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Student essay responses in my Canvas quiz / exam are missing parts of their answer. What happened and where do I find their complete essay response?

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Courses that use the Canvas quiz / exam tool that require students to make use of the Math Equation Editor function (such as courses in Math, Chemistry, Physics, etc.) of the Rich Content Editor ribbon on Essay style questions may experience an issue where students' responses in these Essay questions are incomplete / missing aspects of their answers. Students may notify their instructors that a portion of their essay response is missing though they wrote and submitted a complete answer at the time of taking the quiz / exam, or the instructor may notice incomplete aspects of a student's submission when reviewing the responses.

The issue stems from students copying and pasting Math Equation Editor characters and symbols from either the text of pre-existing questions or their own previous answers into the essay question text box. When copying and pasting these characters / symbols and then continuing to write in the essay text box they run the risk of potentially continuing to add text to the LaTeX equation that determines what characters / symbols to display.

The essay response in the student's attempt at the time of writing will look correct and properly show their answer, but upon submitting and reviewing the responses instructors will see an incomplete answer. The student's completed response is still available and can be recovered to view in the Quiz Logs for the student's attempt.

This issue is only associated with the Math Equation Editor found in the Classic Quizzes engine.

The New Quizzes engine does not appear to experience the same issues with students copying and pasting equation characters / symbols from other questions or answers found in the exam item.

SOLUTION: View the Student's Quiz Logs for the Specific Question

  1. From the "Moderate Quiz" section of your quiz, click your student's name to view their specific attempt.
  1. Click the "View Log" link in to the top-right of the student's attempt results page.
    1. In the student's attempt, notice the lack of a complete answer in the essay question.
  1. From the "Action Log," click the question number of the essay question you want to review / recover the incomplete answer of.
  1. The student's progressively written response will be cataloged and viewable. Scroll down to the bottom of the Question Log for the essay question and find the last box.
    1. Highlight the complete HTML code displayed in the box and copy the text.
      1. To copy the text you can right-click with your mouse and select "Copy" from the menu that opens, or press "Ctrl" and "C" on a Windows computer or "Command" and "C" on an Apple Computer.

Clicking the "View HTML" button below the last box in the Question Log will just display the incomplete answer still.

  1. In a new tab, open a new Page resource or any other item in Canvas that has the Rich Content Editor available.
    1. Toggle to the the "HTML Editor" in the Rich Content Editor box.
    2. Paste the copied HTML text into the Rich Content Editor and toggle the "HTML Editor" again back to the regular view.
  1. The student's fully completed answer will be visible in the Rich Content Editor to be referenced when determining the students actual grade for their essay response.

The page or other item that is being used to display the student's response will encounter the same issue displaying the complete essay response if saved. You will only be able to view the full essay response in the editable Rich Content Editor box and not a saved page / item.

For more help, please contact [email protected].

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