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New Quizzes: Create Item Banks from Excel

New Quizzes: Create Item Banks from Excel

(8)

I want to create a question bank from an Excel or csv file instead of one by one

12 Comments
Stef_retired
Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Thanks for sharing this idea,  @thienhb  Welcome to the Canvas Community. You might also be interested in supporting https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/2086-create-item-banks-from-msword .

davisz
New Member

I second this! Being forced to create questions one by one when they could be quickly generated in excel and pulled into canvas is the worst.

shustwit
New Member

Yes!!  Please!!

Hand entering the same 4 answer choices for a bunch of questions is a nightmare.  

csv or Word, either one...or both!

KGugino
New Member

As an instructor I would like to be able to import questions with csv (preferable) or even txt files so that I can import questions banks from outside of Canvas without paying for a third party program like Respondus to create qti files for import. Creating question banks in this way would be much faster than the current input method for quiz creation. This would also allow instructors to use quiz/test questions that they had developed prior to using the Canvas LMS.

Brad_Schmid
New Member

It should be possible to create a bank of questions and upload this file to canvas. This is possible in other LMS such as blackboard where you can upload a .csv file (properly formatted) and the questions will be imported. Canvas offers no way of doing something similar. This should be something that is easily done. I know there is a suggestion to purchase other software that will generate a QTI to import - why not have a way to allow us to make a file that can be directly imported?

wayne_smith
Community Member

For R, see: http://www.r-exams.org/

For Python, see:https://pypi.org/project/text2qti/

Also, I suppose what's needed (perhaps it exists?) over the longer-run is a general purpose, open, multi-platform Excel add-in (written in VBA?) that converts Excel files into QTI files (similar to the internal Inspera Assessment tool).

 

MarthaJaimes
New Member

I have been going around from one request to another in these Community discussions and I can trace them down to 2012. I wonder what is behind the fact that Canvas can't seem (or doesn't want to) create a solution to this. For me, this is a deal-breaker, I would definitely go for a platform that allows me to create my own questions and upload them without the time-consuming process that Canvas proposes. It is definitely outrageous that this issue still doesn't have a solution and Community team members' response is still the same at least since 2015: "propose this, vote for that". Yet no practical solution.

I use Blackboard in other schools and NYU Classes, both have different formats but both have a practical solution to creating test banks. I have been voting against moving to Canvas in these schools because I don't want to face this situation. I can't even mentioned the time I've lost trying to solve this on my own and the CSV to QTI converters I have found don't work and my school is not paying for Respondus. 

wayne_smith
Community Member

Martha, et al.,

I'll refrain from commenting about Canvas' intentions, actions, and behaviors because, frankly, it doesn't help educators with their (mine too!) evaluation and assessment pedagogy *today*.  I'll just say that, yes, there is room for improvement in this space and Canvas can and should help.

Canvas currently, even in New Quizzes doesn't import Excel (or even CSV) files, Excel is unlikely to natively produce QTI files anytime soon, and Respondus is likely to neither go open source nor offer an API for automation/versioning.  If I'm wrong on any of these issues, please correct me.

R/Exams (open source) has been available in one way or another since 2008.  The first peer-reviewed paper on it was in 2009, it went through a substantial upgrade in 2012, and is being actively maintained today (it was just updated two days ago).  K-12 and professors couldn't wait for programmatic testbank versioning and granular quiz/testbank automation pre-pandemic, and most certainly can't wait now during the pandemic when everything is online and remote.  This issue isn't just about faculty effectiveness and efficiency; this is also about maintaining academic test-taking integrity.

I'm not saying that there isn't a learning curve for R, but frankly, not much R is needed (mostly just the sample function and few other commands that should look similar to other languages).  Yes, there is also a little bit of learning for an "Rmarkdown" document (just an ASCII file) in the correct format for the R package to produce either a QTI1.2 .zip file or a QTI2.1 .zip file for Canvas (Classic Quizzes or New Quizzes), but there are plenty of online examples/templates to follow (I recommend starting simple).  Tables, graphs, equations, code input/output, and accessibility can all be included.  Or use Python too (but double-check that the QTI file will work with New Quizzes which we'll all be on later this year).

No single piece of software is a panacea, much less a replacement for an instructor, but at least it puts educators (back) in the driver's seat.

Best

Wayne

MarthaJaimes
New Member

Wayne, 

 

Thank you very much for your suggestion. This is incredibly helpful and it is definitely an excellent way to be able to do things faster and systematically. 

Best, 

Martha

callishelton
Community Member

This seems like such rudimentary functionality for an LMS...can't really understand why it's not available in Canvas yet.  Please put this on the fast track!

jongibson1
New Member

I would like to be able to easily import quiz questions from a CSV file (or Google Sheets spreadsheet). Kahoot allows users to easily import quiz data from a spreadsheet. I can then build all my course content in a spreadsheet and then export it to Kahoot. Canvas makes me laboriously add each question manually. This is time consuming and could be solved with a simple CSV import. 

DaveDixon
New Member

I support uploading from CSV with embedded HTML. I make quiz banks of 128 to 512 math-heavy questions in HTML and MathML. Blackboard supported this for uploading. For Canvas, Respondus will do this now but their tech support warned me that HTML/MathML is not supported and they can't guarantee that my process will continue to work. In fact, if I upload a csv into Respondus and do any editing at all, it wipes out the HTML/MathML.