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Sort or match – four different question types in Canvas New Quizzes

These question types ask the student to sort or match different statements in different ways. Incorrect answers which should not be used (distractors) are allowed in the question types “Matching”, “Categorization” and “Fill in the Blank –Word Bank or Dropdown”, but not but not in “Ordering”. Here we explain the question types and their recommended use.


This question type gives the student the task of matching two options with each other, for example questions and answers or descriptions and objects. In order to make it more of a challenge you can include “distractors”, which is incorrect answer options.  

Read more about “Matching” at Canvas Community .

Recommended to match answer options

Since “Matching” only allows matching answer options in pairs, the question type is best suited for questions with unambiguous answers, for example matching the names of physical quantities to the right symbol or unit. Keep in mind that all alternatives should be formulated to appear as credible matches, otherwise the incorrect answers stand out.  

Also keep in mind that that if exclusion can be used to solve the question, it is sometimes good to add more incorrect alternatives (called “distractors” in Canvas).


This question type is used to sort various objects into categories. You can choose how many categories you want to use and their names. It is also possible to add “distractors”, which is answer options that do not belong to either category.

Read more about “Categorization” at Canvas Community .

Recommended for clear categories

“Categorization” is best suited when multiple objects can be matched with the same category and when there are multiple clear categories. For example, a language quiz can ask the students to sort a number of words into the categories “verbs”, “nouns”, and “adverb”.


“Ordering” is a question type where sentences or short pieces of text must be sorted into a correct order. You can add labels at each end of the order to make it clearer for the students where the order begins and ends.  

Read more about “Ordering” at Canvas Community .

Recommended for showing step-by-step implementation

This question type is suitable for tasks that must be done step-by step, for example in which steps a calculation or laboratory is to be carried out. Facts presented in a numbered list are often suitable for this type of question.

You can also use the question type for, for example, timelines and orders of prioritization.  

Fill in the Blank – Word Bank or Dropdown

In the question types “Word Bank” and “Dropdown” you enter a text where certain words are replaced with an empty box which the students must then fill in by choosing from the options you have specified. The students can find the options in a word bank under the question and can drag the words from it, or in a dropdown menu by the empty box.  

To choose this question type, first choose “Fill in the Blank”, and then “Word Bank” or “Dropdown” in the question type settings.

Read more about “Fill in the Blank” at Canvas Community .

Recommended for longer question texts with short answers

This question type have the same characteristics as “Multiple choice” but with a different layout that makes the question more suitable for longer question texts with short answers. If you create a quiz with only questions of the type “Multiple answers”, this question type can increase the variation for the students without big changes to the question material.