Importing CATE Quizzes to Canvas

Our Instructional Systems Designer, Bill Stone has created a tool to migrate most of a CATE course to Canvas. CATE quizzes will require an extra set of steps to be migrated to Canvas. Following are the procedures.


To transfer from CATE to Canvas requires a Moodle course as an intermediary step. The Moodle course does not have to be an actual course (a Practice and Training course is suitable) but it will act as a shell to import from CATE files and export in the proper format for Canvas.

Step 1: save as gift file

See also: CATE Help Document on how to export.

Each test should be exported as a separate .txt file in the gift format, instead of all exported as a .zip file.

  1. Log into your CATE account and go to your Test and Exercise module.
  2. In the horizontal row of buttons under the "Help" navigation near the top of the page, click the "Export as GIFT" button.
  3. You'll see a list of all the directories in your CATE File Management area, each with a corresponding radio button.
  4. Click the corresponding radio button to choose the directory to hold the exported file(s). (If you haven't already done so, you might want to go to the File Management module and create a suitable directory before proceeding. See CATE guide for Creating Directories)
  5. Click the "Select Directory to Hold Files for Export as GIFT" button at the top or bottom of the page.
  6. You'll see a list of your tests, exams, quizzes, practice exercises, etc, each with a corresponding checkbox.
  7. For each item you want to export, select the corresponding checkbox.
  8. Click the "Select Tests and Export as GIFT" button at the top or bottom of the page.
  9. The selected items will be exported, each one as a text file in GIFT format in the directory you selected. The original test in your CATE module will remain unchanged.
  10. You can immediately right-click on the name of the exported file to download it to your local computer, or you can navigate to your File Management module and do so at any time. (Alternatively, at the bottom you can click on the link to the zip package in order to download all the exported files.)
  11. After right-clicking to download the file to your local computer, you can use the usual Moodle routines to upload the file and import it into your Moodle testbank with the GIFT option. (See Moodle documentation for more information on importing GIFT files.)
  12. After uploading it to Moodle and successfully importing your questions and answers into your testbank, you can delete the GIFT file(s) from your CATE account.

Notes on CATE exports

  1. All types of CATE questions can be exported.
  2. However, the "case-sensitive short answer" type of CATE question can only be handled by the Moodle GIFT format as case INSENSITIVE.
  3. Instructions and directions in CATE tests (at the test level, set level, and question level) will be exported.
  4. Images, links, and feedback in CATE tests will NOT be exported.
  5. Test names will be slightly altered in order to serve as file names.
  6. Any file in the selected directory will be automatically overwritten if you export another test with the same name to the directory. You can download before you overwrite, or you can export again if a file was overwritten.
  7. If you download the .gift files all at once, they will be saved in a .zip folder you will need to unzip.
  8. Go through each .TXT file and replace all ellipses(...), curly quotes({ }), dashes(-) and apostrophes(') with the corresponding characters. This may take copying their correct symbol from Word document and utilizing a “Replace All” action in Notepad.


  1. Go to Moodle and Import GIFT txt file
  2. Create a new category in Moodle for each test (Within the Question bank administration tab)
  3. Administration > Question Bank > Import
  4. Select Gift format
  5. Choose file, Import button
  6. Continue button


Export the entire course by backing up, choosing just the quiz bank.

  1. Administration > Backup
  2. In Backup Settings, turn off all except Include question bank
  3. Next button
  4. Include screen - turn off all options on this screen using the none button
  5. Next button
  6. Shorten the file name at the top of screen
  7. On next screen > click Perform Backup button
  8. Screen showing that backup was created successfully
  9. Continue button
  10. Scroll down to see Download link - click to download


See also the Canvas Guide on Importing Quizzes

  1. Settings (on the left nav) > Import Content into this Course (on the right nav)
  2. From Import Content drop down, choose Moodle 1.9/2.x
  3. Choose File
  4. Set Default Question bank 
  5. Content > Select specific content
  6. Import button
  7. In Current Jobs - see progress, then Select Content button
  8. Select Content screen – expand Question Banks drop down, select all check boxes for desired tests, click on Select Content button
  9. In Current Jobs - watch progress

Step 5: IN CANVAS Create a New Quiz

  1. Click on Quizzes in the left nav
  2. Click on Add Quiz in the upper right
  3. Name your quiz
  4. Select the Questions tab
  5. Click on Find Questions
  6. On the left side select the desired question bank
  7. Either click Select All or chose which questions to add to the quiz by selecting each check box individually.
  8. Scroll to the bottom
  9. Click on Add Questions
  10. Click Save in the lower right


See the Canvas Guide: How to Create a Question Bank

NOTE: After naming the question bank, be sure to hit the Return key (Mac) or Enter key (PC) to actually create the bank after putting in the name.