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julie_mccarty
Community Participant

Want to upload-question bank without simultaneously generating quiz

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I want to be able to import a bank of questions without Canvas concurrently creating a quiz based on those questions as Canvas then sends a notification to my students that a new quiz has been generated and it is confusing to them. Sometimes there is an error in the question bank and i may have to edit it and then re-upload it thus the same bank of questions might get uploaded 3 time generating 3 quizzes for which my students receive notifications. Quite frankly I would like to turn the notifications off or have more control over them, but I know that Canvas is not going to allow instructors this option any time soon. 

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kblack
Community Champion

Hi  @julie_mccarty  Welcome to the worldwide Canvas Community, and thanks for posting your question.  There a few things that may be at play here.

First, if you are importing from another Canvas course into an existing Canvas course (as covered in How do I copy a Canvas course into a new course shell? ) and choose the Select specific content option and choose ONLY to import the Question Banks alone, that alone will NOT automatically create quizzes for you.  It will only import the specific question banks that you specified.  I just verified this just now on a sample course site of mine.

If you are importing from a Canvas export package (as covered in https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-12783-415241324 ) and, again, choose the Select specific content option and, again, choose ONLY to import the Question Banks alone and NOT the quizzes, that also will NOT automatically create quizzes for you.

However, if you are importing from a publisher's bank of questions--and something tells me that you are, based on the way you are asking your question--then the results may, indeed, vary wildly from package to package.  I have certainly seen, for example, a fair share of Blackboard-based export packages import everything and publishing the quizzes.  Not a good idea on a course that has already been published and has students in it for the very reason that you mention.

For the latter scenario, I would highly recommend that you contact your local Canvas administrator and have her/him create a "shell" site for you first.  This way, you will be importing into a course that does not have any students.  Once that is done, then import from that "shell" course into your current course--but again, as specified above--choose the Select specific content option and make certain you are selecting ONLY the questions banks and not the quizzes.  

Importing only question banks will NOT send students any notifications because no quizzes will be created that way.  You can then create your own quizzes as you desire and--most importantly--publish them when you want to.

Yes, I realize this is an added step (importing into a "shell" and then importing from the "shell" into your actual class), but it will avoid the situation you are mentioning.

I hope this helps a bit, Judy.

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4 Replies
kblack
Community Champion

Hi  @julie_mccarty  Welcome to the worldwide Canvas Community, and thanks for posting your question.  There a few things that may be at play here.

First, if you are importing from another Canvas course into an existing Canvas course (as covered in How do I copy a Canvas course into a new course shell? ) and choose the Select specific content option and choose ONLY to import the Question Banks alone, that alone will NOT automatically create quizzes for you.  It will only import the specific question banks that you specified.  I just verified this just now on a sample course site of mine.

If you are importing from a Canvas export package (as covered in https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-12783-415241324 ) and, again, choose the Select specific content option and, again, choose ONLY to import the Question Banks alone and NOT the quizzes, that also will NOT automatically create quizzes for you.

However, if you are importing from a publisher's bank of questions--and something tells me that you are, based on the way you are asking your question--then the results may, indeed, vary wildly from package to package.  I have certainly seen, for example, a fair share of Blackboard-based export packages import everything and publishing the quizzes.  Not a good idea on a course that has already been published and has students in it for the very reason that you mention.

For the latter scenario, I would highly recommend that you contact your local Canvas administrator and have her/him create a "shell" site for you first.  This way, you will be importing into a course that does not have any students.  Once that is done, then import from that "shell" course into your current course--but again, as specified above--choose the Select specific content option and make certain you are selecting ONLY the questions banks and not the quizzes.  

Importing only question banks will NOT send students any notifications because no quizzes will be created that way.  You can then create your own quizzes as you desire and--most importantly--publish them when you want to.

Yes, I realize this is an added step (importing into a "shell" and then importing from the "shell" into your actual class), but it will avoid the situation you are mentioning.

I hope this helps a bit, Judy.

View solution in original post

julie_mccarty
Community Participant

Dear Ken,

thank you for your response. From what I gather here then, although I am not importing a QTI file from another LMS I am importing a QTI file I created in Respondus, I will have to use the two step process outlined here in order to avoid this situation. I hope maybe in the future there will be away to simply import these files rather than having to first import them into the shell. building question banks directly within Canvas is simply too time consuming.
garichard
Community Participant

I have had the same issues, but I am importing a qti zip file that I exported from another canvas course. When I imported the single quiz to my new course, I selected import to "New Question Bank". I type in a new name, but the questions imported into BOTH a question bank (with the old name) AND as a *published* quiz with the old name. I didn't realize that it created a published quiz until after two students had taken this quiz. It was very frustrating because I was extracting exam questions from the question bank, so some students got a preview of the exam. Where did I miss the selection to only create a question bank and not a published quiz? Also, why does it prompt for a new question bank name, then not use the name that I type in? The questions were coming from my canvas sandbox, so I'm not importing from an external test generator. 

Thanks for your help! 

Gigi

kblack
Community Champion

Hi  @garichard ‌ - I tried repeating this on a sample course site of my own.  I exported a quiz as a QTI from Course A and imported it into Course B.  Yep...same thing happened. While I cannot explain why it's not creating a new Question Bank by the name selected, I believe the fact that it is creating a published quiz is normal behavior IF the QTI file that you exported originally was also from a published quiz....which I imagine it was.  It is not unusual for imports to retain the publication "state" of the Canvas file from which it was exported.  I don't know the programming enough to comment authoritatively, but I guess I would say that I'm not surprised.  I always recommend faculty check the publication status of any import done at any time within Canvas.

The creation of another question bank--even if not by the name specified--is also not surprising, since by default Canvas will always place all quiz questions created in some bank or another.  Manually-created questions within Canvas, for example, will reside in an automatically-created bank called Unfiled Questions.  So it's quite natural for Canvas to put questions into a bank that it creates by some method or another.

All that said, currently all resources/programming are being devoted to Quizzes.Next, their next version of the quiz engine.  While they are obviously still supporting the current quiz engine, I'm not too sure reporting such a bug is going to be at the top of their radar....though you may still want to. I'll leave that one up to you, I guess!  Smiley Happy