Blackboard Q&A: What’s the difference between question sets, random blocks and pools?

Many MCC online courses now have tests in question sets, a product of the ANGEL-to-Blackboard migration. Question sets are not the same as random blocks, however, and we’ve had some issues with them, including not being able to export tests in question sets. (But we can export tests that are a list of questions.)

So we may, slowly but surely, work away from question sets as instructors replace exams. But as you create new tests, you may want to use a random block to pull a set of questions from a question pool.

Each existing test in a course doubles as a pool (but not all pools are tests) and you can create a new test by reusing questions in a set or in a block. The block pulls 15, say, random questions from a larger pool of 100.

If you have further questions or would like help getting your test questions out of sets, please contact


Alex is online course support technician at IDS, working to support all online, hybrid and LMS-enhanced instructors and students in using Blackboard and several media servers. She's also the administrator for the MCC Blogs network. You can reach her at

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Posted in Blackboard, Blackboard Learn for instructors
2 comments on “Blackboard Q&A: What’s the difference between question sets, random blocks and pools?
  1. […] Differentiating question sets, blocks and pools […]

  2. […] unless you have a specific idea for your test in mind — question sets can make things tricky and random blocks are specifically for “pulling” 20 questions, say, out of a pool of […]

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