Transferring Existing Exams to Canvas Quizzes

Canvas Quizzes allows you to create a variety of test questions from multiple choice to matching to fill-in-the-blank. It even has options for providing programmed feedback and creating ungraded quizzes for student practice.

However, sometimes instructors have pre-existing exams they want to transfer into Canvas. There are several ways to do this depending on the number of questions in the exam and the question types.

Exams of 100 questions or less

Create a Quiz Question Bank in your course and add questions to the bank. Cut and paste text from your exam document into the text boxes in each question. This may feel tedious, but you only have to do this once. The question bank can be connected to other quizzes and other courses.

You can learn how to create a quiz question bank for your course here.

Exams of 100 question or more (multiple choice or multiple answer questions only)

You can create documents that can be uploaded to Canvas that will automatically create quiz questions that are multiple choice and multiple answer question types. However, it is a lengthy process and is only advisable if you have 100 questions or more in your exam.

First, you must create a file in Excel (in Windows) or Numbers (in Mac) that fits a specific format that can be converted into a QTI file. You can download the file format example on the Kansas State University webpage.

Next, use the Kansas State University QTI Converter Tool to convert your .csv file to a QTI .zip file and save it to your computer. DO NOT unzip the folder.

To import the QTI file into Canvas, open your course Settings in the sidebar on the bottom left-hand side of your course page.

Click Import Course Content on the right side of the page. On the Import page, select “QTI .zip file” in the dropdown menu under Content Type.

Click Choose File and select the converted file from your computer hard drive (it will be wherever you saved it or in the Downloads folder by default).

In “Default Question Bank,” select a question bank or create a new one. BE SURE TO SAVE IT TO A QUESTION BANK if you want to use the content in another quiz or another course.

Click Import. Once the file has finished uploading, your content will appear under the Quizzes tab as an unpublished quiz. You must click Publish for students to see it.

Essay Question Exams or Creative Performance Exams

Essay exams are very easy to create and grade in Canvas.

First, select Add a New Question in your question bank. Select Essay Question from the dropdown menu. Copy and paste your exam text into the essay question textbox. You can insert images, videos and weblinks to augment your question stimulus. Then select Update Question.

You will have to manually grade the essay response. Canvas Quizzes offers many forms of providing feedback to essay exams through the SpeedGrader. You can add text feedback to individual questions and you can record video and audio feedback to the entire exam through the SpeedGrader recording tool. There is also a Speech-to-Text feedback tool in SpeedGrader. Watch a Screencast on How to Grade an Essay Test in SpeedGrader here. Learn how to create essay questions here . Learn how to  provide feedback to quiz questions in SpeedGrader  and  provide feedback to entire exams SpeedGrader here.

Another option is to create a File Upload quiz question. You will create this question just like an Essay question. The only difference is the student will be able to upload a text, image or video file instead of being presented with a textbox to in which to write an essay response. You can use this option to test a student’s ability to find and identify a genre of art from the internet. Or you can use it as a timed performance assessment to create an artistic piece that fits given criteria. Learn how to create file upload quiz questions here.