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Archive for the ‘Tests/Quizzes’ Category

Online Testing in D2L – The Truth About Security

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Conducting online, self-scoring objective tests using the Quizzes tool in D2L has become a popular way to assess students in both online and face-to-face courses. However, for faculty using online tests, the questions always comes up as to how secure online tests really are, and how to keep students from cheating. This post will attempt to clear up some misconceptions.

Hard Truth #1: Students Sometimes Copy and Share Questions Out of the Test

Now and then I hear from faculty who are shocked to find that a student has emailed them with questions taken out of a test or quiz. Yes, in the Properties screen of a quiz, you can turn off right-clicking, but students can still copy questions out by using the PrintScreen button on their keyboards, or by using keyboard shortcuts to copy and paste. Expensive and awkward software solutions exist that can disable the PrintScreen buttons and copy/paste functions, but even then students can copy and share tests by taking cell phone pictures of their screens.


Hard Truth #2: Students Sometimes Use Their Notes and the Internet to Look Up Answers

Unless you conduct your online exam in a proctored computer lab, there is no way to stop students from opening up their paper notes while taking the exam. Students may also use their cell phones or open up a second browser window to search for answers.


Hard Truth #3: Students Sometimes Take Online Tests Together

It is a common sight in the library during midterm and finals week to find students sitting side-by-side in the computer labs, working together on the same online test. This is especially common in fully online undergrad courses, in which most of the students live on campus.


Best Practices to Ensure Academic Integrity

It’s very difficult to create a perfectly secure, fully-online test, but there are strategies you can use to make collaboration more difficult:

1) When creating multiple-choice quiz questions, always use the “Randomize Options” setting.

2) It takes some time to learn how to do, but you can also randomize the order in which the quiz questions appear for each student.

3) Be sure to set a conservative time limit (30 seconds to 1 minute per question). A short time limit means less time to look up answers.

4) Also be sure to set a narrow start and end date window. This means less opportunity for students to meet up and work together.

5) When opening up Post-Test Feedback, be sure to show only questions answered incorrectly, and NO answers.


This has been the reality since before SRU used Desire2Learn, and was the case with Blackboard as well. The best approach to take is to assume that students will be using notes and other resources, and will likely be sharing details about the exams with one another. Many of the most successful online instructors place far less weight on objective tests, and instead draw most of their assessments from writing assignments, discussions, and research. Dishonesty is much easier to spot in written assignments since we can do plagiarism detection with Turnitin.


Written by SRU Ed Tech

February 12, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Posted in Tests/Quizzes

Quizzes Not Scoring Correctly

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On occasion, we will have reports from faculty that quizzes taken by students on D2L will return very low or unusual scores in the gradebook. For example:

messed up quiz 1In this example, the quiz is worth 5 points, but students are returning very low scores of .04 or .03.

What Causes This?

This is caused by a common mistake made when creating quiz questions. Specifically, the technique used to specify the correct answers.

Fixing the Mistake

The first step in fixing this issue is to correct the affected quiz questions.

1) Click on the Quizzes button in the navbar of your course.

2) Click on the title of the problem quiz

3) In the next screen, click on the Layout/Questions tab

4) Click on the Add/Edit Questions button

5) Locate the first multiple choice or true/false question in the quiz, then click on its title.

6) Scroll down to the area of the question creation screen where the answers are specified.

messed up quiz 2

The example above illustrates the source of the problem. To specify the correct answer for a multiple choice or true/false question, you must put 100 in the box labeled “Weight” next to the correct answer. In other words, if the student chooses “First-Person Narration,” they are awarded 100% of the points for that question.

To correct the quiz, change the “Weight” value to 100 in each of the questions that were incorrectly created.

Re-Scoring Existing Quiz Attempts

Once you’ve corrected the questions in the quiz, each student who takes the quiz from now on will receive the correct final score. However, this doesn’t fix the scores of students who have already taken it. Here’s how:

1) Click on the Quizzes button in your course

2) Next to the title of the affected quiz will be a small drop-down box. Click that, then choose Grade

messed up quiz 3

3) In the next screen, click on the Questions tab

messed up quiz 4

4) In the next screen, click on the bubble labeled “Update All Attempts”

5) Scroll down to the bottom of the screen, and you’ll notice a grouping of questions labeled “Questions that are not in the quiz anymore.” Click on the title of the first question

messed up quiz 5a

6) In the next screen, you will see a breakdown of the answer choices for the question, plus an option labeled “Give to attempts with answer____, _ points

messed up quiz 6

As in the circled example above, use the drop-down box to choose the correct answer, then put the number of points to be awarded in the textbox

7) Click Save at the bottom of the screen, then click Yes at the confirmation.

8) When the screen refreshes, click Go Back to Questions.

9) Repeat the process for each of the affected questions.


Written by SRU Ed Tech

February 20, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Posted in Errors, Tests/Quizzes

How to View Correct Answers/Feedb on Quizzes – For Students

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By default, after completing a quiz on Desire2Learn you are shown your score, but nothing else. However, many professors will open up the correct answers after all students have completed the quiz. Here is how to view them.

1)  After logging in to your Desire2Learn course, click on Quizzes in the course navbar

2) You will be shown a list of all past quizzes under the Past Quizzes heading. Next to the title of the quiz, there will be a small drop-down button. Click that, then choose Submissions.

quiz answers step 1

3) You will be shown a list of all of your quiz attempts. Click on Attempt 1.

quiz answers2

4) You will then be presented with a copy of the quiz, with the correct answers labeled. If you answered a question incorrectly, the correct answers will be shown with a blue arrow.


Written by SRU Ed Tech

February 19, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Posted in Tests/Quizzes

Notes on Printing in D2L

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The first thing to remember about printing in D2L is that D2L was designed as an e-learning platform. In other words, it’s designed for paperless, online learning, so many of the screens and interfaces aren’t designed with printing in mind. Nonetheless, we still occasionally receive questions about printing from D2L, so here are some things to keep in mind.

Printing a Test/Quiz

1) Click on the Quizzes button in your course

2) Locate the quiz that you’d like to print. Click the drop-down button next to its name, then click Preview.

print quiz 1
3) In the next screen, click Start Quiz!

4) Click OK at the confirmation.

5) While the quiz is displayed, right-click in the white area of the screen where the questions are displayed. Choose This Frame, then Print Frame. Note: These menus may be labeled slightly differently if using Internet Explorer or Chrome.

print quiz 2


Printing the Gradebook

For the best results when printing the gradebook, we recommend exporting the grades as an Excel spreadsheet. This will allow you more control over the column widths and print layout (I suggest switching it to Landscape mode). To print the gradebook:

1) Click on Grades

2) Click on Enter Grades

3) Click on the Export button above the list of grades

4) Under the User Details box, check the boxes for Last Name and First Name

5) Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the screen and click Export to Excel

A pop-up window will appear, and after a moment a link will be presented that will allow you to download an Excel version of your gradebook.

Final Notes

If at any point you’re in D2L and want to print something, but can’t locate the Print command, you can always hold down CTRL on the keyboard and press P. This will force a the Print dialogue box to appear.

Written by SRU Ed Tech

March 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Posted in Grades, Tests/Quizzes

Tagged with , ,

Creating Quizzes in D2L – Bare Basic Guide

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The PDF handout below will guide you through the steps of creating a simple self-grading multiple choice quiz in Desire2Learn.

Creating a Quiz-in-D2L (PDF)

After you have administered the quiz, be sure to open up the feedback and correct answers for your students.

Written by SRU Ed Tech

September 28, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Posted in Tests/Quizzes

Understanding D2L Quizzes – The Student Handout

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This handout was developed for new student users of  Desire2Learn to help them understand the quizzes tool. For example, it was brought to our attention that many students do not realize that if you accidentally close out of a quiz before submitting, you can simply sign back in and resume taking the quiz (assuming that the time limit has not expired). We hope that faculty  find this equally informative.

Quizzes in Desire2Learn – Student Guide

Written by SRU Ed Tech

March 28, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Tests/Quizzes

Creating Randomized Quizzes with the Question Library

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The Question Library tool in Desire2Learn lets you do two things:

  1. Take an existing quiz (transferred from Blackboard, or an older course) and scramble the question order.
  2. Create a quiz that randomly selects questions from older quizzes. Since each student will have a different selection of questions, this enhances test security.

The PDF handout below is also useful if you have uploaded a question bank or course cartridge from your publisher and need to learn how to make quizzes from it. If this is the case, you can upload your course cartridge file by clicking on  the Edit Course button in the upper-right corner of your course, and selecting Import/Export/Copy Components. Upload the cartridge using the Import option.

Randomizing Quiz Questions in D2L 10

Written by SRU Ed Tech

February 11, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Posted in Tests/Quizzes