cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Batch Uploading Quiz Questions with Respondus

Community Coach
Community Coach
16 10 16.2K

funny-trivia-questions.jpgUpdated: March 1, 2019

Clarified the formatting of "Matching" question types.

If you currently create quizzes in Canvas manually (question by question), there is a quicker solution: Respondus 4.0: Exam Authoring Tool.  (This is a paid product, so you'd need to check with the appropriate people at your school to see if purchasing is an option.  At our Technical College, we only have a few licensed copies for people in our department.)  The Respondus software allows you to batch-upload multiple quiz/test/exam questions contained in a single file to the software.  Those questions are then uploaded into a Canvas course.  For those of you who already have Respondus or for those of you who are thinking of purchasing...this blog will attempt to give you examples of how to properly format files that Respondus can "read".

When we get quiz/test/exam questions from our faculty to put into Canvas, I prefer to create these questions in either Microsoft Notepad or WordPad.  If the questions don't have any special text formatting, then Notepad works great!  I save these files as *.txt files.  However, if questions have simple formatting that needs to be included (bold, italics, underlining, subscript, superscript, etc.), then WordPad can tackle that for you.  I save these files as *.rtf files.

Before creating the files, though, you need to make sure that you have a few basic things:

  • Questions
  • Answer Key
  • Number of points per question

Now that you have these things, you can begin creating your file(s).

Even though Canvas Quizzes have multiple types of questions you can create, the question types that Respondus recognizes is more limited.

There are two different ways to format files...so it's really your decision on which method you prefer.  In either case, you'll want to make sure that your formatting is consistent throughout the file. For example, there should be one line of space between the end of one question and the beginning of the next.

Example 1

All questions in this example use a period after the question numbers and possible answer choices (though you could also use a closed parentheses instead as shown in Example 2 below).  There should be a single space between the period and the start of the question or possible answer.  Correct answers are indicated with an asterisk.

For Question #1, instead of "True" and "False" as your answer choices, you could also use "T" and "F" (without the quotes).  Canvas will automatically detect it as a True/False question type even though the question Type is not specified.

1. Albert Michelson determined the exact speed of light?

*a. True

b. False

For Question #2, Canvas will automatically detect it as a Multiple Choice question type even though the question Type is not specified.

2. Who determined the exact speed of light?

a. Albert Einstein

*b. Albert Michelson

c. Thomas Edison

d. Guglielmo Marconi

For Question #3, Type: MA needs to be included before the start of the question to tell Respondus this is a Multiple Answer question...compared to question #2 which only has one correct answer.  You can also use MR (Multiple Response) as your Type.

Type: MA

3. How many of the given shapes consist of at least three angles? (Select all that apply.)

*a. triangle

*b. square

c. circle

*d. trapezoid

For Question #4, Type: F needs to be included before the start of the question to tell Respondus this is a Fill In the Blank question type.  The possible correct answers are listed below.

Type: F

4. Who is known as the "father of television"?

a. Zworykin

b. Vladimir Zworykin

c. Vladimir Kosma Zworykin

For Question #5, Type: MT needs to be included before the start of the question to tell Respondus this is a Matching question.

Also, it's been my experience that putting the definition first and then your term second is the better way to go.  Once loaded in Canvas, your students will have a drop-down list of terms to choose from rather than seeing a drop-down list of (potentially) long definitions.

Example:

a. A large bearlike mammal with characteristic black and white markings, native to certain mountain forests in China, and feeds almost entirely on bamboo. = Panda

Type: MT

5. Match the correct name to the discovery or theory.

a. Michelson-Morely = Speed of light

b. Einstein = Theory of Relativity

c. Marconi = radio waves

For Question #6, Type: E needs to be included before the start of the question to tell Respondus this is an Essay question.  There isn't a "correct" answer with this question type.

Type: E

6. How is the Michelson-Morely experiment related to Albert Einstein's theory of relativity?

Example 2

All questions in this example use a closed parentheses after the question numbers and answer choices (though you could also use a period instead as shown in Example 1 above)There should be a single space between the closed parentheses and the start of the question or possible answer.  Correct answers are NOT indicated alongside the questions.  They will appear at the end of the file.

Refer to Example 1 (above) if you have questions about the Type lines.

1) Albert Michelson determined the exact speed of light?

a) True

b) False

2) Who determined the exact speed of light?

a) Albert Einstein

b) Albert Michelson

c) Thomas Edison

d) Guglielmo Marconi

Type: MA

3) How many of the given shapes consist of at least three angles? (Select all that apply.)

a) triangle

b) square

c) circle

d) trapezoid

Type: F

4) Who is known as the "father of television"?

Type: MT

5) Match the correct name to the discovery or theory.

a) Michelson-Morely = Speed of light

b) Einstein = Theory of Relativity

c) Marconi = radio waves

Type: E

6) How is the Michelson-Morely experiment related to Albert Einsteins theory of relativity?

At the end of the file, Answers: indicates the start of the answer key for the quiz/test/exam.

  • For question #1, you can also specify the "correct" answer as "T" for "True" or "F" for "False"...or use the actual words "True" or "False" (without the quotes).
  • For question #3, you can also enter the correct answers as: "A,B,D" or "A B D" (without the quotes).
  • For question #4, each possible "correct" answer is listed separately.

Answers:

1. A

2. B

3. A, B, D

4. Zworykin

4. Vladimir Zworykin

4. Vladimir Kosma Zworykin

Feedback

Finally, there is a way to include feedback for your questions which shows up after the quiz/test/exam has been taken.

Example 1

General feedback can be imported by placing the tilde ~ symbol in front of the feedback for a correct answer (see green "Correct answer comments" box below).  The @ symbol can be used to indicate the feedback for incorrect answers (see red "Wrong answer comments" box below).  There must be one space between the @ or ~ symbol and the start of your feedback.  A blue "General answer comments" box is also included in the Canvas interface, but I haven't found a way to include that in my text files at this time.  So, I manually typed in that feedback after I uploaded the questions to Canvas.  

General Feedback

You can also combine this method of feedback with the method described in Example 2 below.

3) Who determined the exact speed of light?

~ Yes. Albert Michelson won the Nobel Prize for Physics for determining the exact speed of light.

@ No. The correct answer is Albert Michelson, who won the 1907 Nobel Prize for Physics for determining the exact speed of light.

a. Albert Einstein

*b) Albert Michelson

c) Thomas Edison

d. Guglielmo Marconi

OR

Example 2

To import feedback for individual answer choices, place the feedback immediately after the answer choice and begin the line with the @ symbol.  There must be one space between the @ symbol and the start of your feedback.

You can also combine this method of feedback with the method described in Example 1 above.

3) Who determined the exact speed of light?

a. Albert Einstein

@ No. Albert Michelson determined the exact speed of light.

*b) Albert Michelson

@ Yes. Albert Michelson won the Nobel Prize for Physics for determining the exact speed of light.

c) Thomas Edison

@ No, Thomas Edison did not determine the exact speed of light.

d. Guglielmo Marconi

@ No. Marconi did not discover the exact speed of light, but he did win the Nobel Prize for Physics for his work with radio waves.

These are the basic question types that I have used the most.  If you know of other types that also work in the Respondus software, feel free to comment.  Smiley Happy

Images

In part of this discussion thread, Is it possible to import quiz questions with feedback for each response using Respondus?, tbunag@pacific.edu‌ and ejackson@richland.edu‌ discuss adding images to quizzes via MS Word documents.  I won't repeat the information they've already shared here in this blog, but I will share how this can be accomplished using either Notepad (*.txt files) or Microsoft Wordpad (*.rtf files).

To start, make sure that any images you use are JPG, JPEG, or GIF formats.  These images should be stored in a folder you create on your computer.  For the below example, I will included an image of Kermit the Frog in the question.  The image name is Kermit.jpg.  Now we can begin to create our questions in Notepad or Microsoft Wordpad.  Here's an example question with several areas of feedback for students once the quiz has been taken:

  • Highlighting is my own.
  • The first line with the Title is optional.
  • The second "Kermit" (shown in blue) in the question is supposed to be for the ALT text for the image, but in my own testing, this hasn't transferred over from Respondus to Canvas.

Title: Muppets
1) Which Muppet is pictured here? [img: "Kermit.jpg" "Kermit"]
~ Yes, this is Kermit.
@ No, this is not Kermit. Kermit is green in color. You picked a Muppet who isn't green.
a. Gonzo
@ This is not Kermit. This is his weirdo friend, Gonzo.
*b. Fozzie
@ This isn't Kermit. This is his bear friend, Fozzie.
c. Kermit
@ Yes, this is Kermit the Frog.
d. Miss Piggy
@ No. This is Miss Piggy.

Make sure that you specify both the File name location of your quiz file AND the Image Folder location...otherwise Respondus will not upload the file for you.

Respondus

Once you have uploaded your quiz to Canvas via Respondus, you'll probably be curious as to where your image got stored in your course.  Head on over to your course Files area.  Find and open up a new folder in there called Quiz Files.

The Quiz Files folder (and all sub-folders within it) folder is set to "Hidden. Available with a link."

Next, open up the qti_import_NNNNN folder where NNNNN is a five digit number.  Your image(s) should be in this folder.

As a final note, you may want to check over your quiz that you just uploaded to Canvas to make sure any images you included are positioned correctly within the questions.

Here's the final result:

Student Perspective

Muppets Quiz 1

Instructor Perspective

Muppet Quiz Choices

10 Comments
Community Team
Community Team

We find Respondus to be an invaluable tool when we design new courses where the publisher provides test banks to us in Word format. Bringing those documents through Respondus and into Canvas is an enormous time-saver.

Community Coach
Community Coach

Ditto for us! We have a site license so all of our faculty could use it themselves if they wanted. We find that some faculty do like doing it themselves, but in general they like to have us do it for them - which is fine and is a service we provide for all our faculty! I can't count the hours it saves us each semester! Smiley Happy

Community Team
Community Team

Yes, and what's especially cool about using Respondus is that you can bring the publisher questions in as Canvas question banks. So you can use Respondus to create a publisher-authored set of Canvas question banks that faculty can use to create their own quizzes directly in Canvas.

Learner II

I'm a little unsure about the "MA" question designation. In the Respondus User Guide it lists "MR" for Multiple Response (Multiple Answer) questions. I used to use "MA" when we used Angel as our LMS, but have had to use MR since our switch to Canvas.

Also, I'm not finding "SA" for Short Answer questions for Respondus/Canvas, but did used to use that for our Angel quiz uploads. I have had to use "E" for both Essay and Short Answer questions.

Wondering if I'm missing something? (Very, very possible.....)

I wholeheartedly agree that Respondus is a WONDERFUL resource, and our office couldn't live without it! In fact, I've had to upload quite a few Final Exams for some of our faculty this morning and it's a lifesaver! 🙂

Community Coach
Community Coach

I'm a little unsure about the "MA" question designation. In the Respondus User Guide it lists "MR" for Multiple Response (Multiple Answer) questions. I used to use "MA" when we used Angel as our LMS, but have had to use MR since our switch to Canvas.

MA (Multiple Answer) works.  I have tested this in my own sandbox course by uploading a set of quiz questions via Respondus.  No issues.  In the Respondus 4 User Guide (Canvas by Instructure Personality), it says, "as an alternative, you can use 'Type: MA' which stands for 'Multiple Answers'."

Also, I'm not finding "SA" for Short Answer questions for Respondus/Canvas, but did used to use that for our Angel quiz uploads. I have had to use "E" for both Essay and Short Answer questions.

SA and E both create an Essay question in Canvas.  In our previous LMS, Pearson eCollege's LearningStudio, we had the distinction between a short answer question and an essay question.  We could also use Respondus to upload questions to that LMS.  I'll make some edits in my posting.  Thanks.

Learner II

Thanks, Chris! I'm glad to hear that MA and SA will work as well. It's always good to learn new things. 🙂

Appreciate the information!

Explorer III

I have faculty in our nursing program who have a very large question bank they have created that is used across different Canvas courses.

The faculty find it difficult to manage where a questions are used; the need being to make sure a question used in one assessment is not repeated in another context. They have tried using a naming convention for quiz banks (Final Exam Cardiology), bookmarks, about everything that is available natively in Canvas.  The solution would be an ability to tag a question and then search (or exclude) based on a tag; hoping this is a feature we will see in the new quizzing engine. chofer@morainepark.edu do you think Respondus 4.0 would be a solution for this use case?

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi burgessd@umich.edu​...

I'm not aware of anything in Respondus 4.0 that lets you "tag" keywords onto a question so that you can search for it easily in Canvas.  And I'm not sure if it would be useful while we wait for the new quizzing engine, either.  I think your best bet would be to provide your above feedback in the Canvas Studio: Modern Quizzing Engine​ discussion so Instructure knows you would like to see a keyword search feature implemented.

Explorer III

Thanks chofer@morainepark.edu​ for the feedback.

I will definitely join in the conversation regarding the new quizzing engine.

Community Member

Hello all.

Sorry to be jumping in on this conversation so late, but I'm currently putting my second tech ticket into Respondus because I'm finding a difference in how Respondus 4 publishes a QUIZ and a Question Bank. There shouldn't be difference in the result in Canvas, should there be?

When importing as a BANK —what I want to do in the first instance— my questions in Canvas do not reflect all the HTML coding I inserted into my text file, nor into Respondus's HTML windoid. Bummer #1.

Bummer #2: The image files that are being properly coded in my text file because I can see the icon in the Respondus editing window are not being imported into the bank.

Just for chuckles, I tried publishing the same Respondus file as a Quiz and most of the code and all of the images came over.

If Respondus is generating a QTI file why would it make a difference how it is published to Canvas? And since I love myriads of workarounds, what is the workaround in Canvas to get imported quiz questions into the Question Bank? I think I remember there's some kind of interchange with Canvas Commons.

Oh, this is driving me crazy. I hope Stephanie or Chris or someone can provide some answers!

Thanx,

Ron