Quiz access rules: Quiz fault-tolerant mode

Maintained by Tim at Lone Pine Koala SanctuaryTim Hunt
This plugin is designed to allow, as far as possible, a student to continue working on a deferred-feedback quiz attempt even if the network connection goes down.
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Current versions available: 4

This plugin can be turned on for particular quizzes in your Moodle site, providing they user How questions behave: Deferred feedback. The goal is to make sure that students never lose any work, even if the network or Moodle server is a bit dodgy.

With this plugin enabled, when the quiz is attempted:

  • All the questions are downloaded at the start, so that you can instantly switch between pages of the attempt with no further contact to the server.
  • When the response to a question is changed, it is saved behind the scenes (like standard quiz auto-save).
  • The the session gets lost, a pop-up appears where you can log in again, then you can continue with the attempt without reloading and losing your unsaved work.
  • At the end, when you submit, the submission is processed asynchronously, so that if an error occurs you can try again, or continue your attempt.
  • If auto-saving fails, then the warning shown is much less dire, since it does not matter so much.
  • Whenever there is unsaved data, you get a warning if you try to leave the quiz page, so you don't accidentally lose data.
  • In case you never re-connect to Moodle, then a download link is provided, so you can save your responses to a file.
  • There is then a screen where Editing teachers or Managers can upload those locally saved responses to be processed.
  • The downloaded responses can be encrypted, if required.

This plugins was created by the Open University, for use in exams. We hope you find it useful.

[WARNING: if you are using a Moodle version older than 2.7.5 or 2.8.3 - not recommended - you will need to apply some patches.]


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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Tim Hunt (Lead maintainer)
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  • Picture of Mathieu Pelletier
    Tue, Nov 24, 2015, 8:07 PM
    Hello Tim. The plugin name for 2.9 is incorrect and fails to install unless the user revises.
  • Picture of Ziyad Muslat
    Fri, Jan 29, 2016, 12:39 AM
    Hi Tim,
    I'm having the sam issue here with my moodle 2.8. When I try to install the plugin on my moodle site. It fails and the comment indicate "invalid plugin name".
  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Fri, Jan 29, 2016, 12:41 AM
    Have you installed the plugin in the right place? Have you installed the right verion of the plugin to be compatible with Moodle 2.8? This plugin used to work fine with Moodle 2.8, but these days the OU is on Moodle 2.9.
  • Picture of Maria Pérez
    Mon, Apr 18, 2016, 7:56 PM
    I think I have found some mistakes (typos) in the following strings:
    changesmadereallygoaway > maybe there should be a question mark at the end of the string
    description > maybe instead of "Adminstrators" it must be "Administrators"
    offlinemodeenabled_help > maybe instead of "avaialble" it must be "available"

  • Picture of Kevin Bleier
    Sat, Apr 29, 2017, 3:05 AM
    Was thinking of upgrading from Moodle 2.9 to Moodle 3.2 - we love using the fault-tolerant mode for lots of reasons, but when I checked the versions I see support up to Moodle 3.1 ... just wondering if the most recent version could also work in Moodle 3.2

    Think I had also reported a bug when using fault-tolerant mode with drag and drop style quiz questions ... the fault tolerant mode seems to make all of the boxes tiny. Students can still drag (we instruct them to click on the corner of a box so they can still drag the cross sign over the tiny box so it drops there), but it would be nice if that could be fixed to make it easier for students. Thanks for all your work and help!
  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Sat, Apr 29, 2017, 3:29 AM
    My guess would be that it works, but I have not been able to test it.

    If you are able to set up a test install of Moodle 3.2, and try installing it and testing that it works, that would be really helpful.
  • Picture of Kevin Bleier
    Wed, May 3, 2017, 6:44 AM
    Will do - probably looking to upgrade after our school term ends in late May / early June, so I'll test and report back if someone doesn't reply sooner.
  • Picture of Kevin Bleier
    Thu, Jun 8, 2017, 11:05 PM
    So I tested the functionality on Moodle 3.3 and it did not seem to work like it does on Moodle 2.9. When I opened a quiz, it just shows all the questions rather than one at a time like I want, and even shows the final submission screen. Can't seem to get out of it either - the submit button doesn't work. None of the drag and drop questions seemed to load correctly either. So I'll be sticking with Moodle 2.9 for now.
  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Fri, Jun 9, 2017, 1:16 AM
    Which theme are you using. I expect it only works with older themes, not Boost.
  • Picture of Kevin Bleier
    Fri, Jun 9, 2017, 6:57 AM
    Ah. I was using Fordson theme with Moodle 3.3, which the author describes as "a child theme of Boost" ... so I guess that's the issue, huh?
  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Fri, Jun 9, 2017, 2:48 PM
    Well, certainly worth trying with Clean theme to see if it works.
  • Picture of Outuckic Outucpas
    Tue, May 8, 2018, 9:45 PM
    Hi Tim,

    I'm also interested in using that plugin but we are using Moodle 3.2 + 3.3 and even 3.4.
    We are using the default theme (design) of Moodle, and didn't change anything visually.

    But as Kevin Bleier said, in Moodle 3.3 or 3.4, when module is activated, all the questions show on the same page.
    It also makes the quiz impossible to use (offline it doesn't save anything, and online you can't also save replies).

    It seems the plugin is incompatible with Moodle 3.1+. Tim, are you thinking updating the plugin to these versions ? Could I help you ?
    Or are you thinking not maintaining the plugin anymore.

  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Thu, May 10, 2018, 10:14 PM
    At the moment, the Open University is not using this plugin, so it is not one that is a high priority for us to upgrade.

    From the description, it may be as simple as some CSS that needs to be chagned to work with newer Moodle Themes, and this plugin does have pretty thorough automated test coverage, which helps with maintenance.

    If anyone else is able to work on fixing this, then that would be great. We could either transfer maintainer-ship of this plugin, or I could merge a pull request into my repo. Thanks.
  • Picture of Roland Sherwood
    Tue, Oct 23, 2018, 2:16 PM
    Hi Tim. As with all the plugins you're involved with and share with the community - many thanks for making the functionality this plugin affords possible. Re. 3.5 compatibility: if possible, please could you quickly confirm that the plugin is fully functioning under this version of Moodle? I know it states 3.5 *is* supported under the versions listing; however, I was just a bit worried re. whether the issues identified in your own and André's comments above have since been resolved. Again, many thanks.
  • Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
    Tue, Oct 23, 2018, 6:20 PM
    Well, you need to understand that the Open University is not actively using this plugin at the moment, which reduces the amount of real-world testing this plugin gets. However, when this plugin was created, I implemented very thorough automated tests, and those all still pass. They simulate a student attempting a quiz using this plugin, including the tricky edge cases.

    If you want any more testing than that, you will need to set up a Moodle 3.5 site for yourself and do some extra testing. If you do that, please report back here so others can benefit from your results.
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