Purpose of this document
This document contains information on setting up diagnostic logins in IMathAS
What Are Diagnostics
Diagnostics allow you to create a special login page for larger-scale diagnostic assessment.
This provides a way for students to access and take the diagnostic without needing
to register and enroll in a course. Also, it delivers them the correct assessment based
on a selection from a list of options, such as course they want to place into, their grade level, etc.
Diagnostics are linked with courses, and grades are recorded into that course. A special diagnostic gradebook
view is available, tailored for use by testing centers to look up the most recent takers of the diagnostic. The diagnostic
can also be integrated with the tutor system in IMathAS to allow individual instructors access to view only their
students' scores in a multi-instructor shared diagnostic.
Setting Up Diagnostics
If you have sufficient rights (Diagnostic Creator or Group/Full Admin), click the "Add New Diagnostic" button to set up
a new diagnostic. Diagnostics are linked with assessments in a course, so you should first
create a course and add your diagnostic assessments to that course.
On the first page, you will be asked for:
For a placement-type test, the first level selector might be "course you want to place into" and the second level selector
might be some demographic info like "when was the last math class you took?"
- Diagnostic name: the name of your diagnostic to display to students on the login page
- Term designator: Can be changed each term for ongoing assessments to keep track of which term an assessment was taken in.
Also will create a unique record for each term+student, so same student ID could take the assessment again in the different term. As a consequence, if you
choose to "Use Day" as the designator, than a student would not be able to continue a diagnostic the next day; they'd start over under a new
- Linked with course: What course contains your diagnostic assessments. You must be listed as a teacher for the course
- Available: Whether students can take the diagnostic
- Public: Whether the diagnostic should be listed on the main Diagnostics list page. If set to no,
students will have to be provided with the direct link to the diagnostic.
- Allow Reentry: Whether students should be forced to complete the diagnostic in one sitting, or whether you'll allow them
to reaccess the test at a later time. If Yes, you can set a testing window that limits the number of minutes after first accessing
the diagnostic they can reenter the diagnostic. This is convenient in case a student accidently exits the assessment or there is an internet
- Unique ID prompt: How you want to word the prompt for a unique user id. A student ID number, phone number, or email address could work.
- ID entry format & number of characters: Lets you specify the format of the unique ID, so ensure valid IDs
- Allow access IP addresses: IP addressed for which the diagnostic can be taken without a password. If you want to
allow access from anywhere, enter "*". You can use "*" for a wildcard as well, e.g. 123.45.* to allow any IP beginning
with 123.45. If you are only going to use password access, leave this part blank.
- Passwords: Passwords which will allow access to the diagnostic from other IP addresses. Passwords are not case sensitive. These
passwords could be shared directly with a room full of testers (then removed later), or used by proctors to sign students into the diagnostic.
- Super passwords: These passwords will override the "allow reentry" time limit, if you specified one earlier. These passwords would be intended
for use by instructors or proctors, and generally would not be shared directly with students.
- First level selector name: Students will be asked to select two items from pull-down lists, with the values in the second
depending upon the values in the first. The choice in the first list also dictates which assessment is delivered. For
selector name, specify what this selection should be called, filling in the blank "Please enter your ______". In many cases
the two selectors will be Course and Instructor, or Course and Section
- First level selector options: Add options for the first level selector.
On the second page, you will be asked for:
- Second level selector name: Secondary selection, with values depending upon the first-level selector choice. Fill in the blank
"Enter your _________". Second level selectors will be become the student's section identifier in the course, allowing you to
use the tutor system with diagnostics. If you are running a multi-instructor diagnostic, using instructor names as the second
level selector is appropriate.
- Deliver assessment: For each first-level selector, specify which assessment should be delivered if the student
selects that option. You have the option to "force regen on reentry", which, if reentry is allowed, will on reentry delete the student's
previous attempt and generate a new version of the diagnostic.
- Second level selector options: For each first-level selector, specify the options for the second level selector. There is a checkbox
that will enable automatic alphabetization of the selectors after submitting. If your second-level selector list will be the same for
every first-level selector, you can save time by clicking the "Use these second-level selectors for all first-level selectors?" option.
You must submit both pages before any changes are saved. After submitting the second page, you will be provided with the
direct access link to the diagnostic, which you can provide to students or use to create a link from another website.
In courses for which a diagnostic has been set up, the gradebook will display differently, showing the student unique ID,
the term, and the first and second selector values in addition to the students' names and scores
If you are doing a mass-testing situation, don't want proctors to have to enter passwords, and don't want to annouce a mass password for
everyone to use, you can use the "One Time Passwords" link on the Admin page to generate a list of one-time-use passwords that can be
distributed individually to students.
© 2009 David Lippman