Best Practices for Online Learning

Quizzes: Best Practices

  • Be sure you are in a space that you can comfortably take the test in the time allowed.
  • Use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
  • Login to (login with your Delta credentials).
  • Your quiz may require Respondus Lockdown browser and Monitor. Review the guides if needed. 
  • After you start a quiz, the timer will continue even if you exit the quiz.
  • Save your response after each question. (An icon for the question number should change to blue to indicate you saved successfully.)
  • On quizzes with multiple pages, switching pages will save all selected answers just like hitting the save all button.
  • After every finished page, save all responses on the page.
    • If you are writing an essay or a long response, write it in a word processor like MS Word, Google Docs, Notepad, etc. then copy and paste into the quiz and save the response. This will not be an option if Respondus Lockdown browser is in use. 
    • If your answers are not saving it is likely that you have been timed out of D2L. You will want to re-access the quiz again and ensure that answers are saving before you continue.
    • If you have completed questions before noting that you cannot save answers, then open up a different browser (such as Firefox instead of Google Chrome), access the quiz again and copy your answers over.
  • If you are having browser issues: clear your cache and cookies, restart your browser, log back in via the direct link, then continue the quiz.
  • If you do not have access to the quiz, check the opening and closing dates. (Located in grey italics underneath the quiz)
  • Make sure there aren’t any special conditions that must be completed before the quiz will open. (eg. viewing content, finishing other quizzes, adding something to Assignments) These should be in the quiz instructions.
  • Depending on what the instructor sets for the quiz, one of a few things can occur. If the quiz is set to auto grade, as soon as you submit the quiz it will automatically grade the quiz, and send an email with the grade for this quiz. This is the way most instructors setup multiple choice and multiple select quizzes, as they can be easily auto graded.
  • For quizzes with Long Answers, essay questions, or other items that are not able to be auto graded, the quiz will normally be set to manual grading. As such until the instructor grades the quiz and releases that grade, you will not get an email. You can still confirm you have submissions by going into the quizzes area, which will list your current submissions.
  • Depending on how the instructor wants the quiz reviewed, they may have submission views that can be set to show no questions or answers, only the questions you got wrong, all your answers, and even all your answers and the correct answers. They can also have multiple views, for example to wait to release the full view of the quiz until after the quiz closes.


Assignments and Discussions: Best Practices

If you have problems uploading an assignment, try these steps.

  1. Make sure the name of the file does not contain any special characters.WRONG: Myfile!rox@stuff16-this is my lastname_$45/
    1. This name is too long
    2. Has special characters
    3. Has spaces
  2. RIGHT: filename-lastname.pdf
    1. Brief file name and your last name are best
    2. Short and no special characters
    3. “-“ and “_” are acceptable characters

Be sure to check to see if your instructor has specific instructions about how your homework should be named, or specific file types required, either in the syllabus or in the assignment directions.

  1. Your file may not upload or work correctly if it was made in OpenOffice or Pages, due to the file format.
    1. A work around is to copy and paste it into a Word doc then download the file in the format your instructor wants.
  • There are no draft components in D2L Brightspace, so if the system times out or the browser you are using disconnects while creating a discussion forum post, or a long answer for a quiz, you could lose all that you typed and have to start over.
    • For any post longer than a few sentences, use a word processor like  MS Word to write the post. This will give you more control over formatting, allow you to save often, as well as spell check the document.
    • You can then copy and paste the contents of your document into the D2L discussion, email or quiz.
  • Keep in mind, once you create a discussion forum thread or post you cannot delete it.
  • You may have the option to edit discussion threads or posts you create by clicking the actions menu icon (V) next to the title of your thread or post title and clicking the Edit Thread/Post option. We do not recommend editing your threads or posts beyond small fixes (typo or grammatical errors) due to the flow of discussion in those areas and how a major edit can affect it.

Tips for online learning

Online learning has many benefits. Students are often drawn to online learning due to the flexible nature of the courses, or the ability to balance school with other work and family commitments. If you develop skills for effective online learning, you’ll find the courses can be a great alternative to a traditional classroom setting. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your next class.

Start with the right motivation. Determine that you are going to succeed in your classes, no matter the location, and develop a plan for doing so. Set a goal for what success looks like to you. Then, develop a plan to work toward that goal.

If you’re new to online learning and wondering how to be successful in online classes, it’s important that you give yourself time to learn, room to grow and permission to fail. You may need a few attempts to connect your video-conference. You may also have trouble with new learning formats, or adhering to a schedule while being at home. This is all normal as you adapt to new ways of doing things. Give yourself the freedom to experience a few bumps along the way, but stay positive and adjust to get back on track.

Wherever you choose to study, setting up a dedicated space and routine will help set you up for success. Look for a spot in your home that’s away from noise and distractions. Get creative if needed. A small table in a bedroom or basement can function as a desk. Have headphones handy to use to block out noise or for participating in group project calls.

With all of the multi-tasking we do and our always-connected mindset, it’s all too easy to get distracted from your studies. Turning off your phone or using airplane mode can big a big help. If you need be online to conduct research, set aside dedicated blocks of time just for that purpose. This will help eliminate disruptions. Although it’s tempting to do a “quick check” of your social feed, it can end up costing you valuable study time. 

Remember that although you are learning remotely, you still have access to your instructor and Delta's support services. Find their office hours and schedule time to meet virtually. Your instructors are there to help you succeed. 

As you find yourself in a new online learning environment, keep calm, ask for help when needed, celebrate small victories, contribute to your online community and stay focused on your end goal. You’ve got this.


Contact us
Make an appointment with student services departments.

1961 Delta Road
University Center, MI 48710