Best practices for instructors designing an online quiz

For some students, taking an online exam could be new and somewhat confusing experience. They may not know what to expect, and may not be certain of the skills and strategies that will allow them to perform at their best. Fortunately, many of the steps they would take to successfully complete their online exam is similar to those they would take to prepare for an in-class exam. However, the online exams present some challenges that may require extra awareness and preparation. The following items are some of the advice you can give to your students before they attempt their online exam: 

  • Offer students a short practice test with sample questions so they become familiar of the expected functional behavior and are better prepared for the real exam.

  • Ensure that they are using the latest browser and following the recommended browser settings.

  • Ensure that they follow the best practices for students taking an online quiz.

  • Inform students located in different countries to be aware of the different time zones, as this may impact their scheduled quiz.

  • Ensure you inform students of any settings that might impact how they navigate the quiz, for example if you have enforced sequential access to the quiz questions, make sure students know that they won't be able to go back and answer any questions they have already navigated past.

Settings for academic honesty considerations. 

If you need to consider academic honesty within your quiz, the following best practices and techniques will help support academic integrity when designing your quiz in eClass.

  • Shuffle Questions – shuffling the order of questions will prevent two students from getting the same order of questions. This makes it difficult for students to share the questions as they are presented in different order.

  • Multiple Choice Questions – shuffle answer options within each question. This will make it difficult for students to share their answers if they are presented with a different order of answers. 

  • Randomize questions – randomizing questions for each student from a larger pool of questions in the question bank will make it difficult for students to share answers if they are presented with different questions. 

  • List one question per page – listing one question at a time makes it more difficult for students to copy several pages in the exam.

  • Increase the number of essay questions – this will require students to have greater understanding of the material to synthesize their answer and therefore it makes cheating difficult. 

  • Use a variety of assessment strategies – using a variety of question types will make it harder for students to share exam with other students. 

  • Browser Security – You can make it more difficult for students to browse other websites while taking the quiz by opening the quiz in a full screen popup window. This requires Javascript-enabled web browser.

  • Use a Password - it prevents those that should not be taking the exam from accessing the test. 

  • Enforce sequential access to question – this will force a student to answer a question before they can answer the next. This also prevents them from revisiting a previously answered question. 

  • Restrict review options after they have completed the quiz, while the quiz is still open for others – doing this will prevent them from seeing their attempt, correct answer or their marks until the quiz is closed. 

  • Limit the availability period of an exam – if an exam is available longer, it is possible that a few students can take the exam early on and share the questions or answers with other students that have not taken the exam yet. 

  • Limit duration of the exam – limiting the time during which a student can complete the online assessment that is reasonable, yet reduces the time a student can spend looking up answers. If your quiz consists of multiple choice questions, budget 45 seconds to a minute for each of them.

  • Limit number of attempts – it can help prevent collaboration and ensure that students don’t have multiple attempts to answer the same question.

  • Safe Exam Browser you could consider using Safe Exam Browser to prevent students from opening other sites on the internet or applications on their computer.

  • eProctoring – for your final exams, consider using Proctortrack, York University's eProctoring solution to maintain academic honesty during the exam.


How to provide extra time for a quiz

See https://lthelp.yorku.ca/quizzing/how-to-give-particular-students-extra-time-in-a-quiz for instructions on how to set up extra time for students taking the quiz

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