Do you give quizzes online? If you do, then you feel my pain. I use weekly quizzes to assess student learning in real time (à la my Early and Often strategy). On the face of it, this is a great plan, but every week I am inundated with emails from students claiming that they took the quiz, but that our LMS[1] lost it, glitched, or cheated them in some other way.

So here’s the conundrum: How do I create a policy that is fair to students who really have had technical difficulties that are beyond their control, while also weeding out students who are false reporting them? My solution, create an explicit set of directions to get the students to troubleshoot their problem themselves. Then only after they’ve tried everything, they email me.

You can download the form I use here: (Word | Pdf | Pages)

LMS Glitched Handout

All the pieces you will need to adjust are highlighted in red. If you modify this form or have suggestions for modifications send it my way to or @SocSource on Twitter. I’d love to see your work.

What I like about this policy is that it puts the onus of solving the problem almost entirely on the student, which means it can scale to even the largest classes. This acts as a buffer because almost 99% of the problems will be solved before they even send me an email. Second, it is a standardized approach to the problem. No one can say I was unfair as long as I don’t deviate from the policy. Lastly, it rewards students who don’t wait until the last minute to take the quizzes.

Does it sound like I’m kinda proud of myself here? It’s cause I am 🙂

  1. We use a version of Blackboard and WebCT called GeorgiaView at Georgia Southern University. It’s not my favorite, but we are switching to Desire2Learn which sounds like it is it’s own sequel. Worst. Name. Ever. Just saying.  ↩