How to use Quizzes in LEARN

The quizzes tool is an area where instructors can create online tests. It is important to consider the design of your questions when creating a quiz.

  1. To access the Quizzes tool, click on the Quizzes link from the Submit drop down menu on the course navbar.
  2. The quizzes tool consists of three main areas: creating/manage quizzes, the question library, and quiz statistics. 
    1. Creating a Quiz
    2. Properties tab 
      1. Important notes when creating a Quiz
      2. Creating and adding Questions
    3. Restrictions tab - quiz availability
    4. Assessment tab - linking to the gradebook
    5. Submission Views tab - timed release of quiz results and details
    6. Reports Setup tab - tailored aggregate reports
  3. Question Library
    1. Creating Sections in the Question Library
    2. Creating Questions in the Question Library
    3. Importing Questions from another format
  4. Manage Quizzes
  5. Creating Random Question Pools in Quizzes
  6. Quiz Statistics
  7. Grading Quizzes
  8. Re-grading Quiz Questions
  9. Attempts in Progress

Creating a New Quiz

To create a new quiz, click the New Quiz button.


Properties tab:

  1. Enter the quiz Name.
  2. Select a Category from the drop-down list or create a new one by clicking add category if you want your quizzes organized by a category.

Important notes when creating questions:

  • Remember to provide a point value for short and Written Response questions.
  • If you have not created questions in the Question Library, you can create them within the quiz. To include random question pools, you must use the question library. See Question Library.

Creating Questions

  1. Click Add/Edit Questions to begin adding questions.
  2. To start creating questions, select the New button and choose to create a New Question, a Section or a Question Pool.
  3. If you are creating a new question, click New Question and select the questions type you would like to create from the list of options. Note: If you select the wrong question type, you will be able to change it on the next screen.

  4. Before you begin creating your question, expand the options menu and enable any features you would like to use with this question by clicking on the desired option(s).
  5. Once you have added any desired options, begin creating your question by entering the question text, the possible responses, selecting the correct response and confirming the point value of the question.
  6. After you complete your question either save, or select the down arrow to the right of save and choose to Save and Create a New question or Save and copy.

  7. If you would like to use already existing questions, click Import.
  8. If you are importing from the question library within this course, select Import and choose Browse Question Library.
  9. Check the boxes beside the questions you would like to import and click Add.
  10. The questions will be imported and you will be taken to the Add/Edit Questions page. Once you are done importing/creating questions/section, click Back to settings to return to your quiz.
  11. Three additional options will appear above the question list.
    1. If you would like to limit the number of questions which appear per page, fill in the text box for the questions per page field. If left blank, the entire quiz will appear on one page.
    2. If you would like to prevent students from moving backwards through pages, check the Prevent moving backwards through pages box.
    3. If you would like the questions to appear in a random order, check the Shuffle questions at the quiz level box.
  12. If you want to add a message (optional), click Expand description/introduction and enter your message in the appropriate text field:
    1. Description use as a summary description of the quiz (selecting the on radio button will make the description viewable to students prior to quiz availability)
    2. Introduction a message will display as at the quiz commencement (selecting the on radio button will activate this feature)
  13. Click on Expand page header/footer, if you wish to provide text in the Page Header or Footer field that is shown to users at the end of the quiz (optional).
  14. Optional Advanced Properties can be selected to provide question context or reduce the opportunity for cheating.

Restrictions tab:

This tab provides settings for quiz availability.  By default, quizzes are set to inactive and will not honour the settings in this area until the quiz is set to active.

  • Hide from Users box is checked by default, this needs to be unchecked prior to making the quiz available.
  • To restrict access to the quiz, check the Has Start DateHas End Date and/or Has Due Date boxes and specify the start, end and due dates.
  • Check Display in Calendar if you would like these dates to appear in the Waterloo LEARN calendar. Note: The option to add to calendar will only become available if you have unchecked the Hide from Users option.
  • To create Additional Release Conditions, click Create and Attach to create new release conditions. To remove conditions, click the Remove icon beside individual conditions or Remove All Conditions. Release conditions specify actions students must complete, or achieve before gaining access to the quiz. (E.g., view a certain module, submit something to a drop box, get a certain grade on a previous assignment, etc.). Refer to  Release Condition instructions for more information.
  • To password protect the quiz, you must provide the password to students to access the quiz.
  • Timing
    • Set the Time Limit for your quiz. A time limit MUST be entered even if the time for the quiz is “unlimited”.
    • Check Enforced if you would like the quiz to be limited to the amount of time specified under Time Limit.  

Note: If time limit is not enforced, it will be shown to students as estimated time and they can take as long as they wish to take the quiz.

  • Set the late behaviour rule you want the quiz to follow (Enforced Time Limit must be selected to see these options):
    • Set the Grace Period if you would like to give students a buffer before their submission is marked as late. This is a required field and the smallest possible value is 1. If you would like your quiz to be exactly 30 minutes and you do not wish to give your students any more time, set your quiz to 29 minutes plus a 1 minute grace period.
    • 'Allow the student to continue working' - Users can always submit their quiz, regardless of time limits. If the quiz is submitted after the Time Limit it will be indicated as a late submission in the quiz grading area.
    • 'Prevent the student from making further changes' - After the time limit and grace period expire, the quiz does not complete any action that users try to perform, but prompts them to submit their quiz attempt. If users take no action, the quiz shows the attempt as 'attempt in progress' in the quiz grading area.
    • 'Allow the student to continue working, but automatically score the attempt as zero after an extended deadline' - Users can always submit their quiz, regardless of the set time limit. If the quiz is submitted after the Time Limit + Grace Period time expires, the user receives a score of 0 on the quiz. You can manually grade this score if you feel that the user deserves more than 0.
  • If you would like to allow special access to the quiz, select the appropriate option and then click the Add Users to Special Access button to add users (e.g., Accessability students who require additional time to take the quiz).

Assessment tab:

This tab contains the settings for associating quiz results with a grade item, automatically transferring grades to the gradebook,​ and controlling the number of allowable attempts.

  • Checking the Allow attempt to be set as graded immediately upon completion will grade quizzes that can be auto graded.  If you have question types like short and written response questions, the marks will not automatically transfer because manual marking is required.
  • Select the Grade Item from the drop-down list or create a new one by clicking add grade item (if you would like to transfer the marks from the quiz into the gradebook).
  • Checking the allow automatic export to grades will push the grades for the quiz to the gradebook. (This requires that a grade item is associated with the quiz and that the allow attempt to be set as graded immediately upon completion is also checked.)
  • Student View Preview If you wish to overwrite the default display settings that impact the way in which the quiz scores are displayed in the gradebook (only applicable if associated with a grade item in the gradebook).
  • Set the number of Attempts Allowed - the default is "1". Remember to click Apply if you alter this number.

Note: You can change what quiz details are made visible to the students at a later date by selecting Submission Views tab and applying a start date for that view. The default submission view is raw score only.

Submission Views tab:

By default, upon submitting a quiz, students will see their overall raw score for only those questions that can be auto-graded. Typically, this is the preferred setting as students may be completing the quiz at different times. However, it may be appropriate to make questions and answers available at a later date. Submission Views can be created and set to release dates for such purposes.

  • Click on the Add Additional View button.

  • Provide a Title for the View.
  • Set a release date (View Restrictions).
  • Select details to be visible to students.
  • In the example below only questions answered incorrectly will be visible.

  • Save the Submission View.

Reports Setup tab:

Here you can set up reports you would like to view for your quiz. This is not a mandatory part of set up, if you do not wish to review reports of your quiz, you may skip this tab. You can also create reports at any point in the future if you decide they are needed.

  • To create a report:
    • Click Add Report.
    • Enter the Report Name.
    • Select the Report Type and what you want included in the report.
    • Select the Release date.
    • Choose the role/people you would like to Release Report To.
    • Click Save Report.

Question Library

The question library allows you to create, edit, and store questions for all quizzes (and surveys) within your course. Creating questions within the question library is required if you are using random questions pools. Otherwise you can create questions in the quiz

  • To access the Question Library, click the Question Library button.
  • Use the New drop down menu and select either Section or Question Type.
  • There are two categories of things you can create with the question library: sections, and questions.
  • After you have created quiz sections and/or questions, you can manage them in the Question Library. The following options are displayed at the top of the Question Library page after you have created sections or questions:
    • Create New Question or Section drop-down list
    • Import questions from an existing quiz or text file  
    • Move selected questions or sections 
    • Delete selected questions/sections 
    • Order selected questions/sections 
    • Edit Values allows you to quickly edit the points and the difficulty level of questions

Creating Sections in the Question Library

Think of the sections in the Question Library as file folders in which you can store and organize groups of questions. For example, you might create a "multiple choice" section where you would put all your multiple choice questions, or a section containing all questions related to a specific topic, such as "Theoretical Fundamentals," or a section might be questions for one particular quiz, or if you want to provide the same set of instructions for multiple questions. You may also have sections within sections.

Having your questions organized in sections is also useful when you create a quiz. Instead of importing the questions one at a time you can import a whole section of questions into a quiz at the same time.

  • To create a new section, select Section from the drop down menu.
  • The New Section page will come up, add a Section Title.
  • If you would like, you can also add a Message, and an Image with a Description in the Section Text box.
  • Under Display Options, you will be able to determine if you would like to Hide Section Title from students, and Hide Section Text from students. If you are using sections simply as a way to organize your question library, you will likely want to check these options. If the sections correspond to actual quiz sections that you would like students to be aware of (and that may contain specific instructions for that section of the quiz (e.g., “answer the following questions based on this…”)) you will likely want to uncheck some/all of the options.
  • Once you have selected all the options you wish to use, Save your section.

Creating Questions in the Question Library

There are twelve possible question types that you can create within the question library. These include: true or false, multiple choice, multiple select, written response, short answer, multi-short answer, fill in the blanks, matching, ordering, arithmetic and significant figures.

Each of the question types has its own features. However, the following features apply to all question types in the quizzes tool:

  • All question types have an optional Short Description field. If you do not enter a short description, the system will take the full question text and enter it as the short description. The short description is only displayed in the quiz tool and not to users taking the quiz. To add a short description, click on Options and select Add Short Description.
  • All questions have a mandatory Points value which cannot be set to zero.
  • Images can be added to the Question Text.
  • If you want question feedback displayed to the users, click on Options and select Add Feedback to enter your feedback in the Overall Feedback area.
  • To display hints, click on Options and select Add Hint to enter text in the Question Hint field.
  • You have access to the preview, and spell-check features in each question text field. Click Preview to view your question as it will appear during use and grading. To access the Preview, click on the full screen button in the Question Text toolbar.
  • Click Save to save the question and return to the main page, Save and Copy to save the question and create a new question of the same type and that retains the copied properties, or click Save and New to continue creating questions of the same type.

Importing Questions from another format

There are a number of publishers that can provide compatible question bank cartridges that can be imported into Question Libraries for use in Waterloo LEARN.  

To import the generated CSV file, go to Submit > Quizzes and click on the Question Library. Select the Quiz Section where you want the questions and click on the Import button. For Import Source, select 'Upload a File' and click on the Browse Files button. Browse for your CSV file and click Open. Click Save.

Manage Quizzes

The manage quizzes section of the quizzes tool is the area where you can create the actual quizzes that will contain the questions from the question library.

Clicking on the Quizzes menu item in the navbar automatically takes you to the Manage Quizzes section.

From this page, a number of tools are available to you. You can create New quizzes, Copy, Reorder, Make Visible to Users, Hide from Users and Delete quizzes. You can also create Categories by clicking on Edit Categories to help organize your quizzes.

Since there are a large number of options for setting up your quizzes, you may want to create a template quiz (without any questions) with all of your settings and then copy this template to create quizzes that will be populated with questions.

Creating Random Question Pools in Quizzes

Creating random question pools (selecting X number of questions, at random, from a question pool) can only be done in the Quiz interface (e.g., the option to create a Question Pool only appears in the Properties > Add/Edit Questions interface for Quizzes. It does not appear as an option in the Question Library). However, the questions that the question pool will be pulling from must first be created within the question library.

  • Create your questions in the Question Library. For better organization, it is recommended you group the questions by question type or content covered using Sections. For example, you might create a Section for Part I - Multiple Choice, or a Section for Chapter 1 questions.
  • After creating your questions in the Question Library, create a new quiz (or edit exiting one) and go to Properties tab, and press the Add/Edit Questions button.
  • Click on the New button and select Question Pool. Name the new question pool something meaningful (e.g., Part I - Multiple Choice, or Chapter 1, etc.). 
  • Click on the Browse Question Library button to add questions to the pool from the Question Library.
  • Use the check boxes to select the specific questions/sections you which to draw from for the quiz. Click the Add button.
  • You can now identify the number of questions each quiz attempt will receive (e.g. Select 5 questions randomly from the pool of 10). Enter the number of questions to select, then enter the point value for each.
  •  Click Save and Done Editing Questions.
  • You will now see a summary on the quiz Properties tab: the Question Pool title, number of questions to be displayed and the total point value.
  • Click Save.

Quiz Statistics

The course statistics section of the Quizzes tool shows analytics for each quiz. There will be no data available through this tool for a quiz, until students have completed the quiz.

To view the tool, click on Statistics.

There are three tabs within this tool: user stats, question stats and question details. Each tab has an Export to csv file button available if you wish to export the data.

Grading Quizzes

For quizzes that require manual grading select the Grade option from the drop down menu beside the quiz name.

There are 3 options for grading the quizzes. You can grade by Users, Attempts, or Questions.

Grade by User:

Grading Users or Attempts  allows you to grade all the questions for a selected user.

  • Click on the attempt for a particular user to begin.
  • Grade each question.
  • Do not click the Auto-grade button because it will undo all the work you just did.
  • Click Update/Retract.

Grade by Questions:

In cases where a short or written response question has been used, select the Questions tab.

  • Click on the question you would like to grade, enter marks for individuals, and navigate to the next user response. You will need to do this for each user who has responded to this question.
  • Once you have added the marks click save.  You can use the arrows in the upper left to move through the list of users for that question. You can use the pull down to change the number of responses you see. 
  • Save the mark entered after each user
  •  Once you have graded all the questions go back to the Attempts tab.
  • To update the overall grades, select all attempts and click the Publish Feedback button.

The reset attempt option does not reset the score it completely removes the attempt. 

Note: Updated quiz marks are not transferred to the gradebook until the Publish Feedback button is selected.

Re-grading Quiz Questions

Before re-grading any questions or tests wait until all students have completed the quiz. 

  • From drop down menu associated with the quiz, select Grade.
  • Select the Questions tab and to correct all submissions select Update All Attempts.

  • To re-grade a question select the question from the list of questions in the quiz. At this stage you have a number of options.
    • You can give all attempts a grade or
    • You can give those with a specific answer a grade.
  • Make the desired changes and click on Save. You will be prompted to confirm your change before the re-grade is performed.

Attempts in Progress

Occasionally, students will attempt a quiz and for a variety of reasons will not submit properly. To determine whether there are any outstanding submissions, select Grade from the drop down menu associated with the desired quiz.

Select the Users tab (selected by default) and click Show Search Options, then filter by Users with attempts in progress and click on the Search Icon (magnifying glass) - unless you are looking for a specific student, leaving this field blank will produce all in progress quizzes.

It is possible to submit a Quiz that is an Attempt in Progress on behalf of a student. For more information, please contact