signed into Blackboard.

Click on the first icon in the upper left labeled “Edit My Blackboard Profile”

From here, you can link your Blackboard profile to your Facebook and/or Twitter account(s),
or just upload a picture of yourself by clicking on the “Change Picture” icon.

then click on the “Upload New” button to upload a new photo

Then Select an image on your computer (1) and click open (2)

Next, you can crop the image and click on “Change Picture”.

Your image should now be added!

There are additional fields on this page where you can add in what you are studying, and also a space to add something about yourself.

The default for privacy options is to only allow your classmates access to your profile, but you may change it to allow everyone from UDM to see your profile, or to not allow anyone.

When you get done, be sure to click “Submit to save your change(s).

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