To prevent students from working together on the questions in a test, you can randomly select questions from specific collections of questions, resulting in a unique test per students, while maintaining the same difficulty (and covered topics).

Question pools give you the tool to do this in Grasple. You can combine this with question parameterisation and random order selection to further vary the test per student.

In this article, we will explain how you can enable question pools in your test and what options are available.

Summary

To start using question pools, follow these steps to get going immediately:

  1. Create a new manual test in your repository.
  2. Go to the edit view of the test and click "More/Use Question Pools" in the topbar.
  3. Question pools are now enabled, the first pool is automatically created, and you can start adding and removing pools.
  4. Per pool you can specify the following: Name, Description, and the number of questions to pick.
  5. At every location in the platform where you can link questions to a test, you can now also specify the pool to link to.
  6. Finally, you can specify whether the questions pools should be used in an order specified by you or should be used in random order. When using a specified order, you can drag and drop pools in the desired order.

Below, these steps will be explained in more detail including screenshots of the different steps.

Setting up a test with question pools

Creation of the pools

Create a new manual test in your repository by clicking "+new test".

Enable the usage of question pools in the new test by clicking "More/Use question pools".

This will create a first pool automatically, and give you the tools to add and remove pools yourself.

Note: if you enable question pools in an already existing test with questions, check out the section further below.

You can add new pools, give them a name and description,  and specify the number of questions to pick.

Linking questions to a specific pool in a test

You can link questions to a specific pool in a test at every location where you can link questions to a test. Before you can do this, you should have enabled the usage of question pools in the test and created pools to link to.

IMPORTANT: A question can only be linked to one pool within a test. If you link an already linked question to a different question pool in the same test, the question will be moved to the new pool. If you link questions to a pool to which they already linked to, they will remain in the same pool.

Linking a single question
For example: you can link a single question to the question pool from its edit view.
Click on "More/Link to test" first.

Secondly, select the repository, test and then the question pool to link to. After selecting the correct test and pool, click the button "Link".

Linking multiple questions (from a subject)
To link multiple questions from a subject at once, you can use the repository-subject view to link all those questions (or a subset) to a specific test-question-pool.

Go to the repository-subject view by clicking on the eye icon in the #exercises column of the subject from which you want to link the exercises.

Select all exercises, or a subset of those exercises, by using the checkboxes on the left side of the list of subject exercises.

Next, click the "link to test" button and select the repository, test, and then the question pool to link to. After selecting the correct test and pool, click the button "Link".

You will be redirected to the test, where you can see that the pool now contains questions by clicking on questions to unfold the list of questions in a pool.

Picking number of questions and order

There are three settings that have a direct influence on the questions being picked for students during a test:

  1. Number of questions per pool
  2. Random order versus specified order
  3. Limit number of total questions

Number of questions per pool

Per pool you can indicate how many questions should be picked from the pool during a test. When a student starts a test, that specified number of questions will be given to the student from that specific test. The questions will be selected at random from the pool.
Below you can see where to specify the number of questions to pick per pool, and where to find a the number of questions which will be picked in total (top left, next to "Question Pools".

Random versus specified order

You can choose to either specify the order of question pool from which questions will be picked, or randomly select questions over all pools while respecting the number of questions per pool.

Specifying the order of pools by drag-and-drop
To specify the order, first disable the random setting under content setting.
Secondly, drag and drop the question pools into the desired order by using the drag item in the top-left of the pool.

Drag the pool to the correct location and drop it.

Limit total number of questions

The best way to limit the total number of questions, is to specify how many questions per pool should be picked and check at the top of the question pools whether the total number of questions in the test is what you desire.

You can limit the total number of questions in a test in the content settings menu. It is advised to not use this setting in combination with question pools to prevent unexpected behaviour.
If you set this number to a lower number than specified in the pools, not all pools might be used in the test.
If you set this number to a higher number than specified in the pools, the number of questions given to the student is lower than you might expect: it will be the sum of the number of questions specified in the pools.

Switching between question pools and single questions

If you switch a regular test already containing questions to a test using questions pools, each question will be automatically placed inside its own pool.

IMPORTANT: switching will save the new setup immediately after you confirm you want to switch your test to question pools or from question pools back to single questions. Please don't switch to question pools or back if you are not sure you want to change the setup.

Below you see an example of  test with single questions.

When you click "More/Use question pool" you will get a confirmation box. Click the OK button if you are you sure you want to switch to question pools.

Now each individual question will be located in its own pool.

When you switch back again to single questions, all questions will be directly linked to test.

Selection Algorithm

Specified order

If you specify the order of the question pools, the selection algorithm will work in the following steps:

  1. Select the next pool (in the first iteration, this will be the first pool).
  2. Check whether there are still questions left to pick from this pool based on the specified number of questions to be picked (and the number of available questions in the pool).
  3. IF there are questions left to be picked, select a question which the student did not receive yet, ELSE go to the first step and repeat.

These steps are done for each question selection until there are no pools to pick questions from anymore, or until the maximum number of questions of the test is reached.

Random order

If you use the random order of picking questions from pools, the selection algorithm will work in the following steps:

  1. Shuffle the question pools into a random order.
  2. Select the next pool (in the first iteration, this will be the first pool in the list).
  3. Check whether there are still questions left to pick from this pool based on the specified number of questions to be picked (and the number of available questions in the pool).
  4. IF there are questions left to be picked, select a question which the student did not receive yet, ELSE go to the second step and repeat.

These steps are done for each question selection until there are no pools to pick questions from anymore, or until the maximum number of questions of the test is reached.


If you have any questions regarding question pools or tests in general, please reach out to us via the chat icon in the bottom right.

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