When we think about creating tests online with web-based exam software, we usually choose such tools based on how many question types they support (whether it’s only multiple choice questions or something more), or how easy they are to use for test takers.
Of course, all of these things are very important, and every modern application for online exams has to be good in all of these areas.
But there’s one part of such web services that sometimes doesn’t seem to be significant and is almost overlooked, but when it’s implemented with all the attention it really deserves, it can completely change the way you use your online testing tool, because it gives you an infinite flexibility in terms of exam management.
If the web-based exam software that you use offers you advanced schedule options, you don’t have to adjust your usual way of managing tests and exams to the strict usage patterns and scenarios devised by the developers of the application. Instead, the online testing tool will offer you the variety of options you can choose from to schedule your tests in a way that suits best your current specific situation.
For example, if you want to start the test for all the test takers simultaneously at some predefined time, like a regular university exam, a modern web-based exam software will offer you such an option.
On the other hand, if you need to assign your students a test that they can take either during their classes or later, at home, with the possibility to retake it several times, so that it can be used not only as an examination tool, but rather as an active educational component of your course, your online testing tool has to be able to offer you such an option too.
Finally, there are situations when you know that you have to assign a test to your test takers, but you don’t really need to set in advance some specific time for it to start. In this case your online testing application has to offer you a possibility to schedule the test in a manual start mode. Then, when the test has to be started for all of your students, you just have to press the “Start” button.
Option #1: set the active period for your test
This is the best choice if you want to make an exam available to your test takers, for example, from 10:00 AM, April 15, to 4:00 PM, April 30, so that students can take it at any time during this period, when it’s convenient for them to do it.
In order to use this option, go to the “Tests” section of your HmmQuiz account and click on the “Assign” button in the “Tests” table, in the row with the test you want to assign to your students. Then in the new modal window click on the button “Set Active Period”.
Next click in the “Active from…” and “Active until…” fields to set the date and time when the active period automatically starts and automatically ends.
Here you can also select the number of attempts the students will have to take the test, 1 to 10.
When everything is ready, click on the “Set” button. After a few moments the scheduled test will appear in the “Schedule” part of the “Tests” section of your HmmQuiz account.
Option #2: start the exam for all the test takers automatically at the scheduled time
If you want the test to start automatically for all the test takers, for example, at 10:00 AM, October 8, so that all of your students take it simultaneously at the specific time defined by you, in the same modal window as in the previous case click on the “Set Auto-Start” button.
Here you need to select the date and time for the test start, and click on the “Set” button.
Option #3: schedule the test for a manual start
If you want to give your students a test during class hours, it might be difficult to predict beforehand the exact time when it will be the best moment to start testing.
Of course, you could simply use the option #2, the auto-start, and schedule the exam right before it must start, to start it in a minute or two. But it’s not very convenient, because you have to spend some part of your precious class time on all of these preparations and waiting.
With the manual start option you don’t have to accept such inconvenience, because you can add the test to the schedule for a particular class in advance without specifying the time when the test starts. In order to do this, click on the “Set Manual Start” button.
When it’s time to start testing, simply click on the “Start” button in the schedule, and the examination will begin automatically for all the test takers at the same time.
Send notifications to your test takers
In HmmQuiz you can add test takers with or without email addresses. If all or some of the quiz takers in the class you assigned the exam to have email addresses, you can send them via HmmQuiz short email notifications about such a test. This feature available for all three scheduling options described above.
In order to send such notifications, in the “Schedule” table in the “Tests” section of your HmmQuiz account click on the “Notify” button and in the new modal window click on the “Send Email Messages to Quiz Takers” button.