Exam preparations

Preparing in advance for upcoming exams, tests and quizzes is essential so that students are equipped and more at ease when it comes time to write. Resources to help you prepare can be found at:

UM Learn’s Quiz tool can be used for your exams. The information below highlights some considerations when configuring your exam, some of the common issues and our recommendations to resolve these issues. Note: The term “quiz” refers to quizzes, tests, or exams that use UM Learn’s Quiz tool.

Quizzes: restrictions tab

When configuring your UM Learn exam, you will need to specify availability (start and end dates) and timing (duration) under the Restrictions tab of Quiz Settings.

  • Availability – The Start and End Date/Time indicates the window of time in which a student can begin taking the exam.
  • Timing – The Enforced Time Limit indicates how much time the student will have to write the exam.  
  • Grace Period – The Grace Period is additional time added to the exam’s duration – students can submit their exam without penalty during this grace period. 
  • Configuring Exceeded Time Limit Behaviour will determine what happens if the student exceeds the duration and the Grace Period.
  • Recommendation: Enable Prevent the student from making further changes for the exams that have a strict time limit.  Students can only submit their exam after exceeding the duration and Grace Period.
  • Special Access – For students who require extra time, additional attempts, and/or an entirely different start/end time to the exam, use Special Access.


Restrictions tab in quizzes

Update UM Learn course announcements

Provide sufficient exam details to students through the use of UM Learn’s course “Announcement”. Our technical support team will reference these instructions should a student issue arise.

Sample – Update your UM Learn course “Announcement” with exam details such as these:

Students, as a reminder, the final exam is Monday, June 6 from 9:00am to 12pm (3hrs).

At 9:00am, the exam will become available through UM Learn. The exam will remain open for the first 30 minutes only. If you do not start the exam during that time, you will not be allowed to take the exam. Additionally, the due date for the exam is at 12:00pm with a 5-minute grace period. If you submit after 12:05pm, you will score 0. Please note that students with official pre-arranged accessibility requirements from SAS will be granted their additional time.

Exam information:

  • The exam will be multiple choice/open answer and will consist of 80 questions.
  • The exam will be marked out of 80.
  • For the questions requiring calculations, pay attention to the correct number of significant figures and units.
  • Please note: You WILL be able to go backwards and forwards through the exam pages.
  • Be careful when submitting answers. On each page of the exam there will be a button: Next Page and one that indicates: Submit quiz. DO NOT PRESS SUBMIT QUIZ UNTIL YOU HAVE COMPLETED YOUR EXAM.
  • During the exam you can contact your section instructor to ask questions at (xxx.xxx@umanitoba.ca)

Common issues and recommendations

Please note, in this section the term “quiz” refers to all quizzes, tests, or exams that use UM Learn’s Quiz tool.

If you would like all students to start the exam at the same time, you can shorten the start and end date window (30-minutes) but may run the risk of students not being able to return to the exam (if it is no longer available).

Alternatively, if the start and end date window is longer (3 hours), students can start late and finish well after the end date (a student will still receive the full duration regardless of when they start the exam).

Recommendation: Availability = Duration

Set the availability window equal to the duration (Time Limit) of the quiz and ask the students explicitly to start the quiz at the appointed time.

You can verify each student’s start time by checking for attempts in progress:

  • Click the drop-down arrow beside the Exam name in UM Learn and select Grade.
  • Click Show Search Options beside the search box and select Users with attempt in progress (or Users who have not taken an attempt).
  • Click the magnifying glass in the search box.
  • View the list of students who started (or have not yet started) the exam. You may need to change the number of students per page to be able to see all the students, or move to the next page.
  • Take action as desired based on your search results.

A student may lose access to the exam before their time is up for a number of reasons including temporary loss of internet connection, loss of battery power, etc. Under normal circumstances, the student can resume their exam by going back into the course exam and click Continue Quiz. If that does not work, it is likely that an exam setting is preventing them from continuing.

Recommendation: Set-up Special Access for the Student

The exam end date may have expired so the student will need special access to get back into it:

  • From the Quiz List, select the dropdown arrow next to the quiz and click Edit.
  • On the Restrictions tab scroll to the bottom and click Add Users to Special Access.
  • Search for the student and check the box beside their name.
  • Scroll up and adjust the End Time and possibly the Duration if they have lost significant time trying to fix this issue.
  • To change the duration, click Enforced time limit and adjust the new duration to include the original time plus the additional time you are adding. Keep in mind that the timer starts counting down when the student first opens the exam, so if they have had to wait a while, the new duration should account for that time.

Unfortunately, the Next Page button is close in proximity to the Submit Quiz button and occasionally students will accidentally click Submit Quiz without realizing what they are doing until it is too late.

Recommendation #1: Reset Quiz Attempt

If the student just started the exam and has not answered many questions, you can delete their attempt and suggest they start the exam again. To delete an attempt:

  • From the Quiz List, select the dropdown arrow next to the exam and click Grade.
  • From the Restrict to drop-down menu, select all users. Type the student’s name near the top of the page and then hit enter or click the magnifying glass.
  • Check the box next to the student’s name and click Reset. Confirm action. This will cause the student to lose their entire first attempt, so if they are more than a few questions into the exam, it might not be the best option (see recommendation #2).

Recommendation #2: New Attempt, Resume Where They Left Off

If the student answered more than a few questions, you would need to add special access for the student, giving them an extra attempt – you need to consider how much time the student has spent on the first attempt and use special access to add an additional attempt (with only the remaining time left on the exam). Instructor would need to calculate the total points scored and enter this manually into the Gradebook.

To set up a second attempt using Special Access, you will need to enter the Special Access area found on the Restrictions tab of Edit Quiz. Select Override Attempts Allowed, modify the start and end date/time to reflect the timeframe for Attempt #2. Adjust the Timing (duration) if applicable. If the time limit is the same as the first attempt, the instructor would select No Change and the student would have the full time to write the exam. But if the duration is reduced because the student has already been in the exam for a period of time, only the remaining time would be indicated in these special access parameters. Once that is all set up, you will need to select the student(s) it applies to.

If the exam has questions shuffled and/or has a question pool, it will be up to the instructor to determine how duplicate questions will be graded and/or where a student should begin writing.

To check on a student’s progress through an exam, you will need to select Assessments > Quizzes and then click the dropdown arrow next to the exam and select Grade. Click on the link for the attempt (e.g., attempt 1 for a particular student) and then click Quizzes Event Log to view.

Respondus recommendations

If you are incorporating Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor for your exam, you can review the following settings and recommendations.

  1. Ensure that you have indicated the use of Respondus Monitor along with minimum technology requirement (including webcam and reliable broadband connection) in the ROASS/Syllabi. It is recommended to explicitly indicate that Respondus does not support Chromebook computers.
  2. Set up a practice quiz prior to the real quiz, test or exam. It is recommended that the practice quiz has the same settings as the actual quiz. A practice quiz has the benefit of showing instructors who has taken the practice quiz.
  3. Create and communicate a summary of step-by-step instructions based on the customized setting for the quiz.
  4. Important: If the quiz was copied (either from the previous course offering or from a previous quiz), you need to go to UM Learn Respondus dashboard, confirm the requirement and save the settings again.
  5. It is recommended to have a separate version of the quiz (without the Respondus requirement) as an alternative method of assessment.
  6. Update your UM Learn course “Announcement” if you are using LockDown Browser.
  7. A self-registration UM Learn course is available to students to check their Respondus installation. The course is number 000a_RMPE_202009, "Respondus Monitor Practice Exam." For help, please refer to support documentation Self Registration Courses in UM Learn. 


What if your UM Learn quiz is interrupted using LockDown Browser?

  • Don’t panic. UM Learn auto-saves after each time you answer a question.
  • If you got kicked out of the exam or your computer froze and you had to reboot, log back into UM Learn and follow the same steps to get back to the exam. This time, instead of a Start Quiz button, you should see the Continue Quiz. Click Continue Exam and get back into the exam.
  • If you are unable to get back to your exam, contact your instructor immediately and Respondus Support.

Not Recommended:

  • Require a password to access the exam.
  • Lock the students into the browser until exam is completed.


  • Allow students to use iPad to take the exams. (Students need to download the application from Apple store and the instructor needs to check this option. Recommended for remote exams.)


  • Add access to links to external websites.
  • Add Calculator to the LockDown Browser toolbar.
  • Give permission to print within LockDown Browser.

Mandatory Settings:

  • Webcam check (recording 5 second video of the students).
  • Facial detection check (detecting the face of the student through webcam).

Optional Settings:

  • Additional instructions (general exam rules and instructions that can be customized by the instructor).
  • Guideline + tips (some tips and guidelines on where to take the exam with least interruptions).
  • Student photo (taking a personal photo of the student).
  • Show ID (taking a photo of student’s ID. The instruction for this option can be customized by the instructor). It is recommended to ask for the minimum amount of information needed; i.e., if the student does not have a Student ID card, requiring alternative ID might expose extra personal information.
  • Environment check (recording a video while student shows their surroundings). The instructions can be customized by the instructor for this option. Please be mindful of the fact that some students might have a built-in webcam on their desktop computer (e.g., iMac) that would make it very difficult to do the environment check.

Not Recommended:

  • Advanced Settings, such as allowing Respondus Monitor to use the computer’s microphone to record ambient sound during the exam. However, Monitor should not be used to record an audio response to an exam question. Only one application can access the microphone at a time. If your exam question has an audio response recorder built in (such as to allow a student to record an answer for a foreign language class), then faculty need to take advantage of an advanced setting in the LockDown Browser Dashboard. This setting is titled “Allow another application to use the microphone during this exam.”
  • Make webcam recording additionally for viewing on mobile devices (allow 24 hours for this option). Not recommended unless necessary.
  • Instructors will often create a demo student account for accessing a course as a student. Such an account can be used with Respondus Monitor without impacting the institution’s license seat count, or student purchase of an additional seat. Within the settings area for Respondus Monitor, select “Advanced Settings” and enter a username for the demo student. Note that the username for the demo student cannot be changed once used with a Respondus Monitor session. Not recommended unless necessary.
  • Facial Detection Options such as preventing students from starting the exam if students face cannot be detected during the start-up sequence and/or notifying the students during the exam if their face cannot be detected and prompt to fix it.

After approximately 12 hours, you can check the exam result including the webcam recordings of students specifically those who have been flagged for a potential academic misconduct. In order to access the recordings, follow these steps:

  • In your course, click Assessments > Quizzes.
  • Click on LockDown Browser tab on the Manage Quizzes page.
  • Click the dropdown arrow next to the quiz and select Class Results.
  • You can review the list of flagged cases with Review Priority.

Please review how to use the Class Results to check the flagged cases to identify academic misconduct.

A flagged case does not necessarily indicate academic misconduct. Generally, false positives outweigh actual incidents of academic misconduct.

1. Support Documentation:

Contact us

The Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning 
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus) 
65 Dafoe Road, Winnipeg, MB 
R3T 2N2, Canada 

For more information or assistance with learning technologies, please call 204-474-8600, or email servicedesk@umanitoba.ca.

For assistance in teaching remotely, please email thecentrecontactus@umanitoba.ca.