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Create online quizzes

Deliver online tests and activities using the Brightspace quizzes tool.

The quizzes tool offers many flexible options, including:

  • Leverage a variety of question types.
  • Randomize quiz questions, so students don't all receive the exact same test.
  • Control the flow of results and feedback after a test is completed. 
  • Accommodate individual students' need for extra time.

Find the Quizzes tool in the top menu bar, under Assessment. If it isn't there, review how to enable course tools.

Three steps to creating a quiz:

The basics 

Click 'New Quiz' button
  • In the Quiz tool, go to the Manage Quizzes page, then click New Quiz.
  • Enter a Name for the quiz.
Click 'New Quiz' button

The description is a way that you can convey important information about the quiz before the student officially begins the quiz.

This is a great place to provide information that the students need to ensure they complete the test correctly, even if you have previously shared that information in class or in an announcement.

You can remind students of the quiz guidelines, what to do in case of technical problems, and their responsibilities, such as a reminder about academic integrity, etc.

NOTE: Previously, there were two separate fields: Description and Introduction, but these have been merged into one field. If you have copied course shell materials from Spring/Summer 2021 or earlier, you may want to review the materials in this field, in case they require some cleanup or an update.

Click 'New Quiz' button

Allow hints

If you have provided hints in your quiz questions, you can enable this option. We highly recommend that you test this functionality with your demo student account first, before using it in a real quiz, as it may not work the way you expect.

Do these tools prevent cheating?

There are a couple of features in the "Optional Advanced Properties" section that in the past may have led you to believe that they prevent students from cheating on a test, but they are not effective, and have been shown to cause more harm for students who use assistive technologies,  and can have other consequences in other course shells the students require access to, so please do not select these options.

Click 'New Quiz' button

Save now!

Click the "Save" button.

You now have the basic shell of a quiz!

Access to the quiz is controlled using a number of settings in the "Restrictions" tab of the quiz editor.

Students' access to the quiz is governed by two main concepts:

Quiz availability (determines the start of the quiz)

This determines whether a student can view and begin the quiz. 

Note that the availability end date/time does NOT determine the end of the quiz - just the last possible moment that a student may start the quiz.

It will also permit the student to re-enter a quiz, provided they are still within the availability window AND have not exceeded their time limit. This is important if students experience technical difficulty during the exam and need to re-enter.

Enforced time limit (determines the end of the quiz)

This determines how many minutes a student has to complete the quiz, and what happens should they run out of time.

Once they begin the quiz, the time limit begins. It does not stop if they leave the test.

Note that Brightspace will never submit a quiz for the student. The student must always submit their own quiz.

If your time limit settings permit students to continue working past the time limit, their completion time will be marked in red.

Due date/time (flags submissions)

The due date and time on a quiz does not affect a student's access to the quiz, or change how long they are permitted to be in the quiz.

It does, however, flag any submissions made after the due date/time. Late submissions will have a completion time marked in red.

If you choose to enforce a due date and time, please be sure to make it clear to the students that you will penalize submissions made after that time.

Availability start: 9:00

Availability end: 10:00

Due date/time: set to the same as the availability end (10:00)

Enforced time limit: 60 minutes 

+5 minutes grace period

9:15 - a student enters the quiz

(9:15 + 60 + 5 minutes = 10:20)

After 10:20, she will be past her maximum time limit.

She must still submit her quiz - Brightspace will not kick her out.

What about the due date/time? This doesn't change how long she is permitted to complete the quiz, but if she submits past the due date, her completion time will be marked in red for the instructor to consider when grading.

Click 'New Quiz' button

Quiz Availability (determines the start of the quiz)

This is how you control the visibility of the quiz, and the window in which the student may start the quiz.

Hide from users

This option should only be checked while you are still working on the quiz.

If the students are to ever see this quiz, you must uncheck the "Hide from users" option.

Has Start Date / Has End Date

Between these two dates/times, the students may begin the quiz. The end date does not signify the end of the quiz, but the end of the window to begin the quiz.

Only the enforced time limit can control the end of the quiz.

  • To avoid student confusion, don't set the time to midnight.
  • Understand that the date & time is based on the displayed time zone (i.e. Canada - Toronto). 


Click 'New Quiz' button

Enforced time limit (determines the end of the quiz)

Once the student has started the quiz, the time limit kicks in.

Here, you can set an enforced time limit of a specified number of minutes, provide a grace period, and determine what happens once that has ended.

Enforced time & grace period
  • Select "Enforced Time Limit" in order to limit the amount of time
  • Enter the time limit (in minutes)
  • Enter the permitted grace period (in minutes)

Once the time limit has passed, the grace period will kick in. The student won't have exceeded the time limit until after the grace period ends.

NOTE: While you can set the grace period to zero minutes, the default is 5 minutes, which is quite reasonable. If you feel inclined to decrease that time, we recommend a grace period of at least a minute or two. This will help mitigate a lot of unnecessary emails from students who miss the deadline by mere seconds.

What happens after the grace period?

There are three possible options, from least severe to most. Most commonly, instructors prefer the option to "Prevent the student from making further changes".

In this scenario, the student must submit their own quiz, but they are not permitted to make any further changes.

If the student fails to submit their own quiz (by mistake, or due to a technical issue), the instructor may submit the quiz on the student's behalf in order to complete grading.

Click 'New Quiz' button

Save now!

Click the "Save" button.

You now have the basic shell of a quiz!

The settings to push the quiz grade into the gradebook can be found in the "Asssessment" tab of the quiz editor.

These settings are only recommended for quizzes that are automatically graded by Brightspace. If your quiz contains any Written Response questions, instructor intervention is required before the quiz is fully graded. 

These settings should be applied before the students begin the quiz. 

Before you begin

Make sure you have created the grade item (column) for the quiz in the gradebook.

We recommend hiding the grade item from the students, until you are ready to release the grades to all of the students.

Return to the quiz editor to associate the grade item to the quiz and enable the settings that will push the grade from the quiz to the grade item once it has been graded.

Click 'New Quiz' button

Associate the quiz with a grade item (column)

  1. In the quiz, go to the "Assessment" tab of the quiz editor.
  2. Look for the "Grade item" dropdown menu, then select the grade item (column) for this particular quiz.

Once the grade item is associated with the quiz, you'll notice that additional options open up.

Click 'New Quiz' button

 "Allow attempt to be set as graded immediately upon completion"

Check this if your quiz only contains questions that Brightspace can automatically grade (like Multiple Choice and True/False).

If your quiz contains any Written Response questions, we don't recommend setting this option.

"Allow automatic export to grades"

If checked, the quiz grades will automatically be pushed to the grade item once a quiz is considered "graded".

Click 'New Quiz' button

Save now!

Click the "Save" button.

You now have the basic shell of a quiz!

Click 'New Quiz' button

Set the number of allowed attempts

  • Select from 1 - 10 attempts, or unlimited. 
  • Note that the selection of a number from 2 - 10 will open up some "Advanced Attempt Conditions".

Choose which attempt will be used for grading

  • Select whether the quiz grade is based on their highest attempt, lowest attempt, first attempt, last attempt, or average of all attempts.
Click 'New Quiz' button

Save now!

Click the "Save" button.

You now have the basic shell of a quiz!

Determine exactly what a student can see immediately after completing a quiz.

This change must be made before any students complete the quiz.

This option is found in the Quiz Editor, on the "Submission Views" tab.

Quiz submission views - default view

What do students see immediately?

The "Default View" determines what - if anything - the students are permitted to see. By default, this view only allows the students to see their attempt scores and not the questions nor the answers.

  • To change what the students see immediately after completing a quiz attempt, click the "Default View" link.


Can I release this information to students later?

Yes. The "Additional Views" option can be used to release the quiz results (including things like score, question details, correct/incorrect answers and feedback) at a later time.

Instructions for this can be found further down this page.

View settings - questions and score

Recommended settings for the default view

By default, the default view on a newly created quiz will not show the students any of the question details, but will show them their score on the quiz.

For many instructors, this is appropriate.

In some cases, however, instructors need to assess the results before releasing the score.

To hide the score from the default submission view:
  • Scroll until you see the "Score" section
  • Uncheck the box for "Show attempt score and overall score"
  • Save the changes

Ensure your students are prepared to take the quiz!

We have some helpful tips for students on the Prepare to take a quiz in Brightspace page.

Now that you have a basic shell of a quiz set up, it's time to make some questions and consider how you will want to deliver them to students.

Some things to think about:

  • Do you want to pull a random number of questions from a larger pool of questions? (If so, you will need to create the questions in a section of the Question Library)
  • Do want to randomize the questions, so students get them in a different order from their peers?

More quiz setting options

The "Special Access" setting enables you to allow individual students different rules for the completion of their quiz. This is invaluable in providing time-based accommodations.

  • Create a longer time limit for students that require extra time.
  • Set a different quiz availability window (date & time) for students that cannot complete on the same day as the rest of the class.
  • Make the quiz available to just your demo student while you are developing it.


Creating a quiz - the Restrictions tab

The "Special Access" setting can be found in the "Restrictions" tab of the quiz editor

Release Conditions take precedence over Special Access. Keep this in mind when determining how to give someone access to a quiz.

Use special access to add time to a student's in-progress quiz attempt! The timer will update at the end with the additional time.

Enable Special Access for a quiz

"Allow selected users special access to this quiz"  - most used

  • Allows you to have most of the class follow the general timing rules, while giving special access to a select few.

"Allow only users with special access to see this quiz" - less commonly used

  • Release the quiz to ONLY the users in the Special Access list.
  • This is useful if the quiz will never be available to the class, and is only used by a select feew.

THEN, click the Add Users to Special Access button.

Edit Special Access availability dates and timing
  • Availability Dates - Change the window in which the student may begin the test,

  • Timing - Change the time limit if needed. For example, you may have a student who requires additional time on tests. 
Edit the attempts permitted in the "special access"
  • Attempts - Permit additional attempts, if needed.

  • Similarly, you can modify the Advanced Attempt Conditions for the Special Access Users.
Select the users that will receive the special access

The most important part - select the users!


  • Use the checkboxes to select the users whose quiz will take these Special Access settings.

  • After you finish modifying special access properties and users permissions, click "Add Special Access".

*Note that you can set up different Special Access settings for different users.

This is what it looks like after you add the special access

Once you return to the main quiz editor, you will see the resulting special access entry listed.

  • Click the pencil icon to edit the existing special access entry.
  • Click the X icon to remove the existing entry.
  • Click "Add Users to Special Access" to add another entry.
Don't forget to save as you go!


Don't forget to save as you go - click Save to continue working, or Save and Close to leave the page.

Further restrict who can access the test by adding a password or an IP restriction.

Creating a quiz - the Restrictions tab

The password and IP restriction settings can be found in the "Restrictions" tab of the quiz editor

Quiz restrictions - set password and ip restrictions


    To access a quiz, users must enter the same password you input here.

IP restriction

    Users can only access a quiz from the IP address you specify here. Leave fields blank to allow multiple IP address access points.

Ddetermine exactly what a student can see once they complete a quiz attempt.

This option is found in the Quiz Editor, on the "Submission Views" tab.

Two options for post-submission views

What do students see immediately?

The "Default View" determines what - if anything - the students are permitted to see. By default, this view only allows the students to see their attempt scores and not the questions nor the answers.

  • To change what the students see immediately after completing a quiz attempt, click the Default View link.

Please note that changing this setting will not modify the view for the students who have already completed the quiz. Be sure to set this before the students take the quiz.

Additional view options

You have the option of setting different elements of the quiz to be viewed at a later date and time, or pending other criteria.

For example, you may want the students to see the full answers once all students have completed the quiz. In this case, you can set a date in the future to release the questions and answers.

  • To add different view options, click the Add Additional View button.

These additional views can be set up to affect students who have already completed the quiz.


View settings - name and message

View properties (only for any added views)

  1. Name and Message - when creating an Additional View, be sure to give it a meaningful name and description so you understand exactly what information it is giving the students.
View settings - date restriction and time limit
View Restrictions (only for added views)
  1. Date - select a start date and time for this view to be available to students. Instructors will often set this to a date and time well after all students have completed the quiz.

  2. IP Address - limit the location from which students may view the results by entering a range of IP addresses. We generally don't recommend using this option unless you know the specific IP range of your classroom, for example.

  3. Limited Duration - set a time limit on a student's access of the results. For example, you may allow a student 15 minutes to view the results after clicking the link. Check the checkbox to enable this option first, then enter the duration (in minutes).
View settings - question details
View Details
  1. Show Questions? - Choose whether the students see the questions, the answers and the question-specific scores.

    If you select YES (to show the questions), here are some of the related options:

    • Choose one of the following:
      • Show questions answered incorrectly
      • Show questions answered correctly
      • Show all questions without user responses
      • Show all questions with user responses
    • Show question answers.
    • Show question score and out of score.
View settings - score and statistics
  1. Score - choose whether students can see their scores (both for individual attempts and the overall score, if multiple attempts are permitted)

  2. Statistics - permit students to see the class average and/or the score distribution for this particular quiz.
Notification email

Receive an email each time a user completes a quiz attempt.

  • Enter a single email address
  • Enter a comma-separated list of email addresses

The release will happen for all students at the same time, so if you have an assessment set to open at 3PM EST and close at 6PM EST, each student will need to adjust the time for their own time zone.

Have the students confirm the assessment times for their time zone in advance

There are two areas that will display the availability times in advance, provided they are not set to be "hidden from students":

  1. Assignments (under Assessments > Assignments)
  2. Content (under Content > locate the content)

In each of these areas, you will see the release date and time and the due date (if applicable), if they are not hidden from students. Each user will see it reflected in their own time zone.

Quizzes (under Assessments > Quizzes), unfortunately, do not display the availability and end dates in advance. As such, it may be best to add the link to the quiz in the Content tool, where the dates will be displayed in advance (as described above). Quiz links can be added to Content using the Existing Activities feature.

Include the time zone if you reference assessment times in your communications

When posting information to your students using tools like Announcements, be sure to always include your local time zone when referencing the availability and due dates and times for your assessments.

For example, specify that a quiz will be available to start between 3:00 PM EST and 4:00 PM EST.

Try the quiz by completing a "preview" quiz attempt

Take the time to try a quiz before releasing it to the students. This process allows you to see the quiz, as well as grade it.

1. In Quizzes, select Preview from the context menu of the quiz you wish to attempt.

2. Click Start Quiz! 

3. Then click OK.
Please note that the quiz will open in full screen. The navigation bar will disappear, providing additional screen space for the quiz.

4. Complete the quiz questions, and notice that quiz responses are saved within about 10-15 seconds, or when you click outside of a text input field. You can see that a response has been saved by looking for the checkmark icon in the left navigation.

When done, click Submit Quiz.  

5. You will see a dialog box asking if you're sure you want to continue. Click the Yes button to submit your quiz.

6. On the Quiz Submission Confirmation page, be sure to click the checkbox to "Allow this preview attempt to be graded in the Grade Quiz area".

7. Click Submit Quiz.

8. On the confirmation page, you should see a message that your quiz has been submitted successfully. You will see the questions, your answers, and your score. Please note that this may look somewhat different for your real students, depending how you set up your submission views.

Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Done.

9. You can click on Exit Preview to return to your list of quizzes.

1. In Quizzes, click Grade from the context menu of the quiz you attempted.

2. Select the Users tab.

3. Find the Restrict to dropdown, and make sure it is set to "Users who have previewed attempts".

4. Click the magnifying glass icon in the "Search For" field to complete the search.

5. You should see your name listed below, with your attempts listed. Click on an attempt to review the answers. From there, you can grade your attempt. See Grading Quizzes for more information.

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