Canvas Quiz

Quizzes offer a vast range of question types and some options for auto-marking.

For assessments that require students to draw/write and then take a photo of answers for uploading into Canvas, prepare students in advance to download a document scanning app for their mobile device (e.g., Adobe scanMicrosoft Office Lens or Camscanner). In the case of designing the Quiz as an online test, students must have an opportunity to complete a practice exercise (e.g. a Quiz with a ‘File upload’ question type) prior to the test to ensure they are familiar with the technological requirements for uploading images.

Please make sure you add an academic honesty declaration to all online assessments. Please also ask a colleague to review your Quiz in advance—add them to your Canvas course with the Teaching Support role.

Setting the Quiz timing and duration

Setting the availability of the Quiz

Difference between assignment due dates and availability dates.

Tests are recommended to be held after 1pm to allow for differences with time zones in Asia where most offshore students are situated. For example, the following shows you how to set a 2-hour test starting at 1pm. Student feedback suggests that online tests often take longer than written tests, so consideration should be given to extending the time allowed for the test, where appropriate.

  • Set the availability of the Canvas Quiz by going to Edit, then scrolling down to the Options settings.
  • Quizzes should be made available for the duration of a test, sat under normal conditions, with the addition of a 15-minute grace period.
    • Leave ‘Time limit’ unticked. We are not recommending that you use this feature for mid-semester tests as it can override the 15-minute grace period.
    • Under ‘Assign’ set your Due date for the end date and time of the assessment, e.g. for 3pm NZST, use 15:00 in Canvas.
    • Set Available from for 13:00 on the date of the start of the assessment.
    • The available Until time should be set to 15 minutes later than due time to act as a grace period for any technical issues. Set ‘Until’ for 15:15 for the same day.*
  • Don’t forget to Save and publish your Quiz when ready.

If you require different start times for different groups of students, or individual students, please see the other options below.

Canvas screenshot showing test due date

Note: You may encounter some error with setting up the availability times if the assessment ‘due date is set after the course term ends’. To fix this, you will need to ensure the ‘Ends’ dates are entered correctly and the option ‘Students can only participate in the course between these dates’ is checked in setting. Read the full instruction on solving the due date problem on the Canvas blog.

* Extra time must be added for students with approved special conditions sitting time-limited tests of 30 minutes or longer.

Setting the availability of the Quiz for multiple course sections

If you require different start times for different groups of students, e.g. offshore students, please follow these instructions. Please also review the Canvas website to find out whether you have offshore students in your course and to understand their group ‘section code’.

  • Set the availability of the Canvas Quiz by going to Edit, then scrolling down to the Options settings.
  • Leave ‘Time limit’ unticked. We are not recommending that you use this feature for mid-semester tests as it can override the 15-minute grace period.
  • If you have multiple sections that require different start times, set these under the ‘Assign‘ section.
  • To add sections, first click the ‘+ Add‘ button below the ‘Assign‘ box.
  • Type the section code under ‘Assign to‘, e.g. for Offshore Online type oo.
  • Follow the steps under the previous heading ‘Setting the availability of the Quiz‘ to complete the remaining fields.
  • Don’t forget to Save and publish your Quiz when ready.

Setting the availability of the Quiz for individuals

You may have individual students who need to be assigned a different start time for a test or those with approved special conditions who need a longer duration in which to complete it.*

  • Set the availability of the Canvas Quiz by going to Edit, then scrolling down to the Options settings.
  • Leave ‘Time limit’ unticked. We are not recommending that you use this feature for mid-semester tests as it can override the 15-minute grace period.
  • Follow the steps under the previous heading ‘Setting the availability of the Quiz’ to complete the date and time fields for ‘Everyone’.
  • Click the ‘+ Add‘ button below the ‘Assign‘ box to add special times for individuals.
  • Begin typing the individual’s name under ‘Assign to‘ and you may select one from the search suggestions as you are typing.
  • To add more individuals, follow the steps above.
  • Don’t forget to Save and publish your Quiz when ready.

For this example scenario below, John Smith requires a later start time and extra time has been approved. He has an extra 30 minutes added to the 2-hour test, plus the 15-minute grace period in case of technical difficulties.

In some cases, you may need to add extra attempts for a student on Canvas Quiz.

* Student Disability Services advise teaching staff of any students in their courses with approved special conditions.

Quiz settings

Question types and question banks

Canvas Quizzes can include these question types

To see how these question types work in Canvas Quizzes, log into Canvas and view the sample in Canvas Commons:

  • Go to Canvas Commons from the blue side bar in Canvas and search for ”university of auckland quiz question
  • The example quiz will appear and you can import it into your Canvas course.

Question banks

Canvas quizzes also allow you to create question banks so that students receive a random selection of questions. We recommend that any questions in a question bank are of equivalent difficulty to ensure equity and fairness in assessment.

File types

  • If you require students to view media (e.g., images, audio, video, other files) in order to do their assessment task, you can upload files as part of your quiz instructions.*
  • If you require students to upload files as part of their answer, you can use the text book provided to students in Essay question type or File upload question type.

* Images and files attached to questions in a Quiz are saved in the “Uploaded media” folder in Files. To make sure students cannot access these files prior to taking the quiz, please change the permission settings in Files.

Note: If you are asking students to attach images to assignments, please inform them that Canvas only accepts GIF, JPEG, PNG and TIFF for image attachments. Read more about compatible file types in Canvas.

Read about why content is not displaying in student’s PDF submission

Recommended settings for Canvas Quiz options
  • Select ‘Shuffle answers’ to allow randomised display of order of answers if using MCQs (but rephrase any MCQs with answers that depend on their position, e.g., “All of the above”).
  • Leave ‘Time limit’ unticked. Set the availability time and due time to include a 15 minute grace period to mitigate technical difficulties. If you enable the time limit setting and add minutes, it can give a misleading timer countdown to students.
  • Do not allow multiple attempts.‘Allow multiple attempts’ is unchecked by default so ensure that it remains unchecked for the assessment. You may wish to advise students not to hit the submit button until they are absolutely sure they want to ‘hand in’ the assessment.
  • Tick ‘Show one question at a time‘ so students’ answers are saved every time they progress to the next question. Not ticking this will allow students to see all questions on the screen at the same time, but introduces the risk that they could lose their work if they have internet connection issues before submitting.
  • Do not ‘Lock questions after answering’ so students have the opportunity to review their answers before submitting.


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Do not reveal the answers to the students during the assessment time

Make sure Canvas Quiz does not reveal the answers to the students during the assessment time.

  • Uncheck “Let students see their quiz responses…” option so that students cannot view what they answered after they submitted a quiz. Students also will not see the correct answers after each attempt if the option is unchecked.
  • Then from your Canvas course, go to Grades, locate the assessment and click the three dots beside the name.
  • Click on Grade Posting Policy and choose Manual, scroll to the bottom and click Save.
Reminders for students before they 'Submit quiz'

We recommend you communicate with students that they should not click ‘Submit quiz’ on their Canvas Quiz until they are completely finished. Some wording that may be useful to use in your communications:

You should only click ‘Submit quiz’ when you are absolutely sure you are finished with your assessment and no longer want to make any changes. You only have one attempt at this quiz. Once you hit ‘Submit quiz’ you will not be able to re-open the quiz.

You can also include two types of reminders within the Canvas Quiz itself.

Add a reminder in the final question instructions:

This is the final question in this Quiz. Please ensure you check all your answers and have made any changes you need to make before you hit ‘Submit quiz’. You only have one attempt at this quiz. Once you hit ‘Submit quiz’ you will not be able to re-open the quiz.

And add a reminder in a Text (no question) at the end of the Quiz:

This is the end of the Quiz. When you hit ‘Submit quiz’ you will not be able to reopen the Quiz or make any changes. Please make sure you have reviewed all your answers and made any changes you need to before you hit ‘Submit quiz’.

Timer in Canvas Quiz

When students begin the Canvas Quiz they will see a timer, showing how long they have spent on the quiz. We suggest that you advise students that they need to submit the completed quiz before the due time.

Suggestion on message for students completing a Canvas Quiz:
“Canvas will show you a timer indicating how long you have spent on this quiz. Please ensure that you have submitted the completed quiz before the due time ([date and time here]).”

Supplementary materials should be locked

If you have material that is supplementary to the Quiz, e.g., images, PDFs or media files, these files should be locked and scheduled for release to students only during the time of the assessment.

Practice Canvas Quiz

Practice Canvas Quiz examples are available from Canvas Commons to import into your own Canvas Courses.

  • Log into Canvas.
  • Go to Canvas Commons from the blue side bar in Canvas and search for ”university of auckland quiz assessment
  • ”Example of question types in Canvas Quiz Assessments” and ”Practice Canvas Quiz example template” will appear and you can import them into your Canvas course.
Submitting Canvas Quiz answers to Turnitin

Canvas Quizzes are not currently integrated with Turnitin. However, we have developed a workaround which may require some technical expertise to download written Quiz answers for uploading to Turnitin.

See also

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