Online tests: designing your test

Designing your test is the process of adding and organizing the test's elements: headings, text, and questions. After setting up your test, click its name in the Tests view of your course. Each test has three views: Design, Preview, and History. You will rightly surmise that test design occurs in the Design view...

Import test

If previous terms or other sections of this course have tests, you can import those tests into the test you're designing. You can also import tests from other courses you have taught in the past. You can then edit that test—adding new elements, reorganizing and editing existing elements, etc.—or leave it as-is.

  1. Click Import Test.
  2. Choose the term/course/section with the test you'd like to import.
  3. Choose the test.
  4. Click Save.

The test elements will populate your empty test. If you've already added elements to your test, the imported test will overwrite those!

Test elements

As mentioned, there are three test elements: headings, text, and questions. When you first create a test, it is empty of all three.

  1. Get started by clicking to add one of the three elements.
  2. Afterwards, you'll then hover over an element to see the links to add more elements.
  3. If you need to move elements around, click  .

Headings & Text

Headings separate your test into different sections. For example: Essay Questions, Extra Credit, Hamlet, King Lear, etc. Text blocks help you provide explanation or context for your questions. For example, you might use one to sketch out a scenario to which the next few questions refer.

Adding these elements is excruciatingly difficult:

  1. Click Add Heading or Add Text.
  2. Enter the text.
  3. Click Save

Questions & Answers

Questions are a combination of the question and its answers/options. When you create a question, it is then available...

  • For use in the same course in future terms
  • In other sections of that same course
  • If enabled (by an Academic Admin), the questions can be shared with other courses

You have a lot of options when adding questions to a test. In any case, you start by clicking Add Question.

Choose how you would like to add the question. You have four options:

Create a new question

1. Select the question type

You have seven question types:

  • Multiple Choice: Your students choose one answer from several. Simply type the answers in the fields. Use the radio button to designate the correct (100%) answer, and use the drop-downs to mark partial credit (e.g. 50%) for incorrect answers.
  • Short Answer: Your students enter free-form text answers. Leave the answer field blank if you wish to manually grade all answers to this question. You may also type certain common answers (correct or incorrect) and assign full, partial, or no credit so Populi can automatically grade them for you.
    • Check Use case-sensitive grading to require students to correctly capitalize (or not) their answers.
    • Automatic grading on short answers only works with exact matches. You'll have to manually grade non-matching answers in To Be Graded.
  • Put in Order: Your students put a jumbled list in the correct order; full and partial credit are both automatically graded. Type the options in the correct order; Populi automatically jumbles the options.
  • Multiple Answer: Your students check off all correct answers; these are automatically graded. Type the options and then check all that are correct.
  • Essay: Your students submit essay-length answers in a large text area. Essay questions can only be manually graded. You can also select a rubric and whether to automatically check for plagiarism (if enabled).
  • True/False: Your students check whether a statement is true or false. These are automatically-graded.
  • Matching: Your students match terms to one another. Simply enter matching terms next to each other in their respective columns. You can also enter additional "dummy" terms in the right column. Both columns will be randomized.

2. Type your question

You can use text formatting in Questions and Answers.

You can also include a media file in the question.

  1. Copy the EMBED code from any media file (audio or video)
  2. Paste it into the text of the question or text block.
  3. In Design mode, it will appear as a long {EMBED} code. The Preview tab will show what your students will see: a media player

3. Add a file (optional)

Click to choose a file or drag and drop one onto the file upload area.

4. Enter answers

See above for details about what options you'll have for each question type. For automatically-graded questions, make sure you designate which options get full credit and which get partial credit (75%, 50%, 25%...)

5. Choose whether to randomize

Check to randomize the answer display for multiple choice and multiple answer questions. This presents the answer options in a different order to each student.

6. Enable partial credit scoring

Check to enable partial credit scoring for multiple answer, put in order, and matching questions (partial credit is particularly useful for matching questions with a lot of terms).

7. Categories

Categories are like tags for questions. Use them to distinguish questions from one another (i.e. "Easy" vs. "Hard"; "Iliad" vs. "Odyssey"; "Algebraic Geometry" vs. "Algebraic Combinatorics"; and so on). Type a new category name or select from the categories that come up as you type. You can add as many categories as you wish.

8. Points & extra credit

Enter the number of points and check if the question is extra credit. Unless the question is extra credit, you can't enter more points than are left from the test's total points.

Create a new question based on an existing question

  1. Type a word or phrase and select from the suggested results.
  2. Click Continue to modify the selected question.
  3. Change any of the question's details to suit your needs. The only item you cannot change is question type.
  4. Click Save.

Import an existing question

  1. Type a word or phrase and select from the suggested results.
  2. Enter the number of points.
  3. Click Save.

Add a group of questions from a category

  1. Begin typing a category name and select from the suggested results.
  2. Enter the total number of points and questions. The points will be evenly divided among the questions you import.

Test questions view

After you create a question, you can find it in the course question bank. You can find that in the main Tests view under Questions. The view shows you all of the questions associated with the course.

  • Questions includes those you've created for tests in this course, questions attached to this course from past terms, questions created from existing questions, and questions shared with other courses in the catalog.
  • Click a category to see only the questions in that category. Remember that questions can have multiple categories.
  • Click add to create a new question (see above). These questions will be available for use on your tests whenever you use an add-question option that relies on an existing question.
  • Hover over a question to edit it. This will not affect any versions of this question already attached to existing tests.

After you've finished designing your test, your students can start taking it as soon as it's available. As soon as the first student has submitted her test, you can start grading.

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