Sapling Learning > Timed Flash-based Activities

Document created by Digital Support on Jan 25, 2017Last modified by Digital Support on Apr 24, 2018
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With timed assignments, you can limit the time a student can spend working on an assignment, but still allow them to start the assignment any time within a larger time frame. For example, you could allow the student to take a quiz whenever they want, but once they start they only have 30 minutes. You can optionally set a due date and/or an available-from date to constrain when the student can start the assignment.


How to make an assignment timed

Open the activity editor

On the main course page, click on the assignment you'd like to make timed to open the activity editor.

Edit settings

In the settings panel, click the Edit Settings button. If you don't see this option, you may need to click the book icon to collapse the library.


Create a custom policy for timed assignments

If you have already created a custom policy for timed assignments, you may select that policy from the Policies menu and click the save button. Otherwise, follow the instructions below to create a new policy.
  1. In the Policies menu, select Custom....
  2. Give the policy a name, such as "30-min quiz".
  3. Scroll down and check the box for the Timed option. Select the desired number of hours and minutes from the drop-down menus. Verify all the other grading options and make changes as necessary. For more information see the help article Grading Policies.
  4. Click the Save button.

Student view of timed assignments

When the student first opens the timed assignment, they will receive a warning that they have a limited time to complete it. Their time does not start until they agree to the warning.

Example warning to student: You are about to open a timed assignment. You have 30 minutes to complete this assignment once opened. Do you wish to proceed? Yes, begin Timed Assignment or Cancel.
Please note that students will not be able to begin their timed assignment if they do not have Flash player installed and enabled.

A countdown timer displays to the student in the upper-right corner of the assignment. Once a student's time starts, it cannot be paused. The timer continues to count down even when the student closes the assignment.

Example countdown: Time remaining 27 minutes 45 seconds

How other policy settings work with timed assignments

  • The timed assignment option is found within the grading policy. Grading policies cannot be changed once students have started working on an assignment.
  • You can optionally include a due date and/or an available from date if you'd like to constrain the time frame in which a student may start the timed assignment. The student will be prevented from answering when the due date passes or when their time runs out, whichever comes first.
  • Late penalty cannot be enabled in the same assignment as the timed feature.

Consideration of student needs

  • Individuals or groups can be granted extensions on the due date (if present), but not on the allotted time. To accommodate students who need extra time, you'll need to create a separate assignment for them. For more information, see the help article Extended Time for Timed Assignment.
  • Keep in mind that some students may have faster internet connections than others, and that the load time for each question will count against the student's total time. Please allot plenty of time to account for these differences.
  • Keep in mind that students may have technical difficulties. Thus, we recommend using timed assignments sparingly, and only after students have had sufficient practice using the system.
  • If necessary, you can reset the assignment for a student, which clears all their work, re-randomizes values (if applicable), and resets the timer so that the student can start over completely.