Category Archives: 2. Creating the test

Changing the instructions students see in a test

You can add some instructions to a test to explain how it will be marked, how to enlarge text and how to manipulate image sizes etc.

Note: The instructions appear at the top of each question. Avoid having too much instruction as this will push the questions down the page.

How to add/edit instructions.

1. Either

Go to the course and the area where the test is deployed. Use the drop-down menu to the right of the test name to Edit the test; 

OR

Go to Course Tools under Control Panel, Tests, Test Canvas and click the drop-down to the right of the test name and click Edit).

2. Click the drop-down menu next to the test name at the top of the screen.

3. Scroll down to find the instructions box. Type the instructions and click Submit.

 

Randomised tests

On request, we can randomise the order in which the questions in an OLAF exam appear to students. This can be:

  • Completely randomised. Students would see the test in an entirely different order.
  • Randomised in sections. For example, there might be a section on Marx followed by a section on Hegel. Students would see the sections in the same order, but questions within each section in a different order

Randomising the questions makes checking the exam before it takes place trickier. You might need to allow extra set up time if using this option.

Don’t re-invent the wheel each year!

In following years, it is much more efficient and effective to work from the questions that were tested online by students in exams, than to get a Word version converted from scratch again. The conversion process, particularly if you have not followed the suggested format, can introduce errors.

You can:

  1. Tag and use last year’s questions.
  2. Copy and amend last year’s test.
  3. Ask us to produce an editable version of last year’s test that will convert more easily.

Respondus – software for converting tests to and from Microsoft Word

About Respondus

We now have a site licence for Respondus. This allows you to:

  • Download tests to print (with and without an answer key)
  • Convert correctly formatted Word documents to online test format
  • Create tests offline
  • Deployment to one or multiple courses
  • Download tests from publishers signed up to the test bank network

Installing and Activating Respondus

  1. Get in touch with your computing officer to arrange for installation. They should also provide the required account information and  password.
  2. When you first run Respondus, you will be prompted to enter the information.
  3. The info you need to get started is
    Institution Name:   Newcastle University
    Local Support Contact(s):  Malcolm Creen, e-mail: malcolm.creen@ncl.ac.uk; Marc Bennett, e-mail: marc.bennett@ncl.ac.uk
    The installation  password (which your IT officer should provide. We cannot publicise it through this blog)

Connecting to a server

The first time you download or upload questions, you will need to set up the connection with the server From the Publish wizard:

  1. Choose ‘Add new server’
  2. Select ‘Check for predefined settings
  3. Enter your Blackboard user id and password
  4. Do not check the box to ‘Test the connection‘ as this does not always work (even when the settings are correct)

If you have any problems, ensure that the box in the settings called ‘Login Page’ says ‘relogin’ rather than login at the end, eg “/webapps/logon/?action=relogin”

Help and Guides

Demonstration Movies – Short demonstration movies are available at: http://www.respondus.com/products/respondus/demos.shtml . A full-length training video is available at http://respondus.com/products/respondus/training.shtml . These are great resources for introducing and training instructors on Respondus 4.0.

Quick Start Guide – A Quick Start Guide for Respondus 4.0 is available for download from www.respondus.com/quickstart . This Quick Start Guide is 3 pages in length and contains the essential information for getting started with Respondus 4.0.

User Guide – If you prefer a printed user guide, go to http://www.respondus.com/products/userguide.shtml . These user guides are provided in MS Word format so that institutions can easily edit/add information that pertains to their institution.

Online Help – Online help is available from within the Respondus 4.0 application. Context-sensitive help is available by pressing the F1 key. Or, go to Help > Help Topics to access the main help system.

Respondus Test Bank Network –The test banks are in a ready-to-use format and can be accessed with Respondus 4.0 for free by instructors who adopt a participating textbook.  More information is available at http://www.respondus.com/testbank .