Can we have a serious conversation about the timeline for New Quizzes and the Classic Quiz Sunset Timeline?
Our institution has begun the change management processes in line with the current Classic Quiz sunset timeline and did a deep dive into New Quizzes. We appreciate all the thought, effort, feedback, and incredible work that has gone into this wide-ranging tool - we can't even imagine the challenges Instructure has faced in harnessing all this new functionality and incorporating all the great user feedback on the tool. However, our evaluation of New Quizzes shows the tool simply isn't ready to be the sole built-in quiz tool in Canvas.
We had a team of twelve experienced instructional designers, Canvas admins, and instructors review the tool to prepare our internal change management strategy. We highlighted areas we would identify as being a problem for our instructors and students with the goal of using communications and training to work through those problems. However, at the end of the day, all twelve people had the overwhelming sense that New Quizzes simply isn't ready.
New Quizzes lacks polish and consistency. It has workflows that are jarring and confusing for the user. It is so radically different from Classic Quizzes that the jump to New Quizzes alone - even if it were ready - would be a challenge from a change management perspective.
I'd like to recap our findings in more detail, not to belabor the point or criticize the hard-working team behind this feature, but to make a clear case for why this feature needs to be delayed and how strongly our team feels that New Quizzes isn't ready.
First off, and this gets to the immediacy of the lack of polish on New Quizzes, is the "Choose a Quiz Engine" modal window where the user selects Classic Quizzes or New Quizzes. I've written a post on this in the New Quizzes Q&A/Forum. As our instructors' first encounter with New Quizzes, there are some words/text they will find alarming (like the easily misread implication that New Quizzes isn't secure). While this isn't as significant in terms of workflow as some later issues, it is nonetheless going to present an initial problem that will make some instructors mistrust or reject the tool and damage overall trust in Canvas.
Second, and this is perhaps the greatest problem from our team's perspective, is the New Quizzes workflow. My colleague @Benglert posted on this in the Q&A/Forum. The current workflow simply isn't logical, and will result in numerous support tickets on the Instructure side and within our institution. Please read the linked post for further details, but suffice to say our instructors and students will be quite upset with trying to respectively create and complete exams in New Quizzes as it currently exists. There may not be a greater threat to our institutional opinion of Canvas than fouled exams and grades.
Third, there is an inconsistent approach to tooltips/help text in New Quizzes. Sometimes there is help text or tooltips, sometimes there are neither. The implementation of help information within the tool varies in quality, quantity, and method. This needs to be remedied before this tool is pushed out to new users. I've posted on this issue in the New Quizzes Q&A/Forum as well.
Numerous Community folks have called out other issues with the New Quizzes workflow and functionality which our team also highlighted. I've compiled them here to both represent our findings and draw attention to these posts/issues. I've separated them into Instructor User Experience (UX) and Student UX, although there is some slight overlap.
Additional Instructor UX issues:
Additional Student UX issues:
Some of the above posts have "solutions" selected, but they're really workarounds and aren't what should be expected of a product that is the sole built-in/OEM quiz tool in Canvas.
Thank you to all the users whose posts I've referenced here.
If New Quizzes were an ancillary feature, a tool in this state might be able to be bypassed or understood to be in development. However, New Quizzes isn't an ancillary feature. Quizzes and grades are part and parcel of an LMS and perhaps the most key educational business process. Going live with a quiz tool that has the above listed issues will result in institutional mistrust of Canvas and be a headache for people across the support spectrum, from institutions to Instructure.
It may seem OK to have these issues still unresolved 8-9 months before the deprecation of Classic Quizzes, but customers' internal change management should begin long before that date - we can't just suddenly drop this on our instructors. Once we start internal change management, Instructors will be forced to interact with New Quizzes to varying degrees. What that means is that the "go live" date based on the current timeline is truly the start of Spring 2022 semester for us. Nobody on our team thinks this product is ready for go-live.
Instructors should not be forced to encounter New Quizzes until the above issues are resolved. Institutions need to be able to postpone change management until these issues are resolved. The current timeline for New Quizzes deprecation ("Prevent Classic Quiz creation" July 2022) does not allow for either.
Instructure, please delay the deprecation date for Classic Quizzes until after these issues have been resolved and give institutions additional time (after the issues are resolved) to run our own change management processes to introduce a polished, fully-baked New Quizzes to users (at least one more semester from the point these issues are fixed).