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Multiple Answer quiz question - partial points without penalty

Multiple Answer quiz question - partial points without penalty

Currently the way partial points in a multiple answer quiz question works is to dock points for incorrect answers.  This is necessary, otherwise one could just select every choice and get full points.


But some faculty would like to give points for each correct answer without penalizing for incorrect choices.  This could be done if the number of choices became limited to the total number of correct answers.


So this feature idea is to add an option to the multiple answer question type that would limit the number of possible choices  a student could select to the total number of correct answers and allow for full partial points without subtracting points for an incorrect guess.

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

For details, please read through the Canvas Release Notes (2020-04-18)


Agree, Rebecca. This has been going on for TOO long. As an instructor in a nursing program, the alternate style questions are RIGHT or they are WRONG. Our licensing exam scores these questions RIGHT or WRONG. For us to give partial credit is a disservice to our students.

If you have a patient and you have 3 out of 5 interventions to make and you only make 2, you have done the WRONG thing. If you do all 3, you did the RIGHT thing.

The choice was there. You didn’t chose it. You should have. It’s WRONG.

My institution won’t allow us to use the Beta version until it’s out of Beta so at least we know it’s being worked on.

Community Team
Community Team

The Radar idea stage has been removed from the Feature Idea Process.  You can read more about why in the blog post Adaptation: Feature Idea Process Changes.


This change will only impact the stage sort of this idea and will not change how it is voted on or how it is considered during prioritization activities.  This change will streamline the list of ideas 'open for voting', making it easier for you to see the true top voted ideas in one sort, here.

Community Member

"Currently the way partial points in a multiple answer quiz question works is to dock points for incorrect answers.  This is necessary, otherwise one could just select every choice and get full points."

This is not true. If I have a 4 answer question worth 1 points and three of the answers are correct, it currently assigns (1 answers/3 correct=) 0.33 points per correct answer but does not assign value to distractors. A student marking all answers would actually get full credit and there is no disincentive to not mark incorrect answers. Make each answer worth the same fraction of question value and award points based on if it is correctly marked or unmarked.

Community Member

Exactly.  Thank you Jason!


To continue nudging this, we just came across this as well.  My test student account just took a quiz where there were 5 options, 3 were correct (in troubleshooting this for a faculty member).  I intentionally selected 1 correct answer and 2 wrong answers and scored 0 points.  The math as indicated on  doesn't appear to be working properly.

Adventurer III

Achange is needed in this regard.

Navigator‌, that guide is for "classic" Quizzes. Based on the scoring you described your Test Student seeing, I believe your test must have involved Quizzes.Next, which has a separate guide here in the Community. Here's a link to the guide page explaining how Multiple Answers are currently scored in Quizzes.Next:

Community Member

Please fix this!! I have students who complain about the points every time we take a quiz with a question like this one. This type of question style is great because it allows us to practice for state exams (such as PARCC), but then it's frustrating because the students don't actually get credit for their right answers. I don't have time to check each student who actually answered part of the question right, so EVERY time we take a quiz, I have to go back and give EVERY student x # of points to make up for this systematic error.


We switched to administering exams with a different platform and exporting the grades (with NO points for partially correct SATA) to Canvas. In high stakes nursing classes, students always having a grade adjusted down is labor intensive for instructors and frustrating for students.

Community Member

I did not see the fine print on the rules of grading "multiple answer questions" and now have to go back and regrade 50 exams. This was the last straw for me with Canvas. It's clunky, rigid, and not very responsive to user requests. This thread was started in 2015 and at the end of 2019, NOTHING has been done.