Center for Technology Enhanced Learning

Blackboard & Respondus

What is Respondus?

Respondus is a Windows-based (though it produces quizzes that, like most Blackboard materials, can be viewed by your students using either a Mac or PC) authoring tool that makes it easy to create and manage exams off-line for Blackboard.


Four campuses of the University of Maine system (USM, UMA, UMPI & UMFK) have formed a consortium for the Respondus software. IF you are at one of these four campuses, you are not able to download the software directly from the Respondus website.  Please contact the USM Help Desk and request the installation file and license information.

The Start Menu

Respondus Start

  1. Personality- Select the CMS being used with Respondus (Blackboard 8.x-9.x).
  2. Open- Open an existing Respondus file.
  3. Create- Create a new file.
  4. Exam Wizard- Create a new exam by copying questions from other Respondus files.
  5. Import Questions-Import questions from Word, RTF and other formats.
  6. Archive Wizard- Create a zip archive of a Respondus file, including all pictures and media.

Downloading a Publisher Test Bank

Many publisher test banks are available in Respondus format (free to instructors who adopt a participating textbook).
1. Open a browser and go to
2. Locate the area for the Respondus Test Bank Network.
3. Search for and select the textbook adopted in your course.
4. Submit the request form, including your textbook adoption information.
5. The publisher will email you a File Code and Password within 1-3 days.
6. When the File Code and Password is received, open Respondus and select the Open button.
7. Click the Download Test Bank button.
8. Enter the File Code and Password provided by the publisher and click the Download button. 
9. The test bank will now appear in the Projects folder in Respondus.
10. From the Start menu, use the Exam Wizard to select questions from the test bank.

Importing Questions from Other Formats

Existing questions can be imported from other file formats, such as Word. 

  1. From the Start menu, select Import.
  2. Select the Type of File being imported (MS Word, Rich Text or CSV).
  3. **Very important**  Make sure that the file to be imported follows the formatting guidelines provided in the online help of Respondus or click here for a PDF download of the settings
  4. Browse to and select the file being imported.
  5. Preview the import results to check for errors, and then click Finish to complete the import.

Using the Exam Wizard

Use the Exam Wizard to create a new exam by copying questions from other Respondus files (such as publisher test banks).

  1. From the Start menu, select the Exam Wizard.
  2. Select the first option to create a new exam and copy questions to it. Click Next.
  3. Enter a name and description for the new file. Click Next.
  4. Select the Respondus “source” files from where the exam questions will be copied. Click Next.
  5. From the pull-down list, select one of the source files from the previous step.
  6. Select either the Automatic Selection or Manual Selection option and then select questions from the source file.
  7. Add the selected questions to the list in the lower section by selecting Add to End of List or Insert into List.
  8. Repeat steps 5 to 7 until the desired questions are selected. Click Next.
  9. The new file has been created. Choose from the options shown and click Finish.

Overview of the Edit Menu The Publish Menu

respondus edit screen

  1. Toolbar - provides tools for formatting a question or adding equations, images or media files.
  2. Question Types -click a tab to view the template for each of the question types.
  3. Question Template - the question wording and content are entered in a template.
  4. Preview - displays the question as it will appear in an online assessment.
  5. Copy from another file - a tool for copying questions from another Respondus file.
  6. Question List - lists the questions in the file; click on a question title to edit it.

The Settings Menu

The Settings menu displays the exam settings available for the course management system (CMS) that was selected on the Start menu. Select the exam settings prior to publishing the exam to Blackboard.

The Publish Menu
  1. Preview - preview the exam before printing or publishing it.
  2. Publish to Blackboard - publish the exam to your online course using the Publish Wizard.
  3. Update Settings - update the settings for an existing exam.
  4. Print Options - print the exam or save it to MS Word or Rich Text Format.

Using the Publish Wizard

Use the Publish Wizard to publish exams directly to your online course.

  1. From the Preview & Publish menu, select the Publish to Blackboard tab and then click the Publish Wizard button.
  2. To publish the exam to a single course, select the Publish to single course option.
  3. Click the Edit Settings button if you haven’t previously provided server information for your online course.
  4. A screen will appear where you will first enter the URL for the login page of Blackboard (shown at the bottom of the previous page).
    • Then you will be prompted to go to the Control Panel of your Bb course and copy/paste that URL into the second box.
    • Enter a description for your server (“My Online Course”).
    • Enter your UNET User Name and Password.
    • Select the Remember my User Name and Password box IF it isn’t a shared computer.
    • Click the OK button to close the window and click Next to continue to the next page of the wizard.
  5. The wizard will display a screen that looks similar to the one below:
    • Choose the course from the pull-down list.
    • Enter a name for the exam or quiz.
    • Select additional options for the exam or quiz.
    • Click Next to continue.
  6. The exam will now be published to the specified course. When the publishing process is completed, click the Finish button.

Printing an Exam
  1. From the Preview & Publish menu, select the Print Options tab.
  2. Select an option: Exam or Exam with Answer Key or Answer Key only.
    • Click the Settings button to the right to further adjust the settings.
  3. Click the Edit Headers button to modify the text that will appear at the top of each page
  4. To print multiple variations of the exam (with randomized question orders in each), change the pull-down list to the desired number of exam variations.
  5. Click the Print Preview button to display the exam output in a window.
  6. Click the Save to File button to save the exam to Word, Rich Text Format or Text format. Or, click the Send to Printer button to print the exam directly.

Retrieving an Exam from Blackboard

Respondus will “retrieve” an exam from Blackboard, which then allows the file to be edited, published to another online course, or printed using Respondus.

  1. From the Retrieval & Reports menu, select the Retrieve Questions tab.
  2. Choose the Blackboard server from the list.
  3. Choose the appropriate Course from the list.
  4. Select the Exam from the list.
  5. Enter a name for the Respondus file that will be created once the exam is retrieved.
  6. Click the Retrieve button to complete the download process and to create the new Respondus file.

Support & Training Resources
  1. Online Help - press F1 in Respondus to get context-sensitive help.
  2. User Guide - download the Respondus user guide from
  3. Demo Movies - view demonstration and training movies at
  4. Knowledgebase 
  5. Respondus Test Banks 

Printer Friendly format (pdf)

Respondus Demo movie