Gideon Williams

(Very Nearly) 13 Features I wish were in

Blog Post created by Gideon Williams Champion on Dec 9, 2018

Quizzes remain a challenge to introduce in many learning environments that don't have a culture of regular closed answer testing (see below). Whilst they can often save time for the teacher and provide invaluable recap/review opportunities for the student, too often there are (perceived) limitations placed on their use. Whilst some of these are pedagogical in reason, many concern quiz construction/design (and ultimately teacher time).


The release of the new offered hope that a number of the issues with the existing quiz tool would be addressed. Whilst in many cases they have, here are 14 (13 of mine plus 1 from Ron Marx) features I think they missed that would have made a BIG difference and would encourage more widespread adoption. The list was drawn up through my own practice and in conversation with a number of teacher pioneers and staff who attended some recent training sessions on the new tool.



No. 1: Partial credit for matching quiz type and Categorisation quiz type

Matching quizzes design is a big improvement over the previous incarnation and Categorisation feature a much needed addition. Both allow teacher to expand upon a simple one idea question and are particularly useful when tying together related concepts/issues. By not having partial credit it adds to my workflow as I have to go back and re-mark a question. It also annoys and mystifies many students who don't understand why some correct answers have not scored any marks. It also makes creating questions based outcomes less effective. Vote here for this - Partial Credit for "Matching", "Categorization", and "Sorting" question types in Quizzes.Next tool 


No.2: Individual Feedback on multiple choice answers

It was very pleasing to see partial credit being awarded for multiple choice questions - something that was not in place in the previous Quiz. Why was the feature removed/not added that allowed you to assign comments for each answer? I write so many questions that challenge students prior idea or look for misconceptions. The ability to have this in place is much needed.

Good news - announced with Canvas Release Notes (21/9)


No.3:   Hot Spot question

Take a lot of time to set up. To persuade staff to engage with it you need to have multiple hot spot options. Also opens so many other opportunities.


No.4: Add in the RCE for all questions types

Why is there no Rich Content Editor for the Fill in the Blank, Categorisation and Matching question but there is for Ordering question type?

The ability to add in subscripts and superscripts would then encourage our Maths and Science teachers to engage. If we also were able to match and group images with text or images with sound files then our MFL teachers would get on board


No.5: Flexible spacing for fill in the gap questions.

Please write some code to make the gap fill space match the answer.


No. 6: Sort out the Word Bank in Gap Fill options

For me the Gap Fill has 3 levels of difficulty:

  • Open Entry - hardest - no clues at all
  • Word Bank - your answer appears somewhere in a list
  • Dropdown - your answer is one of a choice (of 4)

Why, when you choose the Word Bank option, can you also click on a blank space and then see the choices that link to them? The Word Bank should be as it says, a bank from which you choose the correct answer. What is more infuriating is that the word bank does not work if you have two answers the same


No.7: Adding a Comment

A simple one to improve workflow. Why not have the ability to add a comment at the bottom of the quiz rather than have to go back to Speedgrader and (with the quiz closed) write one?


No.8: Option to Turn Off/Hide old Quizzes and Menu

So the new quiz feature does not have everything the old one has but we can import questions across. Why not give Admins the options to either hide or disable the Old Quiz feature or at least Hide the Quiz menu item in the navigation menu to make transition easier? Having a phased implementation with very limited admin/support team (ie 1) is very hard to manage effectively.


No.9: No Points/Some Points

Why is it that when you start making a new quiz the Points feature gives me points for a quiz even though you have not made one? You also get told the format of the scores. Please can you rest both of these to 0 and [Select]. Also rather irritating that you have to assign the Points score separately from the Points you award for the quiz question. Would much prefer to have the Total Points automated to the Points for the questions you make in the quiz OR include the Settings Menu inside the Quiz and not at the start!


No.10: Individual Extra Attempts

In place in the last quiz. Should be in place in this...


No.11: Moderate 

I often mark students work as and when they submit it. With multiple classes and courses I can forget which students I have been marked. When I have a quiz with questions I have to mark, I want to know which ones have been "completed" by me. There is no feature in Moderation that tells me for example Last Moderated. Having this feature or similar in place would also have a huge impact on classes with shared teaching responsibilities.


No.12: Ordering Questions

If I choose the Paragraph feature, I would like to have the Top and Bottom Labels as First and Last Labels. Is it not possible to have the labels at the start and end of a sequence? The work around is to manually add them in an invisible table - not great!


No.13 Preview

Needs to be in place. 



No.14 from Ron Marx Built-in Text*-to-QTI converter on the Canvas import page (*MS Word included)

Read Ron's heart felt plea in the comments section below...


No. 15 Sharing Item Banks

The new method of adding quiz questions to Item (formerly Question) Banks is so much easier and straightforward. Unfortunately there is still no way to share Item Banks with colleagues. Have too many embarrassing converations with colleagues who ask about sharing the Item Banks and developing them as departments, only to be told it is not (yet) in place. I cannot find a work around. Publishing the item as a quiz and then getting staff to save to their own question bank does not work as the items are locked! Another missed opportunity I'm afraid to gain greater traction and engagement with staff with the product.



No. 15½ Access to Item Banks

Item Banks need to be accessed outside of the quiz. If I want to create questions in an Item bank I need to go through a quiz I have made, open it and then go to the traffic lights to Manage the Item bank. A few less clicks needed. Perhaps the pathways could be put in the same location as the current quiz tool?


No. 16 Gateway to Learning Mastery Paths

I am presenting at our school conference in April on Learning Mastery Paths, Outcomes and I have not yet planned the presentation but was hoping to combine both features. A little disappointed to read from Is there a plan to allow a Quizzes.Next assessment to be the initial assessment for Mastery Paths? that cannot be used as the Gateway assignment for Mastery Path but can be used within the Mastery path? It only gets 1/2 because, frustratingly, its partly there...



No.17 Outcomes, Quizzes.Next and the Learning Mastery Gradebook

Assigning of Outcomes to individual questions in was such as MASSIVE step forward in the right direction (even if it appears to take 48hrs to sync outcomes). Imagine my huge disappointment when reading this Q&A Post - that the results from the Outcomes DON'T go to the Learning Mastery Gradebook. Not quite sure why there is not parity in the crucial feature between Quiz and


Agree/Disagree? Which features would you like to see...? How do other tools like H5P and Quizlet impact on wider adoption?



* In a recent review of our own learning platform, quizzes were found in less than 1 in 4 courses at examination level, but are significantly more popular in early years. More opportunities are being found with a number of IB subjects having multiple choice quizzes as part of their final examination. Development of Teacher courses also allow potential sharing of quiz banks which reduce the burden of preparing quizzes in isolation and can support revision. Many subject areas use prepared quiz tools like Quizlet to support basic definitions/keywords/word lists.


The rise of quizzes in non-examination topics can be seen in Entry/Exit quizzes and the re-packaging of printed worksheets to save paper and increases re-use. Figures may not be helped with introduction of H5P quizzes which offer a wider and more engaging use with the platform. These include drag and drop, interactive video and opportunities to embed in pages with usage reports instantly available to teachers.


UPDATE (14/6/20): So this appeared in my timeline - - A response from Mitch Benson about the Canvas product development timeline. Personally speaking I would like to know exactly what he means by "Lovable Quizzes". WHat of the above features will now be added? Perhaps Lovable means Parity?