Reply To: Sakai Help
Here’s a recap of my experience trying to use the Sakai “Tests and Quizzes” assessment tool for a timed exam for 70 students.
Quick summary: If I use Sakai as an assessment platform again I’ll do the following:
1) Avoid using the “Question per page” format, this didn’t work for many students, probably due to weak internet connections on their side and/or problems with Sakai scalability
2) Provide a long “Late submissions” window to make sure students can get their exam submitted
I setup my exam as 50 questions randomly drawn a pool of 50 questions (i.e the same 50 questions for all students, but in random order) with one question shown at a time, but allowing students to go back to earlier questions. I tested this exam in with the preview function and I provided the students with a 10-question practice exam with identical settings so they could get used to the process. The preview worked fine and no one reported difficulties with the practice exam, so I setup the exam to begin at 11am today and waited.
Within minutes of the exam start I received emails from approximately 15 students reporting that A) questions were taking minutes to load and that B) Sakai was repeatedly showing them the same question even after they clicked the “Next” button to move on – similar to what was reported by Megan Plenge on 3/30. Sakai was sluggish but usable for me during this time, and I quickly copied the duplicated the exam, changed the settings of the duplicate to load all questions on a single page and directed students with technical problems to that alternative test. This worked, but at the end of the exam many students reported difficulty with submission such as timeouts after clicking the submit button. This happened with both the original and alternative exams. I thought I had configured Sakai to auto-submit all saved student work at the end of the exam period with the “Autosubmit saved student work after latest acceptance date” Settings option, but that didn’t work and many students were left with unsubmitted exams. I again edited the exam settings to allow late submissions and directed all students without submitted exams to re-enter Sakai and try again. This eventually allowed almost everyone to get the exam in.
As a final note, providing extended test time to select students for the ARS accommodations worked fine.