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Fix a Faulty Question After Students have Taken the Quiz

Key Points

  1. If you alter a question in a quiz that some students have already taken, Pilot will preserve the old version of the question for those students who took the quiz before the change.
  2. Only students who take the quiz after you edit a question will see the edited version of the question.
  3. You can reassign points for those who answered the original question. Follow the steps below in the section called Fix the Grades.

How Pilot Handles an Edited Question

When you change a question after some students have already submitted a quiz, the results may seem a little mysterious. In this section, we’ll try to explain Pilot’s behavior. Feel free to skip this explanation and go straight to the next section called Fix the Grades.

When you discover a mistake in your quiz, your first impulse may be to fix the question. That’s perfect. If you’ve marked the wrong answer right, for example, just delete the “100 percent” from the wrong answer and add it to the right answer.

One would think that Pilot should then give credit where credit is due. But this is where things get mysterious.

When you look at your students’ attempts, there’s a scary red message above the changed question. It’s an older version of the question, the message says. You thought you had fixed the question. But inside each student’s attempt, the question hasn’t changed, nor has the student’s score. What gives?

One benefit of the way Pilot handles altered questions is that it helps keep people honest. No one can claim you pulled a switcheroo and altered questions after students answered them. You couldn’t do that if you tried.

There’s an even better benefit, though. Suppose the first students to take your quiz point out that you made a royal mess of one of your questions. So you want to rewrite it before anyone else takes it. You can do that. And you won’t have to worry about how students’ existing answers match the new wording. You can edit until it’s  a whole new question with whole new answers if you want.

Students who take the quiz after you fix the question will get the updated version. Students who took the quiz earlier won’t have their attempt altered. When they, or you, view their submission, Pilot will still show the questions and answers as they were when they took the quiz. In other words, Pilot preserves the integrity of prior submissions.

So it’s only for students who submitted quizzes before you altered the question that you will see the red message about the question being an older version.

That leaves one thing that needs to be fixed: grades for students who took the quiz before you changed the question.

Fix the Grades

Because Pilot preserves the integrity of quizzes already taken, it won’t automatically alter the scores of students who took a quiz before you fixed a question. But it does give you a way to fix the scoring yourself.

You may choose to give everyone who took the old version of the question full credit, for example. Or you may choose to give points only to those who selected a particular answer in the old version of the question. Here’s how.

  1. From “Assessment” on the navbar, choose “Quizzes and Exams.”
  2. Click the arrow next to the name of the quiz and choose “Grade.”
  3. On the “Grade Quiz” page, click the “Questions” tab near the top.
  4. Select the button in front of “Update All Attempts.”
  5. Scroll  to the bottom of the list of questions. You may see a section called “Questions that are not in the quiz anymore.” Any question you edited after someone answered it will be listed in this section at the bottom of the page.
  6. Next, you will click on the question you would like to update. Here you will see the question, it’s answers, and how many people checked each answer. These will only reflect quizzes submitted before you changed the question.
  7. A little farther down the page, you will see the “Grade” section. Here, you can give all attempts a certain number of points, regardless of which answers were checked. Or you can choose to give points to anyone who chose a particular answer.
    When you’ve finished updating the points, make sure you click on the blue Save button. Keep in mind that when you click “Save,” Pilot will only change the scores for quiz attempts submitted before you changed the question.
  8. You may also need to unpublish, save, then republish the quiz attempts to push the new scores into Grades.

Shortcut: Leave the Question Be

If all your students have taken the quiz before you realize a question has a problem, you can go straight to fixing the points without fixing the question. Follow steps 1 through 4 above. There won’t be a section at the bottom for old versions, though. So just click the question in the main list. You will have the same options to assign points as described in step 7 above.

Of course, if you want to import the quiz into another course, you will need to remember to fix the offending question in your new course before students take the quiz. So it’s probably better to go ahead and fix the question in the original quiz. Then your new course will get the correct version of the question when you import the quiz.

Or Delete the Question

If you delete a question after students have taken the quiz. The existing attempts will have a red message on the question, just like edited questions. The total number of points for the quiz will drop by the point value of the question you delete. But the student’s point scores won’t change, which means they may be higher than they should be. A student’s percentage grade may even exceed 100.

To update students’ scores, you will need to go into each students’ attempt and click the “Auto Grade” button.