[New Quizzes] Partial Credit for Multiple Answers WITHOUT Penalty

Please offer the option to restrict students' answer selection to X number of choice selections and offer partial points for correct answers ONLY without deducting points for incorrect answers. The penalty option right now is killing my student scores! 

For example: I have a 2 point question that requires students to select 4 answers (each being worth 1/2 point). A student will select 4 answers but only 3 of them were the correct answer. They SHOULD receive the 1.5 points for the correct answer. But instead they receive only 1 point. 


If the issue is the half points- then please correct this and allow half points, or let US KNOW THAT THE SYSTEM WON'T CALCULATE HALF POINTS!

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Provide more flexible grading options Theme Status: Identified

Community Novice


I came across this thread as I was looking for help with multiple answer question using the new quiz on Canvas. 

In Texas we are moving to online standardized testing. Now we must train our students to complete quizzes and assessments online so that they are prepared for the state test which will also be online. 

One of the test items featured is multi select questions. 

A student is given a question with 5 options. The student is instructed to pick 2 correct answers out of the 5 options. If the student picks one correct answer, that is worth 1 point. If the student picks 2 correct answers they get 2 points. They are not penalized for selecting the wrong answer. 

I tried doing this with the quiz in canvas and it is deducting points. I am interested if Canvas is working on a solution to this problem. 

Or is there another question I can use that has two correct answers and will allow for partial points without penalty? 

Community Member

Under the 'Multiple Answer' type question within the 'New Quizzes' format, there are two options for grading method — 'Exact Match' and 'Partial credit with penalty'. It would be helpful to have an additional option of 'Partial credit without penalty' for those instructors that want to award credit for correct selections while at the same time neither rewarding nor penalizing wrong selections. Many other online learning platforms offer this option so it would be beneficial to add it to Canvas as well.


Community Member

Partial credit without penalty in the multiple answer would really help.

Community Explorer

Like others here, many of my instructors who currently use multiple answer questions now have to spend large amounts of time going back to correct the penalties applied for wrong answers. A method of resolving this which other quiz engines (such as Examsoft) have done is to create a partial credit without penalty option where the quiz creator can limit the number of questions a student can answer.

In other words, if there are 4 right answers out of 8 possible answers, the students can only select 4 options. This ensures that they can't just select all 8 answers and get full credit while also allowing them to get answers wrong without being penalized.

Instructure, my institution's request to fix this issue is to add the option of partial credit without penalty and with the option to limit the number of answers a student can choose.

Community Member

Instructure support suggested I comment here when I reported this as a problem.

. When creating a quiz using the "multiple answers" option, students who select one (or more correct) options but at least one incorrect option end up earning zero credit for that question. That is punitive and not in the spirit of acknowledging what learning has happened. Additionally, there is no way to show students what part of a multiple answer question they got right, so there is no way for them to make corrections. Most students are going to infer, based on traditional educational models that we've all experienced, that their entire answer is incorrect, so even if there is a retake opportunity, they will probably get their second attempt wrong too. I am requesting that multiple answers have the option to offer partial credit for the portions of the response they got correct, regardless of whether or not they selected an incorrect response, too. This is a feature that both Blackboard and Brightspace offer, and while each LMS is, by necessity, different, this difference negatively impacts students.

Community Member

Yes please!

Community Member

Please help us with this one. The partial credit option in Classic Quizzes did not function this way. We would like to see the penalty function taken away or at least offer a third option so that students get credit for only the ones they select that are correct. We are trying to utilize New Quizzes for district assessments as we want to provide authentic assessments in the format students see on State Assessments and this is creating a lot of extra work for teachers. 

Community Member

I will be honest here: this is *ridiculous* that this discussion is still going on and that Canvas has not responded. I submitted a request for this over two years ago. I was then subscribed to the discussion thread. I have watched the same request over and over and over and over...

Canvas, what are you waiting for? What more information do you need to see that this is a feature that teachers and users of your system are begging for?!

Why is it so hard to give students credit for selecting correct answers and credit for not selecting incorrect answers?!?  Please--PLEASE!!!--just do this.

Thank you, DM

Community Member

Yeah it's a sad state of affairs currently. I think Canvas has some backwards logic that multiple answer questions are "not supposed to work" the way many teachers actually wants them to work, at least according to the suggestions in this thread by another community member https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Higher-Ed-Canvas-Users/Understanding-Multiple-Answers-Questions/b.... Other LMS's such as D2L offers multiple ways to grade these questions and let the teacher decide which they think is the most suitable choice https://documentation.brightspace.com/EN/le/question_library/instructor/grade_options_for_multi_sele... . The Canvas team recently put out a post saying they will make new Quizzes better and listen to the community https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/The-Product-Blog/We-re-Listening-New-Quizzes-Features-Classic-Qui... I think a good indicator of this would be if they actually direct staff to reply to some of these long outstanding community issues in a meaningful way and start implementing the features that instructors want, especially low-hanging fruit like this.

Community Member

Good word, joel_ostblom. Thank you for also linking the other discussion threads.

Canvas, are you listening?