Viewing by month: June 2020

Jun 30 2020

A Powerful New Tool for Delivering Exams: Quiz Sets

As all classes at the School have moved into some kind of fully online or virtual teaching environment, ensuring academic integrity when taking exams online becomes ever more important. After consultation with many faculty about what would be useful in helping to strengthen academic integrity of online exams when direct invigilation (proctoring) is not possible, the CoursePlus team has crafted a set of new features which will help achieve this goal. We're pleased to announce one new feature which moves us far along on this path: quiz sets.

Quiz sets are collections of full quizzes or exams. When a student takes a quiz or exam that is set up as a quiz set, each student in the class is randomly assigned one of the quizzes in the set. This effectively allows you to administer random exams to random students in the class while ensuring that each exam is balanced for content and difficulty. When combined with a randomized display of question order and randomization of display of the answers to multiple questions, this becomes a very powerful tool in reducing students' ability to cheat during an online exam.

Let's take a look at how quiz sets work in more detail.

A quiz set is comprised of one or more quizzes (exams) that already exist in the Quiz Generator in your course site. Each quiz that goes into a set must be set up before you can create a quiz set containing that quiz. You can have as many quizzes in a set as you want. However, all quizzes in the set must have the same total point value for all questions in each individual quiz. This prevents you from having some students get randomly assigned a quiz with 45 points while other students get randomly assigned a quiz with 50 points.

The settings for the quiz set override the settings of any quiz inside the set. You don't need to spend time configuring all the setup details of each quiz in the set because the settings on the quiz set itself (ie; open and close date, time allowed to complete, display of results, etc) override whatever settings are created for each individual quiz in the set.

Once you create a quiz set, the set is treated exactly like any other quiz or exam in the Quiz Generator. The overview page does look a little different. To help you immediately recognize that it's a quiz set, the overview page shows all the quizzes in the set. You can click on the title of any quiz in the set to see or edit the individual questions in that quiz.

Listing of quizzes in a quiz set

Otherwise, you see student results, grade individual student responses, manage special permisisons, and view statistics exactly the same way as you would on any other quiz or exam. Even though students are randomly assigned a quiz from the set, you manage everything through a single quiz.

Managing the questions in the quizzes in a quiz set does require that you drop down to the individual, component quiz and make the changes there. The Question Manager view makes it easy to jump to editing questions of a quiz inside a quiz set:

List of quizzes in a set for managing questions

Just as you have to drop down into a component quiz to edit the questions in that quiz, you also have to drop down to a component quiz to see the answer key for a quiz in the set. Otherwise, everything you need to do in terms of quiz or exam management in a quiz set is done inside the quiz set "quiz" itself.

Quizzes in a quiz set are also automatically hidden from the listing of quizzes shown to students. This prevents students from directly accessing a single quiz in a set.

We hope that you find the quiz set feature a powerful tool in your assessment delivery toolset. As always, if you have any questions about how this feature works, please contact CTL Help

Posted by Brian Klaas at 9:35 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Jun 22 2020

Zoom Links for Individual Class Sessions

Zoom has become an indispensable part of teaching at the School. As students take multiple classes that rely on Zoom as a primary form of interaction, getting the right link to each Zoom session to each student can be a challenge. With Zoom's recent security changes, links have often had to change at the last minute, causing more confusion for students who may see an outdated reference to a Zoom link on a course site.

We're pleased to announce that for those using the Class Sessions tool in CoursePlus, you can now specify a Zoom link for each individual class session. You can also provide a single link and have that link used in all class sessions. This way, students have a single place across classes to go to find the Zoom links for their on-campus courses that are being taught in a virtual environment. 

Additionally, if you enter a Zoom link for a class session, the link to the Zoom session shows up in the Daily Course Notifications email which students receive each day. This puts the Zoom link to that day's class session within easy reach for everyone in the class.

We hope that this new feature makes joining Zoom-based class sessions a little less confusing for students, and helps to reduce the administrative overhead for faculty and TAs. If you have any questions about this new feature, please contact CTL Help!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:59 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Jun 10 2020

Randomize Answers to Multiple Choice Quiz or Exam Questions

CoursePlus has long had powerful randomization features for delivering quizzes or exams online. You can randomize the order in which questions are displayed to students — including ensuring that question blocks keep their specific, internal display order while being randomly placed in the exam. You can also create a bank of questions from which only a specific number of questions are randomly selected and displayed to each individual student.

We are pleased to announce that we have added a new option in your quiz/exam setup: the ability to randomize the display order of multiple choice questions. This means that the display of answers to a multiple choice question will be randomized on a per-student basis.

Students will see the answers displayed in a random order, but the system always knows which answer is correct and will score them accordingly. Students see the answers displayed in the same order even if they leave the quiz/exam page and return later, and will see answers displayed in the same order in any results or answer key shown to them. Faculty will see answers listed in the original order entered when creating the question when viewing the quiz overview, answer key, or individual student response sets. 

It's important to note that you will no longer be able to ask questions that have answer options like "a, b, and c" with this feature enabled, because you never know what answers "a, b, and c" will be for any given student.

Combining question selection randomization with question display order randomization with answer display order randomization makes for a powerful combination in deterring cheating when taking online quizzes or exams. We hope that you will find this new feature useful in this regard.

As always, if you have any questions about how this feature works, please contact CTL Help!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 11:27 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

Jun 2 2020

Manage LiveTalk Polls from Within CoursePlus

Polls are an important part of making a LiveTalk (or any Zoom session) interactive. Students respond positively to polls, as they allow students to engage in the session in a low-impact way. Polls in Zoom can only be created in the account which originally created the Zoom meeting. This means that faculty or TAs who want to use polls in LiveTalk have had to do this in the studio, just before their LiveTalk, or — in the fourth term — by sending the poll questions and answers to the Multimedia support team prior to the LiveTalk so that they can create the polls.

We're pleased to announce that CoursePlus now includes the ability for faculty, TAs, or staff on a course to manage the polls for each LiveTalk from within CoursePlus itself. This means that faculty and TAs can create their own polls, from a week before the scheduled start of the LiveTalk through an hour past the scheduled start time of the LiveTalk. The Multimedia team will no longer need to create polls for faculty, and once we’re allowed back on campus, no one will have to be in the studio to create LiveTalk polls.

The button to manage LiveTalk polls appears on the LiveTalk page in the class website, right below the button where faculty and TAs are supposed to provide information about the LiveTalk itself:

Example of Manage Polls for This LiveTalk button

We hope that this change will encourage everyone to more actively use polls in their LiveTalks. We know it will make creating polls much easier for everyone involved!

If you have any questions about this new feature, CTL Help is glad to answer them!

Posted by Brian Klaas at 8:57 AM - Categories: CoursePlus

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