Occasionally we get questions from instructors wanting to do things that Canvas is ill-equipped to handle. This series celebrates that spirit of innovation and provides the best answers we can come up with to approximate the desired effect.
Quiz Feedback on randomized questions
Creating a practice quiz before a big exam that automatically provides immediate feedback* can be an effective formative assessment that is convenient for both student and instructor. One instructor had a brilliant idea to repurpose last quarter’s exams as practice quizzes. There were just a few complications: there was a mix of essay questions and auto-graded questions, the questions were randomized, and the instructor didn’t want to have to grade any of the questions manually. The desired result was that the student would take the practice exam with randomized questions and then get the answers and explanations in the feedback for each question. Unfortunately, Canvas quizzes don’t provide feedback text for ungraded questions, so students would be unable to compare their essay responses to the exemplars unless the instructor graded each question individually, even if it was simply to assign a 0 out of 0 possible.
Here are some of the solutions we came up with, none of which quite satisfied the instructor, but they may inspire you to try something:
- Set the quiz to show “one question at a time” without backtracking. The next item will be a text only “question” with the exemplar answer. When the students go back to review the quiz, they can compare their answer to the example. These can be mixed in with auto-graded questions with feedback comments as long the quiz is set to allow students to see their responses and the correct answers. This option requires the questions to be in a set order and not randomized.
- Keep the quiz randomized and add a number key to each essay question so they can look up the answer and feedback on an answer key that is only accessible once they have submitted the quiz. This can be done by setting up requirements in the module where the quiz resides. Auto-graded questions can still provide feedback within the quiz results.
- Separate the practice quiz into two quizzes: one with randomized auto-graded questions and one with essay questions in a set order with an answer key released after it is submitted.
*Those are instructions for New Quizzes. For feedback on Classic Quizzes, see the instructions for individual question types. Here’s a useful resource for deciphering the answer and feedback settings in New Quizzes.
If you have a better solution that meets all of the conditions, we would love to hear it. You can post your answer in the comments or send them to email@example.com. But your situation might not be as complicated, so one of these solutions, or something similar, might work just fine for you. Also, if you think Canvas can work better for instructors and students with a bit of a teak, you are always welcome to suggest something. That’s how Canvas evolves.
And if you can’t get Canvas to do something that you think it should, and you want to brainstorm options, don’t hesitate to contact us. That’s why we’re here.