Oncourse Tests & Surveys tool: Set it up

Oncourse’s Tests & Surveys tool lets instructors change a wide variety of settings in the assessments they create. Students should pay attention to these options too, as different settings might change their test-taking strategies.

Under Settings, instructors can specify delivery dates for their assessments, including whether or not to accept late submissions. In addition they can add a time limit, and add feedback (for specific responses, or for the assessment as a whole). They can even allow students to respond anonymously, or choose to hide students’ names from the person grading a test (such as a course assistant). Two settings in particular can be exploited for pedagogical purposes: Assessment Organization and Mark for Review.

Screen capture of Navigation options under Assessment Organization

With Assessment Organization, test or survey questions can be delivered either linearly or non-linearly. In the linear format, the order of questions is set by the test creator, and students are forced to answer one question (or part of the test) at a time, without being able to return to previous sections. This is a good choice if, for example, the answer to question 2 shows up in question 4.  The non-linear (or “random access”) format provides much more flexibility: students can click on a Table of Contents link to skip ahead or return to unanswered questions. I like using this format if I can, since sometimes test takers panic and can’t remember the answer to something when put on the spot.

With Mark for Review, assessment creators can let students bookmark questions that they want to look at again before they submit the test. Students will see a check-box that says “Mark for Review;” if they click it, then that question is marked in the table of contents. To take full advantage of this tool, students should look over the table of contents before submitting their answers. They can use it to click on the questions that they wanted to review from that page. Naturally, this option only works with non-linear (random access) tests.  Linear tests require you to go in order through the questions/parts – no going back to look at previous questions.

Assessment creators should explore their options under settings; students should make a point of noticing if they have the chance to review questions, or if they should make sure not to skip questions!

For more details on how to use Test & Surveys, browse through these IT Training materials:

Least You Need to Know documents

Feature Demonstrations

One Comment

  1. Bloomington IN Hair Salon

    Wow oncourse continues to evolve. Some of the setting and options really confused me. It’s a lot easier now though. Thanks for the tips and insight and I look forward to the results of the Beta.

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