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Create Item Banks from MSWord

Create Item Banks from MSWord

(102)
It would be useful that when you create a question [item] bank at the account level being able to upload a huge number of questions once by using a word document. Now, the only way to do this is to create them one by one.

61844_2015-06-17_1019.png2015-06-17_1019.png

 

Rosalie

167 Comments
gorsi
Community Contributor

Respondus 4.0 software can build question banks, but it's oriented towards courses, not your whole Canvas account.

There's no way to have it "talk to" your subaccount or whole Canvas account.

gorsi
Community Contributor

PS: Respondus 4.0 software can "batch" publish assessment materials to multiple courses, but it cannot post them at the subaccount or account level in Canvas.

Tech Tip: Batch Publishing Tests and Surveys with Respondus 4.0 |

cholling
Community Champion

Our course support staff are spending a huge amount of time creating quizzes in Canvas simply because the faculty create (or update) their quizzes in Word and electronically submit them to the staff for implementation. This means that staff are copy and pasting each element in every quiz, sometimes multiple times. Granted some of this is a process flow issue because of the way that faculty choose to work; however, a process in our former LMS was a great solution to this, which allowed staff to work with the existing Word document and insert simple coding that the LMS then could parse into a quiz. It also worked with any publisher test bank, no matter what standard they implemented with their quiz resources. Here is an sample using examples from the system documentation:

As submitted by "faculty"

115246_pastedImage_5.png

As marked up by staff:

115247_pastedImage_81.png

The amount of time this type of coding would save would be incredible.

ericsoc
Community Member

Please forget MS Word and go to RTF or RTFD or plain Text (which a word file will covert to easily). Word is slow. Word is now expensive although using Google Docs would work, but an extra couple of steps. Recall that Etudes and I think others use plain Text. I admit I had rather sloppy results with Etudes though - no surprise.

KISS as it were. Word (Microsoft) is doing bad things with annual licensing. I say *&$**# them and keep things as open source as is possible.

2 cents

es

jsparks
Instructure
Instructure

Hello, Canvas Family!

Oh, how do I remember the days to struggling to import a tagged RTF or TXT file into a testing platform!  Making sure each asterisk and tag was in the proper place... We want to explore this issue and develop a solution that is quick and simple to use while still allowing for the import of test items into the platform. We would likely stick to a universal document type like RTF or TXT.  We may also consider an alternative like a spreadsheet (CSV) import with more defined fields--think clear processes to make correct/incorrect, item feedback, item options, and more.

What are your thoughts on RTF/TXT or spreadsheet? I've very curious if the trade-off would be worth the time for a more "clean" import process.  What do you all think?

Kind regards,

Jason

GregoryBeyrer
Community Champion

Thanks Deactivated user​ for your reply to this idea. Rich Path at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has created a wonderful tool that does exactly this for D2L. Using an Adobe AIR application it allows the instructor to copy and paste of text from any application, apply simple formatting (including providing question and answer feedback), and click a button to create a .csv file that can be imported directly into a quiz using the a file structure that D2L already allows:

Learn@UW - Quiz Question Importer Tool

Since Canvas already accepts test banks in QTI format and the University of Wisconsin's software license grants permission to modify, I hope that the Canvas development team decides to adjust this program to create a QTI file for ready import into Canvas.

ericsoc
Community Member

RE: RTFT, RTF, TXT, WORD, I say to heck with Word. MSoft is out of hand now. But that's political. Practical is txt and/or rtf is really easy stuff and would not encumber development like Word would (or Pages or whatever).

I too have suffered the slings and arrows of trying to get a txt text to behave in Etudes.

My best guess is that should we go that direction, to be really, really clear on formatting. Really clear. I actually tried to have students use the txt formatting to design their own test questions and it almost worked. Ha!

But you all know we can do this. If Matt Damon can survive two years on Mars... oh, that was fiction. But I remember the Apollo missions.

es

James
Community Champion

Some quick thoughts because the really long awesome post I was writing got lost because I forgot to move off the inbox screen when I was typing it:

  • Separate conversion from import so that it's extensible and additional formats can be added.
  • Support .docx/.odt. Not because they're good formats, but because they are universal in the sense of wide adoption. Converting .docx to .rtf doesn't get rid of the evil that Word creates, it just masquerades it. There are converters available and it would remove an extra step for the user and therefore simpler.
  • Limit what you support. Many documents outside of plain text are ugly. People copy/paste from different locations and you end up with different fonts, font sizes, indentations, etc. Most of those would be bad if brought into a quiz.
  • .csv allows structure and using a spreadsheet allows for functionality you don't get with a word processor. Definitely support it.
  • Consider integrating this with Google Docs/Sheets. You've already got the ability to submit a file through Google Docs, make it so that an instructor can submit a bank through Google Docs rather than being forced to upload it
  • Be compatible with Respondus but don't limit yourself to their format.
  • Be clear on what your purpose is. Is it to provide a free alternative to Respondus? Is it to provide a limited import capability most frequent used question types? Is it to allow a way to get all questions types into Canvas without being forced to reenter them through the web? The last one is the most important to me since Respondus won't do it, but I'll admit that it comes down to putting development dollars where the biggest return will be.
cholling
Community Champion

Jason

I'm all for simple!! I like the RTF or TXT doc type better than CSV -- the faculty and staff are already used to working in Word and faculty aren't always the easiest to get to do things in different ways when they know the past ways have worked well.

Cindy

curtain
Community Participant

CSV! CSV! CSV!

costarec
Community Member

I agree it is best to keep it away from a requirement of another proprietary software package format, but Word format is fine as long as it's not the latest and greatest. Windows users can use WordPad and anyone can use Google Docs to create. Word users can use that if they already have it.

cjeffcott
Community Member

This would be helpful, but the ability to import from an Excel or CSV file would be much more useful, as our quiz workflow involves the use of Excel sheets.

fellerd
Community Participant

I like both of these ideas.

Keep in mind that many of us use publisher test banks. In my experience, these are sometimes available in Word or Rich Text Format. I have never seen one in a spreadsheet format (comma separated values) although I definitely see some possibilities here. In either case, make sure that the process allows putting graphical images into the RTF/TXT/CSV file that can be directly imported. 

I currently use the third-party application Respondus to create all of my tests, partly because it is easy to use and partly because I teach at multiple institutions with multiple learning management systems and a third-party tool is best for me for consistency and peace of mind.

curtain
Community Participant

Completely agree with  @fellerd ​.  I am pushing for CSV because of a specific need for us AND because I am considering Word format the leading format for them to select.  If they do nothing else, they should start with Word.  And it MUST support images as you said. There is not a good way to do that for the ordinary instructor at all right now.

fellerd
Community Participant

I'm an ordinary instructor - just an online adjunct. Though I adjunct at several colleges. : )

Personal licenses for Respondus were less than $100 the last time I checked. I'd pay this on my own if necessary. It's easier to build tests in Respondus than any LMS I have used.

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

Thank you for checking back!  We do not have an update at this time, but we'll check back in a couple months.  We encourage you to follow the Modern Quizzing Engine project!

galyenk
Community Contributor

Have you ever used Respondus? Faculty can actually create quizzes and it talks to canvas and imports them.

galyenk
Community Contributor

When we migrated into Canvas, we actually used Respondus to import between 2000 - 3000 assessments in a couple months! Very handy.

millerjm
Community Champion

What I have noticed is that many of my faculty have their collection of tests that they have created over the years and they are in Word format.  And then they decide that they want to bring them into the LMS.  OR the publisher only provides the test bank in Word files.  That is always fun because they go crazy with formatting and don't always follow the simple formatting needed to import into anything!

These are usually *almost* in the right format for respondus/sakai/angel and can be easily brought into notepad to take out the formatting, and allow them to simply add the asterisks for the correct answers.  It usually doesn't require much massaging - sometimes just a find and replace to change 1) to 1. for the numbering or something like that. 

Respondus has always been awesome at bringing in tests in various formats.  It would be great to see the ability to copy-paste a simple text-based set of questions from a word/text file since so much legacy and publisher data already exists in these formats. 

alistair_kwan
Community Participant

I would encourage support for importing GIFT files written in a text editor.

I wouldn't bother with Word myself (I don't normally use Word at all, in fact) but do see advantages in using Excel — importing TDF sounds like a good idea.