Printable / PDF-exportable quizzes

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas
The Quiz Build page provides quiz printing options. For more information, please read through the  Canvas Release Notes (2021-08-21).

As an instructor, I want to be able to export a Canvas quiz as a PDF. This would enable me to easily print quizzes for the purpose of accommodation, for allowing a given student to take a quiz outside the timeframe established for the quiz for all other students, etc.


transferred from the old Community

Originally posted by: Pacific Union College admins

Special thanks for contributions from: Betsy Walker, John Louviere



Community Team Note: This idea remains open for voting. A virtually identical idea was moved forward for consideration in March:  Contrary to our customary practice, we are allowing both ideas to continue to move forward. Votes and feedback from both ideas will be evaluated.

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

The voters on this thread might be interested in seeing initial responses to the "How" survey, which you can view here:

To date, the consensus seems to be that people want an exportable version of the quiz that they can edit, which includes all questions from linked question banks and a separate answer key.

This represents the needs of only 12 voters, though, so we have a long ways to go before I can call this an accurate reflection of what our active community members need. Help me help you by replying to the two surveys below and sharing the links with other faculty that care a lot about this feature. I know it's summertime for many, but if I can get 100+ responses to both of these, I will have a much better case to make during the next round of prioritization.

Here are the two links:

Printing Quizzes - The Why

Printing Quizzes - The How

Thanks everyone for your insight and participation in making Canvas a better product!

Community Participant

Deactivated user​ Why can't Canvas just have a better tie in with Respondus 4.0. With our previous LMS, I could connect to it via the Respondus software, navigate to my course and pull a quiz down - where I could then print it as either a quiz or answer key.

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

 @sharris ​ We do have an integration with Respondus 4.0 and as far as I know it works quite well (see Respondus Documentation for more information). Others on this thread could probably speak to their experience with the tool. This feature request, however, would apply to the many users who do not use Respondus at their institution (i.e. many K12 school districts) and/or for users who would like a simpler way to access their quiz data.

I'm glad you brought this up, though, since this is the best option users have today. Here is some documentation I found while researching the topic that describes the process:

  1. Export a quiz to QTI. (course settings > Export a course. Choose quizzes and select the desired quiz. See How do I export Quiz content?
  2. In Respondus change the personality type to IMS QTI 1.1+.
  3. On the Respondus Start Screen click Import Questions.
  4. In the Import Dialog box click Browse. The File to Import dialog box will appear. Next to Files of type select Zipped IMS QTI package (.zip) option. Locate the zip folder on the computer. Click Open.
  5. Click Preview and then Finish. From there go to the Preview and Publish tab and print the test as desired. Just remember to switch back to the Canvas personality when publishing to Canvas again.

Additional Respondus Tutorials published by members of the Canvas Community:

This might be a good time to mention the second way users currently access quiz data: printing from the quiz preview screen. This is a workaround and clean formatting of all question types is not guaranteed. This is not a quiz that instructors can immediately print and present to their students in class. For instructions on how to print from the quiz preview in Canvas, please see this Video Tutorial published by the Research & Curriculum Unit at Mississippi State University.

Thanks for the reminder that we do have these two options today.

Community Coach
Community Coach

Deactivated user​, I'm going to tag our Respondus Goddess -  @ejackson  - on this, but from what I've heard the Canvas & Respondus integration is not that great compared to other LMS's.

Community Contributor

In regards to printing the quizzes, one thing that I have seen one of our instructors do to get around this is in the Quiz settings open up all the answers and then as long as your in Firefox you can actually print this decently (still needs improvement but I agree a .pdf would be nice).

However, the other thing that makes even this "workaround" problematic is that if your quiz is over 25 questions you have to expand the details of every.single.question because canvas doesn't allow for more than 25. Just a thought.


Community Champion

No, Respondus does NOT play as nice with Canvas as it does with other LMS's. There are definite glitches (and MAJOR ones at that) that make it extremely difficult at times to do what needs done to get quizzes and question banks into Canvas courses. I have been able to come up with some workarounds and we are pretty much able to get the job done, but it's definitely not an easy task!

I have been in touch with both Canvas and Respondus and discussed the issues we have been experiencing at great length - - and sometimes a bit 'heatedly' - - and both say they are aware of the issues. However, getting things changed so that they integrate more smoothly is something that I am hoping they will work together to make possible, but I have no idea when that will happen. All I can do is keep my fingers crossed that it happens sometime soon! Smiley Happy

Community Participant

Can you please expand on some of the issues you're referencing,  @ejackson ? We haven't fully switched over to Canvas yet, so I'd like to know what kinds of things I need to be on the look out for. Thanks!

Community Contributor

 @ejackson ​ I would be curious as well. We have respondus and it seems to work okay... it could be were not power users of the product though.

Community Champion

 @powellj ​  @judyk ​ - -  Oh yes, I can definitely expand on the issues I have been having - - how much time do you have?  🙂

Honestly, I really do appreciate having the Respondus program to use for publishing quizzes and question banks into Canvas courses. Our office assists many of our faculty with their test banks, and there would not be enough hours in the day to do them all manually! However, there are definitely issues, and Canvas does not play as nice with Respondus as I was used to when we were with WebCT and then Angel.

One of the major issues I have is that images in questions do not publish into Canvas with Respondus. The images shows up fine in Preview in Respondus, but once the quiz or question bank is published into Canvas, the image is gone. It then must be manually re-added to the question it belongs with. And *this* is a bit of a fun time as well - - there is no option in Canvas to browse for an image to upload from your computer; your choices are to add an image from Canvas Files, the Web, or Flickr. So, before you can manually add images, you need to have them in one of those places so that you can retrieve them.

Another good thing about Respondus that I really like is their Test Bank Network. If an instructor is using a publisher's textbook that is in the Network (and there are literally thousands!), the test bank can be requested from Respondus. The questions are all pre-formatted for use in Respondus, saving a LOT of time and effort. They are all ready to publish into a Canvas course quiz or question bank! (If a textbook is not available in the Test Bank Network, there is a way to request that it be added. Respondus will contact the Publisher about it, and there may be a chance it can be obtained.) However, again there is the image issue; any images in these questions will disappear when published to a Canvas course and will need to be saved and uploaded to Canvas manually. (Fortunately, we do have a neat little screen capture program, SnagIt, that we use to grab these images, which helps immensely.)

I have been in contact many, many times with both Canvas Support and Respondus Support about these issues, and as I said previously, we have had many lively (and sometimes 'heated') conversations about this. My Canvas Support ticket is getting extremely long! 🙂  Both Canvas Support and Respondus Support have suggested a work-around process to use to avoid the image issue. It has quite a few steps to it, and involves changing the Respondus Personality, exporting the file as a QTI, and importing it into the Canvas course. It was a bit tricky to figure out at first, but with a little extra guidance from Canvas Support (after almost tearing out my hair a time or two), got it figured out and it works fairly well. But, it can be a bit of a cumbersome process, and if I just have a small handful of images to add to a quiz or question bank, it's a bit easier for me to just add them manually. If there are a lot of images to add, the work-around process is probably the best way to go.

I just wish Canvas and Respondus would decide to play nice together, so this issue could just be avoided totally!

Hope this information helps!

Community Champion

Hi  @ejackson ​ - I am definitely NOT a Respondus expert, but in assisting an instructor with importing from a question bank into Canvas, I was able to successfully import embedded images with my Quiz. We used the QTI method you mentioned above and followed Respondus' online guides. It seemed fairly painless - but I don't have the WebCT and Angel background, so admittedly my opinion must be taken with a grain of salt! Also, I don't see the average instructor being able to just run out and do this on their own.

Bottom line - it WAS easier than importing first and adding images later, but a smoother process that instructors could feel confident with on their own would be a big plus.