Test pagination was introduced to Ultra courses last year, creating new ways to present clusters of questions to students that focused on content or reduced cognitive load. In this month's update, test pagination can be randomized for academic integrity. The first page can be locked in place if the content contains test instructions. Additionally, if the Ultra test contains non-question elements, such as text blocks, these can also be locked in place while questions around them are randomized. When combined with question pools, this creates a truly unique testing experience for students.
Instructors can now lock discussions after the due date has passed, setting a discussion to read only. When this feature is enabled, students cannot create, reply to, or edit posts after the due date. However, students with due date accommodations may still interact with discussions until their due date expires.
Image 1: Example of locked discussion (student view)
Another new feature in Ultra courses is the model answer for essay questions. It is an optional feature designed to ensure fair and consistent grading. This feature must be set up when the test is created and only instructors and graders can see the model answer during the grading process. Students can see the model answer when reviewing their results if the test is configured to show correct answers. Students do not see the model answer when they take a test.
The January update also includes:
- Modification to who can send Messages in a course:
- Students can send messages to all instructors OR to selected course members. They can no longer send messages to the entire course.
- Instructors can send messages to all course members, all instructors, all students, or selected course members.
- A variety of improvements to grading workflows and displays including viewing anonymous grades and submissions, navigating multiple attempts, and displaying submissions on group assignment pages.
- Third-party icons display in the course content page and for many graded items.
- When accessing new submissions from the Activity Stream, instructors will be able to jump directly into to the Needs Grading filter for that particular assignment in a course. Bookmark the page to easily return for greater efficiency.
The next update to our Ultra test environment will take place on January 10, 2023. Faculty who are interested in test driving new features before they are released to production should open an RT ticket to request early access. Additionally, our Ultra feature tracker is updated and now includes a filter for functional category (e.g., assessment, course management, grading) so you can sort only those items you might be interested in tracking the status. Please watch the FAQs, including the What's New with Ultra page, and myUMBC for additional information about Ultra.
As always, if you have any questions about teaching, learning, and technology at UMBC, please consider the following options: