Learn Assessment “Gotchas”

There are a wide-range of assessment options built into or integrated with Learn. Each assessment has its own workflow and a plethora of settings to choose from.

In this blog post we look to highlight some of the common issues, quirks, and key settings to be aware of.

This is part of a series of blog posts related to Tests and Assignments:

Learn Assignments

Due Dates

Assignments should have a date/time when submissions should be made by. This date will send notifications to students as the due-date approaches.

We recommend a due-date in working hours so that support is available from ITO or ILTS for any issues that might arise around the submission. So a deadline that is on a Friday at 5pm is not ideal.

Upload Progress

There is no progress bar displayed to students to indicate that the file submission is being processed. The browser will also not show a “spinny-wheel” in the tab to indicate that the page is processing. Students should be instructed to only click the submit button once and be patient.

When the file is submitted the student will be able to see their submission and will receive an email confirmation.

Submission Receipts

When a Learn Assignment is successful the student will receive a submission receipt via email. The students can also see a list of their receipts from their Grades panel which they can access from the top-right of any page.

The general rule is worth following: “if a student does not have a copy of their submission receipt, the submission has not been made.”


Marking should be done anonymously in the majority of assessment scenarios. In Learn Assignment the anonymity settings are very strict – it is not possible to see which student have submitted, and it is not possible to review any attempts related to a specific student until anonymity has been removed.

We recommend setting the anonymity-release date in the future and then changing this when you are ready for anonymity to be removed.


Creating Tests / Deploying Tests

You can create your tests via Course Tools > Tests, Surveys, Pools. Here you can build your question-set and define your default options for the scoring, etc.

Tests then need to be “deployed”, which means that you have to create the link in your course to make the test visible to students and to define the options for the test.

Read our related post that explains the Test Options in more detail.

Force Completion

We DO NOT recommend using the Force Completion mode in your test options. If this setting is enabled the student attempt will be auto-submitted if they navigate away from the test, but this can also be triggered if their is a break in network connectivity or a browser issue.

Scores and Feedback

Screenshot of the settings available for Feedback

Some care and attention needs to be taken when thinking about how you want scores/feedback to be visible to students after their test. You can choose 2 scenarios from the drop-down list which include:

  • After submission
  • One time view
  • On specific date
  • After due date
  • After availability end date
  • After all submissions marked

If you don’t want any score/feedback to be released to students you have to do the following:

  1. Select — Choose — from the dropdown menu to effectively deactivate the feedback settings
  2. Ensure that the column for the test is hidden to students

Multiple Response Questions

Before you start writing your Multiple Response questions decide if you wish to have the scoring set as “all or nothing” or partial credit.

If using partial credit you will need to apply some negative marking to incorrect responses and work out how this is to be applied.

We also recommend indicating how many correct answers you are looking for. So you could phrase your question as follows: “Select the 4 most common types of…”

File Submission Questions

There is a known issue with the file submission question type which displays an error message to students to indicate that their file has not be uploaded despite the file actually being submitted correctly. The issue does not seem to appear on all browsers, but if using this question type a warning should be given to students.

Error Message: The following questions may be incomplete

You should adjust the Feedback settings for “after submission” to display the users responses. This will provide the student with a page that lists the files that they have uploaded for each question.

The image in the above feedback and options section shows the “after submission” settings described here.

Grade Centre

Visible to students

Column not visible to students - grey circle with diagonal red strikethrough.Any activity within Learn that can have a mark associated with it (formative or summative) will have a column in the Grade Centre. The default option for the column is to have the grade visible to students.

If a grade column is not visible to students then a grey-circle with a red line will appear in the column header.

Calculated Columns

The calculated and weighted columns are a great way of aggregating grades across activities. However sometimes a calculated column can sometime release a grade from a hidden column which it is related to.

The School of Informatics template hides the Total and Weighted Columns which are available to minimise the risk of this occurring.

We recommend taking time to review and manage your Grade-Centre. You can get in touch with lt-support@inf.ed.ac.uk if you need further support.


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