Importing Assessment Content – from Cengage

If you’ve ever had an issue pulling content into your course – especially assessment content the know you’re not alone.  Assessment content can be a really great win for you and your time, especially if you’re looking to provide some low-level assessment to check for student comprehension or understanding of material.

The real problem is when you get them from the publisher and go to put them into your course site.  Having played and worked with several learning management systems, I’m well aware of the phrase, “Not all learning management systems are created equal,” but I’m also aware that not all publishers are the same, nor is their implementation of standards, especially the QTI standard, used to provide formatting to assessments and the assessment question types so they’re portable and reusable in different learning management systems.

I’d like to say that there’s one full-proof/fool-proof way of doing this for every publisher, textbook, and question set – but there’s not.  There are lots of great tools out there like these:

  • Respondus
  • Cognero
  • TestGen

And yet sometimes it requires the use of multiple tools to get the assessment content into a course site. Here’s one such episode I recently encountered in an online course where the instructor needed multiple chapters of content imported from the newly minted next edition to the course and Cengage didn’t provide a Sakai labeled import file – just one for Angel and Blackboard (not even one for Canvas).

In short you may have to try several things or a combination of things. I’ve even taken content from one publisher in a format specific to another LMS, imported to that LMS, exported it and then was able to bring it into a course site. Just goes to show, nothing is standard in the world of publisher-created assessments, despite use of QTI as a standard.

If you have questions, or need help with importing your assessment content contact Dave Eveland of the Department of Online Education.


Setting dates for an Assessment

Setting dates for what’s due in a course is often a complex process even if you’re not using some sort of digital mechanism to do so – making sure to include your late policy, correct for official out of class dates and long holidays can be a challenge.  It can be done though by thinking about things ahead of time and knowing how to set them in the course.

When using Tests and Quizzes in a course for assessment, setting the dates is pretty simple, esp. if it’s the only thing you’re doing. Creating an assessment is another conversation entirely (because it’s also a complex concept – depending on what you’re trying to do).

If you’ve been given a course to prep, or if you’ve already got your assessments built in Sakai and just need to make them ready for students to take, you can follow the directions for each assessment:

Step 1. In the course, go to Tests and Quizzes

Step 2. Below the Create from Scratch area, on the Working Copies tab (a), select Settings from the Select Action drop down menu (b) for the Quiz you want to adjust or change.


Step 3. On the new page, in the Availability and Submissions section, select the new available, due and late acceptance dates, and other settings as you deem necessary.

Step 4. Select Save Settings and Publish

Step 5. Confirm the setting and choose notification settings.

Step 6. Select the Publish button.


That’s it.  Note, also once an assessment is published, if you need to adjust the date/time again, be sure to do so from the Published Copies tab, instead of the Working Copies tab. As long as you’ve not changed the assessment title, if you’ve inserted it previously into a Lesson, it should be good to go. If it doesn’t seem to work from there, just go to the Lesson, and re-insert the link to the assessment, using the Add Content menu.

How do I know a student finished a quiz or assessment in Sakai?

Whether you’re teaching an online course or otherwise, having assessments automatically graded and added into a student’s grade is a great time saving feature, and can even be used as a mechanism to give student’s opportunities to practice and retain course content meant for application later.

Sometimes though the question comes up? How do I know a student finished a quiz or assessment in Sakai? Once a student completes an assessment in Sakai, Sakai creates a log entry, which you can view by going to Tests & Quizzes, and then by clicking on Event Log near the top. Students can see similar information (depending upon what feedback settings you’ve chosen for the assessment – by going to Tests & Quizzes and looking at the Submitted Assessments area (second image):

FireShot Pro Screen Capture #026 - 'Sakai _ JU_CPED_2023_04_14FL _ Tests & Quizzes' - sakai_lampschools_org_portal_site_010330df-8bed-4bb3-bbd1-9f8fc49b3e7a_page_fa2cb962-f20d-419c-ba71-0890a1ada95e


Sakai also gives students a ‘submission receipt’ or Confirmation Number and date when they’ve fully submitted their assessment or quiz:


Additionally, students are warned just prior to submitting the assessment that that is in fact what they are choosing to do:


Quizzes (or any assessment in Sakai) can be set to submit all Saved work in a quiz on the due date and time automatically, though it’s important for the instructor to set this accordingly in the assessment settings: