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Community Participant

What is the best way to organize question banks?


I have a large number of question banks that need to be used by several course instances, what would the best way to organize my question banks? One idea I saw on this forum was to create a question bank repository, bookmark the banks, then pull from them using question groups when creating quizzes (Do you prefer question groups or question banks? ). Is this the best way to use Canvas? Or would it be better to house ALL question banks on the account level?

I may potentially have 1200+ question banks for 55 courses in the near future, and am trying to find the easiest/cleanest way to organize these question banks.

Thank you!

6 Replies
Community Champion

Hi emily.moore

Obviously there is no correct answer to this, it's a matter of personal preference. My preferred method is to have one Canvas course containing all the banks and bookmark them. You can then pull them into a quiz in any of your other courses.

If you want to share questions with colleagues, you can enrol them on your central course too and then they can pull the questions into their own quizzes. This has the added advantage that your colleagues can also share questions with you by adding them to the central course. (If you trust your colleagues to have access to the course without messing up your existing questions, of course!)

Community Team
Community Team

emily.moore, as  @Steve_Watts ​ has said, there's no correct answer to this--and in light of that, I've changed the format of your post to a discussion.

Community Champion

As Steve and Stefanie have already mentioned there is no one way to organize questions. What I usually tell people is to organize question banks based on how you may use them. For example, if you want to identify questions by chapters in textbook then name the question banks by chapter. I also like to add the question type stored in the bank in the title as well so I would write the title as Ch01-MC questions. So in another example you may want to identify the subject matter of the questions stored in the bank. An example might something like Photosynthesis-MC questions. Additionally, make sure the questions also have descriptive titles. The title of the questions is the first thing you see when using the Find Questions feature in a quiz.

Community Champion

I assist a lot of our faculty with their question banks, especially when they get a new textbook edition and need the new test banks loaded into Canvas. Quite a few of them ask to have a Canvas course created for them specifically to house them. This is very handy for them if they need to share the banks with other instructors, or if they have a new textbook edition for the following semester and want to start working on those courses, but don't want the question banks mixed in with the ones in the current semester's course(s).

Community Participant

Thank you everyone! This has been very helpful!

Community Champion

i think Canvas could develop a better way to manage question banks. We need a method that allows us to create banks outside of courses and then link to them from within courses. It should also allow us to copy courses semester to semester without losing links to the original banks.

If if you would like to see this feature, please vote for it here: