And actually, that is the key point. The important thing is thinking time, not sitting at the computer time. If you are letting students do the quiz in multiple sittings, restricting the time they sit at the computer is not so helpful. Why not just give them unlimited time, (but tell them they should only spend about 53 minutes on it). The fact they have a life outside school will probably ensure they don't spend hours of extra time trying to research the last few points.
(And I have to ask, why exactly 53 minutes?)
I was under the impression, not sure from where, that the clock paused / stopped on logoff. Is there a workaround that would make it function as such?
If you want to control how long they have for the quiz, then it can not be possible to pause the timer since that would effectively mean that students can control how long the quiz lasts, for example by writing the questions down and thinking through the answers, and then logging in again after they have decided what to answer.
Or do you think there should be a predefined amount of time allowed for the pauses, that is, 53 minutes for the exam and a total of 7 minutes for the pauses? Could you not then do this by just setting the time limit to 60 minutes?
I trust them but watch over them. If I see unusual activity in the logs, such as logouts for only a few minutes, I will inquire further.
The 25 question quizzes we give can be easily taken in 15 minutes, so the 30 minutes we give them is more than enough. The timing as we will administer it is primarily for the fire chiefs to be able to schedule their staff to take their quizzes in the event they have limited hardware resources available (ie: only one workstation with unfettered internet access). So they can slot their staff in half hour "appointments". It may prove to be unnecessary, but I'm making every accommodation I can.
It would not be too difficult to add a pause button to the count down timer that would pause the clock and delay the auto submit, but you would also have to add certain variable amount to the quiz end time. That sounds more difficult.
I'm just disabling the timer for now.
One difficulty is that, at the moment, Moodle just works by storing the start time for each attempt, and enforces the time limit by relative to that. To cover more sophisticated situations like pausing the timer, you would have to create extra fields in the database to store extra information, and it is not immediately clear to me how much extra timing information you would need to store.
Any updates on this topic ?
I'm looking for a way to give extra time to some students (ie. +15min). A way to temporary pause the timer could also work.
In Moodle 2.0 you can set different time limits for different groups, or different individual students.