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Workflow improvements for Ultra grading & assessments in May

New test question filter for student assessment experience

As the semester concludes, the May update to Ultra brings some improvements centered on assessment and grading workflows and usability improvements.
  • Weighted Calculations: With this upgrade, instructors can configure the weighted overall grade using an empty grade category. You will no longer need to have an empty assessment or any assessment in the category to assign a weight.
  • Prohibit Late Submissions: To prevent instructors from inadvertently triggering submission of in-progress and saved assignment attempts, instructors cannot change the due dates to a date in the past when students have submitted attempts. Moreover, if a due date has passed, the instructor cannot select the prohibit late submission setting. 
  • Journal enhancements: Choose how many entries display on the page with improvement navigation and pagination. Students may make unlimited entries now and instructors will see a count of graded journals.
  • Undo and redo setting in Bb Annotate: This enhancement allows instructors and graders to easily undo or redo an annotation to a student's file submission when grading. It is not applicable to comments.
A major improvement to the student test taking experience is a new question filter with unanswered question warning. The question filter allows students to complete questions they know first and skip harder ones, using the filter to quickly return to skipped questions or to find specific formats of questions such as essay responses. If a student submits a test with unanswered questions, Ultra with alert students with a warning, showing the number of unanswered questions. If a student continues to work on the test, the filter will automatically display only the unanswered questions. 

Example of question filtering option for student
Image: Example of question filtering option for students

Additionally, based on feedback from students in Ultra courses, students may now choose to hide the timer on a timed test, which may reduce pressure and anxiety during assessments. While the timer may be hidden, the timer icon will remain visible to alert students that the test is timed and allow them to easily view the remaining time on the test as needed.

A session time-out warning is available to both Original and Ultra courses. When a user is idle for over three hours the session ends, but there are times when a user may be working, but the system considers them idle -- for example, authoring a discussion post. In this update, users will receive a warning at least six minutes before the session ends. If you close the warning before the session ends, your session will extend for another three hours. However, if you are away from the session when the warning appears, even if you close the message, you will be logged out because you were away too long.

The next update to our test environment will take place on May 10, 2022. Faculty who are interested in test driving new features before they are released to production should open an RT ticket to request early access. Please watch the FAQs, including the What's New with Ultra pageand 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:

Posted: May 3, 2022, 9:40 AM