Slow performance in a large quiz or survey

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Users may report slow loading time or performance of large quizzes or surveys, depending on the available resources (memory and processing power) in their computers or the bandwidth of their internet connection. Since computer performance and bandwidth are largely beyond your control, let's focus on what you can do, as the quiz developer, to speed up performance.

When a quiz begins

When a quiz first loads, you will see a spinning icon indicating that the quiz is loading.  Depending on the size of the quiz, bandwidth, and computer resources, this may take some time for large quizzes.  If you find that the time it takes to load becomes excessive, you can do one or both of the following to reduce the loading time:

  • Reduce the number of questions in your quiz.  If you are using question pooling, you could reduce the number of questions from the total pool to speed up loading time.
  • Break the large quiz into two or more smaller quizzes.

Taking a quiz

You may notice that the loading of each question and the submission of each answer takes longer as the quiz progresses for the following reasons:

  1. Quizmaker stores your quiz in the computer's memory.  This means that if you access a section of the quiz you have already viewed, Quizmaker won't need to reload the content.  It will pull this information from the computer's memory.
  2. If your quiz is in Articulate Online or a Learning Management System (LMS), the quiz may also be sending data to the LMS so that the quiz can resume where you left off should you exit the quiz without completing it.  The larger the quiz, the more data that's required to send to the LMS so that the quiz can resume properly.
  3. If Answer Submission is set to Submit one question at a time, it will be necessary for more information to be stored in the computer's memory.

You can reduce these performance issues by using one or more of the following methods:

  • Disable the resume option in the player template.
  • Reduce the number of questions in your quiz.
  • Break the large quiz into two or more smaller quizzes.
  • Reduce the content (text and media) on each quiz slide to reduce the amount of computer memory required to store the quiz data.

Submitting answers and results

If Answer Submission is set to Submit all at once, you may notice that the quiz proceeds normally, but the final submission of all answers at the end of the quiz may take a few minutes for very long quizzes.  It may appear that the quiz has become locked or frozen.  However, it is processing the final submission of all answers and will proceed to the result slide when complete.

You can use one or more of the following methods to help your end-users:

  • Reduce the number of questions in your quiz in order to reduce the amount of time it takes to submit all of the answers to Articulate Online or your LMS.
  • Break the large quiz into two or more smaller quizzes.
  • Reduce the content (text and media) on each quiz slide to reduce the amount of data transmitted to Articulate Online or your LMS.
  • Customize the message that users receive when they attempt to submit their answers.  Customize this message via Player Templates > Text Labels in Quizmaker '09.  Here is a suggested message for the Submit All Answered Last Slide text label:
Submit All Answered Last Slide:  "You have answered all questions.  What do you want to do now?  Please note that once you submit your questions for scoring there will be a delay while your answers are processed.  Please do not close your browser window."

Submit All Answered Last Slide