Extensions and Overrides for Moodle Activities

Posted April 8th, 2020 at 12:16 pm.

The Moodle Assignment, Lesson and Quiz activities have User Overrides options that allow you to change settings for specific students or groups in order to provide accommodations, extensions, or make-up opportunities:

  • You can override the open (start) and close (due, cutoff) dates for all three types of activities.
  • For Lessons and Quizzes, you can also override the time limit, number of attempts allowed, and password settings
  • For Lessons only, you can also override the retakes and try question again settings

These adjustments are generally invisible to students. For example, if you use an override to extend a Quiz deadline for students who were ill, the Quiz will appear to be open when those students view it and closed to every other student who views it. Moodle does not inform students if these settings are exceptional or if exceptions have been made.

To create accommodations, exceptions or extensions for individual students:

  1. Turn editing on in your course (use the button located at the top right of your course’s main page).
  2. Click on the title of Assignment, Lesson or Quiz to open it. (Do NOT click on Edit or Edit Settings!)
  3. Click the gear icon, and select User Override from the drop-down menu, as shown below.
  4. Overrides you have already created for this activity are listed in a table below the activity name, as shown below; click Add User Override to add a new one.

Screen shot of user overrides page

    1. Add students’ names in the Override user section, by clicking in the search window and selecting them from the menu.
      • If you want to apply the same adjustments for multiple students, add all of their names here.
      • If you need to make different adjustments for different individuals, create a separate override for each.

    1. Next adjust the settings that you want to override for the student(s) listed. The default activity settings will be applied for anything you don’t change here. For example:
      • To give students more time when taking a Quiz, but require them to complete it by the same deadline as everyone else, change only the time limit, but leave all other settings the same.
      • To enable a student to make up a past due activity, change only the close/due date.
    2. Click Save or Save and Enter Another Override.

Note: We do not recommend using Group Overrides. Although it can streamline the process if you routinely create the same adjustments for the same set of students, it has two significant drawbacks: 1) there is no way to make a Group invisible to the students who are in that group so there is a risk of stigmatization and 2) Groups interact with activity settings in complex ways and it can be hard to predict the consequences. 

Allowing an Additional Quiz Attempt in Case of System Error

In case of a system error or outage, a student may be taken out of a Quiz attempt that is in progress, causing the incomplete attempt to be submitted automatically. When this happens, you may want to allow students to re-attempt the quiz while letting them build on the answers from their incomplete attempt. Although Moodle does not allow a submitted attempt to be reopened, here’s what you can do:

  1. Follow the instructions in steps 1–5 above to select the student who will receive an additional attempt.
  2. Under Attempts allowed add an additional attempt than those on the Quiz settings.
  3.  Click Save.
  4. Next, on your Moodle course page, find the desired Quiz and click Edit > Edit Settings (do NOT click on the title of the Quiz).
  5. Under Question Behavior click See more. Go to Each attempt builds on the last change the answer to Yes.
  6. Click Save and return to course.
  7. Have your student take the quiz again. The student’s new attempt will begin exactly where the first attempt left off.
  8. When grading, make sure to choose the correct attempt for that specific student.
Filed under: Course Set-Up (Teachers),Grading and Feedback by Maria Ocando Finol

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