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stevec
Community Member

Question Duplication in Question Bank

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(Original subject line: I just tried "question bank" and on one question, 4 out of 5 were the same question. Did I do something wrong?)

I set up a final exam with three question banks of three questions each. The first two were fine, but of the five completed finals thus far, four have the same question chosen for the third question bank. Do I just have a bad case of gambler's fallacy going on, or is this something others have experienced as well? It just doesn't seem very random.

1 Solution

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kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @stevec , you are correct that if you have a question group that is pulling questions from a question bank then the order of the questions and the questions that are received (if it is pulling fewer questions than are in the bank) will be random. The only real reason that you might want to use groups next time instead of the bank (you can still pull the questions from the bank) is that you can't regrade questions from the bank - which can sometimes be helpful. Otherwise, the use of question banks is fine.

If you are concerned that the questions are being equally randomly selected, then you might want to file a Help ticket and have Canvas support escalate it. To do this you would want to go to test/quiz and then click on the Help link (top right of the page) and "Report a Problem" - How do I get help with Canvas? - make sure to provide as much detail as possible.

Hope this helps!

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7 Replies
kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @stevec ​, this may sound silly, but just to make sure we're on the same page - when you say question bank, do you mean question groups?

If you are using question banks, then my first recommendation is to make sure you're linking to the correct bank and that the bank really does have the three questions in it. We've had this happen to faculty a time or two, so I always like to double-check this if someone is using a question bank. If your bank looks ok, then try going in as your Test Student - How do I access Student View? - and see what question you get for the third one. You can clear out the test student results and try this a couple of times to see if you keep getting the same question.

If you're using question groups with three questions in each group then I'd got straight to trying this out with your test student a few times. If you keep getting the same question, then something is definitely off and I'd put in a Canvas Help ticket - How do I get help with Canvas? - and "Report a Problem." If you are getting different questions as the test student, then I'd chalk this up to the amazing craziness of probability and go buy a few lotto tickets. Smiley Wink

Hope this helps and let us know what happens!

stevec
Community Member

I'm using question bank. Why do both bank and group exist? Why would I want to use one over the other?

Perhaps I'm not understanding how the question banks work. I assumed that questions were assigned to students at random, but if I look at my three questions on the quiz, with three options available for each, I get the following:

1A: 7 answers   1B: 3 answers.  1C: 1 answer

2A: 3 answers   2B: 4 answers.   2C: 4 answers.

3A: 2 answers    3B: 8 answers    3C: 1 answer

It's clearly not random. With question banks, are students able to see all questions and choose the one they would like to answer?

 @stevec ​, as  @kona ​ has described in her comprehensive discussion above of question banks and question groups, these are two entirely different animals. Question banks reside outside of quizzes, can be shared amongst courses and accounts, and are frequently used to organize questions. In many cases, this is an offshoot of how publishers create quiz questions in banks, according to chapter or subject. In addition, outcomes can be aligned with question banks, so many course creators choose to create their banks according to their respective outcomes.

To answer your direct question about question banks: No, if you pull questions from a question bank, students will not be able to see all of the questions and choose the ones they would like to answer. If you designate that a quiz is to be created by pulling X questions from a specific question bank, the student will be presented with X questions. It is conceivable that every student will be presented with the first X questions out of a total of Y in the question bank.

Question groups reside within a quiz. They can neither be saved for re-use in a different quiz nor can they be shared with other courses. Their main purpose is to randomize questions; secondarily, quiz creators can use them to organize questions within the quiz. For example, I like to create a quiz that has 5 multiple choice questions, 5 true-false questions, and 5 media-based questions. By organizing my question banks in that manner, I can create three question groups in the quiz--one for multiple choice, one for true-false, and one for media-based questions--and pull 10-15 questions from each of those banks into those question groups. This will result in better randomization.

Here's some guidance that  @shauna_vorkink ​ posted about question banks in the old community (I've edited it to update the guide links):

Question Banks are fabulous once you have figured out how to make them work best for your courses, until then there is often some trial and error going on.  Here are few things I have used in the past and hopefully one of them will help you!  If you already created quizzes outside of a bank here are a few ways to reorganize:

    • Copy and Paste - open the quiz where your questions are in one tab and the question bank in another and have at it
    • Open the question bank where the question is that you want to move and select the " Move to another bank option" found in the right hand margin.  If you did not create this question in a bank initially, but just in a quiz it will be found in the Unfiled Question Bank

Here is a link into the guides that shows how to accomplish this: How do I move/copy a question from one bank to another?

And another link in case you decide you want to get crazy and move everything around Smiley Happy How do I move multiple questions from one bank to another?

The longer I use Canvas the more I realize that Question Bank Organizing is crucial to my sanity Smiley Happy I have tried multiple methods of organizing banks and here are a few ideas for you

    1. Create them at the account level when possible
    2. Name them very well
    3. Smaller is usually better
    4. Name the questions to correspond with how you would want to find them later on - if you want by topic, or by outcome, or by chapter, or by question type...

When I am working in a quiz and need to find questions I may have used previously I have a gigantic list to search! I can find them fairly easily since they are divided first by the course number, then by the module they correspond to, and then by the chapter, and often again by the question type/topic.

It may be worth your time to go back and reorganize the banks you currently have to make them more user friendly for you if you will be continuing to use the same content.

There's also an interesting discussion underway about Banks versus Groups here: Do you prefer question groups or question banks?

Does this help clarify the difference between Question Banks and Question Groups?

chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @stevec ​...

Looks like  @kona ​ and stefaniesanders​ are giving you some great help here!  I wanted to let you know that I am going to modify the topic of this discussion slightly since most of your subject title is already in the body of your topic text.  I will also be tagging your posting with key words.  Doing both of these things helps others when searching for similar topics.  If the new topic subject line does not reflect the body of your message and your question, please let one of us know so we can change it for you.  Thanks.

stevec
Community Member

I'm not sure the new title captures the idea. I'm not concerned about "duplication." It's the fact that supposedly random questions aren't coming out random. Am I the only person who has ever had this problem?

I did read Kona and Stephanie's responses. I chose to use Question Banks because I use the same test in different sections--some hybrid and some live--and I have to be able to adjust the final.

From what I understand, both "Bank" and "Group" are supposed to be random. I guess next time I teach the class, I can try "Group" and see if that solves the problem.

I don't think it's a problem of me not setting things up correctly. I did get at least one selection of each of the questions. It just seems like there's some sort of glitch that causes certain questions to be chosen more than others.

chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi again,  @stevec ​...

If there is a shorter subject line you'd like me to change this to, I'd be willing to do that for you.  I *think* you may be able to edit the title yourself (if you have an "Edit' link on the right side of your screen next to your original question).

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @stevec , you are correct that if you have a question group that is pulling questions from a question bank then the order of the questions and the questions that are received (if it is pulling fewer questions than are in the bank) will be random. The only real reason that you might want to use groups next time instead of the bank (you can still pull the questions from the bank) is that you can't regrade questions from the bank - which can sometimes be helpful. Otherwise, the use of question banks is fine.

If you are concerned that the questions are being equally randomly selected, then you might want to file a Help ticket and have Canvas support escalate it. To do this you would want to go to test/quiz and then click on the Help link (top right of the page) and "Report a Problem" - How do I get help with Canvas? - make sure to provide as much detail as possible.

Hope this helps!