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Authoring exams on Inspera

The Author role

The Author role on Inspera creates Question Sets (exam papers) and shares the finished Question Set with a Planner (typically the department administrator) who attaches it to the actual exam set up with dates, students etc.

Authoring a Question Set

The authoring of exams is done from the Author screen. 

Exams should be directly authored in Inspera, making use of “Candidate Selected Questions” if needed. Where possible, students should answer their questions in Inspera (e.g. an essay box) rather than uploading scans of handwritten work.

Start by creating a new Question Set using the “Create New” button in the top right of the Author – Question Sets screen.

Give the Question Set a clear consistent name e.g. “AB10123 Exam Jan 2027”

Question Sets are made up of individual Questions. Add these using the “Create New” button, or re-use previous questions using “Add from Question Bank”. Questions should also be given clear distinct names.

Authoring Questions

Each question should be set up independently, and require a maximum mark to be set. The marks should be as you wish to mark. Inspera passes the final percentage for the exam to SAMIS. If you have two equally weighted essays, each can be marked out of 100. If you have a supplementary file upload point for student working that you do not wish to award marks, this will need to be set to be worth 0 marks.

For essay boxes you can set a maximum word count.

Question Types

Inspera has a range of different question types. Information about these can be found on the Inspera Help Centre – Question types pages. We recommend using the question types below:

Automatically markedManually marked
Multiple ChoiceEssay
Multiple ResponseText Area (cannot be similarity checked)
Text EntryProgramming (syntax formatted box, cannot be similarity checked)
Numeric EntryMath(s) Working (cannot be similarity checked)
Inline ChoiceUpload Assignment (should only be used for handwritten / drawn work)
True / False
Matching / PairingNot marked

The not-marked question type: Document can be used to provide students with additional information supplementary to question text.

Organising Questions into Sections

It is often useful to group questions into sections.

Question Sets can have multiple sections, which can be independently renamed, randomised, and have additional information alongside.

Setting up randomisation or optional questions

Under the Section title, there is a Randomisation button. This allows you to:

The latter two options require all questions in the section to have the same maximum marks.

Additional information (stimulus panel)

Under the Section title, there is a Section Layout button. This allows you to choose how the section will be displayed. Each question in the section can be on a separate page, with candidates clicking “next” to see subsequent questions, or all questions in the section can be on a continuous page, and candidates can additionally navigate by scrolling.

Authors may also choose to add a stimulus panel, a space next to the questions and answer boxes. A document question type can be added here to provide additional information such as a case study relevant to all questions in the section, or in the case of optional (candidate selected) questions, it may be useful to display all the questions concisely.

Finalising the Design Settings and Previewing

Question Sets should be previewed before sharing to confirm that it is set up as expected. On the Question Set, click the Design tab at the bottom.

Ensure the following are selected: 

  • Table of contents 
  • Hide question titles 
  • Show sections in table of contents 
  • Enable flagging 
  • Question maximum marks 
  • Show interaction accessibility guide
  • Highlight “next” button when responses are completed

Do not enable

  • Hide navigation bar.
  • Disable navigate back button.
  • Show progress indicator
  • Warning when navigating away from pages with incomplete response

For the Numbering Scheme you should use either Test sequential or Section alphanumeric. This choice is at your discretion.

Pressing the Preview button in the top right will show the exam as it will appear to students.

Sharing a Question Set

Once the Question set is complete it must be shared with a Planner (typically the department administrator) who will attach it to the actual exam instance.

This must be shared from the question set itself (with the Sections etc) not an individual question.

Editing a Question Set after sharing

Preferably there will be no changes to a question set after the Unit Convenor has shared the exam with a planner. However, if the Unit Convenor notices a mistake in a question set then they can edit the question set and then must inform the planner, who will need to update the exam occurrence. If the exam occurrence is not updated, the edited question will not appear on the exam for students.

Video guides

Authoring an exam with optional questions

Changing the Design Settings and Previewing

Sharing a Question Set

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