[New Quizzes] Carry Forward Correct Answers on Quiz Multiple Attempts

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

When a teacher assigns multiple attempts for an assignment it would be nice if the system would automatically perform one of the following during the student's next attempt:


1. Populate the correct answers from the previous attempt. 

2. Show only the incorrect problems from the previous attempt.

Added to Theme

Community Novice

Our organisation would benefit greatly from this capability! 

Canvas please build this functions. 

Community Member

This is an equity issue and the lack of the feature negatively affects students from historically minoritized and marginalized groups.

Joe Feldman, the leading advocate for equitable grading practices, advocates in his book Grading for Equity: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How It Can Transform Schools and Classrooms that for grades to be accurate, bias-free, and motivational, students should be able to redo assignments and retake exams, replacing the old grade with the new grade. Furthermore, in explaining this, he says that students should only have redo/retake what they got wrong initially.

My university is transitioning from Brightpace to Canvas, and this feature is already part of Brightspace. Here is how I use it currently with Brightspace (with Canvas terminology):

  • Students take exams using Quizzes
  • After the autograding of close-ended questions and manual grading of open-ended questions, students get a numeric grade and I give students a general feedback without letting them know specifically what they got correct and incorrect. The purpose of not letting students know this is twofold. First, it helps protect exam security when students take their exams at different time (and allows me to reuse questions across semesters when appropriate). Second, in terms of the opportunity to retake the exam, by students not knowing what they got correct/incorrect, it forces them to restudy all class material rather than restudy selectively (this helps students prepare both for the retake and for future exams, which are cumulative).
  • Students take a second attempt at the exam using the same Quiz, but they will only be able to answer the closed-ended questions they got incorrect and the open-ended (e.g. short answer, essay) questions that they received no credit or partial credit on originally. They will also see the question stems of the questions they originally got correct/full credit on but not their original answers (this helps with exam security); the points from these correct/full credit questions carry forward when calculating the grade of the second attempt.

Also, knowing my students, if they had to reanswer all questions, they might second guess their initial correct answers from their first attempt.

I personally may stay with Brightspace as long as my university lets me for this feature alone. Once I began using it in Brightspace, student learning increased like never before.

Community Member

It would be nice if when you are re-taking quizes you only have to redo the ones that you missed. During timed quizes with numerous attempts it can really kill your time having to do the ones you got right over again. It should only be the ones you missed.

Community Participant

Six years to this idea and no development yet! Some of our teachers have started looking for alternative options but that's not what we want. Have anyone come up with a workaround?  

Community Explorer

I've just made very tiny problem sets: 3-4 questions each with module requirements that they get 3/4 or 4/5 correct to check it off. I am continuing to run Moodle along with Canvas and even with some very nice Canvas features I won't be able to get our Moodle users to convert until this problem is solved and I'd feel better if I just knew that Canvas was even working on it.

Community Explorer

When used for competencies its essential. Currently students are forced to go and repeat the entire quiz. They should be able to repeat the quiz with their correct answers retained (especially when considering text based answers)

Community Explorer

We are moving away from our self-made quizzing product to Canvas quizzes; the old product had this ability. I have had several questions if this is something Canvas can do, and when I tell them no, I get frustrated faculty. This would be a great add.

Community Member

Why have people been asking for second attempts to only require incorrect answers to be repeat since 2016 and now 6 years later we are still waiting for this feature?  There are so many common sense features that are not available in Canvas that we are looking for an alternative LMS that works for us, and not have us working for the LMS.

Community Novice

Implementing this is just good pedagogy; refusing to implement this is terrible pedagogy.

My son just started middle school, and he is in a math class that uses Canvas for assignments. Students have to do their homework on paper, showing their work, and then enter their answers on Canvas. As a parent and a former math teacher, I support this approach. The paperwork shows students' actual thinking, and goes a long way to prevent most attempts at cheating. As this is formative homework, not a summative assessment, students are allowed 20 attempts; there's practically no difference between 20 attempts and infinite attempts. I think 20 is better than infinite, because it forces people to look for help at some point.

I was warned by a parent of a middle schooler last year about this very issue. Our kids love math, they are comfortable making mistakes, they know they learn from mistakes, and they are more than willing to redo problems they didn't get correct on the first try. However, they do not enjoy tedious work and poorly designed systems. My son is 3 assignments into the year, and he is already frustrated at this platform for having to reenter so many answers if he wants to get a full score on an assignment. Make a clerical mistake on your paper? Reenter everything. Make a transposition mistake when entering answers? Reenter everything. Ambiguous word problem and your answer doesn't match the teacher's interpretation? Reenter everything.

At some point, kids stop caring. And they're perfectly right to stop caring. They understand the material; the system just makes it not worth getting a perfect score every time. For any adult thinking these kids are whiners, or this generation doesn't work hard enough, etc - if your tax software made you reenter everything each time you made a typo, or had to go back and adjust a number - would you use that software? Would you think it was a good design? Kids deserve well-designed tools as much as we do. I'm a programmer as well, and while every feature takes work, some features are straightforward to implement and others are not. This should be a pretty straightforward feature to implement.

When a feature is

  • requested repeatedly for 6 years by all kinds of users;
  • based on sound pedagogical reasoning;
  • impacting students' engagement in the material they're learning;
  • not particularly difficult to implement;

you really should prioritize implementing that feature. Come on Canvas, please make it a little easier for students to make the improvements they want to in their work.

Community Explorer

@KristinL I noticed that you had linked to this in a related post, but you didn't provide any update on where this is in the process of getting it to actually exist.  For the idea to be sitting out there for the last 6.5 years with no progress one way or another is kind of ridiculous.  This is made more infuriating by the fact that "votes" or whatever this system of responding to user's need for new features often results in separate requests for essentially the same feature, but no movement because each request has a different number of votes.  This seems like it is both the right feature to move forward on from a "we are a company whose mission is to improve educational outcomes" and a "legally, certain students are entitled to this feature" standpoint, so what is the holdup?!?