I have discovered an unusual problem. Questionmark Perception has a nice system for resuming assessments. I say nice, because if a student’s computer crashes in an exam, or they are part way through a coursework-style assessment and are called away for whatever reason, then they can resume the test later. This is a good feature. However, it throws up some problems.
We had a student in one QMP exam log in using the option “Show list of any unfinished assessments”. This is a checkbox under the login and I suppose this student just viewed it as “remember me” or “I agree” or any of those things you generally see below login boxes that he must be completely desensitised to reading. I have spoken to others who have had students tick this box when logging in also.
Anyway, if this were done on the day of the exam the student would not see the exam in their list of available assessments, since they haven’t partially completed it. The problem is that they do see any assessments they have partially completed and so might accidentally take, say, a practice test in place of a real one. This applies even if their access to the practice test has expired.
In the following video I have logged in to a test earlier and closed the window before submitting the test (in fact, before the 10 minute autosave period). Logging back in after the schedule has ended (i.e. after my access to start the test has expired), I am able to resume the test and submit a set of solutions. Also, because I closed the window within the 10 minute autosave period the timer has reset. Basically the system thinks I have interrupted my test and resumed it later. The problem is that the schedule that gives me access to the test has expired so, in my view, this should not be possible.
From the student’s point of view, they have logged in and taken the available assessment, so they have a strong argument that they have done nothing wrong. If they happen to have taken the practice test as real that may be judged as not their fault.
The only real solution to make sure practice tests aren’t resumed in place of the real test, etc. is to create every student a seperate, one time use username for each exam. This is an administrative hassle. In the real exams we ran we didn’t do this but we made a point of telling the students not to check the box and getting them to check they were seeing “modulecode_exam” and not “modulecode_practice” when they logged in. It is in their interest to take the real exam. Next time, I will be making sure the practice exam looks obviously different from the real one (different coloured background, for example), so the invigilators can easily look around the room and see anyone who has opened the wrong assessment.
I understand that QMP5 has a different layout for available assessments, so that incomplete assessments are more clearly marked as such.
16:00 03/02/10: There is a section of this post missing, which I have removed to give Questionmark time to explore a particular problem without the problem being in the public domain.