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Academic Continuity

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Assessing Student Learning

Assessment of student learning and evidence of participation can be managed using a variety of tools in Canvas. Administer assignments and tests, facilitate discussions and peer interaction, and provide grades and feedback to students.

Discussion Board

Discussion Board Overview

Use the Discussions feature in Canvas to simulate in-class discussions and peer-to-peer interaction. By posing questions or prompts that require complex thinking and the application of concepts covered in course materials, instructors can encourage student engagement and collaboration. Instructors should provide well-crafted discussion questions with specific instructions and clear expectations including guidelines on writing style, number of posts expected, content (e.g., references), and length (e.g., number or words).

Discussions in Canvas can be graded or ungraded. Using graded discussions is an easy way to see all posts on one page.

Text Guides

Create a discussion

Edit a discussion

Assign a discussion to an individual, all students in a course, or a group of students


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Create Canvas Assignments

Assignments Overview

Students can upload different types of files to Assignments in Canvas, including documents, videos, and Google Docs. Creating an assignment automatically creates a column in the gradebook. Be sure to use assignment names that are descriptive, meaningful and consistent. It’s also important to provide students with instructions that are clear and include links to materials that are needed to complete the assignment. Setting due dates will ensure that students complete the assignment at the expected time.

Text Guides

How do I create an Assignment?

How do I add or edit details in an assignment?

How do I publish or unpublish an assignment as an instructor?

What assignment types can I create in a course?

What is the difference between assignment due dates and availability dates?

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Grading and Feedback


The Gradebook allows you to enter, manage, and release grades as well as provide individual feedback via the SpeedGrader.

Text Guides

How do I use the Gradebook?

How do I enter and edit grades in the Gradebook?

How do I send a message to students from the Gradebook?

How do I view assignments or students individually in the Gradebook?


When an assignment with a submission is created, you can grade the assignment and provide feedback to students using the Speedgrader. Speedgrader is a grading tool where instructors can leave inline comments, grades, and feedback for student’s work all on one screen. Speedgrader can be used with assignments, graded discussions, and quizzes. Some file types can be marked up for feedback directly within the submission. Instructors can also provide feedback to students with text, file attachments, or media comments.

Text Guides

How do I grade quiz questions in SpeedGrader?


Rubrics communicate expectations for an assignment and allow students to see what successful execution of the assignment criteria looks like. Canvas Rubrics also assist with grading—instead of hand-calculating grades, you can click within criterion cells and the rubric will total the points for you. These selections will also be communicated to students so they can see the quality of their work and how their grade was calculated. Contact your instructional designer for support with creating rubrics, or to see sample rubrics.

Text Guides

How do I manage rubrics in a course?

How do I add a rubric in a course?

How do I add a rubric to an assignment?

How do I add a rubric to a graded discussion?

How do I add a rubric to a quiz?

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Quizzes Overview

You can create a quiz to assess students with a variety of question types, including multiple choice, true/false, matching, and essay questions. The quizzes tool can be used for graded or practice quizzes, as well as graded and ungraded surveys. Many question types can be automatically graded, which makes this tool an efficient means of assessment. Essay and Short Answer question types require manual grading. Creating a Graded Quiz automatically adds a column in the gradebook.

CIRT Lab can create quizzes and question banks for you if you email them a Word document with questions, answer choices, and answers. Please submit exam creation requests 3 or more business days prior to your planned exam administration date. For more information, visit this Quick Guide. Respondus Question Format Guide or email

Text Guides

Creating a quiz in Canvas

Canvas Quiz settings

Create a bank of quiz questions

How to manage quizzes from the Quizzes index page


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Testing Options for Remote Instruction

Open-Book Tests
Carefully constructed open-book tests can assess student knowledge by posing higher-order thinking questions in combination with time limitations and/or question banks that give each student a unique question set. The tests are constructed such that students cannot be successful without having a basic understanding of the covered content. This can be achieved by asking students to respond to basic knowledge questions that don't need to be looked up, or to demonstrate their application of the content through higher-order thinking. The University of Wisconsin has a useful guide on Unproctored Online Assessments.

LockDown Browser
LockDown Browser adds another layer of security and is available for all quizzes in Canvas. It secures the testing environment by displaying quizzes in full screen without the ability to minimize the browser window. It also removes the ability for the student to perform other options that might compromise the testing environment: printing, screen-capturing; copy and pasting; the launching of additional applications.

Proctoring High-Stakes Tests
Zoom can be used by instructors to sit in on proctored tests for small classes using video chat functionality. Zoom is also very useful for makeup tests that the instructor monitors individually. In all cases, it should be used in combination with a password-protected quiz to ensure that students do not access the test until the instructor begins proctoring. Harvard University offers information about Proctoring a Closed Book Test with Zoom.

Honorlock is the online proctoring service adopted for use with remote instruction. Honorlock provides services similar to what a student would experience when visiting a testing center, with identity verification and capture of that ID, and monitoring and recording of the testing environment. The service uses a Chrome extension and records the webcam and screen activity during the exam period.

Each class will be able to use the online proctoring service for four exams during the Fall semester.

Information for Instructors  Information for Students

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