Overview of Question Pools


Purpose of Pools

A pool is a collection of test, assignment, and survey questions that can serve as a resource to create assessments from.

You can create many pools in your courses and group them by chapter, week, unit, quiz, difficulty, or question types. Some instructors create pools (a.k.a. test banks) for every quiz or test that they will administer. Others create pools for every unit in their course. 

Once you have a large collection of pools, you can create all kinds of assessments on-the-fly – pulling from one or many pools randomly, manually, or both. For example, for your mid-term and final exam, you may not need to create new pools. You could select specific or random questions from several of your pools to be served to students. As another example, you can create a test that draws 20 questions randomly from five pools that have a total of 400 questions, and select manually 5 questions to be included in the same test. Essentially, this allows you to ensure that all students get served a set of random questions and the 5 specific questions.  

The more questions you have in a pool, the stronger your assessments will be. This is important to reduce opportunities for cheating in your classes.  

Working with Pools

It is a good idea to give some thought to the organization of your pools prior to getting started. 

Some things to consider:

  1. All questions within a pool are the same number of points (except questions marked as survey questions are always worth 0 points regardless of the point value of the pool they are residing in). However, you can set different points per question when you use them in an assessment (under the Assessments view) later.
  2. All questions within a pool will be marked the same difficulty, so it might be best not to mix essay and objective questions in the same pool.
  3. You can create as many pools as you want/need.
  4. Pools are site-aware, meaning that you only work with and view pools for the course site you’re in.
  5. You will be able to import pools from one site to another, thus allowing you to re-use and build upon pools from other sites that you own, if desired. Changes made in one site’s pools do not affect pools in other sites.

Note: “Import from site” works the same way for AT&S as it does in other tools, such as schedule, modules, announcements, etc. Copies of all the contents of a tool are copied from one site to another. Therefore, when you import the contents of AT&S into a site, you bring in unique copies of pools, assessments, and their settings into the new site. This allows you to make changes to pools or assessments in one site without compromising the integrity of copies in other sites.

Create a Pool

Click on the Question Pools link at the top of the AT&S page.

Click on the Add Pool link.

Starting out with no pools yet

The Edit Pool page appears.

Fill in the Pool Title, Description (optional but useful), Point Value, and Difficulty fields.
 Edit Pools

If you forget to enter a point value, you will be alerted to do so. If you still don’t enter a point value, the questions in this pool will be assigned 0.0 points, and you will be alerted about it. Again, you can assign points to your questions when you use them in an assessment later, as well. However, if you know the point value of your questions, you can set it now and these values will be auto-populated in the assessments where you use these questions.

Click Done to return to Question Pools list page. Your newly added (empty) pool will be listed.

Question Pools List

The question pool list shows all pools created. Some things to note here:

  • If you included a description, it shows here. If you didn’t, that description area for the pool will be blank.
  • The number of questions is listed.
  • The number of points per question is listed.
  • The difficulty level is listed.
  • Click on the Edit icon to change any of the pool properties you already set.
  • Click Duplicate if you want an exact copy of a pool to build another.
  • Click pool title to add questions to the pool.

Pools list view

On the Question Pools list page, click on the title of a pool to view its contents.

To add a question, click on the Add Question link at the top of the page.

Add questions to pools view

There are seven question types. How to author each question type is described in the next few sections.  

To add a question to a pool, choose a question type and click OK.

Choose Question Type

After you author the question, click on Done at the bottom of the page to return to the list of questions in the pool, or click on Add Another to add another question in the same pool. 

You will be returned to the question pool. All the questions you’ve created will be listed

You can sort the list by Question (A-Z) or Type (M/C, T/F, Essay, etc.) 

Question List

If you included titles to your questions in authoring (optional field), you can sort the questions in a pool by ‘Title’. 

sort by question title

To edit a question, click on the question’s text (blue hot link) to open it in author view.

When you’re done adding questions to a pool, you can click the Return button at the bottom of the list to go back to the list of pools, or you can click on any of the action links at the menu bar to perform other actions.


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