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Chapter 10: Quizzes, tests, and exams
Test-taking is an important aspect of Web-based classes, and in the broadest sense can include practice quizzes, real quizzes, tests, exams, flashcards, and so on. This chapter explains how the test-taking process works.
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Instructors are responsible for setting configurations of their quizzes, tests, and exams, so they can vary considerably from test to test, class to class, and teacher to teacher. Tests can comprise any number of questions, and the questions can vary by type: true/false, multiple choice, matching, short answer, etc. After entering any required information (such as your username, password, and/or email address) and answering the questions, click the "Submit" button to transmit your test to the instructor.
Although it's up to the instructor, you'll find that most tests/quizzes/exams require you to enter your username and password before you can view the test and/or before you can submit it. In addition to limiting access to tests by requiring passwords, many tests are also configured so they can only be viewed and submitted during a limited period of time, such as during one particular week or during a single day.
If you encounter difficulties accessing a test because of password problems or because the test is not open when you think it should be, you should contact your instructor, because that's the person who controls those parameters.
In addition to limiting access to quizzes, tests, and exams, most instructors specify that a particular test can only be opened, viewed, and submitted one time, and instructors will also often mandate a specific time limit, such as 30 minutes or 60 minutes, for completing and submitting a test. Unless the instructor has chosen otherwise, the system automatically records all appropriate data every time you open a test, and that information is always available to the instructor. That means the instructor has a complete, readily accessible report detailing every time you open a test, every time you submit a test, and how long you spent working on it. Of course, it's always up to the instructor how that information is used and how strictly time limits and so forth are enforced.
In some cases the instructor will configure a test so that you are required to provide certain information or answer certain question(s). For example, you might be required to enter your email address or you might be required to give an answer (at least guess!) for every question on the test. If you try to submit a test without providing all the information/answers required, the test will reappear with red warning messages alerting you to that fact. None of your answers will be lost, and the red warnings will indicate what you need to do before you can successfully submit the test. That won't count as a submission, but it will add to the amount of elapsed time.
If your instructor has set limits on the number of times you can open a test, the number of times you can submit a test, and/or the amount of time you can spend working on a test, but for some reason it becomes necessary to break one or more of those limits, or if any technical problems arise, you should always notify your instructor immediately and explain the situation.
If you have an official Academic Accommodation Authorization, you should present that to your instructor at the beginning of class so any quizzes, tests, or exams with time limits can be adjusted for you accordingly.
Although you might encounter an exception, instructors almost never set limits for opening or submitting practice quizzes, because the intention is that you should practice as much as necessary to ensure you've mastered the material. Nevertheless, it's often true that instructors will review your practice quizzes just to monitor your progress in the class.
Instructors will sometimes choose to deliver practice questions in flashcard format. This can be especially helpful when you need to memorize a number of terms or concepts. Although only the instructor can choose to make flashcards available, you'll have a variety of options to select when you practice with flashcards:
Teachers don't grade your flashcards, but they might keep track of how much you practiced with them.
For quizzes, tests, and exams being submitted for grades, instructors will usually specify the maximum number of times you can open the test, the maximum number of times you can submit it, and the maximum amount of time you can work on it. Instructors will also almost invariably review the automatic logging of that information to ensure you didn't break any of the rules.
Consequently, it's to your advantage NOT to try to circumvent the test-taking parameters set by your instructor, or you might find your entire test has been disallowed.
Also, avoid these test-taking no-nos:
Failure to heed those guidelines could cause unwanted consequences.
If you ever encounter any technical problems during the test-taking process, be sure to notify your instructor immediately and explain the situation.
For each quiz, test, or exam the instructor can choose one or more of the following methods of handling the results:
However the instructor chooses to deliver test results, he or she can also decide exactly what to reveal and what to withhold. For example, you might only see your actual test score (such as 95%) on screen and/or in an email to you, while all the questions and answers might be available (including which ones you answered correctly and which ones you answered incorrectly) when you visit the gradebook.
In general, if this is a practice quiz, the instructor will usually set configurations so you can see all the results immediately on screen. However, if this is a graded test, the instructor will usually withhold details about your results until the deadline has passed and no one else can take the test, at which time all the information will become available to you in the gradebook.
Although these aren't technical guidelines, here are some resources to help you maximize grades by optimizing your test-taking strategies:
Take the self-assessment quiz to ensure you're comfortable with all the concepts and skills in this chapter. The quiz will open in a new browser window, and after submitting the quiz you'll immediately see your score.
Practice exercise: Try these for practice.
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Last Modified: Thursday, 19-Feb-2009 07:58:59 PST
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