Step 3: Adding Questions to the Test Canvas

Once all of your questions have been created, you are ready to start adding them to the test canvas. The “Test Canvas” simply means the space where you arrange your questions; imagine it as the piece of paper on which you place your questions to arrange everything before you release it.

Activity: Create a New Test Canvas

  • “Build” a new test canvas by going to “Tests, surveys and pools” in the Course Tools menu (lower left menu) and choosing “Tests”. The page looks the same as the “Pools” page appeared earlier.
  • Give the test a name (that students will see).
  • Give the test a description and instructions (students will see these later).
  • Change the “Question Settings” to “Provide Feedback for individual answers” (remember to press Submit).

You now have a blank sheet of paper (test canvas) in which to add your pre-existing questions. Let’s do that now:

Activity: Adding Questions into the Test Using “Re-use Question”

Use “Reuse questions” and “Find questions” to locate the questions that you have built. If asked, choose to “link questions” and NOT “copy”, as this will enable you to make alterations to the question no matter what test the question is in.

Locate all questions that you want ALL students to answer, tick them and click Submit.

You can return to add more questions to the test canvas as you see fit. You can also drag the questions up and down to re-order them.

Creating Question Sets

A “Question Set” is a number of questions that you can set to randomly distribute to students as they take the test, ensuring that each student receives a different test. As an example, you may have 10 questions on a topic – you can create a “question set” from these questions and ensure that each student is randomly assigned 2 questions. In some cases, you may create a full test out of several question sets, ensuring that each student sees a personalised test.


Question sets are highly recommended; however, they come with one flaw. If you do not quality check your questions and an error is released to students (a single error in one question in the set), then some students will be at a disadvantage (they receive a broken question), whereas other students won’t be disadvantaged and will have the chance to get full marks.

Untangling which students received a broken question is impossible and the only solution is to discount the entire question set.

For this reason, we advise staff using question sets to use several question sets in their tests. This will allow a single set to be discounted and the marks for the test will be generated from the question sets with no broken questions.

Activity: Add a question set containing the questions you made earlier

Add a new question set to your test, choosing the “jumbled sentence” and “fill in the multiple blanks” questions that you created earlier (the quick fox jumped over the lazy dog).

Set the question set to show only 1 of the 2 questions to the students. This will enable you to show only 1 version of the 2 similar questions.

Activity: Assigning/Changing Default Marks

Can you see how to change the marks for each question? See where the scores for each question are visible and try to change a few.

You should continue to add, remove and move questions around the test canvas until you are happy that your test is set up as you would like it to be, before moving on to the next section.