Creating a Timed Take-Home Exam using a Moodle Assignment

Moodle assignments can be used for timed take-home exams, by using the time limit feature in the Availability section of the Assignment settings.  This works best for open-ended questions in which you would like students to submit a file.

It is also possible to use a quiz for a timed exam. See Creating a timed quiz or exam in Moodle.  A timed assignment is easier to set up and grade if you want students to submit a single file.  A timed quiz has more functionality if you want to include auto-graded questions (e.g. multiple choice or fill in the blank) or would like to grade several short essays.


Start by creating an assignment (see Set up an assignment in Moodle for more guidance). 

In the Activity instructions, end the information students need to know to take the exam.  For example, this could include an essay prompt or you could upload a file with a copy of the exam instructions.  Students will not be able to see the activity instructions until they begin the exam.  

Put any files needed for the exam in the Activity Instructions section by selecting text and clicking the paperclip button to upload files. The Activity Instructions section will be hidden until students begin the exam. Putting files in the Additional Files area will reveal them before a student begins the exam.

Under the Availability section, adjust the Allow submissions from and Due date to be the start and end of the window of time students are allowed to take the exam.  Then set the Time limit to the desired maximum time that students can work on the exam.  

Moodle assignment time limit setting

All other standard Moodle assignment settings can be implemented as you see fit. 

Students will still be able to submit the assignment after time expires. If you are concerned that some students may use more than the allotted time, contact your academic technologist for report on time used by each student.

User and Group Overrides

Just like a normal assignment, it is possible to set up individual user or group overrides to adjust the window that the exam is open or to provide extended time.

To set overrides, click on the assignment → MoreOverrides and adjust the dates and times as needed.

Moodle assignment override settings
Moodle assignment override settings


Other Notes

Students can make a submission after the time expires and their submission will have a note indicating it was turned in late.

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