Issue with question pools without Question Library.

We ran into an interesting scenario: an instructor created a quiz with a question pool, pulling from the question library in a course A. Great! Then they copied the quiz only, not the question library into another course B.

The quiz copied just fine, and the pool is visible, but the questions are only (??) contained within the question pool?

#1 Courses are not linked — we were able to make edits to a question contained only in the question pool (course B), and it didn't prompt to update anywhere. The question was not updated in Course A.

#2 - Library > Pool can be relinked — copying the question library separately from Course A to Course B, did "re-link" the questions in the pool to the question library, but NOT questions that had edits. They still only exist within the pool.

#3 No direct import - You can't "import" from the pool to the question library within a course. Choosing the quiz with the pool as a source, shows no questions.

Where do the questions in Course B live?

I can see this becoming an issue quickly. Especially if instructors edit questions in a copied pool, but don't also copy the question library. Especially if they make edits. Is this a bug or expected behavior?

Best Answers

  • Jennifer.W.973
    Jennifer.W.973 Posts: 215 🌟
    Answer ✓

    @Jonathan.H.434 This is the behavior we have seen when copying quizzes that have pools but not copying the entire Question Library. The questions become "orphaned" and cannot be added to the Question Library or even to other quizzes. Any edits to these orphaned questions will only exist in the pool where you made the edits. We always encourage our instructors to copy the entire Question Library and only edit pool questions in the Question Library to avoid these problems.

  • Owen.H.60
    Owen.H.60 Posts: 1 🌱
    Answer ✓

    We had a conversation about this quite recently in our consortium. While it seems this is just the way D2L has chosen to provide the product—whether it makes sense or not—one solution to your 3rd point, assuming the original course and QL is not available to copy over, is to export the quiz with the pools, unzip, edit the xml to replace 'RAND' with 'SECT', save, rezip, and import (Import/Export/Copy). The resulting quiz will have sections instead of pools and you will be able to import from it into other quizzes or question library sections with in the course. I only tested this with a simple example initially to test the concept. It worked but given the way nested sections behave, or depending on images, etc., results might vary. One of colleagues at another school actually scripted the process to make it easier. Another option I tested was retrieving the pool using Respondus 4.0. In that case it works but you have to remove the random sets. It also resulted in a change to all the question titles. It was actually a little more time-consuming, but some might prefer it.

  • Brent.R.496
    Brent.R.496 Posts: 2 🌱
    edited February 9 Answer ✓

    I ran into the same thing recently with one of our instructors and used the method @Owen.H.60 described to import the questions. It worked beautifully! Why D2L doesn't make this easier is beyond me.

    Then, believing that anything worth doing is worth automating, I created a PowerShell script that takes zip files (one to many) in Brightspace Package format, identifies any quizzes therein (zero to many), converts all question pools to sections, and puts them back into package file(s) that can then be re-imported into D2L. The script ignores anything that's not a quiz XML file but includes everything in the modified package. It's best to export only quizzes and leave everything else behind, but if you choose to include more, it'll still work. You can export quizzes individually or all at once.

    I've attached the script in a zip file. I added a license to it not because I want to restrict it but just the opposite — I want to make it clear it's free to share and modify. Open to suggestions for improvement!

    Quick Steps to Use the Script:

    1. Unzip the attached file to a convenient location. It includes the script and necessary directory structure (though as long as you have the script itself, it will automatically create any missing directories).
    2. Export your quizzes from D2L in Brightspace Package format and place them in the 'input' folder.
    3. Open PowerShell, navigate to the script's folder, and run .\process.ps1.
    4. Processed quizzes will appear in the 'completed' folder; originals are moved to 'originals'.
    5. Upload the processed packages from 'completed' back into D2L.

    For more info, you can obviously look at the script itself or use get-help .\process.ps1 in PowerShell.

    This has only been tested in the Windows version of PowerShell. It should work for Mac and Linux users as well but has not been tested on those platforms. Let me know if you try it and have feedback, encounter issues, etc. 🤓