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Warning If New Quizzes Points Possible Differs From Question Point Totals

Warning If New Quizzes Points Possible Differs From Question Point Totals


Feature Request:  Pop up a warning when navigating away from editing a quiz to give instructors a chance to change the total points that are in the gradebook.  The warning should be similar to one that appears with Rubrics to say the totals are different, do you want to leave them that way or change it.

Why: Currently, in New Quizzes the instructor is asked to add a point total when it is first created prior to building the quiz. If you left the total at 0 or set it at some other total, the grade book shows the points possible as 0.  As you build the quiz and assign points to each question, the editing page shows the total points in the top left menu of the editing page.  For example, if you have 30 questions and each is worth 1 point, the page shows 30pts.  However, the total points possible in the gradebook for the quiz is still showing the initial total created, in this example 0.  To change this, you have to go into the initial edit screen and override the total score.  If students have taken the quiz before the discrepancy is changed, then the instructor has to regrade the quiz to get the points they earned to populate the gradebook.  

Community Champion

"If students have taken the quiz before the discrepancy is changed, then the instructor has to regrade the quiz to get the points they earned to populate the gradebook." 

As an instructor who regularly adds extra credit questions to quizzes (through the use of zero point essay questions that are manually graded at higher values) I would like to see the points actually awarded by the quiz over-ride the "points possible" at the point of grading.  It would be nice to see the warning you request function similarly to the warning for a rubric that offers more points than then are set as the maximum points an assignment.  (It warns that it will be possible for students to earn more than 100%.)

Community Contributor

Would it be preferable if the point value was automatically calculated as the sum of the individual questions?

Why would you ever want these values to be different, and why should the user be expected to manually update the quiz point value any time they change the number/value of questions?

Community Participant

Personally, that would be my preference. Some cases I could think of where an instructor might want the difference may be a practice test or a teacher may drop credit for a question or possibly to account for extra credit points. I just know that currently, it is not user-friendly or obvious that the scores are different. 

Community Contributor

Agreed! And the ability to exclude an assignment from grade calculation might help get us some of the way there.

We're getting ready to enable New Quizzes with the 2/15 release, and expecting users to know to manually update the quiz value in a separate location is giving me major pause.

Community Member

I expected this to automatically weight the assignments in the gradebook.  If I had 2 quizzes, one with 13 questions and the other 22, but I wanted them to both be worth 40 points in the gradebook, I could put 40 when I create and the gradebook would figure that 10 out of 13 on the quiz was 30.8 out of 40 in the gradebook, while 19 out of 22 would be 34.5.  It's not doing that.  10 out of 13 goes in as 10 and calculates as 25% (10/40).  The point total in the build is apparently irrelevant.  It would be nice to be able to choose which way to use this (automatically match build total or weight grades).

Community Champion

This is very confusing to virgin New Quizzes users. I wonder if it will improve when we are out of Beta.

 @panjac ‌

Community Contributor

This is a great idea! I don't always know how many points I'll end up with when I initially set up my quiz. But, we do have teachers that purposely set them different, so a pop-up warning to make sure would be wonderful! Voting now!

Community Participant

FYI, I just tested it, and did not experience what @clarson1 warned about: I made a 10 point quiz with 3 questions, and my fake student who got 2 questions correct out of 3 (at 1 point each) got a 6.67 out of 10 on the overall quiz in the gradebook. If it was an issue in April, maybe they fixed it?

I've found not all of our instructors want the points to match the number of questions: sometimes they just know a quiz should be worth 40 points on the syllabus, but the number and value of the actual questions can change from semester to semester. 

New Member

I concur with mpfaff1.  The total point value is effectively a weight.

New Member

"To change this, you have to go into the initial edit screen and override the total score"

What? Like, I have to time travel? That's what this feature feels like. How does the current system of, you have to put a point value BEFORE you write the quiz, make sense to anyone?

i cannot find this mythical "initial edit screen" anywhere. 

New Member

@jwolf2 I had the same question. I found the answer on another thread. Go to the Assignments section, click on the 3 dots for that assignment and select Edit. You'll see the fields to edit the names and the score. Not very intuitive at all.

New Member

Please please change this feature of the quizzes. It is counter intuitive and unhelpful

New Member

I can't believe this is a real issue. Fix this now please.

Community Participant

I like the idea of a warning, personally. However, once it is out of Beta and not an external tool, I doubt this will even be an issue. 

The problem lies in the education of the user. We put New Quizzes out there without really understanding that it is currently an external tool (LTI). It does not seem like one because it is an option of Quizzes, but once we start using it and running into these issues, the understanding that it is an external tool became crucial. 

So, my suggestion is to the user and to the admins. When using New Quizzes be aware that this is a separate tool from Assignments and Quizzes. As such, you should treat it that way. 

1. Update point values after completing the editing of your New Quiz within the Assignment settings. 

2. If you want to import this type of quiz from another course it is found in Assignments, not quizzes. 

Community Member

With New Quizzes (not sure if the same is for classic), I've noticed when I go to update an quiz (change a question, etc) that the point value doesn't automatically update for the quiz itself. So, I run into many issues of the grades look funny because I updated the quiz, but forgot to update the point value. I'm hoping that this is something canvas can get fixed as I feel like when I update a quiz, it should automatically update the total points for the quiz itself. 

Example: Quiz is 10 points. Edited quiz and now is 8 points. If I don't update the 8 points, it messes up the grading on it. 

New Member


I read in a post in the Community about the total point value in New Quizzes and setting the point values for individual questions.  These do not align.  I realize there is an explanation that this is done to automatically weight accordingly (, however, this seems like it will create a lot of confusion and students will contact instructors to explain this when reviewing their grades.  

I would suggest that total points (what is shown in the gradebook) aligns with the question values to avoid continuous explanation of the misalignment between total points in the gradebook and the question point values in each new quiz question item.  OR create a setting to allow the current system to be utilized so instructors can opt out if they want points to align. 

If there is another layer of rationale that has not yet been described, please share it so we can consider it when training instructors and students on New Quizzes.  Thank you very much!

Community Member

I agree that the total quiz points should be automatically calculated based on the sum of points for the questions in the quiz. As of now, this total shows up on the left when in the "Build" screen. Two separate places make it very confusion. 

Minimally, there should be a warning when canvas sees a discrepancy between these two totals.

I migrated quizzes to new quizzes and only noticed this issue when I saw that all students had zero points after the submission of the first quiz. The total points in "Build" was 17, but the Points in the quiz config was zero. 😕

Community Champion

The warning is a great idea!  There are reasons as explained in this thread that justify why instructors might want the two to differ though, so I don't think it is a good idea to change it to automatically switch. 

I know when we first introduced New Quizzes (when it was called this was actually a feature that many instructors loved.  Some know they want a quiz to be worth 100 points or some set number of points but don't really want to do all the math to work out what that means for individual question points (not saying this is great practice but it is how they want it to work).  This allowed them to create a quiz, give each question a point value, which more served as a sub-weight, and then Canvas did all the math for them.  In reading this thread, it sounds like other institutions have instructors that do this as well.  So yes to the warning but no to the automatic switching of points.