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kbink
Adventurer

Subaccount Question Banks shared by multiple course instructors

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Hi Everyone,  

I've got a complex setup and I'm looking for feedback.  I have a department that wants to setup question banks that can be shared with anyone that teaches a specific course.  Here is a plan I've concocted to try to meet that need.  Will it work?  Am I being overly complex?

Background:

At our institution, each section of a course gets an automatically created empty Canvas site linked to the enrollment.  Our subaccount structure has college level sub accounts with departmental subaccounts underneath.  Those courses are each placed in an their departmental subaccount.  We also have college sub accounts for courses that do not have enrollment.

Here's the plan:

  1. I create a subaccount for each course in our non enrollment subaccount.
  2. Each instructor for that course (there are several), gets a "Quiz Creation Course" in that course sub account that is not linked to enrollment.  We think we need to do this because moving the enrollment linked sites to a subaccount will remove them from the level at which our institution does reporting.  Having these creation courses allows us to leave the live enrollment courses where they are supposed to be.
  3. The sub account will house multiple question banks for that course.  We are thinking it will be Topic-subtopic as the name, which should allow instructors to easily find the question bank they need to choose questions relevant to their learning objectives.
  4. Each instructor for that course gets admin access to that course sub account.  I think this is necessary to allow instructions to add/edit/delete new questions and question banks.  We couldn't do this at the department level - way too much access to courses with student data.  Doing this in a lonely subaccount with only creation courses with no students gets around this.
  5. Instructors create the quizzes inside their "Quiz creation course" using their access to the subaccount question bank.  There they will end up with a running list of every exam they create.  They print out their quizzes (print preview sounds like the best option) if giving a paper exam or import the quiz into the live course that is linked to enrollment if they are giving computerized exams.
  6. For any changes in questions or to create new questions, instructors use their admin level access to change the subaccount question bank.  If we need to control that, we can designate one person in charge of the question bank. We need to train instructors that every instance of a question in either course that it is merely a snapshot of the question.  For changes to stay they need to be made at the subaccount level.
  7. When importing a course into a new semester instance, we would select content and not import the quizzes or the "unfiled questions" question bank.  I think that is possible?  That would eliminate a constant increase and duplication of questions in the live enrollment site.

My big problems are - Do I have to manually type in questions at the sub account level?  Is there a way to get questions or entire question banks from a course into the subaccount level?  I hear imports and API are not available at the subaccount level.

I'm also concerned about the new quizzing tool.  I'm told the beta version of the new quizzing tool has its own question banks and does not connect ot existing question banks.  I'm also told by Canvas help that before our current quizzes go away, there will be a process that migrates all current quiz content to Quizzes LTI.  And then afterwards there will be a read only view of some kind, of previous quiz content. But will this include question banks, and worse what about question banks at the subaccount level?

Ok all of you who are way more experienced than me, what implications and consequences do you see for this plan?  How can I improve it?

Thanks in advance for any help,

Kalli

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
jenna_townsend
Community Member

Oh BOY does my district have experience with this!

Within my district, each content area creates a Canvas course where quizzes/question banks can be created and accessed by all teachers in that content area, which sounds a lot like what you decided on. Here's what we've learned:

1. The biggest downfall of this is that all of the teachers enrolled in the exam database course can edit the material in it. We sometimes have teachers accidentally delete quizzes, duplicate them when attempting to import them into their own courses, etc.

2. Another big hiccup was that teachers were importing a quiz they wanted, but not importing the corresponding question bank. This resulted in a quiz with no questions in their course for students. It just takes training!

3. An additional hiccup you might be able to avoid is to not have a front page homepage for your exam database course, just quizzes in it. If you have a homepage and a teacher accidentally imports all content (instead of specific content like a single quiz and its question bank), the homepage from the database course will takeover in the teacher's course--this is easily fixed but definitely causes panic!

4. For our high school teachers who teach multiple classes, we created just a "HS Science" exam database course, and then each class's assessments were in a separate module (see below). This way, teachers only had to belong to one database course, and could import all of their needed quizzes for their different classes. Also, when you import a module that contains a quiz, it also imports any corresponding question bank by default. Caution: Some teachers will import everything, even modules for classes they don't teach...

278578_Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 11.37.44 AM.png

5. Keep in mind that when looking to add questions from a question bank, Canvas will show teachers all question banks associated with their account (see image below). If a teacher links a question bank from the database course without first importing it, then the quiz will look fine on their end, but students won't be able to see the questions.

278582_Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 11.01.38 AM.png

Sub-account question banks sounded like a really great idea until I realized our district's sub-accounts are the schools, not the content areas Smiley Happy However, sub-account question banks would be a nightmare if it meant granting admin access to teachers--there are just too many other things they could change.

If you come up with any additional smooth ways to execute your idea, please share!

View solution in original post

5 Replies
kbink
Adventurer

Thought I'd let you know we went with a simpler solution.

In an existing subaccount that does not link to enrollment, we created a course called Biol X Exam Database.  We then enrolled the instructors into the course.  They can now control who can see the course with all the questions.  The plan is that they use this course to create the Quizzes.  If they are doing them on paper they print them.  If they are doing them on computer they import the quiz into the live course with enrollment.  Yes there are some tricky details about maintenance, but on the whole we think this will work.  Here's the guide I'm providing instructors.  This plan get's its first test run Fall 18.

jenna_townsend
Community Member

Oh BOY does my district have experience with this!

Within my district, each content area creates a Canvas course where quizzes/question banks can be created and accessed by all teachers in that content area, which sounds a lot like what you decided on. Here's what we've learned:

1. The biggest downfall of this is that all of the teachers enrolled in the exam database course can edit the material in it. We sometimes have teachers accidentally delete quizzes, duplicate them when attempting to import them into their own courses, etc.

2. Another big hiccup was that teachers were importing a quiz they wanted, but not importing the corresponding question bank. This resulted in a quiz with no questions in their course for students. It just takes training!

3. An additional hiccup you might be able to avoid is to not have a front page homepage for your exam database course, just quizzes in it. If you have a homepage and a teacher accidentally imports all content (instead of specific content like a single quiz and its question bank), the homepage from the database course will takeover in the teacher's course--this is easily fixed but definitely causes panic!

4. For our high school teachers who teach multiple classes, we created just a "HS Science" exam database course, and then each class's assessments were in a separate module (see below). This way, teachers only had to belong to one database course, and could import all of their needed quizzes for their different classes. Also, when you import a module that contains a quiz, it also imports any corresponding question bank by default. Caution: Some teachers will import everything, even modules for classes they don't teach...

278578_Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 11.37.44 AM.png

5. Keep in mind that when looking to add questions from a question bank, Canvas will show teachers all question banks associated with their account (see image below). If a teacher links a question bank from the database course without first importing it, then the quiz will look fine on their end, but students won't be able to see the questions.

278582_Screen Shot 2018-06-04 at 11.01.38 AM.png

Sub-account question banks sounded like a really great idea until I realized our district's sub-accounts are the schools, not the content areas Smiley Happy However, sub-account question banks would be a nightmare if it meant granting admin access to teachers--there are just too many other things they could change.

If you come up with any additional smooth ways to execute your idea, please share!

View solution in original post

Thank you so much for these!  At least now I know what to look for as we start trying to use it.  I've got one clarification question.  Do they have to import the question bank along with the quiz?  We've been recommending instructors do not link quizzes to question banks.  Instead just add the questions.  We are pretty new to Canvas, but I thought doing that basically created a copy, a snapshot of the question that would move on its own when imported into the new course.  If we have to move question banks too, this is going to be harder.  Can you tell me a bit more?

You are correct--if questions are added directly to a quiz, then the import with the quiz without a problem. If a quiz uses a question bank, the questions bank and the quiz must be imported over. If you are new to Canvas, adding questions directly to quizzes is definitely the way to start. Question banks have a lot of perks (e.g, making the creation of cumulative exams easier, allowing for random selection of questions, etc.), but they are more complicated--especially if you are also trying to get teachers to learn to import quizzes into their Canvas courses from an exam database course! Smiley Happy

chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello there,  @kbink ...

I have been reviewing older questions here in the Canvas Community, and I stumbled upon your question.  I wanted to check in with you mainly because there hasn't been any new activity in this topic since June 5, 2018.  It looks like you've come up with a simpler solution for this coming Fall 2018 semester.  Because of this, I am going to mark your question as "Assumed Answered", but if you feel that any of the above replies could be marked as "Correct", please feel free to do that as well.  Or, once you've had some time to evaluate how things went for the Fall semester, please come back and update this thread to let the Community know the goods/bads/etc.  Marking your question as "Assumed Answered" won't prevent you or others from posting additional questions and/or comments below that are related to this topic.  I hope that's alright with you, Kalli.  Looking forward to hearing back from you soon.