Pools, Questions & Tests

1. How do I get started building Pools, Questions and Tests?
2. How do I reuse questions for a test?
3. What are the best practices I should adopt for conducting an exam?
4. What are the best practices for conducting an exam (in a short list)?
5. What are best practices for large randomized exams?
6. Where can I go for more information before I run an exam?
7. How can I create proper mulitiple choice questions?

1. How do I get started building Pools, Questions and Tests?

Download the PDF: Working with Pools, Questions and Tests


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2. How do I reuse questions for a test?

Download the PDF: Reusing Questions for Tests
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3. What are the best practices I should adopt for conducting an exam?

Download the PDF: Best Practices for Exams
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4. What are the best practices for conducting an exam (in a short list)?

  • Give an exam one question at a time. This ensures that the user's java session is continuously updated and the likelihood of system timeouts is lessened.
  • Students should SAVE answer every 5 minutes or so, especially when answering an essay question. They CAN change the answer after a save. This resets the timer for the exam (default of 90 minutes). Current system does have an autosave feature to save exam answers, but saving answers is STRONGLY encouraged. If a network connection is lost, students will not be able to save their answers. Best option is to restart immediately and then continue.  Students should NOT keep working without a restart. If status doesn't change to "Answer Saved", then network connection is probably lost. Immediately record all answers that were not saved, log out, re-establish network connection, log in, and continue the exam.
  • DO NOT use the "Force Completion" option in tests to force a student to complete the exam in one sitting. If "Force Completion" is used, students with network problems will not be able to log in again and continue the exam.
  • Use a reliable WIRED connection. Wireless connections can sometimes drop, yet this is not apparent to the student. It appears that answers are being saved, and in reality, they are not because there is no longer a connection to the server.
  • Avoid using randomized tests. The reason randomization is a problem is that each version of the exam in a randomized test is created in java memory only. So, a randomized test, should the java session for the user die, will not persist anywhere, and will be unrecoverable. Removing randomization will use a version of the test from the database, so at least the user would get the same test with the same order the next time he/she took the test.
  • System timeout is 90 minutes. If you have a two hour exam, and 90 minute timeout, students may have problems.

 


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5. What are best practices for large randomized exams?

  • Avoid randomizing answer responses WITHIN questions when pool is greater than 200 (done within question key itself).
  • Keep question pools to under 200, i.e. use more pools, not bigger pools -- this also makes test development easier and question bank maintenance easier in many ways for the course developer (moving questions between pools is difficult).
  • If creating a test with approximately over 150 questions, do not use the Randomize Question Order setting in the Test Options.
  • If delivering test questions one-at-a-time, do not randomize question order in Test Options (regardless of number of questions).

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6. Where can I go for more information before I run an exam?

It is best practice, before you run an important exam, to contact the help desk / Instructional Support Services to ensure your exam will run smoothly. There are monthly downtimes scheduled for servicing and updating software which may or may not coincide with your scheduled exam.
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7. How can I create proper mulitiple choice questions?

Download the reference:  14 Rules for Creating Multiple Choice Questions

Download the reference: How to Create Better Multiple Choice Questions


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