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fcato
Community Participant

"Optional" Quiz Questions

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Hi,

I'm trying to construct a final exam that gives students some options along the way.  This is easy to do in a F2F class, but a little trickier online.  What I want is for students to answer 10 out of a possible 12 short-answer/essay questions. I don't care which 10 they answer; I want them to choose the 10 that they think they can do the best job on.

The only way I can think to do it is this:  create a 12-question quiz, assign 10 points to each, so that it appears that 120 points could be earned.  The directions on the quiz (as well as the module that goes with it) would direct them to answer only 10 and would specify that no more than 100 points total can be earned.  When I grade the exam, I would assign 0 points to the 'extra' two questions so that the most anyone could earn would be 100.

Obviously, this isn't ideal, but it's the only thing I've been able to come up with so far.  The course is set up so that assignments are based on percentages.  The Final Exam is its own category, so I don't really anticipate that it would play screwy with the overall percents (in theory, anyway).

That was a long way of asking:  have any of you done something like this in a cleaner way?  Are there any pitfalls I should be thinking of?

Thanks for any tips you can give,

farrah

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

fcato​ - below is what works for us. It's not perfect, but the instructors who do this seem happy with how it works and have been doing it for the last two years.

Step 1: In quiz area where you add questions insert a "Text (no question)" question in with the list of different short-answer essay questions and directions letting the student know that they should pick 10 questions from this list and any other directions (full sentences, etc).

Step 2: Below the text you just added, add 10 essay question's each worth 10 points. You could literally call them Essay 1, Essay 2, etc. and otherwise leave them blank. The students can then pick which essays they want to write about and add their responses in one of the essay boxes.

Below is a ID Terms example of what I explained above:

EssayQuestions.png

View solution in original post

5 Replies
kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

fcato​ - below is what works for us. It's not perfect, but the instructors who do this seem happy with how it works and have been doing it for the last two years.

Step 1: In quiz area where you add questions insert a "Text (no question)" question in with the list of different short-answer essay questions and directions letting the student know that they should pick 10 questions from this list and any other directions (full sentences, etc).

Step 2: Below the text you just added, add 10 essay question's each worth 10 points. You could literally call them Essay 1, Essay 2, etc. and otherwise leave them blank. The students can then pick which essays they want to write about and add their responses in one of the essay boxes.

Below is a ID Terms example of what I explained above:

EssayQuestions.png

View solution in original post

fcato
Community Participant

Thanks, Kona; this is really helpful. I realized after I posted that my original idea wouldn't work because we can't otherwise manipulate total points in the main "assignments" area, so doing it my way would mean students would have a negative impact on their grade.  This will work.

thanks!

farrah

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Very good! Glad to help!

kevinmil
Community Participant

Has anyone figured out how to do this? If I read the suggested response correctly, this would mean that answers to a given question would be distributed throughout the different "questions", which would make grading quite unpleasant for an essay exam.

The only answer I can come up with involves all students getting grades based on their getting 0 for the questions they didn't do. That will work, but won't thrill them.

lshulman
Community Participant

I have a similar exam with option to answer just 5 out of 10. That is easier than your 10 out of 12. All I have to do is make each of the ten questions worth 10 points (to end up with a 100 point exam). But then, when I grade, I give up to 20 points for each answer. And zero points for the questions they do not answer. Works well!

Now I am working on a 5 out of 7 question exam. And I was stumped. So I found your question. I like the proposed solution. But fear that some students will not make clear which question they are answering. May need a direction to "copy and paste the question you are answering".

Or perhaps building in three additional "no answer" "questions" (total of 10) I can then just assign each question 10 points but grade each of five answers with up to 20 points.