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Building SBA

How an SBA works

Note: If you're new to SBA creation, try the SBA quick guide first.

Once an SBA has been added to the course and the SBA settings established, the teacher can start to build the SBA. The teacher can access the SBA to edit the questions by clicking directly on the SBA name on the course home page and than clicking "Edit SBA" in SBA dropdown menu. (You can also make questions in the Question bank without first creating an SBA. These questions may then be used later.)

Accessing the SBA to add or edit questions

Adding questions

Once you have accessed the SBA editing screen as above, you can add questions from a number of locations:

  1. Click the 'Add' link as in the screenshot below. (Note that in the US, the term 'marks' is replaced by 'points'.)
  2. When it opens up, choose either to add a new question, to select a question from the question bank or to add a random question.

Adding a question

Creating a new question

1. To make a brand new question, click 'Add' and then '+ a new question'.

2. From the next screen, choose the question type you want to add and click "Next" ('When you click on a question type on the left, helpful information appears on the right. )

Selecting a question type

3. Fill in the question form, making sure to give a grade to the correct answer. Note: New questions added to the bank must have a standard attached to it. You can not create a question without standard.

4. Click "Save changes".

A question when it has been created

Note: If you have a very complex question, and you want to check it as you go along, you can preview it and then click "Save changes and continue editing".

When a question has been created, an icon and words display its type (eg multiple choice). It can be modified by clicking the edit icon (eg 

) and previewed by clicking the magnifiying glass icon.

As well as deleting individual questions with the delete (bin/trash can) icon, it is possible to delete more than one question by pressing the 'Select multiple items' button and choosing the questions to be removed:

Adding responses and feedback

5. When you add responses and feedback, remember you can expand the toolbar to show more buttons.

6. You can continue adding questions this way, clicking 'Add' and '+ a new question' each time.

Choosing from question bank

  • If other teachers in the department have made questions, or if school added questions in question bank, these can be added to the current SBA by clicking 'Add' and '+ from question bank' .
  • Select the category of the questions, there might be multiple sub categories. Selecting parent category will list all questions in the sub categories. Make sure to tick the boxes "also show questions from sub-categories/old questions".
  • Filter the questions by their grade level, standard, difficulty or a keyword by typing into the "filter for" box and hitting enter.
  • If you have several questions, or you want to add all the questions, tick the box of each question or the top box and then click 'Add selected questions to the SBA'.
  • To sort the questions, click the column headings. The default sort order (T) is short for question type.

Using a previously created questions from question bank

If you are adding a question that is part of a passage, make sure to add the passage by searching the passage code in the "Filter for" box. The questions of passages have an extra passage code (3) on their names following the standard code (1) and question code (2) as in the image below.

Question name with passage.

Note: It is also possible to import pre-made questions into your SBA, from SBA administration>Question bank>Import if you have the questions in common LMS formats such as Blackboard, WebCT, Moodle or other formats such as XML and Examview.

Adding a random question

As long as you have questions in the question bank, you can add random questions to your SBA by clicking 'Add' and then '+ a random question'. This might be useful if you have students in a class taking an SBA at the same time, because they are unlikely to get the same questions at the same time. The same question will never appear twice in an SBA. If you include several random questions then different questions will always be chosen for each of them. If you mix random questions with non-random questions then the random questions will be chosen so that they do not duplicate one of the non-random questions. This does imply that you need to provide enough questions in the category from which the random questions are chosen, otherwise the student will be shown a friendly error message. The more questions you provide the more likely it will be that students get different questions on each attempt. When an SBA with random questions is retaken, the random questions will be different from the ones in previous attempts.

The grade for the randomly chosen question will be rescaled so that the maximum grade is what you have chosen as the grade for the random question.

You can add one or more random questions by choosing the number and category in the question bank.

Note: If you add random questions and your category of questions contains more than 10 different questions, when you look at the SBA statistics report related to position 1, it will not show them all on the front page of the report, just a summary, and then you have to click a link to drill down into the details.

Copy questions from another SBA

The other option to add questions to your SBA is to copy from another SBA you or your colegue from the same department created in another course. To copy those questions, hover over "SBA" drop down menu on top menu bar and go to "Copy questions from another SBA. On this page, you will see all the SBAs created in your courses and the courses of your department.

Simply, click on the plus (plus) sign next to the SBA you want to copy the questions from. once you click and confirm, the questions will be copied to your new SBA you created.

Note: Your SBA must be empty (no questions added) to be able to copy questions from another SBA.

Question categories

Questions can be stored and retrieved from categories in the Question bank. When you make a new question it defaults to the category with the course name. So if you make an SBA in the Mathematics Grade 6 course, questions will automatically be added to "Default for Mathematics Grade 6". You can opt to have your SBA questions in a category of their own ("SBAname") or to add a subcategory.

To add a subcategory, go to SBA >Question bank>Categories

Users will have access to different categories according to their permissions. For example, a regular teacher might only have access to question categories in his own Mathematics course whereas his Department Head of Math with permissions in all math courses might have access to question categories in Algebra and Geometry as well.

SBA layout

  • You can choose in the Layout section of the SBA settings whether to have a new page for every question or after a certain number of questions.
  • You can add a page break between questions by clicking the arrow icon (where the arrows are pointing away from each other) (1 in the screenshot below) A new page will be created. (2 in the screenshot below)
  • You can remove pages by clicking the arrow icon (where the arrows are pointing towards each other). (3 in the screenshot below)
  • You can also change the layout of the whole SBA by clicking the 'Repaginate' button:
  • Questions may be moved by dragging and dropping using the crosshairs icon: 

Section headings

  • Section headings may be added to each new page.
  • For the first page, click the 'pencil' icon at the top (1) and add your heading (2):

  • For other pages, click the 'Add' link (1) and choose 'a new section heading' (2), and then add your heading as for Page 1:

  • The section headings are displayed in the SBA navigation block:


Randomizing the order questions appear

  • The order in which questions appear to the student may be randomized or 'shuffled' by ticking the 'Shuffle' box at the top of the screen:

  • Where questions are in different sections (see Section headings above), each section has its own 'Shuffle' box to tick. This means that you can mix up questions on one section, but in another section, where their order is important, you can keep them in the order you need them to display:

Making questions conditional upon other questions

  • If using the Interactive with multiple tries or Immediate Feedback behaviour and with the navigation method set to 'Free', it is possible to make the display of a question dependent on a previous question being answered first.
  • The question editing page will display padlock icons to the right of each question:

Padlocks - all unlocked

  • If you want to make a question, for example Q2, conditional upon answering Q1, then click the padlock just above Q2:

Padlocks - Q2 locked

  • When a student accesses the SBA, they will see a message that Q2 is not available until they give a response to Q1:

What students see

  • In the SBA navigation block, Q2 will be greyed out:
  • In the following example, note that, Q1 follows a description, and a description 'questions' cannot be finished. Therefore, Q1 cannot depend on the previous question. Similarly, Q4 follows an Essay question. The Essay cannot be finished during the attempt, so the following question cannot depend on it. Note the lack of padlocks in the following screenshot because of the description and Essay question:

Assigning points to questions

Administration > SBA administration > Edit SBA > Editing SBA

You can set how many points each question is worth by changing the number in the box to the right of each question and you can change the maximum grade by changing the number in the box top right at the top of the SBA. The default is one point per question and 100.00 maximum grade.

Points per question and max grade

Edit individual marks

The SBA module will do any maths, so for example, a 2 point question will be worth 2 times more when the SBA module determines how many point out of 10 to award the student.

Previewing the SBA

  • You can preview individual questions by clicking the magnifying glass icon.
  • You can preview the whole SBA by clicking the "Preview" link in Administration>SBA administration>Preview
  • The SBA works like a real SBA so you can see your grades and any feedback for correct/incorrect answers just as a student would see them.

NOTE: To get a more accurate view of how a student would view your SBA, it is advised to log in with a "dummy" student account created by the admin for testing activities. This is more reliable than the 'switch role to student' feature.

  • See also the question: 'How can a teacher '-dry run an SBA..?' in SBA FAQ
Previewing a single question

Click to preview the whole SBA

SBA in preview mode

After SBA has been attempted

If one or more students have taken the SBA, you will see a list of all the questions in the SBA and a notice saying that you cannot add or remove questions.

You can change the order of questions, regrade them, preview an individual question and click on an question edit link that will allow you to directly edit the question stored in the question bank.

Note: You can delete all SBA attempts by students and then edit the SBA as if no students had attempted it. To do this,click the SBA name and then the Results link in the Administration block. This will present a list of students and their scores. Click "Select all" and then "Delete selected attempts".

Dealing with faulty questions

There are several ways to deal with "bad" questions in an SBA.

Change the grade for the bad question to 0 in the SBA.Edit the question, changing what you will accept as a correct answer, then regrading the exam. Remember when changing a question that the next time it is used it will be as it was in the last edit. Also, regrading will only affect one SBA at a time.You can edit the question to explain the situation to the student and then you can set the grade for the question to zero. After you make such changes you should regrade the SBA by clicking on the Results tab and then the Regrade tab. This will change the grade for all students who have taken the SBA so far. Remember, if the question is used by another SBA, your "explanation" will appear as part of that SBA.You can change the grade for the bad question and then move or delete the question from your question category. The question will still appear on the SBA. Some places do not like to delete any question, but will move them to a "dead" or "bad" question category.When you discover a bad question in your SBA, it may affect the question bank. Remember that a final might be made up of a certain number of random questions drawn from different question categories, the same categories used in a smaller subject SBA. It can be very important do something about bad or invalid questions in a question category when the categories are use in other places.

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