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Community Contributor

Moderating a live quiz

We have bene running a few live exams using new quizzes and have to say I am a little confused by the moderation.

You don't appear to be able to add time for students once a quiz has started. It gives the impression that the time has bene added to the students attempt but in reality it doesn't. Keeping to the original time the student had. This seems very strange and surely must be a bug?

Has anyone else encountered this problem?

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Community Champion

I have not truly tried live moderating, because I let my students take their quizzes at any point over a 3 day period.  It is technically possible to reopen a closed attempt, and add time to that reopened attempt.  However, clicking reopen restarts the clock as soon as you click it (which in my course means coordinating with each student exactly when they will restart).  It was not clear, even to canvas support (who got it wrong but gave a confident answer,) how to calculate the time remaining to the student before the additional time was added. 

What I learned: 

  • If you click reopen it restarts counting the quiz time for that attempt at that click
  • If the quiz has an available until time in assignment settings, and that time has past, that time needs to be adjusted for the individual student whether you reopen and/or add time to the quiz.  (Accessed through edit > more options from the three dot menu of the assignment tab ONLY.)
  • The time the student used for this attempt displayed on the moderate tab will be the max if the student had some technical difficulty and the quiz timed itself out
  • Opening the quiz log for the attempt will display, at the end of the log, the actual time used by the student for this attempt. - Canvas support says that reopening the attempt uses this time to calculate the time remaining, and it appeared to the first time it was reopened.  The quiz "ran" for the remainder of the available time according to the quiz log, plus the added time, before it locked.
  • If the reopening is not coordinated effectively with the student, and therefore needs to be repeated, the added time will have also run out once and it will still be displayed on the moderating page.  - Canvas support says that all that is necessary at this point is clicking reopen, because the quiz log and added time are unchanged.  Canvas support was wrong.  The quiz immediately told the student time was up.
  • MAYBE if I had tried one more time by increasing the added time further to include the time previously added PLUS all the time I intended the student to use, it MIGHT have correctly given the student the reopened attempt.  I found an alternative that did not require coordinating a third reopen schedule.  (each reopen attempt included a delay to coordinate with canvas support.)
  • Instead of reopening and adding time to the original quiz, I found it more reliable to duplicate the quiz (an option on the three dot menu of the quizzes or assignments tab) with a name specific to the student, edit that duplicate quiz to have only the questions the student had not yet completed, set the quiz time to the desired length for this specific reopened attempt, in assignment settings assign it to only the student who needed the attempt reopened, and add it to the module with the original for the student to access it.  (and of course, then manually transfer the points from this "does not count towards grades" quiz into the other quiz used for the actual grade... for this to be the solution tells you how frustrating this process got.)  Fortunately this quiz was at the end of a module, and so this did not interfere with any module rules.
  • From another user, I have learned that when a quiz does not have multiple attempts turned on in quiz settings (because students are generally only given one attempt for that quiz), adding another attempt in moderation for a specific student will fail.  However, it can be accomplished IF it occurs to you to turn on multiple attempts in quiz settings, but set the number of attempts allowed to 1.

What works:

The little pencil icon opens settings that will moderate ALL quiz attempts from any one quiz in which you use it.  I have successfully added a time limit multiplier of 1.5 for students with accommodations that require it.  The multiplier then appears automatically in every quiz.  I do not have to remember if I add a new quiz, or replace one with a copy from a different section.  It is just there automatically every time the student takes a quiz.  Doing that once, rather than repeating it for every single quiz and exam is a huge improvement.

Community Contributor

@Steven_S Huge thanks for the very detailed reply

We use multiple quizzes across multiple canvas courses over recent weeks for end of semester assessments. The quiz is open for a 12 hour period for students to take and the time limits range from 60 minutes to 90 minutes. With students being allocated RAPs (Reasonable adjustment Period i.e. extra time )

The 12 hour period allows students to take the quiz at their convenience and allows for different time zones.

the reopening is an interesting point and I will investigate this further. It is not something Instructure support have mentioned.

I feel the New quiz tool not as supportive of moderation as the old one. Maybe this is because I am less familiar with this, but moderation on a live quiz would be useful.


Community Champion

In the situation you describe, I use the assignment settings to control the time the assignment is available.  I use 3 days, but 12 hours can be set there as well.  That can only be set using the three dot menu on the assignment tab.

For the students who get extra time on quizzes and exams (which in my case have time limits ranging from 10 to 90 minutes) our policy is generally that time and a half is a reasonable accommodation of extra time.  What new quizzes does, that classic quizzes never did, is let me set a multiplier (1.5) that automatically adjusts every 10 minute quiz to 15 minutes, and every 90 minute exam to 135 minutes.  All by adjusting one setting (from the pencil icon in the row of that student on the moderate tab of ANY quiz, select "time limit multiplier" and canvas does the rest for EVERY quiz.)

The tools in the moderate button only impact the current (or most recent for reopening) attempt, and so that makes them suited for fixing things that come up only on the one quiz, that you might use live moderation for.  The tools on the moderate button still need some work to be effective, as I noted before.  Since it does not actually add time to an ongoing attempt in your test, you might try:

  • make sure the added time isn't trying to extend beyond the until date set in the assignment tab
  • attempts that are "in progress" give you an option to conclude the attempt from the moderating tab try doing that, adding the time, and then clicking reopen

I have heard some who set a specific time for an exam, when they intend to monitor students live complain about the lack of updates on the moderating page.  They want to keep it open for the hour of the exam (for example) and address any students who have not started, or who stop interacting with the quiz live.  That is more monitoring then I intend to do, but you are not wrong that it is desired by some.