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Canvas Quiz Creation - Tips & Suggestions
This page provides a list of tips and suggestions to consider while creating online quizzes in Canvas.
- Create your quizzes with the Classic Quiz tool whenever possible
The New Quiz tool has a few additional question types not found in the Classic Quiz tool, but the Classic Quiz tool is more reliable overall. Additionally, any quizzes created in the Classic tool can be duplicated into the New tool with just two clicks. However, you cannot move New Quiz content back into the Classic Quiz tool. Finally, quiz banks can be easily transferred between users with the Classic tool, but not the New tool. You can learn more about Classic Quizzes vs New Quizzes Canvas at this Knowledgebase entry.
- Quizzes can be used for all levels of assignments
Don’t let the term "quiz" limit your use of the quiz tools! Online quizzes are useful for creating standard homework assignments, quizzes, practice quizzes, exams, and surveys (both graded or ungraded).
- How to address concerns about cheating
There is no 100% guaranteed method to prevent cheating, whether in-person or online. That said, there are multiple ways to address those concerns in online quizzing:
- Shuffle the answer order (Canvas Guide)
- Shuffle the order in which questions are presented (Canvas Guide)
- Create more questions than you intend to use so that every attempt on a quiz presents a unique set of questions (See previous link)
- Use the availability window settings and time limits (Knowledgebase – Canvas Time Constraints)
- Hide answers until after the due date has passed (Canvas Guide)
- Use the Respondus Lockdown Browser or Honorlock proctoring tools (more information here)
- Determine what level of proctoring & restrictions are appropriate for an assignment
Faculty and students alike will have widely varying opinions on the use of proctoring tools, especially regarding the aspects that involve webcam monitoring at home. Remember that you can use the lockdown and screen recording functions of proctoring tools without requiring webcam recording. Consider the normal conditions an assignment would have in a face-to-face course when determining how you set your proctoring options. For example, students would be able to work together on a weekly homework assignment, but not for an in-class test. That's not to say that you need to use the same exact criteria online as you would for face-to-face version of your course, but it is one factor to consider. One other thing to keep in mind is the fact that introducing additional steps or software into a process can bring up new technical hurdles, no matter how reliable the program or technology is.
- Provide the students with a proctored practice quiz before they need to take a real proctored quiz
Both Respondus Lockdown Browser and Honorlock require the student to download and install software on their computer. Some students may have incompatible or outdated hardware which may limit which program(s) will work on their device. That is why you should have a practice quiz set up so that students can install & run the proctoring tool before they need to take an actual graded quiz with proctoring enabled. This way you can make sure your whole class is able to use the proctoring tool ahead of time and address any issues before the real quizzing period. This practice quiz can be a singular, basic question or an actual practice quiz based on your course content. It is a good idea to keep the quiz open all semester long and give your students unlimited attempts so they can test the proctoring software again if they end up using a different device at some point. More information can be found at this Knowledgebase page.
- Questions with objective answers will be automatically graded, but subjective answers require manual grading
Questions with subjective answers (specifically short answer or essays) will require you to manually grade them using SpeedGrader. Luckily, SpeedGrader makes it easy to switch between students’ quiz submissions when you have manually-graded questions or any grades to manually override. You can learn how SpeedGrader works at the Canvas Guides. This interface is used for assignments and quizzes alike, so it’s useful a tool to know about.
- Be deliberate with fill-in-the-blank questions
One drawback to fill-in-the-blank questions is that typos and different versions of the same answer will be marked incorrect. The New Quiz tool provides some additional options such as an allowable number of typos or if the answer just has to contain certain key terms. The Classic tool does not provide these options and will require an exact match (with the one exception being that answers are no case-sensitive). Because of this constraint, consider whether your question will be better suited in a different format instead of fill-in-the-blank. You can add a large number of accepted answers to cover the bases, but it will be up to you to be thorough.
Below this is a sample question where the variety of acceptable answers are on the lenient side. If we were to require an exact proper name, the top row of answers would be the only acceptable options. The number of variants you include in the answer list depends on the amount of precision you desire for the answer.
Fill-in-the-Blank Question: What university are you attending?
University of Wisconsin-Parkside The University of Wisconsin-Parkside UW-Parkside University of Wisconsin Parkside The University of Wisconsin Parkside UW Parkside Parkside UWP UW-P
- When shuffling question or answer order, modify the wording accordingly
With shuffled answers such as “All of the above” or “Both A and b are correct”, their physical ordering can cause confusion since they will be listed in a different order for every student. Tweak your wording to something along the lines of “All of these” in place of "All of the above" so that the randomized order doesn’t affect the literal meaning. On a similar note, if you have back-to-back questions that all use the same scenario or data chart, be sure to paste the data into all of the questions that rely on that information when you randomize your question order. The related questions to that scenario will no longer be back-to-back, so the data won’t be readily available on the previous question.