Determine Where You Want Your Questions to “Live” in your D2L Course

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Determine Where You Want Your Questions to “Live” in your D2L Course

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Author :
Casey Henley & Susan Halick
Determine Where You Want Your Questions to “Live” in your D2L Course

CH Contact profile image
Author :
Casey Henley & Susan Halick


Use this document to consider where you want your questions to be located in your D2L course. 

The Locations

When you begin to create quiz questions in D2L, there are two locations to choose from:

  • Within the quiz itself

  • Within a question bank

Within the quiz itself 

You can initially create your questions in a quiz. This is the simplest model and it is generally used for exams that will be the same for all students, even if the questions are randomized/shuffled. In older versions of D2L, a random section had to be created, with questions drawn from the Question Library, in order to randomize questions in a quiz. This is no longer needed now that the "shuffle questions" feature has been added to the quiz settings. See the next item for reasons why you would want to use a question bank (Question Library). 

Within a question bank

This model requires a few more clicks because questions have to be imported into the quiz, but if you are looking to have a more complex exam, this is the way to go.

Question banks allow for the creation of question pools - a group of questions that test a similar objective. You can set up your quiz to randomly select a number of questions from the pool. Depending on the number of question pools, or the number of questions in a pool, it decreases the likelihood that any two students would have the same exam. 

How to build your Question Library (if used)

Even if you start by creating all your questions in quizzes, you can still import (copy) those questions into the Question Library later. Regardless of which location you begin with, any question you create can be copied to another location (Quiz to Library, Quiz to Quiz, or Library to Quiz). The system will let you know if you try to import a question to the Library that already exists. See the following case studies for ideas on how to organize your question library.

Case Study 1: A little faster to setup

An instructor decides to make the Question Library sections based on past versions of exams. Previous exams in Word can be converted in bulk with the Quiz Question Converter Tools opens in new window and then be imported into sections created in the Question Library. They can then pull from those questions to create randomized pool items in their new quiz. 

For example, suppose you have four different versions of Exam 1. Create sections for each exam (e.g. Exam 1-SS18, Exam 1-FS18, Exam 1-SS19, Exam 1-FS19) and import questions. Then, when adding questions to a new quiz, add a "Question Pool" and Browse the Question Library for similar questions from the various exams. For question 1, you might grab the first question from each section (exam) and setup the pool item to randomly select one from the questions chosen.

The system copies the questions to the quiz. It does not keep looking to the Library to pull them in. Even if the library section was deleted, the questions in the quiz will still be there. If you decide to add a question to one of the sections, you still need to bring it into the quiz.

To make it more secure, change up more of the questions. A larger question pool will produce more unique exams for each user. If you do not have many existing exams, create a new quiz, copy the quiz more than once, change each of the questions & answers, and then import those sets back to the library. This is a good way to build up a large pool of similar questions to select from. Contact the help desk if you need assistance.

Case Study 2: More time organizing but saves time later

An instructor decides to make the Question Library sections based on topics, chapters, or unit objectives. In this case, first bring your converted exam questions into hidden quizzes, and then from the Question Library, create sections and import all of the similar questions together by topic. This will make grabbing questions for your question pools easier to do. You can then select multiple questions at once from the same area rather than selecting questions from multiple areas. 

When working with a publisher that has test banks, you can often import quizzes or question banks directly into D2L with the import/export/copy function in Course Admin. Publisher test banks often contain errors but as long as they are checked, this is another way to quickly build up your question bank.

  • Why didn't the above instructions include copying from Library section to Library section?
  • You cannot import/copy a question in the Question Library to put in another section of the Library, but you can move the questions around within the library in order to organize it the way you want.


Contact the MSU Service Desk if you need assistance.

Posted by:
Dave Goodrich #iteachmsu