Within the Quiz builder, there are two options for creating questions:
- Build them directly on the platform
- Import them via a sheet or csv
Synap has a built in question editor that lets you: Write, format, add images, add links and feedback to questions. However we know that you need more freedom and the tools in place to manage your questions at scale with Syanp’s CSV question importer.
When do I need to use the question importer?
There is no limit to the number of questions you can write on the Synap platform using the built in builder. But here a few cases that managing your questions off a sheet may be easier:
- People from various teams writing questions for you
- Converting an existing bank or export of questions to put on Synap
- More HTML formatting options
- Creating EMQ (Extended Matching Questions)
- Internal unique id so you can identify your questions in exports
- Managing a lot of questions
So lets get into all the steps you need to know to get your first question sheet onto Synap!
Creating a quiz and locating the import template
Either through the course / collection builder or through the library. Once you’re at the point where you can create a quiz, give it a name and description and save it. Go to import and download the Questions template which you can also find at this link
Formatting questions on a sheet with the template
Once you have downloaded the question template you’ll be able to start working on it to put your questions in. The sheet contains some information about what each column is for. Do not delete any unused columns as this may cause the import to fail. Let's have a look at how to use the importer to upload a simple question and answers.
This is where the unique id that Synap uses to locate your questions exists. You need to leave this blank if you’re uploading new questions. This field will come in handy later when you want to update existing questions. But for now leave it blank
Use this id to call your question something so you or your team can identify it easily if you ever need to export it. In this example I’ve called mine charlottes_portal_exampleQuestion_q1. You can use a sheet
CONCATENATE function and
“_” instead of spaces to create this id, check out Google's guide on concatenation.
Remember this id must not have spaces in it!
Write your question in here, remember that you can put all sorts in this box using a little bit of HTML. For a full guide on how to use html in question editing check out this article on HTML for question formatting. If you’re not comfortable using HTML you can create your questions in plain text on a sheet and add the formatting in after through the built in question editor.
These are the answer options for your question. You’ll need at least 2, where one is correct and one is incorrect. But you can have up to 12 options. These fields also accept HTML.
Use the letter from the option field that has the correct option in it to make the correct option on the spreadsheet. This may be a single letter or separated by a ‘,’ if there is more than one correct answer
This field also accepts HTML. Use feedback to give your users reasoning into the answers of the question. This is handy if you are creating questions for revision purposes. In general if you’re writing an exam you do not need to use this field.
Tags are a really powerful way to manage your questions. Use tags to identify questions by a topic or difficulty and give students the ability to manage what they are studying based on these tags.
- No spaces
- Case sensitive
- Multiple tags separated by comma
EMQ Synap ID
This is a unique Synap ID that is created when a new EMQ is created. For a more detailed guide into EMQ creation on Synap check out this article. If you're not using EMQs please leave this blank.
Accepted inputs are
FALSE only. True if you want a calculator to show on screen during the quiz.
Time in ms
Leave this blank if you want to do an overall time for the quiz, this live slightly separately to the import. But if you'd like a time per question this field accepts ms
1 second = 1000ms
Accepted inputs are
FALSE only. True if you want the options to be randomised
Accepted inputs are
FALSE only. True if the question options are ranked and the user must reorder the questions to get the mark. Note if
Ranked = TRUE your Correct Options will need to be separated by a comma, ordered first to last in terms of order.
ie if Option A need to be at the top, option C at the bottom and Option B in the middle, Correct Options needs to be
Option Image URL
You may want to create a question that has an image in the stem as well as the options being images.
If you are not comfortable using HTML or have all the images stored locally on your computer you may want to use the question editor itself to create and manage these questions.
However if you want to manage it off the sheet you’ll need to get links for all the images you want to use. Use the Option X Image Url fields to paste in your image links for those options. Then in the Question field you'll need to rap the image link in
<img></img> tags. To look like this:
<img src="https://files.synap.ac/production/d41ebbf867d4032b24d0c334f3e71f85_image_synap_demo_mockA_mcq_abstract_1.png" alt=" ">
For more help on using img tags and images in HTML check out w3 Schools
Note - Only Unicode characters will be accepted by the importer. This does cover most characters you are likely to use but if you would like to double check, the below list shows all accepted characters. The importer will replace characters not on the list with a question mark in a diamond (�) so if you see this then the character that you had there cannot be added
Free Text Questions
Any questions which are not Free Text/Long Form will need to be labelled FALSE in the Free Text column, questions that are will need to be labelled TRUE. Use the Option A column for the question box label eg "Type your answer in the box below". You will also need to write "A" in the Correct Answer column
If you are using Sections all questions will need to be assigned a Section. Create your Sections on the platform and make a note of the External ID's. Assign each question the relevant ID before importing.
You sheet will look like this :
Importing questions and managing field mapping
Once you’re happy with your sheet, download it as a CSV and you’re ready to upload it to Synap. In the question importer, select your downloaded question CSV.
You’ll be taken to your import preview, can check everything has been pulled in correctly with the field mappings via ‘Manage field mappings’ and confirm them when you are happy.
From this view you’ll be able to check the images, tags and correct options before importing.
Once everything is how you want it, scroll to the bottom of the page and 'Start import'. If everything is correct you'll get a notification and a confirmation email. If something has gone wrong with the import you'll get an email with the error and a location on your sheet to resolve.
See the video below for all the importing steps together