Faculty: Quizzes

In Canvas, quizzes refers to any quiz, survey, test or exam that includes instructor-generated questions. Quizzes are assignments that can be used to challenge student understanding and assess comprehension of course material. The quiz tool is used to create and administer online quizzes and surveys. Quizzes can also be used to conduct and moderate exams and assessments, both graded and ungraded.

Canvas Quizzes tool allows for multiple question types (e.g., multiple choice, true/false, fill-in-the-blank, essay, matching, etc.), randomized questions, and feedback options. Quiz settings also allows for the customization of things like the number of attempts a student may submit, time limits, and the display of correct responses and feedback from the instructor. 

There are four different types of quizzes:

  • graded quiz is the most common quiz and rewards students points based on their quiz responses.
  • practice quiz is a learning tool to see how well users understand course material without providing a grade.
  • graded survey rewards students with points for completing a survey but grading is not based on right or wrong answers.
  • An ungraded survey obtains opinions or other information without providing a grade.

NOTE: Even though Canvas Quizzes are called quizzes, they are used to create any online, question-based assessment for a course, such as an online exam or quiz.

Creating a Canvas Quiz

To create a quiz, click on Quizzes in the left hand navigation bar, and then click on the + Quiz button at the top of the screen.

Canvas Quizzes allow you to create online quizzes and exams to asses comprehension of course materials. Quizzes have a variety of question types (multiple choice, true / false, essay, etc.) to choose from. Use the video above for a brief introduction to creating a quiz in Canvas.

Quiz Settings

You have a variety of settings to choose from when creating a quiz. These settings allow you adjust the instructions, set a time limit, whether or not students can see the correct answer and when.

On this page type a name for the quiz and any quiz instructions. Quiz instructions are available to students both before and during the quiz. If you have the quiz set to show one question at a time, the instructions will show on every page.  Additional options include:

  • Quiz Type (practice quiz, graded quiz, graded survey, ungraded survey)
  • Assignment Group (select the right group for gradebook weighting purposes)
    • Shuffle Answers (shuffles the order of answers for multiple choice questions)
  • Time Limit (in minute increments - 2 hours would be 120 minutes)
    • Allow Multiple Attempts (options include which score is recorded, and how many attempts are allowed)
    • Let Students See Their Quiz Responses (set student review options, including availability)
    • Show one question at a time (if checked, displays quiz instructions and one question per page)
    • Quiz Restrictions (allows a access code (password) to be set, and/or an allowed IP range)
    • Assign to (can be set for the entire class, a sub-set (group), or an individual)
  • Due (due date for the quiz)
  • Available from...Until (set an availability window for the activity if desired)

Click Save to save your quiz settings.

Learn more about adjusting quiz settings.

Question Types

There are various question types you can use when creating your Canvas Quiz. 

The quiz you've created is only a framework for the questions you want to ask. In this step, you can create the questions individually or select questions from a question bank that you have previously created.  

Questions are divided into Questions, and Question Banks (a collection of questions, organized by learning objective, etc.) Questions may also be randomly added to the quiz from a single question bank if desired.

To add a new question, click on New Question on the bottom of the screen, and choose the question type desired.

For information on how to create a specific question type, see...

Question Groups

A question group allows instructors to create a pool of questions that Canvas will randomly draw from. This creates a unique quiz for each student. After creating a question group within a quiz, instructors can either drag and drop questions into the group or pull from an existing question bank. 

Question Banks

Question banks allow instructors to organize all of the questions available for a quiz. By organizing questions into banks, instructors can quickly pull questions from across the course into single exams. Banks are ideal for creating midterms or final exams from existing quiz questions. 

Save, Preview, and Publish the Quiz

When you are finished, click Save. Once the quiz is saved, you can use the Preview button to view the quiz as the students will see it. Click the Submit button to return to the quiz details page.

When you are satisfied that the quiz is ready, you must publish it to make it available to your students. On the quiz details page, click on the Publish button or on the Quizzes page, click on the circle with the line through it next to the name of the quiz. Published activities will display a green circle with a check mark.

Grading and Analytics

Depending on the question type you have selected for your quiz, you may need to grade students’s submissions. Canvas will automatically grade quiz questions that have correct answers identified. Essay and file upload questions types require manual grading. Instructors should access the quiz submissions in SpeedGrader to grade any open response or essay questions. Instructors can also view analytics by question or student and allow additional attempts for specific students. 

Note that if you have chosen to use randomized questions, the question order will vary.  If you’d like to grade the same quiz question per student, learn how to grade one quiz question at a time.

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