Creating a Calculated Formula Question

This guide will demonstrate how to create a calculated formula question in Blackboard. A Calculated Formula question allows instructors to create questions with varying numerical values based on an instructor-determined formula.

Selecting a Question Type

With the Test Canvas open, Click on Create Question and select Calculated Formula from the menu.

Entering Question Text and Answer Formula

To create a Calculated Formula Question:

  1. Question Title: Enter a title for the question (optional)
  2. Question Text: Enter your question text here. Use letters in brackets to denote variables, e.g. [a] pounds of rice at [b] price. Note: "pi" and "e" are reserved and cannot be used as variables.
  3. Answer Formula: Use the equation editor at top to develop your answer formula.
  4. Answer Range: Specify a range of permitted values for the answer.
  5. Allow Partial Credit: Allow partial credit for a specified partial credit range.
  6. Units Required: Check this box to require learners to provide a unit value.
  7. When finished, click Next to continue.

Defining Variables and Answer Sets

The next step is define your variables and answer sets:

Defining Variables: (Variables can be expressed in either normal or exponential notation)

  1. Variable Name: A list of variable names will appear here.
  2. Minimum Value: Specify the minimum value for each variable here:
  3. Maximum Value: Specify the maximum value for each variable here:
  4. Decimal Places: Specify the number of decimal places to display for each variable.

Answer Set Options:

  1. Calculate answers to: Specify the number of decimal places or significant digits to calculate the answer to.
  2. Number of answer sets: Specify the possible number of answer sets to generate to students.
  3. Correct answer format: Specify whether to express the answer in standard or exponential notation.

Finishing up:

  1. Go back: Click this button to return to the previous screen. Note: Changes on this page will not be saved.
  2. Cancel: Click this button to discard the question and return to the test canvas. Note: Changes to the question will not be saved.
  3. Calculate: Click this button to calculate values for new answer sets.
  4. Next: Click this button to proceed to the next step.

Editing Answer Sets

Edit answer sets: You will now be able to view the system generated answer sets.

  1. You can change any of the variable values by inputing new values
  2. To remove an answer set, click the Remove button.
  3. If you have change the variable values, click the Calculate button to calculate new answer values.

Editing Feedback, Categories and Notes

  1. Correct Response Feedback: Enter feedback to be shown to students when students respond correctly.
  2. Incorrect Response Feedback: Enter feedback to be shown to students when students respond incorrectly.
  3. Categories and Keywords: Click the Add button to add tags for Categories, Topics, Levels of Difficulty, and Keywords.
  4. Instructor Notes: Enter any notes in this field here. Only instructors can view information entered here.
  5. Go Back: Click this button to go back to the previous screen.
  6. Cancel: Click Cancel to discard the question
  7. Submit and Create Another: Click this button to save the question and create another question of the same type.
  8. Submit: Click this button to save the question and return to the test canvas.


The question you created will now appear on the test canvas. Click the Points value to change the number of points.