Setting Availability Dates and time limits for tests and exams

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Setting a Test or Exam with expanded available times

Best practice recommendations for setting a test or exam in the Tests and Quizzes tool include using an enforced time limit set within a wider span of available dates and times. For example, setting a 2 hour time limit within an exam that is available for 3 hours (longer available times are encouraged as well). Setting time limits and availability for the same duration is not recommended. For further best practices see Instructor Best Practices for creating a Test or Quiz.

In the assessment Settings page, click Availability and Submissions.

In the assessment Settings page, click Availability and Submissions..png

The Availability and Submissions section will expand to show the following options:

The Availability and Submissions section will expand to show the following options-.png

Availability Dates

Availability Dates.png

The availability dates let you specify when your assessment can be accessed by students. By default, all the dates are blank.

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Selecting times that are 10-15 minutes before a set exam time is an strongly encouraged technical and pedagogical practice. For example, if your exam was scheduled on December 1st at 10:00am, you might set the "It is available" date to December 1st at 9:45am. This allows students to access the start of the exam at a slightly variable time to better distribute system load for optimal student experience.

Use the date-picker (calendar icon) to select a date and time.

  1. The available date is the start date of the exam window. Students will not be able to see the assessment before this date. Publishing an assessment with a blank available date will make it available immediately upon publishing.
  2. The due date is the end date for the exam window. Students will not be able to submit after this date unless you accept late submissions. If late submissions are allowed, any submissions after the due date will be marked as late.
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Note: When you click on any date field, the date-picker (calendar window) will display. You can choose a date by clicking on it in the calendar, or by clicking Now. Select a time using the Hour and Minute sliders. When your date is selected, click Done.

Timed assessment

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The time limit is a window of time that a student has to complete the test. If you would like your assessment to be timed, select the check box next to the text has a time limit of and select a time limit in hours (hrs.) and minutes (min.) from the respective drop-down menus. The time limit should be a shorter duration of time than the available dates and times (above). Due dates will always override the time limit.

Late submissions accepted?

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Under Late submissions accepted? you can accept late submissions by clicking the radio button to select Yes, until, then entering a late acceptance date in the adjacent date field. By default, late submissions ARE accepted. Use the date-picker (calendar icon) to select a date and time.

Late submissions can be one of the settings that, if allowed, can mitigate submission issues. Enabling Late Submissions builds in technical flexibility as it is both the last moment a student can submit their work by and when assessments that were abandoned (often unintentionally) or still in progress will be automatically submitted based on the enabling of Autosubmit.

If you do allow late submissions, submissions that come in after the due date will be marked LATE in capitalized red letters after their Submit Date.

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Even if you allow multiple submissions, only one late submission is allowed after the due date, and it only applies to students who have not submitted at all.

More questions about the Tests and Quizzes tool?

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This page is adapted from an equivalent Sakai Community help article.

The original Sakai Community help article, unedited, is available at