Skip to content

I usually get a lot of questions about quiz availability and time restrictions. In particular, I am asked to clarify the quiz availability and timing options. I’m writing this blog post to provide some clarification on this.

The availability settings are used by Brightspace to determine when to make the link to the quiz available for the students to click on to start the exam. The timing options are used to determine how much time the student will have to take the exam. Availability and timing work independently of each other. If the availability date/time is set for a two hour exam window, then the student will be able to start the exam anytime during that two hour window and the timing will determine how long they have to take the exam. Brightspace IS NOT going to subtract the time the student started the exam and then limit the testing period to the remainder of the time. A student will have the entire time to take the exam regardless of when they started it.

Example of availability dates for an exam
Example of availability dates for an exam

The way in which the availability and timing options work may be more of a concern for faculty who are teaching a remote class and their students are expected to take their exams on a given day at a given time. For example, you have a course that is being taught remotely. Your class meets 8:00 am until 9:15 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Your students are expected to take their exams during the regular class meeting time. You can restrict the time students have to start the exam. You will have to decide how long students would have to start the exam. Let’s assume you are okay with the students starting their exam during the first 15 minutes of the class meeting time. The start time for this example would be 8 am on the testing day. The end time would be set to 8:15 am on the testing day. This means the students would have this 15 minute window to start their exam.

Example of an enforced time limit for an exam
Example of an enforced time limit for an exam

Your timing options would be set to give the students 75 minutes to complete the exam once they start it. A student who starts the exam at 8:10 am would have until 9:25 am to complete it.

A student who tries to start the exam after 8:15 am will NOT be able to start the exam because the link will no longer be available. Likewise, a student who has an internet connectivity issue while taking the exam will not be able to get back into the exam after 8:15 am (to pick up where they left off) because the link will no longer be available. In those cases, you would have to use the “Add Users to Special Access” option to grant the student access to the exam. The Add Users to Special Access option would allow you to change the length of time the student has to take the test and/or to open the exam back up for a student who had connectivity issues.

Continuing with my example, you have a student who notifies you at 8:30 am that they are late and want to be able to take the exam. You would edit the exam, click on the Add Users to Special Access button (on the Restrictions tab), and change the timing to allow the student the remaining 45 minutes to complete the exam. You would also have to change the end date/time for that particular student's special access in order for the link to the exam to be available to that student.

NOTE: The type of access would NOT be changed when allowing the student to take the exam. The “Type of Access” would still be “Allow selected users special access to this quiz”. More information about Special Access for quizzes can be found in this blog post.

Example of special access for an exam
Example of special access for an exam

Finally, I think it is a good idea to explain the availability and timing options that you decide to set for your exams to your students. This could eliminate confusion about the testing options and what to expect when taking the exam.

Want more information?

About Quizzes
Birghtspace Tip #207: Quizzes - Special Access
Grant Special Access to Users for a Quiz (video)
Best Practices: The Quiz Tool
Quizzes FAQ

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Instructors Quick Start Tutorial
Continuous Delivery release notes
Brightspace Known Issues
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
You can find Brightspace help at D2L's website.
Join the Brightspace Community.
Try these Brightspace How-To documents.
Visit our Brightspace FAQs for additional Brightspace information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

Note: Are you doing something innovative in Brightspace or perhaps you've discovered a handy tip? Share how you are using Brightspace in your teaching and learning in The Orange Room.

"Drip-feeding" is a term you will likely hear in association with online and hybrid learning. While the term "drip-feeding" is new to many people, most are familiar with the concept.

drops of water dripping slowly from a faucet

Drip-feeding is "scheduled lesson delivery." Essentially, instructors can determine when they want certain content in their courses to become available. Instructors can configure their course content and then set-up the sequential delivery of that content. Once set-up, the Learning Management System (LMS) will auto-drip the content to students without any more work by the instructor.

Utilizing date/time restrictions allow instructors to create content at a time that is convenient to them and make it visible to students at the appropriate time. This can be very handy because instructors can set-up their course content well in advance of when they want it to be available to their students. For example, create all the course content at the beginning of the semester, set the date/time restrictions, and then let Brightspace auto-drip the content.

The availability dates in Brightspace control when items are available to students. There are three types of availability dates, they are:

  • Start dates: These dates specify when a student can see the item. Students will see that the item exists, but they cannot open it beforehand.
  • Due dates: These dates specify when a student should complete an item. The dates will appear in the course calendar and students will be able to see and submit their work after the date has passed.
  • End dates: These dates restrict access to the item. They remove all access once the date has passed.

Some instructors may be hesitant to set date/time restrictions for the entire semester because assignment dates/times may need to be adjusted as the semester progresses. This means, the instructors would have to go into the content items to adjust the dates/times when necessary. The Manage Dates tool can simplify this process. The Manage Dates tool allows instructors to easily change due dates and availability dates at one time (all on one page). The Manage Dates tool will save instructors some time as they will not have to edit each individual item to adjust the dates/times.

Drip-feeding works well for courses that contain complex material that students need time to digest and complete. In this case, drip-feeding content may help your students not to feel overwhelmed.

Want More Information?

How to Add Dates and Release Conditions to a Modules and Topics
Brightspace Tip #74: Manage Dates

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Brightspace Known Issues
Continuous Delivery release notes
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
You can find Brightspace help at D2L's website.
Join the Brightspace Community.
Try these Brightspace How-To documents.
Visit our Brightspace FAQs for additional Brightspace information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

Note: Are you doing something innovative in Brightspace or perhaps you've discovered a handy tip? Share how you are using Brightspace in your teaching and learning in The Orange Room.

Photo credit: "faucetdrip" by Bree Kenyon is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

"Drip-feeding" is a term you will likely hear in association with online and hybrid learning. While the term "drip-feeding" is new to many people, most are familiar with the concept.

a drop of water

Drip-feeding is "scheduled lesson delivery." Essentially, instructors can determine when they want certain content in their courses to become available. Instructors can configure their course content and then set-up the sequential delivery of that content. Once set-up, the Learning Management System (LMS) will auto-drip the content to students without any more work by the instructor.

Utilizing date/time restrictions allow instructors to create content at a time that is convenient to them and make it visible to students at the appropriate time. This can be very handy because instructors can set-up their course content well in advance of when they want it to be available to their students. For example, create all the course content at the beginning of the semester, set the date/time restrictions, and then let Brightspace auto-drip the content.

The availability dates in Brightspace control when items are available to students. There are three types of availability dates, they are:

  • Start dates: These dates specify when a student can see the item. Students will see that the item exists, but they cannot open it beforehand.
  • Due dates: These dates specify when a student should complete an item. The dates will appear in the course calendar and students will be able to see and submit their work after the date has passed.
  • End dates: These dates restrict access to the item. They remove all access once the date has passed.

Some instructors may be hesitant to set date/time restrictions for the entire semester because assignment dates/times may need to be adjusted as the semester progresses. This means, the instructors would have to go into the content items to adjust the dates/times when necessary. The Manage Dates tool can simplify this process. The Manage Dates tool allows instructors to easily change due dates and availability dates at one time (all on one page). The Manage Dates tool will save instructors some time as they will not have to edit each individual item to adjust the dates/times.

Drip-feeding course content will not work for every situation. However, if you think it can work for you, give it a try.

Want More Information?

How to Add Dates and Release Conditions to a Modules and Topics
Manage Dates
View all the Brightspace training recaps
Brightspace Known Issues
Continuous Delivery release notes
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
You can find Brightspace help at D2L's website.
Join the Brightspace Community.
Try these Brightspace How-To documents.
Visit our Brightspace FAQs for additional Brightspace information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

1

If you setup a discussion forum with date and time restrictions, once the scheduled available time has passed the forum becomes unavailable and disappears from the student's view. If you would like students to be able to read posts once the date restriction has past but not be able to submit new posts, you can "lock" the discussion thread to prevent new posts. Students may read the threads but not make any additions or modifications.

image showing how to lock db thread

Follow these steps to do it.

To lock discussion board threads, you should:

  1. Open the Forum in the Discussion Board.
  2. Select the threads you want to lock (you can select all threads by checking the box to the left of “Date” in the header).
  3. Click the [Thread Actions] menu button and choose [Lock] from the list. Verify the status under the discussion board shows "Locked".
  4. Once you have successfully locked the thread, remember to go back and edit the forum to remove the date and time restrictions so that the students can see the threads.

Want more information?

Step-by-step instructions are available [PDF].
Drip-feeding course contents to students.
Explore Blackboard’s On Demand Learning Center.
Check out help for instructors at help.blackboard.com.
Try these Blackboard How-To documents.
Visit the Blackboard FAQs for additional blackboard information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

1

"Drip-feeding" is a term you will likely hear in association with online and hybrid learning. While the term "drip-feeding" is new to many people, most are familiar with the concept.

faucet with water dripping slowing

Drip-feeding is "scheduled lesson delivery." Essentially, professors can determine when they want certain content in their courses to become available. Professors can configure their course content and then set-up the sequential delivery of that content. Once set-up, the Learning Management System (LMS) will auto-drip the content to students without any more work by the professor.

The “Date and Time Restrictions” in Blackboard control when items are available to students. Utilizing date/time restrictions allow faculty to create content at a time that is convenient to them and make it visible to students at the appropriate time. This can be very handy because faculty can set-up their course content well in advance of when they want it to be available to their students. For example, create all the course content at the beginning of the semester, set the date/time restrictions, and then let Blackboard auto-drip the content.

Some professors may be hesitant to set date/time restrictions for the entire semester because assignment dates/times may need to be adjusted as the semester progresses. This means, the professor would have to go into the content items to adjust the dates/times when necessary. The Date Management tool can simplify this process. The Date Management tool allows professors to easily change due dates, availability dates, and adaptive release dates at one time (all on one page). The Date Management tool will save professors some time as they will not have to edit each individual item to adjust the dates/times. My Bb Tip #125: Date Management blog post explains how to use this tool.

Drip-feeding course content will not work for every situation. However, if you think it can work for you, give it a try.

Follow these steps to do it.

To set Date and Time Restrictions, you should:

  1. Log in to Blackboard and access the relevant area of your course.
  2. Add new content or edit existing content.
  3. In the Options section, you will find the option to Select Date and Time Restrictions. Select the availability options you require: Display After, Display Until or both.
  4. navigation

  5. Use the date picker to select the date you want the content to be available.
  6. navigation
  7. Use the time picker to select the time you want the content to be available.
  8. navigation
  9. Click [Submit] to save the changes.

Want more information?

Explore Blackboard’s On Demand Learning Center.
Check out help for instructors at help.blackboard.com.
Try these Blackboard How-To documents.
Visit the Blackboard FAQs for additional blackboard information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

Photo credit: work found at ndbutter / CC BY NC-ND 2.0