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Nancy_Webb_CCSF
Community Champion

Moodle questions with symbols not importing correctly

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An instructor imported the complete Moodle backup of his course into Canvas, an .mbz file.  He thought the questions in quizzes and also in question banks came through correctly without checking each one.  It turns out that answers that included certain characters ( < > etc.) didn't import correctly.  I believe it's related to Canvas answers not having HTML formatting.  In Moodle, > is stored as HTML &gt;.  But it's odd that some answers with those characters did import.  An answer containing >=3) came over correctly, whereas <3) and <=3) didn't.  I checked in the original Moodle and they all used the HTML character code for < and >.

For example, one answer had <3) at the end.  All of the answer's text including and after ❤️ didn't transfer, just the text before it.  I know ❤️ becomes a heart emoji in certain editors, and I'm wondering if that caused a problem either during the backup process in Moodle or importing into Canvas.

But it might be that Canvas import has a bug that handles &gt: but not &lt;  Perhaps it thinks < is the start of an HTML tag and ignores it?  Is there anyone technical who knows how HTML is stripped out of answers to questions?

Any ideas?  Have other math/programming/technical instructors encountered this?  Is there a way to export/import questions so this won't happen?

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
tross
Community Champion

When we brought everything over from Moodle, we recommended that teachers review everything.   We found it was sometimes the sequence of characters that would cause something to not come over cleanly.  I know our teachers really did not want to review the material but we found it is a risk not to do so.

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4 Replies
tross
Community Champion

When we brought everything over from Moodle, we recommended that teachers review everything.   We found it was sometimes the sequence of characters that would cause something to not come over cleanly.  I know our teachers really did not want to review the material but we found it is a risk not to do so.

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Thanks tross‌. I think we'd better tell instructors to check every question. 

The more I think about it, the more sure I am that Canvas thinks anything starting with < is a tag and so removes it.  I wonder if the programmers could find a way to differentiated formulas from tags.

chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello  @Nancy_Webb_CCSF ‌...

While I don't really have an answer for you, I thought I would check in with you because there hasn't been any new activity in this particular discussion topic since the middle of March 2017.  In reading through the conversation, have you considered reaching out to Instructure's Help Desk to report this so that their programmers could take a look at this issue you are experiencing?  Maybe they would be able to put a patch in place that would help.  Or, have you already been in contact with the Help Desk staff?  If so, would you be willing to share the outcome of that conversation with us here in the Canvas Community?  For now, because there hasn't been any new activity in this discussion topic for quite a while, I'm going to mark your question as "Assumed Answered", but that won't prevent you or others from posting additional messages below.  I hope that's okay with you.  Looking forward to hearing from you soon, Nancy!

Thanks  @chofer ‌, you're absolutely right I should report to the help desk.  Maybe they can actually create a fix rather than asking teachers to review every single question they've imported.  (Not that reviewing is a bad idea!)