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Markdown Like View for Quiz Creation

Markdown Like View for Quiz Creation


When you are creating a page in Canvas, you can swap over to HTML to author the page if you know the appropriate markup. Markdown is a lighter weight approach to doing markup.

I'm proposing the ability to author a quiz in something like markdown right inside of Canvas.

It wouldn't work for all item types, but it would work for multiple choice, true false, and multiple answer.

The key here is that you could switch to a text only editor for creating multiple quiz items at once. A multiple choice item in markdown might look something like:

> Why are cats awesome?

* There is no particular reason

* Why is this even a question?

* They are soft, and a have wonderful purr, and that is why <

* Cats are not awesome

<!--Something like this, you get the idea-->

I've gotta be honest here.

All of my faculty are suddenly online, and the ones who need this the most are the ones who have used Canvas the least. The only solution for anything like this right now is Respondus 4.0 and it's Windows only. If we had something (anything) that made it easier to batch author quiz items, it would be a huge help.

I know that there's‌ but what I'm proposing is much more realistic to develop quickly than having to process Word documents and make them into quizzes.

I need to emphasize one thing though. Adding this to New quizzes‌ without having the ability to do QTI export from New Quizzes so that you could bring them into classic where they can be proctored wouldn't meet the immediate need within the context of COVID-19 - Resources to help with running courses online‌.

Community Member

Do we have Respondus 4.0 access as ECC faculty?  Thanks.

- Matt Ebiner, Geography

Community Participant

As your Online Learning Faculty Coordinator I have the unfortunate news that no, we don't have Respondus 4.0 at El Camino. It's a fairly expensive solution.

Community Member

Etudes has (had) such a feature.

I still have access, and when we switched to Canvas I continued to author questions in text files, copy-and-paste them into the import feature in Etudes question pools, create a test using the pool, download the test as a qti file, upload the test into Canvas, and then move them into various question banks in Canvas.

The fact that I find this to be significantly faster than authoring the questions one-by-one in Canvas should tell you something.

Community Member

Thank you for this suggestion. In an era where everyone is learning new things, I think that taking the time to invest in Markdown will help workflow greatly.

Community Participant
Status changed to: Open for Conversation
Community Member works quite well for markdown-like editing. It does not take much computer savvy to install python (it may already be installed on your machine) and to convert text quizzes to QTI. It takes a little bit of reformatting of your text quizzes, but it sure beats cutting and pasting into the quiz maker in Canvas or having to buy Respondus (which was not an option for me because I'm on Mac). 

Community Member

The online assignment creation tool in Gradescope is an almost perfect implementation of this, in my opinion.  It uses Markdown and KaTeX (a subset of LaTeX that math and science instructors will love).

The text below creates a beautifully typeset multiple choice question that is automatically graded and displays a solution after the exam is closed.  No mouse clicks, no equation editors, no raw HTML — just simple, plain text.

Being able to create quizzes and assignments with a system like this in Canvas would save me hours every week.

Please implement this!

Sample question text ...


## Resonant Frequency

The resonant frequency $$f$$ of a sphere with a small hole only depends on three quantities:
- the speed of sound, $$c$$
- the radius of the sphere, $$R$$
- the radius of the hole, $$r$$

__Based on dimensional analysis alone,__ which of the following expressions for the frequency could be correct?

( ) $$f = \sqrt{r^2 / R^2}$$
( ) $$f = R/c$$
(x) $$f = c\sqrt{r/R^3}$$
( ) $$f = cR/r$$
( ) $$f = c\sqrt{rR}$$
( ) none of these

[[__Solution:__ Straight dimensional analysis. $R$ and $r$ have units of `m` and $c$ has units of `m/s`. Only the third option has units of `Hz = 1/s`.]]