[New Quizzes] New Quizzes: Multiple Answers in a Formula Question

This idea is based on extending the Formula Question type to allow for multiple answers to be entered by students.


Currently, the Formula question type is fine for simple calculated answer questions that only ask for one final response from students. We have several instructors that would like to generate data based on ranges, but also to ask for several answers based on that generated data.


One example of this would be a financial statement or budget sheet. Instructors and Designers would like to generate random data elements for some parts of these sheets, but ask for multiple answers from the same set of generated data such as the following list of questions:

"What is the Inventory Turnover? What is the AR Turnover? What is the AP Turnover? What is the Inventory Period? What is the AR Period? What is the Operating Cycle? What is the Cash Cycle? What is Net Working Capital for 2013?"

Each answer is based on the same data, but uses different formulas to determine the correct result.

Community Participant

What you suggest was possible in conventional Quizzes as well (where you would insert the data set or graph as a "Text" question before a sequence of other questions based on it). But this won't help with formulas. The goal is to generate a set of random numbers (different for each student) that can be pushed through multiple formulas to generate multiple answers consistent with that random set (e.g., "Calculate the mean and variance for this sequence of numbers").

If Canvas had a way to generate random numbers/data in a stimulus and then have multiple questions following it refer to those, then that would solve this problem. However, stimulus questions are static; no better than the old "Text" questions in conventional quizzes.

Community Participant

Now I understand this situation. I rarely use formula questions because I live in the world of exact answers, where fractions, radicals, and pi are often required. And don’t forget complex numbers. At least, you have the option to use a formula. I’m pushing for partial credit on fill-in-the-blank questions for student who give decimal responses that are not exact.

Community Participant

In fact, complex numbers (in a specified form, as in Cartesian or polar, for example) are exactly the kind of thing that motivates this kind of request. If you ask a student for an answer that results in a complex number, you need them to give you two numbers, but Canvas forces you to use scalar answers.

Community Member

There are many times in engineering and physics where the answer is multiple numbers. For example anything with vectors or matrices.

This is an essential feature.

Community Member

This issue is preventing me from giving online exams. Please work on this.

Community Explorer

wow.... 4 years ago this was brought up and yet, no development on the feature that is going to be a life changer for administering quizzes

canvas really amazes me that how it is being so handicapped could even capture the market it did... of all the LMS's I have used, this got to be the most undesirable one

Community Member

Canvas, how is this not a thing yet! It looks like it was escalated about 4 years ago, going through the replies.

Community Novice

The fact that I still can't do this after 4 years is disheartening.  Especially with all of the distance learning happening due to the pandemic, making Canvas assessments that are secure is more important than ever.  One of the better ways to do this is to make sure there is enough randomization in the questions that students can't simply text each other the answers.  This is, of course, in addition to all of the other points that have already been brought up.

Community Member

I cannot help but actually register just to add my voice to this.  Why has it been 5 years and it hasn't been added I don't know.  Maybe there are some major technical hurdles in the way questions are built on the back-end.  But, dang Canvas, this would make my life (and my students' lives) so much easier.  

Community Member

I love this!  Right now, we have to create multiple Formula Questions to accomplish this, when it would be best if it can be contained in a single problem.