Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Community Contributor

Problems with "Multiple Dropdown" question type

Has anyone experienced a weird corruption in a quiz that causes the optional responses in a "multiple dropdown" question type to automatically, and spasmodically, replicate themselves?

My case:

  1. I create a quiz
  2. I create a question, with the type "multiple dropdown"
  3. I do the thing with the square-brackets ([ ]), to sandwich a word...
  4. ... which causes that word to become an entry in the parameters of the question.
  5. I provide three possible options for that dropdown word
  6. Somehow... over time?... because of a error in quitting and saving, or not saving?... different browser, or version?... when I come back into that question later, to edit... that square-bracketed word now has six possible options. The original three options (which I entered) have replicated themselves. When I quit out, and come back in again... now, it's nine!
  7. One of my square-bracketed words began with only two options ("dominant" or "recessive"). Now, those two responses have replicated so many times... they each show up over 50 times in the list.

Canvas Admin have determined that the quiz "has become corrupt". And, the best solution is to recreate the quiz.

Although effective, that's a soulless solution for a frustrated faculty member.

Has anyone else encountered this? Do we have any idea how the corruption occurs? Does Canvas Development know about it? Anyway to build in some safe-guarding code, to clean out this kind of corruption when it arises?

(The faculty member isn't interested in using this question type again because of this perceived failing. And, the faculty member is talking to other faculty members about her experience.)

Thx for anything.

5 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @cliff_cunningha ​, I've used a number of these types of questions with no problem, so if there's a bug it must not be universal.

A few questions...

What Internet browser were you using when the problem happened?

Does it seem to happen in different browsers?

Have Canvas Admin at your school escalated this to Canvas Support yet? If not, then I would strongly recommend it.


Hi there,  @cliff_cunningha !

I wanted to follow up in regards to your drop down questions. Are you still experiencing issues or were you able to get things worked out? Because this question is from almost a year ago, I am going to go ahead and mark it as "Assumed Answered." With that said, if you still have a problem - let us know! We'd love to help out!

Thank, Kenneth, for pursuing the topic.

For now, let's close it out. It did happen. It did cause me a bit of grief at the time. But, the issue has not resurfaced. And, I am not able to replicate the problem.

Have a great Thanksgiving week.

New Member

I just had something similar with Multiple Dropdowns. One or more of the answers was automatically filled in when students took the test. It happened with some students and not others. Sometimes the answers were correct. Other times, they were incorrect. In any case, they were still graded on the involuntary answer. I was unable to replicate this in Student View or in the Preview. But I did see the error in Speed Grader. So it's a bit of a mystery.

I did note that problems were found in questions with 5-6 dropdown boxes (with 5-6 options each) and not with 2 drop-down boxes (also with 5-6 options).  So perhaps there is something about Canvas's ability to manage a larger number of boxes. Hard to tell....

Unless someone can provide a convincing explanation and solution, I plan to avoid Dropdown questions and use Fill In the Blank, which can accomplish the same goal as long as instructions are clear as to how students should enter their answers. Or possibly Matching. I like the Dropdown concept but its not worth having to regrade 100 test questions.

I have just had this same problem in a number of multi dropdown quizzes – some but not all students have some but not all answers randomly pre-filled and unable to be changed, some with correct answers, some with incorrect. I assume there is some problem where some of the dropdowns do not render as a drop down, and pre-select the first possible answer as correct, and then the fact that I have the answers in random order means that some students are supplied correct answers and others incorrect.