Creating a Canvas quiz from a spreadsheet

A colleague recently received a question bank from a publisher as a CSV (spreadsheet) file. He wondered how to get those questions into Canvas. It takes a few steps, but there is a way. For those of you hate all the clicking Canvas requires for you to create quiz questions, you will love this.

This blog post from Kristina Wilson at the Northwestern University School of Professional Studies Distance Learning office will give you all of the instructions you need on how to use the Kansas State University’s CSV to QTI converter. Here is the short version.

First, download the Kansas State template. Here are their descriptions for each of the columns (see this page).

  1. Column A is the type of question: MC (multiple choice) and MR (multiple response) are used in this example. [See template.]
  2. Column B is not used but must be there.
  3. Column C is the point value of the question. It can be between 0-100 and up to two decimal places (3.33)
  4. Column D is question body. Q1 or similar if you don’t want to include the real question and have students see the questions online.
  5. Column E is the correct answer. The number 1-5 each correspond to the one of the possible answers listed in column F-J. In the example file, we use 1 to indicate a, 2 to indicate b, 3 to indicate c, 4 to indicate d, and 5 to indicate. For True/False questions, use 1 for True and 0 for False.
  6. Columns F-J are the possible answer choices. You can have 2 or more. [Add more if you need them. It should work.]

As far as I’ve been able to determine, the only question types available are multiple choice (MC) and multiple response (MR). If you’re able to determine that there are other question types that can be designated in column A, please let me know ( Thanks!

After you’ve entered your questions, save the file. This is what mine looks like.

Next, you’ll visit the Kansas State converter page. Click Browse to find the file you just saved with all of your questions in it, then click the Perform Conversion button. In your downloads folder, you’ll now have a zip file. Do not unzip it.

Last, go to your Canvas course. In course settings, click Import Course Content. From the Content Type menu, select the last option: QTI .zip file. The quiz questions will be available as a Classic Quiz, not New Quiz.

Happy quizzing!


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