CTL Blog

Change in the Way Essay Questions in Quizzes Are Answered

June 20, 2011 | 2 Minute Read

At the end of May, we rolled out a number of changes to the online courses, and included a whole new version of the Quiz Generator as part of that rollout. One item that didn't make it in to that rollout was a change we've been working on for how essay question answers are entered when students take online quizzes. That change has finally made it into the Quiz Generator.

Previously, when students answered essay questions in an online quiz, an overlay window would appear that contained both the question being asked and a rich text editor where the students could enter their answer. Some students who were using computers with relatively small screens would have to do a lot of scrolling in this widow, and didn't like that experience. Some people over the past year also reported random freezes or crashes when this window opened. In spite of performing hundreds upon hundreds of tests in all the supported Web browsers, we weren't able to replicate this crashing problem. Some people still reported it, so we wanted to try to find a way to resolve both of these issues.

The change that we have just made now makes the rich text editor appear immediately below the question that's being asked, on the quiz page and not in an overlay window. We've tested this extensively on all the supported Web browsers and haven't seen any problems with this. We hope that this resolves both the issues for those using small screens and those who may have experienced random browser crashes in the past.

Two small notes about this change:

  • Only one rich text editor can be opened at any time. This means that a student can only work on the answer to one essay question at a time.
  • There's no "I don't want to save the changes that I've made to this answer" button. Once changes are made in the rich text editor, the only option is to save that answer.
We hope that this change will resolve those random, un-reproducible errors that some people had in the past. If you have any problems at all while taking an online exam, please contact CTLTHelp right away!