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Scoring Multiple Answer questions

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Hello Quizzes.Next Community,

Recently there has been some confusion about our plans for how Multiple Answer questions will be handled. This discussion unfortunately started as a comment thread on a user guide, which means many of us were at a disadvantage in noticing it. Some baseless concerns seem to have taken root and so it's important to clear things up.

A Multiple Answer question is very similar to a Multiple Choice except that more than one choice can comprise the correct answer. To get full credit, the student must select all of the designated choices. It is common that this question type offers a partial credit scoring option.

Quizzes.Next currently supports all-or-nothing scoring for the Multiple Answer question type and we will not be removing or changing this. We are considering the addition of a partial scoring option. Both scoring approaches would be available and when building an assessment, the teacher's preferred scoring option could be set for each Multiple Answer question.

We are interested in getting some more feedback about these scoring options and any others you may be interested in for the Multiple Answer question type. Please consider sharing your thoughts here.


Kevin Dougherty

Assoc. Product Manager, Assessments


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Accepted Solutions

Hi Kevin, 

The partial scoring is applied in Canvas Quiz too. I am not using Quizzes.Next, still my quiz assignment in my courses gives my student partial scoring in case of Multiple Answer Questions. Is there any way I can edit this option, If I do not want the partial scoring? Please do let me know, how I can edit the partial scoring option.


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As long as the instructor is in control of how points are awarded, I see no issues with the plan.

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello  @kdougherty1  and thank you for posting this as a discussion. 

At our institution we really need both scoring options to be available.  Many of our faculty would like to provide a list of possible answers to a question and have students awarded partial credit based on the number of correct responses they select.  This way students are given credit for the knowledge they possess and are not awarded zero credit for missing possible answers.  Allowing partial credit also gives the facilitator more freedom to include particularly difficult choices knowing that it will help identify what mastery level students have really achieved without concern that doing so may have dramatic negative impact on students who have not reached the highest level of understanding.  

However, our institution also has several professional programs like medicine and optometry.  Speaking with the deans of these schools it is common for national exams to have multiple answer questions where one does not receive any credit if all of the possible correct responses are not selected.  So in these situations the faculty may want to award partial credit on multiple answer questions in the diagnostic and formative evaluation stages of students, but need to provide some practice in all or nothing questions to help prepare students for national examinations.  This is one reason why having this option for each question in valuable, as opposed to it being set at the entire quiz level.

Thanks again for posting the discussion.

Community Member

Hi kdoherty and  @ctitmus 

If I understand the difference correctly, would it be possible to add a footnote to the feature comparison page: Quizzes.Next Feature Comparison explaining that Multiple Answers in Quizzes provides partial points only and that Quizzes.Next provides all or nothing only?

Thank you,

Joe Fahs (5-10-18)

Community Team
Community Team

Hi  @jfahs ,

That wouldn't be a problem at all. I plan to make that addition and update How do I create a Multiple Answer question in Quizzes.Next?‌ before the end of the week. Thanks for your comment!

Community Member

Thanks Cody!


What I usually see for multiple answer is, lets say there are 2 correct answers on a question worth 1 point, then

2 correct, none incorrect → 1 pt.

1 correct, none incorrect → 1/2 pt.

1 correct with 1 or more incorrect → 0 pts.

0 correct → 0 pts.

Learner II

I really like the idea of an option for partially correct; I think my users would expect to have that option.  The ability to have partial credit for almost all question types is one of the features my university lost when we switched to Canvas.

That said, partial credit for multiple answer questions can be difficult to define. The example provided by  @bgustin  is a good baseline model, but it gets more complicated when there are more correct and incorrect options.  The challenge is not only figuring out the scoring options but also explaining them so instructors select the one they actually want.  It can be hard to wrap your head around "not selecting an incorrect response is, in fact, part of the correct answer."

  • all-or-nothing
  • positive credit for correct answers with no penalty for
    • not selecting a correct answer
    • selecting an incorrect answer
  • positive credit for correct answers, with penalty for
    • not selecting a correct answer
    •  selecting an incorrect answer

I am glad to learn there will be an all or nothing option for multiple answer questions. Our nursing faculty have been asking for this for some time since it is absolutely necessary for them. Other instructors will need the ability to give partial credit so I hope that both options will be available.


...and then there are those (not me) who want to do this:

  • Correct: +20 points
  • Not answered: 0 points
  • Incorrect: -5 points

Although more related to plain MC, this is how our local math contest is scored. Options.