ARCHIVED: Oncourse Original Test and Survey tool: Overview
Note: The Original Test and Survey tool is no longer available; see About the retirement of Original Test and Survey.
What it does
The Original Test and Survey tool lets instructors collect answers to questions online. Most people use it to administer tests, but it also can serve for gathering survey information, perhaps for informal course feedback.
Instructors can set up their tests to pose several types of questions, some of which can be graded automatically. In some cases, you also can have grades automatically posted to the Gradebook. You can scramble test questions so that they appear in different orders, or you can create two or more versions of your test and arrange for the system to administer them at random.
You can control a wide range of conditions for taking the test. If you would like your students to take the test from a proctored site, such as a Student Technology Center or a department lab, you can specify a range of IP addresses from which they can take the test. You also can determine earliest begin and end times for the test, set time limits, and decide whether students may take the test two or more times.
Creating a test: When you click
Test/Survey, you are naming and setting up the test. From here,
you can go on to create the test content.
Question Editor: The Question Editor isn't just for editing questions. This is where you develop all the content of the test, including questions, comments, instructions, and any images or diagrams you want to include.
Test menus: From any "Test Menu" screen,
you can click
Test Menu to reach a descriptive menu of all
the configuration settings available. From these menus you can control
the administrative conditions for the test and what your students will
see when they finish their tests or review their graded tests, and
specify any restrictions about when, where, and to whom the test can
Things to consider
- It can take a few tries for students to feel comfortable taking
online tests. Consider setting up a practice run in a lab environment.
- Assume all the issues concerning take-home exams also apply to
- It can take a few tries before you feel at home using the Question
Editor and other test creation features. If you have never created an
Oncourse test or survey before, you probably should begin with your
test disabled, so that you can take your time to work on it. In this
case, make sure to select
Start with this test disabled. I will enable it when I am ready.
- The feedback settings for your test can be important. Oncourse can
only grade True-False, Multiple Choice, and Matching question types
reliably; it has a limited ability to grade Fill-in-the-Blank
questions, and can't grade Short Answer or Essay questions at all. If
there are open-ended test questions you will need to read before
assigning an overall grade for the test, you might prefer that the
students not see the results of their automatically graded questions
until you have reviewed the whole test.
- If you intend to use the Gradebook feature, you probably
should consider the tasks of setting up tests and creating your
Gradebook as a coordinated project. If you intend to use the automatic
calculation feature, you will need to determine your entire grading
scheme ahead of time.
Note: Letter grades in Gradebook are referred to as non-calculating grades. Non-calculating grades may be any string of text up to eight characters. If you want your grades calculated automatically, you must enter them as either points or percentages. See Changing the grade entry, type, and scale in Gradebook.
Note: The Original Test and Survey tool cannot transmit grades to non-calculating gradebooks.
- In combined course sites, you may encounter problems accessing the Original Test and Survey tool between 6 and 7am; see ARCHIVED: Problems accessing the Original Test and Survey tool in combined course sites.
For help documentation about the Original Test and Survey tool, see ARCHIVED: Original Test and Survey tool.
Last modified on August 16, 2012.