Randomize the Display Order of Quiz Questions in Question Blocks
Question blocks have long been a useful tool in organizing the content of a quiz or exam in CoursePlus. Question blocks allow you to put related questions together in a single block. Many of these blocks begin with a background "question" with data and then include a series of questions about that background data. For example, you may show a table from a clinical trial and ask students to utilize that data three subsequent questions. It's important that these questions are kept together when the quiz or exam is displayed to the student, otherwise the questions themselves would not make sense to the student.
Randomization is a powerful tool in reducing academic ethics violations in graded quizzes and exams. You can not only randomize the display order of questions in the Quiz Generator, you can also:
- Randomly select questions from a bank of questions assigned to a quiz (including question blocks)
- Randomly assign students one quiz from a set of quizzes
- Randomly select questions from a series of tag-based rules, which helps to ensure content coverage while maintaining randomization
While all of the above features allow you to randomize the display (and sometimes the selection) of questions in a quiz, if a question block is included, the display order of questions in a block have not been randomized. This was necessary so that if a block began with a “use this data for the following three questions” statement, the questions would always display in an order that made sense when reading through the questions. You certainly wouldn’t want that “use this data for the following three questions” text appearing at the end of a randomized block!
Not being able to randomize the display order of questions in a block limited the usefulness of random question display order as a means to limit academic integrity violations. If a quiz was made up of three question blocks containing five questions each, the randomization would only happen on the order in which the blocks were displayed, not the questions inside the blocks. The randomization would therefore be limited.
Fortunately, the CoursePlus team worked on this issue and you can now choose to both randomize the display order of questions in question blocks and lock the first question in a block so that it always appears first. This way, you can have a question block that always begins with a “use this data for the following three questions” statement, and then have randomized display of the other three questions in the block. Please note that block question randomization is not turned on by default, and must be enabled in the quiz setup.
We hope that this new option makes it easier for those using question blocks to further minimize opportunities for academic ethics violations. As always, if you have any questions about this new feature, please contact CTL Help!