Question of the Week

Each week we'll use this space to share a question (or more!) that we've received about Quercus and other Academic Toolbox tools.

This week's question is: "How can I make sure students receive partial marks for choosing a correct response on Multiple Answer Quiz Questions?"

This Week's Faculty Question

Q: I am a teaching team member for a course and we use weekly Quercus quizzes (using Classic Quizzes) for our students. Most of the quiz questions are Multiple Choice or Multiple Answer. We've noticed a situation with Multiple Answer questions where students are apparently not receiving the correct marks for selecting correct responses. As an example, we have a multiple answer question marked out of 1 point. The questions has 3 correct answers and one incorrect answer. Shouldn't students be receiving partial marks when they choose one or of the 3 correct responses? We're finding that some students are being deducted the full 1 point instead of being given a partial mark for selecting one of the correct responses. Is there a way to set up the quiz to enable giving partial marks?  Or, do students have to select all the correct responses to get points for these questions?

A: Multiple Answer Questions in Classic Quizzes are already set up to assign partial marks for selecting one or more correct responses. However, they are also set up to deduct partial marks for selecting an incorrect response. Essentially, to calculate scores for Multiple Answers quiz questions, Quercus divides the total points possible by the number of correct answers for that question. This partial amount is awarded for every correct answer selected and deducted for every incorrect answer selected. No points are awarded or deducted for correct or incorrect answers that are not selected.

In your example, you created a Multiple Answer quiz question with 1 point that includes three correct choices and one incorrect choice. That means that if a student selects two correct answers and one incorrect answer, they would be awarded a total of 0.33 total points for that question. This would be calculated by awarding 0.33 points (1 total point divided by 3 correct answers) for each correct answer and by subtracting 0.33 points for the incorrect answer: 2 correct answers * 0.33 - 1 incorrect answer * 0.33). 

So, students do not have to select all of the correct answers to receive partial marks. However, if they select one correct answer and one incorrect answer, those marks could cross each other out. To use your question as an example, these students would receive .33 points for selecting a correct response, but be deducted .33 points for selecting an incorrect response. As a result, their score on that question would be zero (0) points. This is likely what is happening in those cases where your students are being decducted a full point for their responses, even though they selected a single correct response.

Unfortunately, the way the points are currently calculated for these questions is set by the system and cannot be changed.

For additional details on how scores are calculated for Multiple Answer questions in Classic Quizzes, please review the Canvas Instructor guide: 

For additional assistance with setting up quizzes in your Quercus courses, please contact us at fase.edtech@utoronto.ca or book a consultation.  

Have a Quercus (or EdTech) question? Please contact FASE's EdTech Office.