Preparing your online assessments in Canvas

Online assessments raise academic integrity red flags, but there are some ways to create your quizzes to reduce those risks.

Canvas allows for 10 different question types as well as file uploads. Of these, essay or short answer questions are the easiest to control for original student responses. However, these items take much more time to grade—even with the Speedgrader function! The built-in Turnitin function can help to control for similar responses or copying from notes or online.

Adding a time element to your quizzes forces students to answer questions without having the chance to consult notes and others. If you are creating a multiple-choice quiz, you can randomize the question order in Canvas’ Quizzes to prevent students comparing answers. If you are unsure of what time limit to set, you can have a colleague or TA test out the quiz, time how long it takes them to complete it, and add some extra time for the students. Of course, time limits will always depend on the questions be asked or the tasks that students will have to perform.

When approaching online assessments, it is best practice to consult your course learning objectives to ensure that you are testing the active functions expected of students. Multiple-choice questions are good for when students have to “identify,” whereas written responses are more appropriate for higher-level processing of course materials.


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