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Setting up a Brightspace Quiz for an exam

Setting up a Brightspace Quiz for an exam

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  1. Brightspace Quiz is not recommended as a remote exam tool. The options are limited and it is hard to set the correct settings, as it was not developed for summative examinations. Brightspace quiz was designed for formative assessment. Students would have one week (availability window) to complete a quiz within a time limit of for example 20 minutes. Therefore, in case a student starts a quiz 1 second before the end of the quiz availability, they can still submit their answers 20 minutes later. However, in case students leave the quiz, they cannot resume or submit the quiz outside of the availability window.
  2. Brightspace quizzes should not be used to upload pictures/pdf/documents, because there is no option to download all the submissions in bulk. We advise using Brightspace assignments for uploading pictures/pdf/documents. You could combine Brightspace assignments with Brightspace quizzes in a single exam (make sure that your students practice and that you make these available in a single place in Brightspace).
  3. Brightspace quiz was designed for automatically grading student answers. It can either give full or no points for each automatically graded question, which diminishes the precision of the resulting grade. Students find it unfair if they lose a lot of points for small mistakes, especially if the digital exam replaces an exam in which students were given partial scores in case of small errors.
    • Solution 1: Split larger questions into smaller ones that are automatically graded.
    • Solution 2: Manually grade important questions so you can assign partial points, using the ‘Written Response’ question type in Brightspace Quizzes, or using Brightspace Assignments for a part or the whole of the exam.
    • Goal: to increase the precision of your grade.
  4. Exam questions:
    • Provide clear instructions on the answer format, including the use of spaces, capitals, etc. This is especially relevant if you use automated grading for short answer questions (for example using regular expressions).
      Have students practice following these instructions and provide them with (automated) feedback. You do not want the grade to be influenced by this (unless it is part of the learning objectives).
  5. It is possible to manually grade open-ended questions. In that case, it is possible to give students partial points.
  6. For any automatically graded questions, always check the quality of your exam and its questions before and after the exam:
    • Before the exam: Ask a colleague to peer review your exam, for example using this tool.
    • After the exam: Always check the test result analysis to look for problems with certain questions/answers and change the answer model accordingly.
  7. Brightspace quizzes allow for two fraud prevention measures in particular:
    • Use parameterization in arithmetic questions to give all students different numerical outcomes.
    • Use question pools to draw random questions from a couple of question pools with interchangeable questions.
  8. Your teaching assistants have access to assignments and quizzes. If your faculty, programme or Board of Examiners does not allow TAs to have access to assignments or quizzes before or after the exam, you will have to change their status to ‘student’. It is not possible to deny student assistants from Brightspace Support access to Brightspace Quizzes or Brightspace Assignments.
  9. If your exam will be split into multiple consecutive time slots, you will create multiple Brightspace quizzes, each with its own score.
    Create a Category that will contain the grade based on the scores of the individual quizzes
  10. The list of students who registered for the exam does not always match the list of students enrolled in your Brightspace course. As a result, students who did register but did not enroll in Brightspace (e.g. students who failed the course last year), may miss official announcements on the exam. Therefore, make sure to enroll all students who registered for the exam in Brightspace and resend them important information on the exam, if needed.
    Officially, students need to register for an exam in order to be allowed to take the exam. That way, the exam desk will check if students meet the requirements to be allowed to take the exam (e.g. passed previous tests or courses, enrolled in the programme, etc.). Registration furthermore allows you as a lecturer enough time to adapt fraud-prevention measures to the number of students participating (more students, more versions for example), prepare the settings of the exam for the individual students, and arrange extra correctors if needed to grade the exam before the deadline (10 or 15 working days after the exam date).
  11. See here for information on question types in Brightspace Quiz.
  12. See here for tips from lecturers who used Brightspace Quiz in Q3 for exams

Steps-by-step Brightspace Quiz for exams.

Follow the steps below to create an exam with Brightspace Quiz.

Communicate at least the following, for example by distributing relevant parts of the exam cover page:

  1. That students need to register for the exam, and enroll in the applicable Brightspace course.
  2. What learning objectives and subjects (reading)material the exam will and will not cover.
  3. Where they can find practice questions and answers that are exemplary for the exam questions (for example last year’s exam and model answer).
  4. When a practice test will take place or where the students can find one.
  5. What books / programs / mobile phone with camera / calculator you expect them to have available for completing the exam. Make sure to instruct students to prepare clean sheets of paper to write on during the exam.
  6. Information on the honor pledge: what does it contain and what are the consequences of committing fraud.
  7. What the exact procedure and used tools of the exam will be:
    1. What time will the exam be made available?
    2. If applicable: how many time-slots the exam will consist of?
    3. What the timing and procedure will look like for students with extra time (how-to’s can be found in this document).
    4. What will happen if the quiz is submitted after the deadline (you will only consider the answers that were submitted before the deadline).
    5. That the students need to keep track of time themselves.
  8. How and when you will make the answers and feedback available to the students after the exam.

First, have a look at the overview of question types in Brightspace Quiz.

  1. Create a section per topic or learning objective.
    Give the section a logical Section Title (1), decide whether or not you want to Hide Section Title from students (2) in the exam and optionally add a Section Text (description, 2). You can Shuffle Questions this Section (3), but in general this will lead to some students getting a more logical order than others. Therefore, it is recommended to not check the shuffle box .
  2. Add questions to each section.
    In case you want to randomize the questions that students receive (for fraud prevention), make sure to have multiple questions that are comparable in difficulty and question type and points.
  3. Add feedback on question level (‘Question feedback’) to facilitate feedback/explanation to students after the exam (and diminish emails with questions from individual students). You can make the feedback available during a specific period of time, after or at the same time that you communicate the grades.
  4. Adjust the points to match the difficulty/time needed to answer within a section:

  5. Optionally change the Order of the questions within a section here, if that is important.
  1. Go to Course Admin
  2. Go to Quizzes
  3. Click on New quiz
  4. Add a Name, and if you want, add a new or existing Category.
  5. Add/edit your questions.
  6. Add the questions from your Question Library.
  7. … by selecting the applicable Sections and Adding them.
  8. This will lead to an Overview of the exam, where you can Change the order of exams questions by dragging.

Go to the Properties tab to and choose the Properties for summative tests.  The table below helps you apply the correct settings.

Category Setting Value Description / explanation
Quiz questions Questions per page 1-10, depends on the length of questions. Fill in, unless you want all questions on one page. Make sure to maximize overview.
Paging Uncheck Do not check. If you are really convinced that students should not move back to the previous question, be aware that students find this very frustrating. They tend to either waste too much time, trying to remember/find an answer, or remember/find the answer after moving to the next question and wasting points. So if you use it, make sure to keep a significant amount of questions on each page (previous setting), for example 20-60 minutes worth of questions.
Shuffle questions at question level Uncheck No. Unless you have created sections that can be shuffled without creating more and less logical orders of sections. In general, shuffling within a section is worse than shuffling for example 3 large sections of an exam, if these sections can be identified by the students. Therefore, make sure their names and maybe also the description is readable by the students, if you decide to shuffle.
Description / introduction Description Text on the exam procedure and/or the cover page of the exam. Visible before the quiz becomes available (so before the start of the exam).
Introduction Cover page of the exam
Page header / footer Page header Optional: Link to cover page of the exam
Page footer Optional
Optional advanced properties Allow hints Uncheck Not desirable in an exam setting. Can be helpful in a formative setting (pointing to a chapter or video to find the answer).
Option with name ‘If you turn on this option, users cannot access the Email tool, Instant Messages tool, or their alerts if they have a quiz attempt in progress.’ Check Students cannot use the Brightspace tools for email, IM or alerts. They can still use their regular email to contact the lecturer, as well the Discussions boards in Brightspace.
Notification email Leave empty Will send you an email, each time a student uploads quiz answers. Not useful for a scheduled exam.

Go to the Restrictions tab and choose the settings to give students access to the exam (including students who are granted extra time).

Make sure to pay extra attention to the Due date, Start date, End date and Time Limit. Also when granting students extra time using Special access! This has gone wrong in the past.

The table below helps you apply the correct settings.

Category Setting Value Description / explanation
Availability Hide from users Check, until it should be visible Uncheck to make the exam visible, even if it cannot be accessed. For example to allow students to check whether their exam registration came through. Therefore, make visible one week before the exam.
Due date Official deadline for starting (!!) the quiz, after which their submission is marked late. Example: 9:45. It is not possible to create a hard end date. If an exam is submitted after the due date, it is marked ‘late’.
Start date Start time of the exam. Example: 9:00
End date Functional deadline for starting (!!) the quiz. After the end date, students cannot start the quiz. After this moment, students cannot start their quiz any more. If you set the start time at 12:00, the end time at 12:30 and the due date at 14:00, the student is able to start the quiz between 12:00 and 12:30 and will have to hand it in before 14:00 to not be marked ‘late’. Do bear in mind that a student is not able to re-access their attempt after the end date. This means that when a student refreshes their page halfway through the quiz (at 13:00), he or she will not have access to the quiz anymore. For this reason, it is recommended to set the end date later than the due date.
Release conditions Create and attach Create a group of students who registered for the exam and give them access to the exam. Especially important if there were entrance requirements for your course.
Password Leave empty Might be useful if you want to control the access to the exam, to prevent students from starting the extra-time exam who are not entitled: send the extra time students the password for the password-protected extra time exam. There is an easier way, though (see 5 rows below and further).
IP restriction Leave empty Not applicable
Timing Time limit option Choose ‘Enforce time limit’ Otherwise students can take unlimited time to finish the quiz. If students take longer than the time limit, the exam will be marked as ‘exceeded time limit’. Make sure to adapt the time limit for your extra time students (see below)
Time limit Insert applicable minutes For regular students
Exceed time limit behaviour Choose ‘Prevent the student from making further changes’  The other options are undesirable: “Allow to continue working.” is unfair for other students who did submit in time. “Allow the student to continue working, but automatically score the attempt as zero after an extended deadline.” is very untransparent.
Special access Type of access Choose ‘Allow selected users special access to this quiz’
When special access is granted to students this will overwrite all the general settings for that person. So while any change in general settings will apply to all regular students, it will not apply to students with special access.
Has due date Deadline for finishing the quiz Example: 9:45. Submissions after the due date will be marked ‘late’.
Has start date Start time of the exam Example: 9:00
Has end date Functional deadline for starting (!!) the quiz. After the end date, students cannot start the quiz. Example: 10:15. Student is not able to start or re-access an attempt after this moment.
Timing Choose ‘Enforce time limit’
Time limit Insert applicable, extended period in minutes Add 10 minutes per 60 minutes to the original time.
Assign an alternative grace period Uncheck. If you want, you can increase the grace period as well.
Assign an alternative behaviour for exceeding the time limit Uncheck.
Attempts: override attempts allowed Uncheck If you check the box, the first attempt will disappear. This is a problem in case the student starts the quiz again after submission, by accident. Therefore: uncheck.
When special access is granted make sure to select ‘Any condition must be met‘ under the Release conditions option. This makes sure that students with special access are able to access the quiz.

Read more about adding special access to quizzes

Go to the Assessment tab and Choose the setting for your Assessment with regard to grading and Attempts. The table below helps you apply the correct settings.

Category Setting Value Description / explanation
Assessment Automatically Publish Evaluation

Uncheck Otherwise, students will receive their automatically graded grade immediately after handing in their quiz. Scores on open questions are not included, which results in a low grade (and negative feelings). If your exam consists of multiple parts (e.g. a Brightspace assignment, too), this may demotivate them and diminish their performance. Furthermore, you want to do a test result analysis before publishing the results.
Grade item Associate grade item

Synchronize to Grade Book

Check Enables the automatic update of evaluations in the grade book when published.

Student view preview Depends on Depends on grade book settings. Click on the drop-down menu next to example grade/score and choose ‘edit display settings’. You could override other views and for example show students a) points grade (e.g. 15 points), grade scheme symbol (e.g. 10 if you set the grade scheme to 1-10)
Attempts Attempts allowed 1 In case of issues, you can grant them another option after they consult you. In that case, make sure the last attempt counts. Or the highest, in case of erroneous submissions.

According to the Teaching and Examination Regulations, article 20 and 21, students have the right to inspect and discuss their exam results. You can make the questions, student answers and the correct answers available via Brightspace quizzes.

Important: you probably do not want to give them access right after the exam, since you first need to analyse the test results.

Adjust what students view right after their submission

Go to Submission Views (1), and click on Default View (2) to change what students see immediately after submitting the exam.  The table below helps you apply the correct settings.

Category Setting Value Description / explanation
Add view properties Message That the student has successfully submitted their assignment.
View details Show questions No To prevent students from helping their colleagues who are still working on the exam.
Score Show attempt score and overall attempt score. Uncheck It does not include the score for the manually graded questions, and has not been checked by the lecturer, which may cause stress. If you show it, indicate what the maximum points until now were in the message above.
Statistics Show class average Uncheck
Show score distribution Uncheck


Add a ‘viewing’ so students can inspect their exam and correct answers

Add additional viewings of the exam, for example before and during the discussion of the exam with the students. The feedback on the attempt and general feedback can be viewed by the student.

Category Setting Value
View properties Name Name of viewing
Message Add information on how the exam was made. You could add restrictions of the viewing, if applicable (and realistic). Explain how much time they have, what they will see, how they can ask questions and how they can file complaints (if any).
View restrictions Date Add a date. This is the start date.

In case you want an end date (optional), add an extra viewing in which the questions and answers etc. are not visible (e.g. only a text or a score).

IP Address Not applicable
Limited duration Check and set to for example 180 minutes, so they have time to go over the exam.
View details Show questions Yes, choose ‘Show all questions with user responses’ and tick both of the following 2 boxes: 1) Show question answers and 2) Show question score out of score.
Score Check ‘Show attempt score and overall attempt score.
Statistics Check ‘Show class average’
Check ‘Show score distribution’
In case of multiple ‘viewings’, only the one with the most recent start date will be active. So if you want the viewing to disappear, add a new one with a later start-date.

Do run a test with the entire exam with a colleague or student assistant, to spot and fix issues. You can change the timing. Use your sandbox to do this.

Check whether all students who registered for the exam are also enrolled in the Brightspace course. If not, enroll the missing students in Brightspace. An exam ticket gives students the right to participate in an exam. Some students who are enrolled in your course are not registered for the exam. It depends on the programme your course is part of whether it is okay or not to give these unregistered students access to the exam. Ask your programme director in case of unclarity.

Prepare and fill a group in Brightspace for ‘regular students’ (who registered for the exam) and a group for ‘extra time students’ and use that for the restriction tab as a condition to get access to the Brightspace Quiz.

During the exam, you want students to be able to ask you questions about that one question that was open for multiple interpretations, that you did not see coming, even though you had your colleagues peer review your exams. There is no perfect communication platform available for this yet. You are suggested to either use email (and inform your students beforehand that they can reach you by email) and/or the Brightspace Discussion Board.

  • Email: Use a shared mailbox that you and your course team can access, especially for large groups That way, you can handle questions from multiple students at the same time.
  • Brightspace Discussion Board: You and your students need to press ‘refresh’ to see new posts.
  • Telephone: In case of very urgent emergencies, you could share your TU Delft telephone number with your students.
  • Conference tools: You could try to set up a call in which you disable the chat between participants. Currently, we have no overview of tools where this is possible.

Unsubmitted exams

Sometimes, students forget to submit their quiz. In that case, you can either give them access (using restrictions) and ask them to submit, or submit the quiz for them yourself.

This is how you can see which students did not submit their quiz:

  1. Go to Course Admin.
  2. Go to Quizzes.
  3. In the dropdown menu next to your quiz, select Grade.
  4.  Now you can look for students who have attempts In progress.
    1. On the user tab, click on Show Search Options
    2. Under Restricted to choose Users with attempts in progress and Click on the Magnifying glass.
  5. You can click the Button next to (In progress) and then choose Enter Quiz as User to submit the student’s work. Scroll down to the end of the quiz and click Submit.
  6. You could also choose to first have a look at when the student entered these answers, compared to the deadline. See below for how.

Late submissions: change log of the quiz

If a student submits late, you can view which questions were entered after the due date.

Tip: During the exam, you also check this log of attempts to monitor who has started the exam. Answers will not be visible until a student submits the exam.

  1. Go Quizzes.
  2. Click on the dropdown menu next to the quiz and choose Attempt Logs.
  3. Choose Detailed.
  4. You now have access to the log and you can decide which answers you will exclude and include in case of due date issues

Score open questions manually:

  1. Go to Course Admin
  2. Go to Quizzes
  3. Next to the applicable quiz, click the Drop-down menu and choose Grade.
  4. Choose Questions (1), Hide learners’ names (2) to prevent bias and click on the Open question (wr = written response) that you want to grade (3).
  5. You can now Read the student’s response (1), add a Score (2), and (if relevant) add Feedback by clicking the Arrow  (3) and Inserting Files (4) or Adding Text/Images (5) using the Drag/Drop or Copy/Paste feature .

Especially in the case of (semi)automatically graded exams, you are urged to do a test result analysis. The reason that this is more urgent than for manually graded exams is that, in manually graded exams, you go through all the students’ answers and will adapt the answer model on the go. For example, when students make a small thinking error that you did not foresee, and for which you still want to give them partial points.

For automatically graded exams, you do not have this information. Furthermore, you frequently do not have the possibility to allow for partial credits for partially correct answers. This makes it more important to look for issues with the questions by going over the test result analysis.

For general information on test result analyses, please have a look at the UTQ ASSESS manual.

How to do a test result analysis in Brightspace Quizzes

In this section, we describe where to find the information in Brightspace Quizzes.

  1. Go to Course Admin
  2. Go to Quizzes
  3. Click on the Drop-down menu next to the quiz and choose Statistics.
  4. Go to Question stats tab at the top and study the Average grade and Discrimination index (should be positive) per question and use it to decide whether or not you want to change the scoring per question.
  5. In the tab Question Details you can find more detailed information. For example how frequently each option was chosen.

In case of a formative quiz you can use this information to find out how you can help your students to improve during the remainder of the course.

In case of a summative exam the combination of the percentage of students who choose a question and the discrimination index, give you information on the quality of the question. The discrimination index should be positive. In case discrimination is around 0%, the question either does not discriminate between good-performing and not-so-good-performing students and it does not seem to matter whether students actively participated in the course, or not. In case the discrimination is negative, the good-performing students actually performed worse on this question, indicating that this may have been a trick question. In these cases (negative or zero’ish discrimination index) you might want to change the answer model (i.e. giving students who gave an alternative answer additional points) or give all students full points in case the question was too confusing.

For more information on test result analysis, please have a look at the UTQ ASSESS manual 

If Grade automatically upon completion was unchecked, you should publish the grades:

  1. Go to Course Admin.
  2. Go to Quizzes.
  3. Click on the Drop-down menu next to the quiz and choose Grade.
  4. You can now see and (in case of open questions or requirements to adjust the answer model) score the delivered quizzes.
  5. Select All Attempts and click Publish Feedback.
    OR: Top right at the search results you will find Published next to an icon. Click on the Icon to mark all submissions as published. They will be marked as graded. This makes it possible to publish all grades at once.
  6. Click on Save.

More information on grades, partial grades and calculating grades automatically in Brightspace, can be found here.

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