Canvas Resource CenterBEGIN HEREMaking the Most of Canvas Quizzes (Classic Quizzes)How do I convert an MS Word test to a Canvas question bank?

How do I convert an MS Word test to a Canvas question bank?

You will learn two methods on how you can convert your pre-existing quiz/test/exam in a Microsoft Word document into a question bank (or Quiz) you can add to a Quiz in your course in Canvas.

I want to use Respondus 4.0 as an intermediate.

You will learn how to format your existing (or new) exam/test/quiz in Microsoft Word, so that it will easily import into Respondus where you can then upload it to your course in Canvas.

This guide will show you how to import Multiple Choice questions (images embedded in the Word document will port into Respondus without you needing to do anything other than follow these steps.

For a detailed description for other question types (T/F, fill-in-the-blank, essay, etc.) and options (title, feedback, etc.) see the Respondus PDF guide starting on page 41.  

1. Number each question.

Use a number followed by a "." or a ")".

Example: 3)

Example: 3.

2. All answers must begin with a letter followed by a "." or ")".

It doesn't matter whether you use small or capital letters.

Example: b.

Example: B)

3. By default the correct answer is always "a".

If you do not mark a correct answer, then the first answer is always considered to be the correct answer.

In order to mark a different answer as the correct answer, use an "*" before the letter with no space.


a. Wrong answer
*b. Correct answer
c. Wrong answer
d. Wrong answer

So, a set of questions might look like this.

Remember, it doesn't matter if I use small letters or large, A ")" or a ".". Also, "A" is always the correct answer unless a different answer is marked with an "*".

formatted questions

1. After formatting your Word document, open Respondus and select Import Questions from the Start menu.

Import Questions link selected

2. Select Microsoft Word 2007 (DOCX) for Type of file.

After clicking the Import Questions button the Import Questions Window appears. This form has several fields of data that must be completed. In the Import Questions window specify the Type of file. For this example, select Microsoft Word 2007 (DOCX).

Microsoft Word 2007 selected

3. Use the Browse button to select the DOCX file where your questions are located.

Browse button selected

4. Select Create a new document.

You can specify whether the questions should be appended to the currently open file or whether to create an entirely new file in which to save the imported questions. Each question being imported will have a "title". If you don’t specify a title for each question in the text file, Respondus will automatically use the first 20 characters of the question wording as the question title. Alternatively, titles can be based on a specific string of text which will then be followed by consecutive numbering starting with 001. 

Create a new document is selected

5. Click the Preview button.

This will enable the user to review the file being imported for errors. If any are reported, return to the original Word file and correct the errors. Then, redo the process shown in this guide.

Preview button selected

6. Click Finish to import the questions from the MS Word document.

Finish button selected

6. The questions display in the Question List section.

Once the import process finishes, the Edit view opens. This window allows you to edit, view, and delete questions from the file created or appended to during the import process. All imported questions are shown at the bottom of the page in the Question List.

Question list displayed

7. Click on a magnifying glass icon to view a question.

This will open the item in a preview window.

Question preview
I want to use TITANium as an intermediate.

In this process, you will need to access TITANium. If you don't have access to TITANium, do not follow these steps. Follow the other process using Respondus 4.0.

1. Open your Microsoft Word Document.

word plain text sample

2. Save your MS Word document as plain text (UTF-8).

3. Enter your TITANium Sandbox course.

It will be easiest for you to use a Sandbox or other blank course. If you need a new course to work with, contact to ask them to make an additional Sandbox course for you.

5. Create a backup of your Sandbox course.

Pay special attention to step 9 in that article, download and save the course backup file to your local computer.

6. Login to Canvas from the Portal.

portal Canvas link
7. Create a new sandbox course in Canvas.

Follow these steps to create a new course for you to use.

7.1. Click Start a New Course.

start a new course button

7.2. Type a name for the Course Name.

Course Name field is selected

7.3. Click Create Course.

Create course button is selected

8. In the new course just you created, click Settings.

settings link selected

9. Select Import Course Content.

import Course Content is selected

10. Using the Content Type dropdown menu, select Moodle 1.9/2.x.

Moodle 1.9/2.x selected

11. Use the Browse button to select the TITANium course backup file you created and saved earlier.

select specific content then import

12. Under content, Select Specific Content.

Select specific content is selected

13. Click Import.

Import button selected

14. After the file uploads, click on Select Content.

Stay on the processing page until it gives you the option to click Select Content. It may take a few moments.

Select Content button selected

15. Select Question Banks, then click Select Content.

Note: if you have added any images or video to your questions, then you will also need to tick the checkbox for Files as well.

Question Banks is ticked.

16. Click Select Content.

Select Content button is selected

Article Summary

You have now imported a Microsoft Word-based quiz/exam to your course in Canvas. Next, you should create a Quiz and link the quiz and this question bank.