peters1
New Member

Canvas says I "can't unpublish a quiz with student submissions" that hasn't been published

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Let's look at one fantastically frustrating example...

First let's go to quizzes on the left navigation panel. There are two quizzes, but they can't be "unpublished" because there are students submissions (note that there are NONE, by the way, not even "Test Student" submissions, because the semester hasn't started yet, the "Test Student" didn't take it, and I have "reset" that Test Student just to be sure):

quiz in assignments

Ok, fine, let's go look at the quiz...

quiz in quiz view

So, Canvas is telling me in one view that I can't unpublish a quiz because there are student submissions and, in the very next view, that the quiz is unpublished and that only teachers can see it! All while being able to do absolutely nothing to change the publication status because, well, you just can't. And worse, I don't even know if it is published or unpublished because Canvas says it is both. Again: the test student has been reset, but didn't take it in the first place.

This really does capture the fundamentally flawed nature of Canvas quizzing in general but the broken previewing and "Test Student" aspects in particular.

There is NO rational explanation for why the status of a quiz would be completely inconsistently described by Canvas. However, I'm 99% confident that the reason for this complete fail is because one of my TAs, PREVIEWED the quiz. Previewing isn't previewing in Canvas-land. It is totally changing the status of a quiz, the editability of quiz and wrecking things.

 

So my first question, for which I'm sure Canvas has no answer, is why (or WTF)?

My second question is, when will this be fixed? PREVIEW SHOULD NOT DO ANYTHING to change the status, state, view mode, access stats or otherwise affect a quiz.

1 Solution
coolorangeice
New Member

The easiest way I've found to handle this is to use the three dot menu option "Copy To..." and copy the quiz to the same module on the same Canvas page. Then I just delete the old one. We lose submissions but for what we use the quizzes for it doesn't really matter, we just don't want to have to recreate the quiz.

View solution in original post

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25 Replies
debra_mansperge
Community Contributor

I hate when people suggest this to me, but sometimes Canvas (like all programs) gets confused.  Does this problem persist if you log out of Canvas and your browser and then log back in?  Sometimes that is all that it takes.

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Identical behavior after logging out and quitting browser, logging back in.

Behavior is also not browser dependent.

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Sorry - that would have been too easy.  I don't know what to tell you, then.  I've made a lot of quizzes and I've never seen this behavior before.  Have you tried moderating it to see 'who' might have taken it?  

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There are many threads on this forum describing problems associated with Previewing quizzes that overlap with this. Here's one:

Delete/reset student quiz/assignment submission? 

Moderating the quiz is not possible because it is not published and publishing the quiz is not possible because the publish button is greyed out as an option and can't be selected (see screen shots). Editing the quiz and then clicking the button menu only gives two options: 1) delete, 2) let students take now. Selecting the second asks for a confirmation, but then doesn't appear to do anything to the published status. 

The only recourse here is to delete the quiz and recreate it. I'm 99% sure that if I do that and then Preview it (or have a TA preview it) then we'll be right back to this position.

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peters1
New Member

The general problem can be reproduced easily:

1) Make a new quiz. 

New quiz

2) Preview the quiz from your instructor account IMMEDIATELY after creating and publishing the quiz. Wonderful. You get to see how the quiz works.

3) Edit the quiz, and then get an alert saying a student has taken it. Obviously this is NOT TRUE and the fact that Canvas thinks this causes all kinds of downstream problems.

error 


4) See at least a consistent (YAY!) alert saying you can unpublish because a student has submitted (they haven't):

289944_pastedImage_3.png


5) Try to "PREVIEW" quiz again by clicking the giant red preview button, wonderful looks like something is happening.

preview start

6) NOPE SORRY SUCKER! No more preview for you, you just land right back on the same screen, with your last "preview" results in your face because, well, your last preview is treated as a some sacred submission kind of thing, apparently.

fail

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I'm sorry you're having this problem.  I wasn't able to reproduce this issue and I wonder if it has to do with the fact that I'm not using Mastering pathways.  I really don't know. I did find two threads here that had a couple of suggestions. https://community.canvaslms.com/thread/16864-trying-to-publish-quizzes  and 

https://community.canvaslms.com/thread/17366-publishing-a-blocked-quiz?commentID=73120#comment-73120.

Good luck.

There are no mastering pathways or other complexities set up. Just a quiz.

The fact that this is not reproducible is even more disturbing than the problem itself. Are there multiple versions of Canvas in the wild?

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Hi  @peters1 ,

Please report/forward this to Canvas support in order for this to be investigated.

-

Kevin Dougherty

Assoc. Product Manager, Assessments

Instructure

How do I do that? Can this thread simply be forwarded. There is good documentation to reproduce and it should be sufficient.

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 @peters1 ‌, to initiate a support case, please use the Report a Problem option in the Help menu of the Canvas course in which this is occurring—ideally from the exact place where you are encountering this issue—as described in How do I get help with Canvas as an instructor?‌ Providing a link to this discussion in the description field of the ticket will give Canvas Support the additional context it needs to pursue its investigation, and you will receive email updates on the ticket as the case progresses.

comtjm
Community Participant

I'm experiencing the same probem, no students or test students have taken my quiz, yet I can't unpublish it. Any solution to this yet? 

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Hi  @comtjm ‌,

Please initiate a support case using the Report a Problem option in the Help menu of the Canvas course in which this is occurring—ideally from the exact place where you are encountering this issue—as described in How do I get help with Canvas as an instructor?

-

Kevin Dougherty

Assoc. Product Manager, Assessments

Instructure

atraylor
New Member

Was this issue fixed? I had a student open a quiz that I published, never submitted it, and now I can't un-publish it. Is there a way to kick the student out of the quiz? 

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thall5
New Member

I encountered this issue as well. 

I can reproduce it as follow:

Create Quiz (any quiz, graded / ungraded, quiz / survey)

Select the "Show one question at a time" and "Lock questions after answering" options

Add a question to the quiz (create new or import from bank)

Save

315812_Screen Shot 2019-06-21 at 4.19.36 PM.png

Click Preview:

315813_Screen Shot 2019-06-21 at 4.19.47 PM.png

The preview is broken. No questions display, and there is no button to return to editing:

315814_Screen Shot 2019-06-21 at 4.19.55 PM.png

Navigate back to Quizzes, click on quiz, then click 'edit'. Now you have a warning that says students have taken the quiz:

315816_Screen Shot 2019-06-21 at 4.20.24 PM.png

At this point, my quiz is not published. But if I do publish it (say I want to see if the test student encounters the same issue), I can't change it back:

315817_Screen Shot 2019-06-21 at 4.21.04 PM.png

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Hey  @thall5  Welcome to the Community. Have you submitted a Canvas Support case for this yet? If not, please initiate a support case using the Report a Problem option in the Help menu of the Canvas course in which this is occurring—ideally from the exact place where you are encountering this issue—as described in How do I get help with Canvas as an instructor?

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Anonymous
Not applicable

It has been almost a year and still this is a problem? (i am currently having an issue trying to unpublish a quiz that nobody has taken yet - all due to a preview)  Smiley Sad

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Hi,  @ccaruso1 . Did you contact Canvas Support about this?

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Anonymous
Not applicable

Doing so tomorrow morning.

kmcgrath
Community Participant

I'm having the same issue.  I reset the test student, and still can't unpublish my quiz.  

It would be really great if the moderators here could just elevate to support, vs asking the instructors to go through the whole story again, including re-pasting screen shots, etc.  How many people have to complain about the same issue before support is notified?  

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Hi,  @kmcgrath . A very small number of Instructure employees are moderating posts in the Community to ensure users are finding answers. Sometimes we check with internal sources to try and get an answer, but mostly it is other Canvas users helping each other. Employees are not able to escalate Community posts to support cases because the two processes are so different. There is a lot of information that a support agent is able to collect when a user affected by an issue contacts support that is just not available in a Community post. Additionally, when troubleshooting a support case the ability to communicate with the user is very important and there is not a simple way for a support agent to do that from a Community post. This is why we do as much as we can here but in some cases, we also recommend submitting a support case.

I hope this helps and I hope you'll contact support and are able to find a solution!  @ccaruso1 , were you able to make any progress on this when working with support?

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mpobocik
Community Member

I've had the same issue a couple times now. I contacted support in March. In mid April they finally responded that there wasn't an issue. Of course there wasn't, I couldn't wait 6 weeks for an answer so I had already deleted the quiz and created a new one.  I come here today looking for answers because it's happened again and alas, still no answers. 

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mendy_barnett
New Member

In editing, click on "Notify students of change" on the bottom of the edit page.  Then it will let you unpublish.  Totally found this by mistake.  Was suffering the same problems as everyone else.  Good Luck!!!

Dang it, I thought that "notify users quiz has changed" solution might work, but it didn't work for me. Still can't unpublish my quiz!!!

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Thank you soooooooo much!!!!
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coolorangeice
New Member

The easiest way I've found to handle this is to use the three dot menu option "Copy To..." and copy the quiz to the same module on the same Canvas page. Then I just delete the old one. We lose submissions but for what we use the quizzes for it doesn't really matter, we just don't want to have to recreate the quiz.

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