Thursday, May 19, 2011

Experiments with Sakai Test & Quizzes export and import into Blackboard 9.1SP5

Objective: Sakai 2.7 Tests and Quizzes supports IMS QTI 1.2 export. Blackboard 9.1SP4 (or later) supports IMS Common Cartridge 1.1 import. Can we export a multiple choice test from Sakai and import it into Blackboard?

Short Answer: YES

Original Quiz in Sakai 2.7

Imported into Blackboard 9.1SP5

Rough details (getting fleshed out):

1. create a simple multiple choice quiz in Sakai 2.7, Tests and Quizzes

2. export quiz as IMS QTI 1.2 format, save it, e.g., exportAssessment.xml

3. create a course in Bb, create a simple multiple choice quiz in Bb 9.1

4. export the course as IMS Common Cartridge 1.x format, e.g., CommonCartridge_COURSEID_DATESTAMP.imscc

Packages and Utilities > Export/Archive Courses > Export Common Cartridge

I chose "Export as Common Cartridge 1.0"

this will serve as our IMS Common Cartridge "wrapper"

5. create a folder and unarchive the resulting Bb imscc

6. find the assessment resource in the imsmanifest.xml, e.g.,

identifier="ccres00001" type="imsqti_xmlv1p2/imscc_xmlv1p0/assessment"><file href="ccres00001/ccres00001.xml"/></resource>

7. edit the actual resource file. e.g., ccres00001/ccres00001.xml

8. keep the assessment ident tag (because it's reference in the imsmanifest.xml), replace the title with what you want (e.g., Sakai QTI Test)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<questestinterop xmlns="">
<assessment ident="ccres00001" title="Sakai QTI Test">

9. replace everything else with the Sakai exportAssessment.xml body (comment out Sakai's quetestinterop and assessment tags)

10. do a few tag modifications [to be fleshed out, magic here...]

11. zip the files into a new imscc (e.g., my.imscc)

$ zip -r my.imscc ccres00001/ csfiles/ imsmanifest.xml
adding: ccres00001/ (stored 0%)
adding: ccres00001/ccres00001.xml (deflated 92%)
adding: csfiles/ (stored 0%)
adding: csfiles/home_dir/ (stored 0%)
adding: imsmanifest.xml (deflated 58%)

12. As instructor, go into Blackboard > Packages and Utilities > Import Packages/View Logs > Import Package

import the new imscc, select [x] Tests, Surveys, and Pools and submit

13. cross-fingers and hope Blackboard likes your package, you can check the import logs to see a successful import

14. check the resulting quiz (questions, answers, score, etc).


  1. This article was quite helpful to me and gave me good understanding.

    I faced an issue, while creating assessment in Black Board. Following is what i did:

    1. Created an imsmanifest.xml using IMS CC 1.0
    2. Gave title of 2 different assessment as "Quiz"
    3. I am not able to see the assessment.

    Can a title "Quiz" can cause such error? As i notice if i deploy 1 assessment it works fine.

    Can someone help me?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. (Without looking at the IMS CC spec), my instinct would be that the imsmanfest would need two unique resources (e.g., ccres00001, ccres00002) and then corresponding ccres0000X subdirectories and files. And, of course, appropriate changes in each (ids, titles, etc).

  4. As per the documentation what you said is correct. However, after making the changes as you specified i was unable to see the assessments on blackboard. Title ("Quiz") for both assessments was same.

    However, when i rename one of the assessment title to "Quiz1" then both the assessments starts appearing.
    Also note that, the assessments were in different chapters of a course.
    Can't we have the same name for two assessments in different chapters of a course?

  5. Bb9 does let you have Tests with the same name. In a Bb9 site, I created two Tests, with the same name (Essay), but deployed to different content areas. I then did an IMS CC 1.0 export

    The export had two course resources, ccres00001 and ccres00002.

    ccres00001.xml had
    assessment ident="ccres00001" title="Essay"

    ccres00002.xml had
    assessment ident="ccres00002" title="Essay"

    so it should not matter that the title is the same.

  6. That's correct. However, my question was for same titles in imsmanifest.xml

    <item identifier="itm00001" identifierref="ccres00001"> <title>Quiz</title>

    <item identifier="itm00002" identifierref="ccres00002"> <title>Quiz</title>

    The above items are in different content areas but are not view able on blackboard. However, if i rename the second item title to "Quiz1" then both the assessments starts appearing.

  7. In context of my previous comment, can't we have the same title in imsmanifest.xml for two items in different content areas?

  8. Hi Nikhil,

    I did a example Bb 9.1 CC 1.0 export with assessments with the same title in the same content area. It's possible to have the same title in the same content area in the imsmanifest.xml. Unfortunately, formatting in blogger is quite painful so I cannot easily cut-and-paste my example in comments.

    Where are you doing your testing? It's easy enough to get a Bb9 site on to generate your own CC packages.

    - Ian

  9. Hi Nikhil,

    I'm going to have to retract that last statement. 8-)

    I took my sample CC package that was exported out of Bb 9.1SP5 - where the Content Area had the same assessment title twice - and then imported it into - only had one assessment appear.

    - Ian

  10. re: import into course sites.

    The sample assessment appears twice in the course, however, the first assessment was deployed to the content area.

    So it seems there's an inherent limitation in the import of the CC where the assessment title is the same and deployed to the same content area.

    - Ian

  11. My sample CC (exported from our Bb, imported into coursesites), where the same titled assessment is deployed to two different content areas, exhibits the same problem on import. Both assessments will appear in Tests, but only the first one gets deployed to the Content Area.