online teaching tips
Assessment, Best Practices

Tips for Giving Online Quizzes/Tests

Let’s be clear, with ANY quiz, test, or exam there is a chance a student will cheat, even in a face to face class.  But the temptation is often greater in an online class because there is no one watching.  So I have done some research and come up with some tips to help you when setting up your online quizzes and test.


Tip 1: Set Expectations With Student

Before your first online quiz/test/exam make sure you set your expectations.  Online may be new to some students and they may not realize that the same rules apply.  Be clear what they CAN and CANNOT use during the test, including phones, texts, other people, books, or the internet. I know it seems obvious but it’s better to be clear up front so there are not misunderstandings.


Tip 2: Start with the Honor Code

Make the first question in your quiz/test/exam an honor code question.

  1. Choose a multiple choice question type.
  2. Paste the Honor Code text into question body.
  3. In the first answer option type in “I understand that the CofC Honor code applies to this test and I will abide by it.
  4. Mark it as correct and delete all other answer options by clicking the “X” next to each.

This is just one last way to make sure the students understand the honor code applies.  It removes any gray areas.


Tip 3: Randomize

OAKS allows you to randomize both the ANSWERS when you create the question and the QUESTIONS within the quiz.

Randomize Questions

If you want your assessment questions to be just in different orders for each student, then click on the Shuffle questions at the quiz level box in the Quiz Questions link when editing/creating a quiz.  This will take all the questions you have added and just rearrange them for each student.

If you have a test bank and want only a specific amount of those questions to be randomly distributed (example I have 70 questions and I want the computer to randomly deliver 50 questions to each student), you will have to use a Question Pool.  To learn more visit the Brightspace Help area on Question Pools.

Randomize Answers

If you want your answers in multiple choice questions to be randomized (example: my letter A is different than my friend’s letter A for this question) then, when creating the question, click on the Randomize Answers box under the answer options you’ve typed in.

Do not use this feature on True/False questions or questions who’s answers include: All of the above, None of the above, A and C, etc.

mc test


Tip 4: Set your Timing Properly

Time to Take the Test

Timing controls how long a user has to complete the quiz/test/exam once they click on the Start button.  Note: if they leave the quiz and come back in the clock continues to run while they are gone.

Don’t give them too much time to take the assessment.  Research shows that you should allow 45 seconds per multiple choice question/TF questions unless they are particularly long.  Another recommendation I read was for you to take the assessment then double the time it took you.  Either way, be purposeful when setting your times.

Start and End Time

You can set up the START time using the Start/End/Due features.  This date/time restriction determines when a student can begin taking the test. This means that if a 60 minute test closes at noon, a student can still begin taking the test at 11:59 am. and still take their full 60 minutes, meaning they end their test at 12:59 pm.It isn’t recommended to leave a D2L Quiz open for long periods of time.  Be thoughtful about how long you allow between the start time of the test and the end time.

lightbulbTip 5: Limit Your Feedback

When a student completes a quiz/test/exam, by default, they are shown their score if the test is auto-graded but that’s all.  They don’t see what they got right, wrong, or the correct answers.  In OAKS you can set up an additional views that allow the students to see this information and set that additional view to release on a specific date/time.  Take your END date/time and add the total minutes that a student can take a test and release the additional view AFTER this time.   For example: my test ends 3/19 at 5:00 pm and the students have 120 minutes to take the test.  I will release the additional view 3/19 at 7:00.  That’s because a student can begin taking the test at 4:59 and can still be taking the test at 6:59.

  1. When creating or editing a quiz, click on the Submission View tab
  2. Click on Add Additional View.
  3. Give the submission view a name and then choose the settings you want.
  4. Under View Restrictions set your date/time to release this view.
  5. Click Save.


Tip 6: Deliver one question at a time

Setting OAKS Quizzes to deliver one question at a time makes it harder for students to take a screenshot of your test or print the screen.  The students see only one question and once they answer it they click Next to get to the next question.

  1. When creating/editing a quiz, scroll to the Quiz Questions area.
  2. Next to Questions per page, type in 1 and Apply
  3. If you want to prevent them from going back to previous questions, including ones they skipped, check the box next to Prevent moving backwards through pages.

Please do not select “Prevent moving backwards through pages.”  This makes the test difficult for individuals with accommodations and goes against everything students are taught about timed test taking, which is to pass up questions they don’t know and come back to them later.