Everything you need to know about iRATs

How do I create an iRAT for my TBL lesson?

When creating a TBL Lesson, the easiest way is using the TBL Design Wizard. Thought you can create the design for your lesson manually, it is more time consuming.

How does iRAT look like to students?

Check out the iRAT section in the TBL Student Guide.

What question types can I use for iRATs?

For iRATs you can use Multiple Choice (single best answers), Mark hedging and Very Short Answers question types.

My questions include images, formulas and other digital media. Can I add them to my questions?


LAMS has a powerful editor for content that will allow you to create complex formatted questions/answers that might include inline tables, LaTeX, images, videos and a whole range of other media. It also provides pre-formatted templates to ensure that your content adjust perfectly to any device and screen size that your students use (responsive web design).

Moreover, you can import your questions into your design using Microsoft Word (including images, tables, etc) and IMS QTI (an interoperability specification to exchange exam questions between e-Learning applications).

Can I set up a time limit for the student to complete their iRAT?

Yes, and there are three types of time limits to better suit your teaching:

1) Everyone gets the same amount of time to complete the iRAT

When you set up a this time limit, then each individual student get a pre-determined number of minutes to complete the exam from the moment they start the iRAT (say 10 minutes). The time starts to countdown from the moment that the student begins the iRAT, so in our example, everyone gets 10 minutes regardless which date they start. You can set this up when authoring the iRAT or in Monitor as follows:

This option is ideal if you are planning to run your TBL lesson asynchronously.

2) Hard time limits

When you are running a synchronous iRATs -when all the students are doing the iRAT at the same time -whether this is online or face-to-face in the classroom, you might want to set a hard deadline for it (ie: ‘Let’s get everyone to finish the assessment in 2 minutes’).

Unlike the relative time limit before, now you are able to set a hard deadline in minutes.

🤔 Tip: To better know how much time left the student might need, you can take a look at the students’ progression in the assessment. If about half of the students have already completed the assessment, you might want to add just two more minutes for the rest to complete it.

Once the time expires, all student responses will be saved up until the point when the time expires and the assessment will automatically be completed.

However, sometimes a student might have arrived late, so you might need to grant exceptions…

3) Time extension

In these cases, you can grant a particular student or team (in the case the assessment is to be performed as a team).

These extensions are additions to the previous two time limits.

For instance if you are have given all students 10 minutes from their relative start of the iRAT, you can grant a single student (or group) an extra 10 minutes (adding a total of 20 minutes) to finish the assessment.

If you have set up a hard time limit, then you can grant a student an extra number of minutes for him/her to complete the iRAT.

These time extensions provide a very powerful tool to manage time limits for students with special needs that might require extra time to complete an assessment.

⏲️ More info on LAMS' time management for assessments.

Can I extend the time limit for the students to complete their iRAT?

Yes, relative and hard time limits above.

Can I extend the time limit for an individual student to complete the iRAT?

Yes, see time extensions above.

Can iRAT questions include confidence levels?

Yes, you can enable confidence levels for iRAT questions. To include them in your iRAT, check the option to enable it in the Assessment Authoring

What's the difference between confidence levels and mark hedging?

Note that confidence levels are based on confidence based learning -which allows students to select an answer and then say how confidence they are on their chosen option. However, if what you need is mark heading (the ability for the students to spread their marks across multiple answers), then you are after Mark hedging questions.

What types confidence levels can I use for iRAT questions?

When we implemented confidence levels, we began with a 0 to 100% scale. So students could say in this scale how certain they were that the answer they have chosen was the correct one.

However, students' feedback suggested to add a bit more fuzzy logic to these scales so now you can choose from three:

  1. 0 to 100% scale (the original)

  2. Not confident; Confident; Very confident

  3. Not sure, Sure, Very Sure.

Can I show the confidence levels chosen by students in the iRAT to the teams in the tRAT?

Yes. This is why we wanted to implement confidence levels in the first place. If you enable confidence levels in the iRAT, then you can allow students to see the confidence level they selected (as well as the option they chose) in the tRAT. Here's an example of how iRAT confidence levels show to students in their team's tRAT:

Why do I want to show the iRAT confidence levels in the tRAT? Well it speeds up discussions as all the students answering the tRAT know what option they chose as well as how confident they were of their selection.

As the students know where everyone stands, the discussion to reach consensus as to what option to scratch in the tRAT is faster (yes, we've got research on this -see research section).

Can confidence levels be anonymous?

Yes. See the option "So not display students' names with confidence level" in the Advanced tab in Scratchie (tRAT) authoring.

Can I set the iRAT so students answer one question at the time?

Indeed. Pick any number of questions per page. However, for TBL, you will find that having all the questions in one page makes life easier to students.

Can I shuffle the student's questions and answers?

Yes. See "Shuffle questions" in the Advance tab in Assessment Authoring.

Can I use the iRAT with a lockdown browser?

Technically, yes. We have used Safe Exam Browser and Respondus LockDown Browser for iRATs before but in the context of synchronous online TBL, this might not make a lot of sense as Zoom or any conferencing tool that you might be using for your students is shutdown.

We recommend to use other techniques if you are concern with academic integrity. These range from shuffling questions/answers, limiting the amount of time given per each question, enable webcam recording or screen recording when examination is taking place. But lockdown browsers bring a world of technical complexity that is hard to justify.

Can I get notified of individual students' answers as soon as they have completed?

Yes. Enable the option "Notify instructor when learner completes attempt" in the Advance tab in Assessment Authoring.

Note that you will receive an email every time students submit.

Can I have a lesson where I can do the iRAT only?


You can slice and dice the flow of your activities as it best suits you. If you want to do just iRAT you can do just that. Or just tRATs. Or just AEs and/or Self & Peer evaluation.

When you create your TBL design using the TBL Design Wizard, you can opt for adding just the activities you want.

Alternatively, you can create your entire TBL lesson and then just use gates to control when students can do the different activities.

What analytics do I get?

Lots and lots... see TBL Analytics.

Can I export iRAT grades?

Certainly. This is how:

How do I assign score/marks weight to the iRAT?

See Grades weights.

If I update a question on the iRAT, will it be updated on the tRAT too?


Any change you do to a question in the iRAT or the tRAT will automatically update on the tRAT and iRAT respectively.

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