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Will you ever add "short answer" type questions in Quizzes?

I find myself frustrated regularly that there is not a "short answer" type question that is included in quizzes. I'd like students to have the option to write a free response answer that is just a sentence or two not a whole "essay." I'd really like it to look like a fill-in-the-blank type question but doesn't require the instructor to provide a "correct" response.

It would be completely awesome if there could be multiple short answers in one question just like there are multiple fill-in-the-blanks now. Right now I'm working on a vocabulary page and each word has several things students are supposed to do -- identify the part of speech, describe synonyms and antonyms, use it in a sentence, but I find the current quiz choices lacking. Having an "essay" question for each of those parts would make the assignment incredibly cumbersome. I created a pdf form, but pdf forms aren't supported. I created a form in Word, but I have several students for whom word online isn't working. I wish I could just make the form in Canvas -- kind of like a worksheet. #

4 Replies
Surveyor II

I totally agree with @alallen ! I am assisting with a 6th grade life science magnet class and it is important that the students can synthesize their answers more than simply picking from multiple choice. I'm currently making due with the fill-in-the-blank option, but a "short open" response would be so much better, especially if it had the regex matching as an option. I'm not even sure it would take that much more coding to do (speaking as a former programmer) -- just make the fill-in box big enough for a sentence or two!




OMG how can this not be a built in option?

Am I really supposed to use an "essay question" if all I want is a two word answer?

Once again, this proves that the developers at Canvas (a) have never taught an actual class and (b) are totally unresponsive to their customers.


There is a Short Answers idea conversation currently accepting star ratings and comments.

@Steven_S made a helpful comment there which, for me, makes the idea of using essay questions for this purpose more appealing:

I find that the essay question type works well for short response questions. In new quizzes we can now set word limits to indicate the expected length. I do not believe students see a label calling it an essay question, but there is a open blank for question title that we can fill in with a label such as short response.

You have a valid point that "essay" questions with limited word count are an option. My issues with this solution are

  • you cannot have multiple "blanks" within one question.
  • there is not a regex grading option.
  • the "question title" you reference is only visible to the instructor, not the students.

These are my complaints and your mileage may vary, but I suspect others might have the same issues?