A Canvas representative, Stefanie Sanders, suggested I try New Quizzes in response to an issue I have with numeric display in Old Quizzes (now commas are inserted for every number above 1,000, which doesn't work well when the number represents a year). I have tried New Quizzes for a single assignment in my Physics 100 course during summer 2019, and I didn't like it. Stefanie suggested I post my feedback here:
- New Quizzes are difficult to create. Right now an old quiz is created by default whenever I am in the Quizzes area or in the modules/home page area. The only way to create a New quiz is to click on the “+Quiz/Test” button in the Assignments area. This is not clearly communicated. If you want me to use New Quizzes, make it easy for me to create a New Quiz.
- Instructors must set the assignment due date and availability dates before beginning to assemble the quiz. Once that is done and you are in the “Build” screen, you cannot adjust due date unless you go back to the Assignments area. That’s awkward. It’s also strange to set the point value of the assignment before you’ve created any questions. None of this confusion exists with Old Quizzes, where instructors can add questions first, and then the point total is set automatically (based on the created questions) and the instructor can set the due date after writing the questions and before pressing “save”. In the “Settings” tab of New Quizzes there are many of the old settings (shuffle questions, time limit, allow multiple attempts, etc.) but not the assignment due date and availability dates. Why not? Why are they now separated out? They were all in one place in Old Quizzes; it was a cinch to create questions and adjust all the assignment settings in one place and then press “save”. It seems to me New Quizzes makes my life more difficult by making me adjust settings in two separate places.
- Scientific notation is awkward. The published help page says, “Exact response answers can be added in scientific notation (accepted format: 1.234*10^5)”. This is strange, why not adopt the standard “1.234e5” notation that Excel and WebAssign and just about everyone else uses? Demanding the awkward notation also trains students to avoid the “EE” button on their calculator, when fewer mistakes would occur if they would only learn to use it. Furthermore, scientific notation only works in exact response numeric questions, which are very frustrating for students. I want scientific notation to work for formula questions, not just numeric, and to work within a 2% margin of error, and to work with the standard notation.
- It’s difficult to launch SpeedGrader from a New Quizzes interface. In Old Quizzes it’s easy; click on the quiz, then click on SpeedGrader. For New Quizzes the only way to do it, I think, is to go to Gradebook, click on a student score, click on the tiny button, then when the panel appears click on SpeedGrader. This is mind-boggling. If Canvas wants instructors to use New Quizzes they need to make it easy to use.
I was so frustrated I reverted the one assignment back to Old Quizzes and archived the New Quizzes version. Please don’t ask me to use New Quizzes until it is easy to use and clearly better than Old Quizzes.