Exam Technical Issues (update 5-06)

Page content

Updates on Wednesday morning

(this will be posted on the course web and Canvas)

Some last minute updates:

  1. All students who didn’t take the exam Tuesday will be in Section “A” (code A). Look for quizzes titled “Final Exam: Quiz 1-A (1st Quiz for students with code A)” (2 or for the second one).

  2. You will not need an access code.

  3. Instructors in other courses have reported issues with using Safari. It may be safer to use Chrome as it seems to have the fewest reported problems.

  4. The image loading problem (see below) did occur in one of our early exam tests. The student was able to get the image themselves. If you have a problem send us a note on Piazza. Be sure to send us the quiz number, the question number, and the “alt-text” for the image. (we need all three of those so we know what image you should be seeing). Also send us your email address - Piazza image uploads seem to be broken today, so we might send you the image by email. (more likely, we will send you a web link to the image).

(what is below was posted on 5-05)

Original Message from Tuesday

(this will be posted on the course web and Canvas)

We are learning a lot from other classes using Canvas to give exams.

Short version: if you experience technical problems, do the best you can. Tell us what the problem is (via a private message on Piazza), but try to proceed. We will post announcements in the “Exam” folder on Piazza, but will generally try to avoid making announcements during the exam.

Some things that have come up for others:

  1. Missing images: there are reports that sometimes Canvas quizzes fail to show images. We have not been able to reproduce this on our quizzes. Refreshing the browser, or going to the same page in another browser fixes the problem.

  2. Page Error after submitting a quiz. This happens after the quiz results are submitted. Refreshing the browser makes things go back to being OK. In all cases we’ve seen, the problem happens after the results are submitted (the issue is with the page that should be displayed to show the results - we’ve never seen canvas fail to record quiz answers.

If you have a technical problem:

  1. Try to resolve it. Refreshing the page (Canvas is usually very good about saving quiz answers so they come back when you return to the page), restarting the browser, … If you’re really concerned about losing the work you’ve done, print the page to PDF (using the browser’s print command). However, remember that your 25 minutes keeps ticking.

  2. Try to alert us as soon as possible. The best way is to send a private message to course staff on Piazza, since many of us will see it and you are more likely to get a prompt response. However, if you find yourself unable to send a message by Piazza (for example, your internet goes out, so you have to send email using a cell phone), send an email to the Professor.

  3. Try to keep going on the current Quiz. We cannot extend your 25 minutes. So, do as much as you are able to.

  4. Check Piazza to see if we’ve posted something (either responding to your message or making a general announcement). Of course, don’t spend too much time monitoring this.

  5. If possible, do not wait for a response from the course staff - try to proceed. The clock keeps ticking for all of us. We might need to help someone else, so there may be a delay in responding to you. Try to proceed as best you can and check back in a few minutes.

  6. Do not talk to other students until after the exam window.

Some general advice:

  1. Check Piazza for announcements before you start each Quiz. Once the clock starts ticking, you don’t want to waste your time checking to see if there are messages. We will try to avoid making announcements during the exam. If there is something urgent, we will post it to Piazza in the “Exam” folder.

  2. You may also want to check at the end of a Quiz (before you submit, if you have time). Once you submit your quiz, you cannot go back to change it.

  3. Except in extreme cases, we will not make clarifications (or respond to clarification questions). This is a fairness issue: we cannot announce things in a way that we can be sure that everyone sees it. Even if we recommend people check Piazza regularly, there is no guarantee that everyone will see it. And with the asynchronous exam, we don’t want people who start late to benefit from having access to more announcements. So, if a question is confusing to you, it is probably confusing to 185 other students in class. If we determine we have a bad question in the exam, we will not count the question.

  4. Remember, the clock starts ticking when you start each Quiz. We cannot extend your 25 minutes, or the end of the exam window.

  5. Each quiz (exam piece) is 25 minutes and 25 points. They are not of equal difficulty. Some parts are easier than others.