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Quiz Question Types and Behaviors

Question asked by Nicole Olthafer on Mar 7, 2017
Latest reply on Apr 26, 2017 by David Willmore


I am the project manager for our transition to Canvas @ UW-Madison. We have identified some quiz question types and behavior gaps with the Canvas quiz tool and were wondering if anyone is using another tool integrated w/ Canvas that meets these needs? We have been in contact w/ Instructure around these needs but wanted to ask the Community as well.


Thank you for your help.

Nicole Olthafer


Non-STEM Question Types

Question Type


Audio/Video Recording questions

Instructor asks a question in audio (or video) format and student must answer in same format.  Used by foreign language classes.

Drag and Drop questions

Student must drag some object onto a target surface.  For example dragging a marker onto a map or a text label onto a mathematical graph.


STEM Question Types

Question Type



Questions where the answer is a number.  A range of correct answers may be specified, e.g.within 1% or +/- 10.


Questions where the answer is a mathematical expression or equation.  Quizzing engine must correctly evaluate the student’s answer, even if it is stated in a very different, but mathematically equivalent form. Also the system must include some kind of “equation editor” for instructors to create and students to answer these questions.

Calculated questions with variable datasets

These questions require a numeric or formula type answers, but the specific question asked is based on one or more randomly chosen input variables.  The quizzing engine must use the values of these variables in calculating the correct answer to the specific question asked. Variable values can be generated from a range, sequence, or table where each row represents a “sensible” selection of related variables.

Calculated questions with shared variable datasets

These questions are like Calculated questions with variable datasets, but two or more questions need to share the same randomly selected variables.  This could be a “story” problem where multiple questions are asked about the same story.


Question Behaviors / Options

Option or Behavior


Award partial credit on multiple attempts

Student gets full credit for correct answer on first try and reduced credit for correct answer on later tries.

Reattempt individual questions

Student can re-attempt questions without starting the whole quiz over. Important when quiz is assigned for homework and student needs to understand one question before moving on to later questions.

Regrade after submissions

When instructor discovers a mistake on the correct response for a question after some students have taken the quiz they need to be able to fix that mistake and have system re-grade all completed quizzes using the corrected response.

Grade scale or Pass / Fail

Instructor supplies a grading scale so students see a letter grade or pass/fail in the gradebook instead of a raw score

Organize question banks

Organize question banks into hierarchical system of categories.  Hierarchy can be as deeply nested as needed.

Control of feedback

Feedback may be provided to students that is based on their specific response to a question, whether they got a question correct, or for their performance on the whole quiz.  For homework, early and frequent feedback is appropriate, for exams that the instructor wants to use in subsequent semesters, the feedback must be tightly controlled.

Grade analytics

Instructors are able to see a breakdown of the quiz scores across a quiz, including some visual representations of distribution and other significant statistics. May include question by question breakdown as well. Students may be able to see (with instructor control) some statistical information (class average, high/low score, etc.) when they look at their own grades.

Quiz behavior analytics

Instructors are able to access data suggesting how students approached the quiz including:

-attempt information (how many attempts it took students to complete the quiz/how many attempts they have remaining and the grade history for those attempts)

-timestamp information for questions/quiz (how long did students spend per question, per whole quiz, when did they start the quiz)

-order of answering (students generally skipped question 4 until the very end)

-progression of answers for a single question (first the student answered B which was correct, then they changed their answer to C which was incorrect)