Multiple Answer quiz question - partial points without penalty

Currently the way partial points in a multiple answer quiz question works is to dock points for incorrect answers.  This is necessary, otherwise one could just select every choice and get full points.


But some faculty would like to give points for each correct answer without penalizing for incorrect choices.  This could be done if the number of choices became limited to the total number of correct answers.


So this feature idea is to add an option to the multiple answer question type that would limit the number of possible choices  a student could select to the total number of correct answers and allow for full partial points without subtracting points for an incorrect guess.

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

For details, please read through the Canvas Release Notes (2020-04-18)

Community Novice

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Community Novice

Or better yet, allow the instructor to customize the grading scheme and choose the percentage of points to take away for the wrong answers. I think some more user control here would benefit experienced users who know what they are doing, and use such power with caution.

Community Explorer

One approach I've suggested for these questions in the past would be to simply treat them as a set of true/false questions. If you have a multiple answer question with n possible answers and worth X points, then each answer is worth X/n points and you get those points if you make the correct choice for that answer. That way both ways of getting an answer incorrect (selecting one that's wrong or not selecting one that's right) are weighted equally.

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Hello, Canvas Family!

We want to implement partial credit across all of the item types quizzes tool.  We are exploring a series of extensive improvements to the quizzes toolset, which includes this idea and much more. I know we won't be able to deploy this idea in the next six months; however, be assured we've listened and want to implement this in the not-too-distant future.

Kind regards,


Community Team
Community Team

Thank you for the exciting news Jason.

Community members can follow the larger project at Modern Quizzing Engine

Community Novice

This is exactly what I would like as well. I would like to treat each option individually and keep points awarded at whole numbers. As it is now, a mistake becomes increasingly more costly as fewer correct options are made available as the available points are divided among the incorrect answers. Students should not only be rewarded for correctly marking true answers but not marking false answers.

Community Novice

I'm happy to hear this is being developed.  I just posted almost the exact same idea since this one is closed to voting.  Allow instructors to select between the two industry standards for scoring these types of questions - all or nothing, vs. X/n partial credit for NOT selecting distractors.  What I feel needs to be address more immediately is that the current scoring system is NOT an industry standard and makes it difficult for institutions who are creating online courses for certifications.  We're setting ourselves up for backlash from certification candidates once they realize that their certification exams are not scored in a legitimate way.  This needs to be fixed pronto.

Community Member

We currently use D2L (switching to Canvas), but we can give partial % points on Multiple choice answers. For example, a question has 4 answers, 2 are only partially correct (we give 50% for either) or one answer that is essentially A & B is correct for which we give 100%. Can this be done in Canvas? If not, is it on the horizon? Not all questions have just 1 possible answer, or 1 complete answer.

Thanks for any guidance/suggestions on how to make this happen in my course.

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

On the horizon!


Coach Emeritus

How on the horizon? Like 2016 on the horizon? Smiley Happy