In Focus: Moodle Quiz (3) – Times and Timings

Times and Timings

In this post, I’m going to focus on the ‘Timing’ section of the Moodle Quiz settings page; this is where start and end date/times are defined along with a permitted duration of an attempt.

Moodle screenshot of the Timing settings section within the Moodle Quiz settings.

The image above shows the ‘Timings’ section within the settings page of a Moodle Quiz activity; below, I will explain each of the settings in turn.


Open the quiz (A)

This is the date and time from which your students can attempt the quiz.

The enable checkbox to the right of the date and time will determine whether or not the configured date is to be used to open the quiz.

If not enabled, there is no restriction on when a student may start a quiz attempt (although if the ‘Close the quiz’ setting is configured then it’s not possible to start a quiz after that date)

Close the quiz (B)

This is the date and time at which students can no longer attempt the quiz.

If not enabled, there is no deadline by which a student must have submitted a quiz attempt.

If an attempt is in progress when this date and time is reached (i.e. a student has started the quiz but it the attempt has not yet been submitted), the attempt will end and how this attempt will be managed is defined in the later setting: ‘When time expires’ (see below)


Time limit (C)

If enabled, it’s possible to define how long a student has to complete each attempt. Before starting an attempt, a student will be warned that each attempt is timed and that the timer starts once they click on the

When time expires (D)

There are three options presented which will determine what happens to unsubmitted quiz attempts if the ‘Time limit’ expires or the ‘Close the quiz’ date/time’ is reached:

Screenshot of the Quiz Moodle settings page focusing on the options available for the 'When time expires' setting.
  • Open attempts are submitted automatically – any unsubmitted attempts will be submitted automatically and marked without requiring a student to click the ‘Submit all and finish’ button;
  • There is a grace period when open attempts can be submitted, but no more questions answered – the student has the opportunity to choose to submit the open attempt within a certain time frame (see below for further details);
  • Attempts must be submitted before time expires, or they are not counted – the attempt remains unsubmitted and therefore not available for marking.

Of the three, I would recommend the first option in the list: Open attempts are submitted automatically.

The reason for my recommendation is that I have experienced students forgetting to submit their attempts or not realising that there was a final step to submit; if an attempt remains unsubmitted, it sits “in limbo” and remains unmarked. By selecting the first option, any open attempts left unsubmitted will be automatically submitted – and therefore, marked – when either the ‘Time limit’ expires (if set) or the ‘Close the quiz’ date is reached.

Submission grace period (E)

If you decide to opt for the grace period option in the ‘When time expires’ setting, an additional field is presented: ‘Submission grace period’.

Screenshot of the two settings related to managing submission grace periods within the Moodle quiz settings page.

This allows you to define the amount of time that a student can review and submit an unsubmitted attempt when the quiz is closed or the timer on the attempt has been reached.

This can be useful if you don’t want all open attempts to be submitted once the close date is reached but you might want to give your students the opportunity to choose to submit their final attempt if they’ve failed to do so. As the description explains, the answers are “locked-in” at this point so the only thing the student is able to do is submit their attempt.

So as you can see, there are a number of different ways that timings can be managed for a Moodle quiz.

It is also possible to specify different start and end dates, and different timings for specific students or specific groups of students; User and Group overrides are explained in the TELSupport article: How do I set up different rules for specific students in a Quiz?

One thought on “In Focus: Moodle Quiz (3) – Times and Timings

  1. Pingback: In Focus: Moodle Quiz (1) – “Why use a Quiz?” – DMeLD Digest

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