New Timed Quiz options (in Moodle 2.3)

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Our Moodle at StraighterLine is hosted by Moodlerooms which means we are about 1 cycle behind the main development release schedule of Moodle.org.  I’m happy for it though as we are getting another round of QA testing before our students start banging on the features.

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This past December we got our Moodle 2.3 upgrade and I was surprised by a few new features in Moodle’s quizzes that I did not realize were coming. The main feature which we love is that now you can choose what happens to timed examinations once the timer runs out. In Blackboard this was linked to force completion and the  time limits that were introduced to graded online examinations.  For Moodle the selection options allow us to decide how a quiz attempt reacts once the timer has elapsed on a student. There are three options [http://docs.moodle.org/23/en/admin/setting/modsettingquiz#Timing]:

whentimeexpires

My preference is that open attempts are submitted automatically (and this is what we employ for timed examinations across the site).  If you have a grace period for submissions or extreme punitive polities for dealing with students who don’t click “submit” in time then the other two options might be of interest.

What we have found is that if there is a grace period, or if attempts must be submitted before the timer runs out it leaves the door open for a potentially ticked-off student.  Additionally, if an exam is not submitted by the student it appears to be nearly impossible (except manually) to “submit” that test to be calculated automatically.

If you’re using high stakes assessments online using Moodle’s quiz feature, my recommendation would be to 1. use timers and 2. submit attempts automatically once time is expired.

 

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