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calendar with exam date circled

The disruption due to hurricane Ida may be forcing you to rethink how you will administer tests and quizzes in your courses during the disruption. When classes resume this week, many faculty will move to meeting with their classes remotely at the regularly assigned class time or perhaps move to asynchronous class meetings.

One question we have been asked is about administering quizzes, tests, and exams in Brightspace. The Quizzes Tool in Brightspace enables you to create and manage points-measured assessments in your courses. We held two workshops on using the Quizzes Tool. ICYMI, you can watch a recording of the workshops:

Other workshop recordings that may be of interest:

For recommendations to improve the use of assessments in virtual environments and decrease concerns regarding cheating read my Assessments in a Virtual Environment blog post.

There are a number of how-to resources for the Quizzes tool on our Brightspace documents page.

I have posted many tips about the Quizzes tool. I’ve highlighted some of the tips that may be of particular interest to you:

There are many ways you can leverage the inherent features within Brightspace to encourage independent work during online exams. In a Faculty Focus article, Dr. Stephanie Smith Budhai suggests 14 simple strategies to use when setting up online exams that you may find helpful.

Respondus LockDown Browser (RLDB) and Respondus Monitor are integrated into our Brightspace system. If you are looking to use RLDB/Respondus Monitor to secure the testing environment, you will find information in the following tips that may help:

ICYMI, I recommend that you read my Rethinking Multiple-Choice Tests for Better Learning Assessment blog post for information on using higher-order multiple-choice questions for assessments.

Important: Don't assume your students know how to take an online test. If you plan to have your students take an online test, you should require your students take a practice quiz before they take the first online test that will count towards their final grade. Your practice quiz should have a few questions in it to simulate what the student would experience when taking an actual exam. Include the types of questions you will ask on an actual test or quiz (e.g., multiple choice, true/false, short answer, written response, etc.) Use settings similar to those you will use on an actual test or quiz (e.g., questions per page, no backtracking, etc.)

By taking the practice quiz students can ensure that their computers, webcam (if required), and internet are working properly. Allow unlimited attempts on the practice quiz, so students can take it whenever their device or networking environment changes.

Students should be given the opportunity to take the practice quiz well in advance of the first online test that will count towards their final grade so that they will have ample opportunity to correct any technical issues.

Require students to review this Guide to Taking Tests in Brightspace before they take the first online test that will count towards their final grade.

Offering a practice quiz with question types and settings like you plan to use in online tests that will count towards the final grade can help ensure students will be familiar with taking an online test in your course. Remember the purpose of the practice quiz is to simulate taking an online test so the questions you include in your practice quiz should be questions your students can easily answer.

Additionally, Release Conditions is an advanced feature you can consider using if you want Brightspace to automatically release the test the students will be graded on when the student has completed one attempt at the practice quiz. Your availability dates will restrict when your tests are available to the students. You can find more information about Release Conditions in Brightspace Tip #237: Release Conditions.

Want More Information?

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Instructors Quick Start Tutorial
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.

Image credit: image by geralt from Pixabay

power off button

I am writing this blog post as a follow up to Brightspace Tip #216: Use Submission Views to Show Quiz Results. As you may know, Submission Views are created to allow students to go back and review a submitted quiz. The Limited Duration option allows the instructor to choose what information the student sees immediately after completing the quiz (i.e., after the student clicks on the Submit Quiz button).

Additional Views are created with a specified release date and time that allow instructors to determine what students can see when they go back to review a quiz. Currently, there isn’t an option to set an end date for a Submission View. Therefore, a Submission View is active until the system encounters a subsequent Submission View with a later date/time making it the active view.

Better practice when setting up Submission Views is to create a “Shutdown View”. This ensures that quiz questions and answers are not available past the time the instructor plans to have it available. A Shutdown View will eliminate the need for the instructor to remember to delete Submission Views when they are past their usefulness.

Well-structured Submission Views for an exam where the instructor wants students to be able to see the quiz questions and user responses for a limited amount of time could look like this:

Example of an exam that is available for a limited amount of time for students to review
Example of an exam that is available for a limited amount of time for students to review

In the example above, the testing period for the quiz ends on April 3rd at 6 PM. The “After Testing Period Ends” Submission View will be active on April 5th at 6 AM. The Shutdown View will be active April 6th at 11:59 PM. Students will be able to see the quiz questions with their responses in between April 5th at 6 AM and April 6th at 11:59 PM.

Creating a “Shutdown View” with an end of the semester date/time is good practice if you are planning to copy a course with quizzes that have Submission Views into another course. This ensures that a quiz with a Shutdown View will force you to update the Submission View settings in the course you are copying to. Thus reducing the possibility that you have a Submission View enabled before you want it to be. Even if you do not plan on reusing the exam in the future, setting up a “Shutdown View” is a better practice that can prevent future problems.

Example of an exam with an End of Semester Shutdown Submission View
Example of an exam with an End of Semester Shutdown Submission View

Did you know you can use the Manage Dates tool to edit dates in bulk? Also, the Manage Dates tool provides you with a quick way to see which quizzes have Submission Views set. You can edit Submission Views from the Manage Dates tool as well.

Example of quiz with Submission View dates displayed in the Other Dates column of the Manage Dates tool
Example of quiz with Submission View dates displayed in the Other Dates column of the Manage Dates tool

Want more information?

Brightspace Tip #216: Use Submission Views to Show Quiz Results
Setting a Submission View
Customize Submission Views (video)
How to view a completed test submission (pdf)
Brightspace Tip #74: Manage Dates

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.

Image Credit: "Shutdown Button" by inky2010 from OpenClipArt

try again directional sign

Instructors have the option to give learners multiple quiz attempts in order to improve their test scores. A new option for Quizzes Attempt settings that allows learners to only retake their incorrectly answered questions from previous quiz attempts is a new feature that was implemented in our November Continuous Delivery Update. Instructors can select this new option in the Assessment tab of a quiz. When the Retake Incorrect Questions Only check box is selected for subsequent quiz attempts, each learner only sees the questions they had previously answered incorrectly in the same order as the initial attempt (including quizzes with random sections and random questions).

When grading a Retake Incorrect Questions Only quiz attempt, the instructor can only provide a score for the questions answered on this attempt. If you are using Automatic grading, Written Response questions will be marked as 0 and included in future attempts until they are graded manually.

A learner's score for a Retake Incorrect Questions Only attempt remains at minimum, the score they had on the previous attempt. Correctly answered questions on the Retake Incorrect Questions Only attempt add to the learner's attempts score. The Quiz Overall Grade is calculated using the overall grade calculation option the instructor selects (i.e., Highest Attempt, Lowest Attempt, First Attempt, Last Attempt, or the Average of all Attempts).

The Retake Incorrect Questions Only option can be selected when setting Attempts Allowed
The Retake Incorrect Questions Only option can be selected when setting Attempts Allowed

The "Average of all Attempts" can be used to give the student partial marks for questions that were not answered correctly on the first attempt. For example, you create a quiz worth 100 total points, allows 2 attempts, the Retake Incorrect Questions Only option is checked, and the “Average of all Attempts” is selected for the overall grade calculation. A learner takes the quiz and scores 75 out of 100 points on the first attempt. When the learner takes the second attempt, they will only be able to answer the questions that were answered incorrectly on the previous attempt. In this case, the learner will be able to answer the incorrect questions from the first attempt. Let’s assume the learner answered a few more questions correctly and earned a score of 85 out of 100 points on the second attempt. The overall grade for the quiz is 80%, which is the average of the two attempts (75 + 85 = 160 ÷ 200 = 80%). Assume the learner did not answer any of the first attempt's incorrectly answered questions correctly on the second attempt, their overall score would be 75%. When using the Retake Incorrect Questions Only attempt option the overall score will remain at a minimum, the score they had on the previous attempt.

The Users tab indicates the retaken attempts for the quiz
The Users tab indicates the retaken attempts for the quiz

A learner view of a Retake Incorrect Questions Only quiz attempt
A learner view of a Retake Incorrect Questions Only quiz attempt

If this post has piqued your interest, you may be interested in these articles that provide information on the pros and cons of allowing learners to retake tests:

Want more information?

Understanding Quizzes in Brightspace
Brightspace Tip #215: Quizzes - Question Types and When to Use Them
Brightspace Tip #184: Test/Quiz Question Generator
Brightspace Tip #209: Quiz Availability and Timing
Brightspace Tip #214: Quizzes – Set Accommodations by Learner for All Quizzes
Brightspace Tip #207: Quizzes – Special Access

Best Practices: The Quiz Tool
Quizzes Tool for Instructors (video tutorials)

Back to Basics: Tests and Quizzes (workshop recording)
Beyond the Basics: Complex Tests in Brightspace (workshop recording)

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.

Image credit: "try again sign" by jflorent is dedicated to the public domain under CC0 and is a derivative of directory by geralt from Pixabay

Submission views can be created to allow students to go back and review a submitted quiz. Customizing the submission view allows instructors to choose what information the student sees upon completing the quiz, as well as what they can see when they go back to review a quiz. The default submission view shows the overall score to the student (when they submit their quiz) and nothing else. To release more information to students (i.e. feedback, their submitted answers, the answers to each question, class averages and statistics, etc.) you need to either edit the default submission view or set up an additional submission view.

The Default View is what students see immediately upon submitting their quiz. The Default View typically does not allow students to see answers to a quiz, but does allow them to view their score on auto-graded items. If you adjust the Default View to allow students to see the answers to a quiz, keep in mind the Default View is what students see as soon as they submit their quiz. Thus, showing answers in the Default View while the quiz is still in progress would reveal answers to the quiz before ALL students have submitted the quiz.

submission view - additional view

Additional Views can be created with a specified release date and time that allows instructors to release information, or answers, after a certain time. For example, an Additional View could be created for after all students have submitted the quiz (i.e., after the quiz is closed) to allow students to view which questions they answered correctly and/or incorrectly, as well as answers to questions. Another Additional View could also be created to allow students to see the class statistics and could be set to release at the end of the semester. If a quiz has multiple attempts, you can also specify a score required on an attempt in order to release the submission view.

I recommend you create an Additional View and name it “Shutdown View”. For the Shutdown View you would select "No" for the Show Questions option (in the View Details section) and enter the date/time you would like the first additional view to close to your students (in the View Restrictions section). This additional view will “shutdown” the first additional view as only the most recent submission view is the active one. This will ensure that your quiz questions and answers are not available past the time you plan to have it available. You may decide that you want the submission view to be available to your students through the end of the semester. In this case, I suggest creating a “Shutdown View” with an end of semester date/time. Creating a “Shutdown View” with an end of the semester date/time is good practice if you are planning to copy a course with quizzes that have submission views into another course. This ensures that a quiz with a Shutdown View will force you to update the settings in the course you are copying to. Thus reducing the possibility that you have a submission view enabled before you want it to be.

Important Notes:

  • Submission Views DO NOT take effect until the quiz scores have been published. The “Allow attempt to be set as graded immediately upon completion” option must be checked. This option is found in the Assessment tab.
  • The Limited Duration option allows students to only be able to access the submission view for a short period immediately after completing the quiz. This option SHOULD NOT be used if you want students to review at a future date/time. In this case you should set up an additional view for the date/time you want the view to start AND set up a “Shutdown View”.
  • You should provide students with instructions on how to view a completed test submission.

Want more information?

Setting a Submission View
Customize Submission Views (video)
How to view a completed test submission (pdf)

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.

question types

The Quizzes tool enables you to create and manage points-measured assessments. As part of your quantifiable assessment procedures, you can use quizzes to help evaluate students’ learning progress and learning outcomes.

Quizzes are often thought to only be useful for quick knowledge checks. However, the Quizzes tool has eleven question types that allow you to test different levels of knowledge. The question types available in the Quizzes tool are:

  • True or False (T/F)
  • Multiple Choice (MC)
  • Multi-Select (M-S)
  • Written Response (WR)
  • Short Answer (SA)
  • Multi-Short Answer (MSA)
  • Fill in the Blanks (FIB)
  • Matching (MAT)
  • Ordering (ORD)
  • Arithmetic (2+2)
  • Significant Figures (x10)

What Question Type Should You Use?

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a model that is used to classify different levels of comprehension, starting with the lower levels such as remembering and understanding, and then moving upwards to create/evaluate. You should select question types according to what level of understanding you want to practice.

Information Technology Services at Algonquin College developed a resource that goes through in detail, matching question types to the levels of Bloom's Taxonomy they practice. The table below shows the question types they suggest for the level of Bloom's Taxonomy you want to practice:

TABLE 1: Mapping Bloom's Taxonomy to Brightspace Question Types
Bloom's Taxonomy Question Types
Create WR
Evaluate M-S, WR, MAT, and ORD
Analyze MC, M-S, and WR
Apply MC, WR, FIB, MAT, ORD, 2+2, and x10
Understand MC, M-S, SA, FIB, 2+2, and x10
Remember T/F, MC, M-S, SA, and FIB

If this has piqued your interest, you can find more information on mapping your questions to the best quiz question type for your assessment in this Question Types & When to Use Them resource from Algonquin College.

Additionally, the Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning at Memorial University of Newfoundland created a Question Types in Brightspace resource that explains the question types, highlights their strengths and challenges, provide some tips to consider when choosing to use a question type, including the average time to allot for each question item type.

Some question types have grading options associated with them. It may be helpful to review this Understanding Grading Options for Question Types article from the Brightspace Community if you plan to use the Quizzes tool for your tests/exams.

ICYMI, follow these links to watch a recording of our Back to Basics: Tests and Quizzes and Beyond the Basics: Complex Tests in Brightspace training sessions.

Want more information?

Understanding Quizzes in Brightspace
Question Types & When to Use Them
Question Types in Brightspace
Understanding Grading Options for Question Types
Brightspace Tip #184: Test/Quiz Question Generator
Best Practices: The Quiz Tool
Quizzes Tool for Instructors (video tutorials)
Back to Basics: Tests and Quizzes (workshop recording)
Beyond the Basics: Complex Tests in Brightspace (workshop recording)

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.

Our February 2021 Continuous Delivery Update included a new feature that enables instructors to grant quiz accommodations to learners through the Classlist tool. Instructors can assign accommodations to specific learners that apply across all quizzes instead of applying them on a quiz by quiz basis.

The new Edit Accommodations option in the Classlist
The new Edit Accommodations option in the Classlist

Accommodation options currently available include: more time to complete quizzes at the course level and the ability to bypass right-click restrictions in quizzes. The right-click restriction in quizzes is the ability for learners to right-click in the quiz while taking the quiz.

The new Edit Accommodations dialog box
The new Edit Accommodations dialog box

Once granted, these accommodations apply to all quiz activities in a course for that learner. The additional time can be applied in terms of quiz time multipliers (for example, 1.5x quiz time) or +minutes (for example, an additional 30 minutes) on every quiz in a course.

Quiz-specific Special Access can overwrite an accommodation for any user on a quiz-by-quiz basis. You will see the learner's accommodation when you view the Special Access for the quiz.

Accommodations indicator in Special Access
An example of how Accommodations set for a learner in Classlist will show up in the Special Access for a quiz

When you overwrite an accommodation (through Special Access) and then click Save, a warning describing the impact of overwriting an accommodation appears.

D2L has announced that further accommodation options and enhancements are planned for this year.

Want more information?

Set Up Brightspace Accommodations by Learner for All Quizzes
Brightspace Tip #207: Quizzes – Special Access
Resources for the Quizzes Tool

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.

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.

Did you know Special Access is an option available in the Quizzes tool that allows the instructor to grant learners special accommodations? Special Access allows the instructor to assign specific learners a different set of quiz availability dates, late submission properties, and/or time limits. The instructor can change Start, End, and Due dates; the "Recommended Time Limit" and "Enforced Time Limit" timing settings; and the number of attempts allowed for a quiz to provide allowances for different needs of learners.

special access options in quizzes
Special Access options in Quizzes

  1. Select Allow selected users special access to this quiz if you want to give certain students different submission options from the rest of the class.
  2. Select Allow only users with special access to see this quiz if only certain students are allowed to see this quiz.
  3. Click Add Users to Special Access to select students who will get the special access.

NOTE: Instructors can exempt individual learners from the requirement to use the Respondus LockDown Browser when taking a quiz. Follow these instructions to add Special Access to quizzes that require Respondus LockDown Browser (RLDB).

Want more information?

Special Access in Quizzes
Grant Special Access to Users for a Quiz (video)
Add Special Access to quizzes that require Respondus LockDown Browser
Brightspace Tip #214: Quizzes – Set Accommodations by Learner for All Quizzes

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.

Updated: 2/28/2021

Do you want your students to take a quiz or test online? Do you have a test that you normally administer on paper and you don’t want to retype all the questions into Brightspace. Learning and Teaching Services at Algonquin College developed a Test/Quiz Question Generator that provides an easy way of creating a collection of questions that can be imported into Brightspace.

the word test written in chalk on a chalkboard

Quiz questions have to be in a special format in order to be imported into Brightspace. The Test/Quiz Question Generator allows you to reformat your questions and it will create a CSV file that can be imported into Brightspace. Refer to this question types and formatting guide for information on how to format your questions.

If you want to save time creating tests and quizzes by not having to retype test questions into Brightspace, try the Test/Quiz Question Generator.

ICYMI, follow these links to watch a recording of our Back to Basics: Tests and Quizzes and Beyond the Basics: Complex Tests in Brightspace training sessions.

Want more information?

Test/Quiz Question Generator
Question types and formatting guide (for the Test/Quiz Question Generator)
Quizzes, Surveys, and Question Libraries

View all the Brightspace training recaps
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.

Image credit: image by geralt from Pixabay

A number of questions about quiz availability and time restrictions have come up recently. In particular, I’ve been 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 and your students are expected to take their final exam within the two hour window that is published in the final exam schedule. You want the students to be able to take their exams during this two hour exam window. 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 your exam is scheduled for Dec 2nd from 8 am - 10 am and you are okay with the students starting their exam during the first 15 minutes of the testing period. The start date/time for this example would be Dec 2nd at 8 am. The end date/time would be set to Dec 2nd at 8:15 am. 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 120 minutes to complete the exam once they start it. A student who starts the exam at 8:10 am would have until 10:10 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 our 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 90 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”.

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?

Quizzes, Surveys, and Question Libraries
Grant Special Access to Users for a Quiz (video)
Best Practices: The Quiz Tool
Quizzes FAQ

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