Assessment Tips for Faculty

There are several steps that you, as the instructor, can take to make online assessment a successful piece of your course(s):

Recognize that things may go wrong and devise a plan of action

Think ahead of time about what you will do if students get locked out of a quiz, if Canvas is experiencing issues, or if there is a power outage.  Provide instructions ahead of time in your syllabus, so students know what to do in case of technical difficulties.

Double check your assessment questions and answers

This sounds like a given, but this step in the assessment creation process is often overlooked. It is much easier to change an answer before students take an assessment and proofreading on your part will prevent student confusion and mass emails during and after an assessment. Also, be sure to check test bank questions and answers for accuracy.

Test Settings and Options

A misunderstanding of how a Quiz option works may lead to student complications when attempting a quiz in Canvas.  To minimize testing problems you should have a clear understanding of the test settings and options before your students begin an assessment.

Quiz Type: It is important to understand the different types of quizzes Canvas offers and to select the one that is most appropriate for the current purpose.  While it is possible to switch the Quiz Type after students have begun taking it, it is not advised and can lead to multiple test versions being created.  See What quiz types are available in Canvas courses? for more information.

Time Limit: Designate how much time students have to complete the assessment (note- you can set extended times for individual students to provide testing accommodations).  If a student is taking a quiz when the Available Until day/time is reached, the quiz will automatically submit, even if they still have time left on the timer. Our recommendation to avoid that issue is to set a Due date for quiz completion and set the Until date to Due date plus quiz time.

Multiple Attempts: Multiple Attempts allow your students to take an assessment more than one time. By default the highest scored attempt is the one that displays in the grade book; though this option can be changed as well.

Feedback: These options allow you to decide how much information is given to the students immediately after completing the test. See What options are available in Canvas quizzes? for a full explanation of all the feedback options.

Assign To: This option allows you to limit the test to: everyone, groups, sections, and by individual students.

Due: Any quizzes that are submitted after the due date are flagged as late in the Grades area.

Available from: This option controls when students can begin taking the assessment.

Until: This options controls when the assessment ends.  If the student is in the middle of taking the assessment when the availability period expires, their assessment automatically submits.

For a full description of all the Quiz options read What options are available in Canvas quizzes?.

Perform a “Dry Run” of your assessment

Enter “Student View” from the Settings area of your course, and navigate to the assessment to take it from a student’s perspective.  Conduct this “dry run” to troubleshoot any issues or potential confusion your students may experience.

Related Articles