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Virtual Campus: The Quiz Tool

Quiz Tool

See also videos at the bottom of the page.

This article is intended for those with little experience setting up a quiz using the Brightspace’s Quiz tool, and for those who’d like to build on their existing knowledge. You’ll find a list of best practices, tips and tricks, and extra information to help you create a powerful Quiz.

Properties Tab

The first step is to create a new Quiz. To do this, navigate to “Course Admin” and select “Quizzes”. Then click “New Quiz”.

Once you’ve got your new Quiz created, you’ll be able to edit the basics on the “Properties” tab. As you move through your quiz’s properties section don’t forget to save frequently with the “Save” button at the bottom of the window.

  • Name – Enter a descriptive name for your Quiz. Example: “Week 1 Quiz”.
  • Category (optional) – Select an existing Category for your Quiz, or create a new one by selecting “add category”. Associating a category with a Quiz allows quizzes to be grouped in the quiz list page. Example: “Week 1 Quizzes”. This step is optional, but a great way to keep things organized if there are several Quizzes within a particular module or lesson.

When you have your Quiz “Name” and “Category” specified, you can move onto the “Quiz Questions” section and begin adding your questions. Before doing so however, feel free to finalize any other settings on the “Properties” tab. Here are a few best practices:

  • Description – The description appears in the content sections of your course and tells the learner what the quiz is about before they click into it to access it This means that it is available before the quiz is available and before students even begin the quiz. Providing a brief overview of the quiz, such as availability, duration and quiz topics will help learners determine if they are ready to take the quiz, or whether they need to review a particular topic that it includes; you can include images, videos or hyperlinks in the description field. Select the “on” radio button to make this field visible to students.
  • Introduction – The introduction appears on the main start page of a quiz. This is where you can provide any specific instructions about taking the quiz. Fill out this field with any text, images, videos and hyperlinks that introduce the Quiz. Select the “on” radio button to make this field visible to students.
  • Page Header / Footer – Headers and Footers are optional, but if you’d like to include these in your Quiz, ensure that either, or both are turned on. The page header is shown at the top of every page in the Quiz, and the footer is shown at the bottom; these are ideal if your quiz is multiple pages and you would like to provide additional instructions/reminders throughout the quiz.

When you’re ready to add questions to your Quiz, move on to the “Quiz Questions” section and select the “Add/Edit Questions” button.

Quiz Questions

There are two ways to create quiz questions. You can add “new“ questions to your quiz directly, or you can add them to the Question Library and then “import” them into your Quiz. The benefit of using the Question Library is that questions can be reused later in the course (e.g. for a final exam). Through the question library you can also create sections of questions (e.g. Chapter 1 questions; Chapter 2 questions, etc.) which you can then randomly assign to students so that each student receives a different set of questions from each section (i.e. Question pooling function). For example, let’s say that you create 3 sections of questions (i.e. Chapter 1 questions; Chapter 2 questions, and Chapter 3 questions) and each section contains 25 questions. Later when creating the test that you wish to contain 20 randomly presented questions from your question bank, you can ask the system to show a certain number of questions to each student from each of those sections. For instance, five of the 25 questions from Chapter 1, 10 of the 25 questions from Chapter 2, and five of the 25 questions from Chapter 3, for a total of 20 questions. The system will then randomly select the questions to display from each of those sections for each student.  

Additionally, when you use questions built in the Question Library, you can see how many attempts have been made on that particular question across the different assessments in your course. You can see the average grade, a breakdown of learner responses to a question, and how many attempts there were at answering a question.

As you begin creating your Quiz questions, you’ll notice there are several question types you can choose from to assess your learners. Most setting options are similar for each question type, such as adding feedback or question hint options. However, there are some question-specific settings. To see all the options, make sure to click on “Options” in the top right-hand corner when creating a question.

Here are a few things to keep in mind while creating your Questions.

True / False Question

  • “True / False questions” should be statements rather than questions. Learners can read the statement and identify it as either True or False. Ensure your questions do not read as Yes / No questions as this can confuse the learner
  • To add to the complexity of a true false question and go beyond a simple statement, you can include a paragraph or some multimedia (i.e. an image) that would require the learner to evaluate the truthfulness of all statements as a whole.
  • Set the correct answer by checking the appropriate circle next to the correct option.

Multiple Choice Question

  • “Multiple Choice questions” should have one correct answer. If there is more than one correct answer to your question, a “Multi-Select question” should be used instead.
  • To set the correct response for a Multiple-Choice question, check the appropriate circle next to the correct option.
  • Consider clicking “Randomize optionsto present the options in a different order each time the quiz is taken by a learner.Note: Don’t select this option if one of the correct answers is “All of the above”.

Multi-Select Question

  • “Multi-Select questions” are perfect for questions with more than one valid response,or where multiple concepts are included in one question.
  • Ensure your learners know that they can select multiple answers by including “Select all that apply” in your Question Text.
  • Instead of manually typing out numbers before each option, you can enable automatic Enumeration (located under the options drop-down).
  • Avoid using NOT questions (e.g. Which of the following is NOT an attribute of emotional intelligence?) as they make the question more confusing, and don’t increase the complexity of the question.
  • The default style for multiple choice questions is Vertical, but if your answers are shorter, consider using Horizontal to fill up whitespace. Example:

vitrine mondiale


Written Response Question

  • The “Written Response Question” cannot be automatically graded by Brightspace and therefore answers to these questions must be manually graded by an instructor or TA.
  • This question type requires respondents to write detailed answers in response to open-ended questions. Using the “Options” drop-down, you can provide one of three different response box spaces (i.e. about a paragraph, just a sentence, expecting an essay).
  • Enable HTML Editor to be used for responses to allow more formatting options for learners’ responses.

Short Answer Question

  • “Short Answer Questions” are auto graded and should be used for questions that have a single, predictable responses. Example: What is the capital of Ontario?
  • The response can include multiple words, but there should be only one possible answer, for example, what does SCUBA stand for?
  • If the question has more than one response, use “Multi-Short Answer Questions”.
  • Answers can be Case Insensitive, Case Sensitive, or Regular Expressions.

Multi-Short Answer Question

  • “Multi-Short Answer Questions” are very similar to “Short Answer Questions”, but allow for one question to have several potential answers, multiple answers, each which may be worth a different amount of points.
  • This type of question is ideal for listing type questions. For example, “What are the 7 wonders of the world?”
  • Multi-Short Answer also permits one to provide a partial list. of items. For example, name 5 former Prime Ministers of Canada In this case, even tough all Prime Ministers would be included in the list of acceptable answers, learners would only need to provide 5 of the potential options to receive full points.

Fill in the Blanks Question

  • “Fill in the Blanks questions” typically involve a sentence or short paragraph with a blank field for learners to input a missing word or short phrase.
  • When using this option, make sure there are no other legitimate alternative answers.
  • If there are multiple possible answers, be sure to include additional answers by selecting the + Add Answer option and filling in the Weight (%)  For example, “She read a _____ (book -100% / novel -100%) about young wizards.”
  • The numbered “Text” fields are meant for the Question text. Add one “Text” field before and one “Text” field after a numbered Blank field to create a Fill in the Blank question.
  • Enter the correct answer within the “Blank” field provided and assign a score by filling the Weight (%) You can have more than one blank in a question.

Matching Question

  • “Matching questions” allow learners to match items (e.g. Match the fruit with its description) using a series of numbered dropdown lists.
  • Be concise in your choices and matches by using shorter terms and phrases. It can be very overwhelming to the learner when lengthy matches are used.
  • Consider leveraging this option for multimedia, such as image recognition.
  • Choices can have multiple matches.

Ordering Question

  • “Ordering questions” get learners to identify the sequence of events/items.
  • Events/Items are automatically randomized.
  • Ordering questions can be graded as either Equally Weighted, All or nothing (default setting), or Right minus wrong.


  • Add sections to your quiz to group and control the behaviour of a specific group of questions. For example, create a section of multiple-choice questions that are presented randomly to students, which is then followed by a written response section that has a set presentation order. 


  • For each question, you can use the “options” drop-down menu to add feedback which can be presented automatically to students following the quiz, or once their results have been made available. 
  • It is recommended to provide feedback on questions, especially if the quiz is being used as a formative assessment. Feedback should be clear and explicitly describe why that is the correct and/or incorrect answer. 

Final Notes

  • As you are creating new questions, you may notice a dropdown message at the top of the screen that reads “A new Quiz Creation Experience is available”. Feel free to turn this on and experiment with new features or leave it off. The new quiz experience is particularly useful for individuals looking to create a quiz with complex behaviour, such as multiple sections or randomly assigned questions.

Other Best Practices

Finally, before offering your new Quiz to learners, you should consider the following;

Restrictions Tab

  • “Hide from Users”–is checked off as the default when a quiz is created and will prevent learners from seeing and accessing the Quiz. Once the “Availability” (see below) has been set for a quiz, it is important to uncheck the “Hide from users” option, so that students can see and access the quiz once the availability dates are in effect. 
  • Due Date– Select this checkbox to apply a due date to the Quiz. Quiz’s submitted past the due date/time will be marked as late.
  • Availability– Use Quiz “Start Date” and “End Date” to specify the timeframe that the Quiz is available for learners to access and complete it. Please see the important note provided under the Timing section below. 
  • Timing– You can apply either a “Recommended Time Limit” or an “Enforced Time Limit” to quizzes.A “Recommended Time Limit” does not affect the termination of the quiz or the score. An “Enforced Time Limit” can be used to set what behavior is allowed once the specified duration is exceeded. For instance, after 30 minutes + the one-minute grace period, “prevent the student from making any further changes”. Important note: Learners are able to access a quiz up until the End Date/time and thus complete the quiz starting just before the End/Date time. For example, if a 30-minute (+one-minute grace period) quiz is available from 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., a student can access the quiz until 9:29 (and 59 seconds), and then complete it within the 31 minutes, meaning by roughly 10:01 a.m. Accordingly, consider using the due date field to keep track of late submissions. For example, the questionnaire is available from 9 to 9:45, and it is due at 9:32 (30 minutes + 1-minute grace + 1-minute to access and start the quiz). Any submissions handed in past 9:32 will then be marked as late.
  • Release Conditions–You can set “Release Conditions” that must be met before a learner can access a Quiz. For example, students must view all content pages in a module/lesson before they can take the quiz. If multiple “Release Conditions” are attached, users must meet them all before they can access a Quiz.
  • Special Access– You can give one or more students special access to a quiz, i.e., a longer time limit or a unique start and/or end date by ticking off the “Allow selected users special access to this quiz” You can also limit access to a quiz to a specific student or set of students by using the “Allow only users with special access to see this quiz”. These special access options may be particularly useful for providing access to students that require certain accommodations. 

Assessment Tab

  • Automatic Grade– Select “Allow attempt to be set as graded immediately upon completion” if you want users to see their score as soon as they submit their quiz attempt.
  • Grade Item– If the quiz is a graded assessment, we strongly recommend associating the quiz with a grade item so that the results can be automatically linked to the  Using the gradebook allows you and your students to more easily manage grades and feedback options.
  • Allow automatic export to grades– If you are leveraging the Gradebook, selecting this option will allow the automatic export of published grades to the gradebook. If this option is not selected, you will need to manually “push” the grades to the gradebook once the grades are released. Please refer to our Gradebook Guide for additional information on setting up the gradebook. 

Submission Views Tab

  • Add Additional Views– By default, learners won’t be able to see questions, their responses, or correct answers after completing a Quiz. However, they will see their quiz grade if “Automatic grade” has been selected (see above). Adding an Additional View, or changing the options of the Default View, will allow you to specify what a student can see after completing a quiz. By using an Additional View, you can also control when students are given access to this feedback, i.e. following grades being released or after all students have completed the exam. 

Reports Setup Tab

  • Add Report– Select the Add Report button to create a report for the Quiz to see statistics and details, including the class average, score distribution, and bonus questions. This is useful for analyzing the effectiveness of a quiz and identifying areas for improvement/redesign.

We hope you’ve found these tips useful and wish you the best in setting up your future Quizzes! Feel free to check out the videos below for a demonstration of these tools.


Revised on April 2, 2020 by Melissa Basgold and Youssef Zakaria

Brightspace Community Webinars - Better Quiz Creation 

Better Quiz Creation 


Senior Product Manager Marilyn Powers and Instructional Designer Stefanie Baldwin from Brightspace Creative Services team presented an in-depth look at the updated Quiz tool, demonstrating it's improved functionality and user-friendly interface. This webinar also explores effective strategies and best practices related to Quiz creation, such as using Release Conditions to help manage Course pacing and give Learners control over their learning path. Curious about the new Shuffle Questions feature? Check this presentation out! We also take a peak at future enhancements currently in development.

During this Webinar Stefanie mentions a document that she will make available; you can find that attached to this article (below).


Title: Better Quiz Creation

Duration: 58 minutes

Available On Demand



Watch also the videos created by the TLSS

Creating Quizzes

Adding Questions

Teaching and Learning Support Service (TLSS)

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Email: saea-tlss@uOttawa.ca 

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