Proper documentation for CSV file format for questions, please.

Michael.Anderson433 Posts: 3 🌱
edited November 2022 in Customer Enablement

I've found the generic document available from within the import function of BS itself. I've also found identical copies of that elsewhere on the internet (re-posted by other educational institutions using BS). But I need some serious documentation so that I can import a large quantity of existing questions and generate additional questions (of all types) in software.


I searched the forum and found a related thread that over a year old, and there was someone from D2L that said the documentation would be updated. I'm hoping this happened by now.


As examples of serious omissions from the existing document:


- for "match" type questions, it shows the option

 "Scoring EquallyWeighted", but what are the other choices

 for the Scoring??


- for multiple answer questions (aka "multi-select"), it shows

 the option "Scoring RightAnswers", but what about something like

 scoring of "right-minus-wrong"?? What's the required keyword(s)


- for Short Answer questions, the document shows an attribute:

 "InputBox 3 40". What do the numbers mean? What other options exist?


- using BS normally, I can create Short Answer questions with

 multiple short answers (e.g What is your /first/ and /last/ name?

 ... and have two answer boxes. What is the CSV format for this?





  • Andy.F.437
    Andy.F.437 Posts: 34 🌱
    edited November 2022

    We use Respondus for this but I agree some proper documentation would be very useful.

  • Michael.Anderson433
    Michael.Anderson433 Posts: 3 🌱
    edited November 2022

    @Andy Freed​ Thanks for the tip. Found the website for Respondus; it could be an option but .... I have a large wealth of existing questions in CSV format. Murphy's Law says it's not in the exact format required by Respondus (if indeed Respondus can *import* questions), so I may be facing the same problem over again (can't import CSV questions).


    Given the size of our college (... and all the other places using BrightSpace) and the licensing fees being paid, surely it's not too much to ask for accurate / complete documentation of *existing* features? ... It's not like I'm asking for new features or functionality.



  • Michael.Anderson433
    Michael.Anderson433 Posts: 3 🌱
    edited November 2022

    A lot of time with trial-and-error reveals:

    Multi-Select (aka Multiple-answer or MA in BlackBoard):

    - Valid options for "Scoring" include: RightAnswers, RightMinusWrong, AllOrNothing

    - May be applicable to other questions with Scoring attribute, eg. Matching and Ordering



    - Multiple, successive "Answer" lines represent alternative answers for a single Blank

    - Tried putting additional, alternative answers in columns 4+; these were all

    completely ignored

    - the official example spreadsheet shows numeric values in the 2nd column for "Answers"

    In all my experiments, these seem to be completely *ignored* (tested with small values

    like 1, 2, 4 and larger values intended to represent a percentage, 25, 50, 100)

    - If "regex" is desired, ALL alternatives must be marked as such in column 4,

    otherwise default of case-INsensitive applies

    - Haven't figured out what the "InputBox" parameter does; didn't spend too much time

    - Still fruitlessly searching for a way to make multiple answer blanks; starting to lose

    hope that this is even possible from CSV format


    Still failing to find any documentation on CSV format for Multi-ShortAnswer or Fill-in-the-blanks type questions.

  • Jennifer.W.973
    Jennifer.W.973 Posts: 264 🌟
    edited November 2022

    For Matching and Ordering questions, the possible values appear to be EquallyWeightedAllOrNothing, or RightMinusWrong and the default is AllOrNothing if you don't use Scoring.


    For Multi-Select questions, the possible values include AllOrNothing, RightAnswers (called Correct Selections in D2L), or RightMinusWrong and the default is AllOrNothing. There is a new 4th option in D2L called "Correct Answers, Limited Selections" but I have yet to determine what value works (if one even exists) in the CSV file.


    The numbers in the 2nd column for Answers under Short Answer are percentages so you can give partial credit (same as for Multiple Choice Options). For InputBox, the first number is the number of rows and the second number is the number of characters long (just determines how big the input box will be on the quiz).


    Feedback for options needs to have an empty column preceding it, except for T/F questions. HTML and NOT HTML for Ordering questions refers to whether or not you used HTML code in the preceding column for the item. I'm not sure why this is only used for Ordering questions. Maybe it works with others too?


    After creating a sample CSV from the Algonquin generator, it looks like only NewQuestion and QuestionText as well as Option, Answer, Choice, Match, etc. (depends on the question type) are the only ones that are required. If you don't include Points, it defaults to 1. Difficulty is being deprecated soon, and students don't see it anyway.


    This is the only documentation I've found so far on this CSV format:

  • David.Speed4731
    David.Speed4731 Posts: 1 🌱
    edited November 2022

    I am genuinely baffled by the lack of documentation for the .csv approach, ESPECIALLY because .csv is much faster for bulk import. I need to have the 'Limited Selection' option for MS questions, but don't want to manually change 100,000+ questions.