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Canvas assesment video

Video: Our in-house expert, Karl McGuirk, steps us through the must know’s of Canvas assessment. This video is presented in Panopto. Sign in to watch the video with your University of Auckland credentials.

Video: Our in-house digital learning specialist, Karl McGuirk, steps us through the must-knows of Canvas assessment. This video is presented in Panopto. Sign in to watch the video with your University of Auckland credentials.

Academic honesty declaration

Decide what instructions you will give students regarding the use of generative AI tools in coursework and please add an academic honesty declaration to all assignments.

Assignment reminders

Message students who have not yet submitted their assignment. Use your discretion whether this is a timely reminder in advance and/or after the deadline.

Booklet generation and processing for paper assignments

The University has developed a tool to generate and process assignment ‘booklets’, giving staff the option of delivering their assignments offline, then uploading the scanned completed assignments for online marking using SpeedGrader.

For details, visit the University’s .

Uploading scanned documents

For assessments that require students to draw/write and then take a photo of answers for uploading into Canvas (e.g., an Assignment of type File Uploads), 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 Assignment for an online test, students must have an opportunity to complete a practice exercise prior to the assessment date to ensure they are familiar with the technological requirements for uploading files.

Canvas Assignments also have the option to use Text entry for students to type directly into the assessment box, but it may be safer for students to create and save their own document on their computer for file upload in case of internet difficulties when inputting content into the text entry field.

If you would like to contain your entire assessment in a Word document for upload via the Canvas Assignment drop-box, here is a sample answer booklet that may help.

Layered PDFs

Please familiarise yourself with the layered PDF problem so that you know what to do if you encounter it.

Canvas guides

Assignment tips

Canvas offers many different assignment types and settings:

  • Leave the assignment unpublished so it stays invisible to students and is excluded from grade calculations. Assignments with student submissions cannot be unpublished.
  • In addition to students seeing the points received, the Display grade as setting allows the results in Gradebook to be seen as a percentage, ‘complete/incomplete’, or a letter grade as well.
  • Use Assignments and Quizzes as ungraded learning activities for practice. Using the setting Does not count towards final grade will still list it in Assignments, but it will not be included in the Gradebook.
  • Select the appropriate Assessment type:
    • Use ‘No submission’ option if there is nothing to submitted online in Canvas, but a grade still needs to be entered into the Gradebook. Examples may include compulsory attendance, a verbal presentation, in-person practical procedure or drama performance, or an art exhibition.
    • Online submissions are most often used for file uploads, though they can also include a text entry or website URLs. You can opt to restrict the file types students can upload. This is useful if you have requested the document be saved in a specified format, such as a pdf or an Excel spreadsheet.
    • ‘On paper’ can be selected if the assessment activity is being done on paper and a grade still needs to be entered into the Gradebook, such as for exams that are not online.
    • External tool enables the use of Canvas-integrated LTIs or apps as the point of submission.
  • Select the maximum number of Submission attempts students can make for each online assignment. Attempts can be unlimited or limited, and can be customised to each assignment.
  • Choose Anonymous grading if you need student names to be hidden from assignment submissions when marking.
  • Assign to everyone in the course, to a section, group or an individual student. If teaching a cross-listed course, it is important to clearly label assignments if they’re only for a specific course (see cross-listed courses and using sections). Refer to the guide: Assign assignments in cross-listed courses (PDF).
  • Set Due dates to inform students of the day and time when their assignments are due. You can customise due dates to accommodate individuals or groups, such as by tutorial days or to give individual students an extension.
  • Specify Availability dates to control the date range the assignments can be viewed and submitted by students. If no availability limit has been set, students will still be able to upload submissions after the due date, however they will be labelled as late in the Gradebook.

Video: An overview of Canvas Assignments.

Assignment types

Multimedia Assignments

Some courses might allow recorded presentations as an alternative option for written work. If this is allowed, specify in the instructions how you would like students to provide media files in Canvas, such as through Panopto. Academics and students can view resources, guidelines, suggestions and tips on .

Group Assignments

Assignments can be given to groups of students to work on collectively or collaboratively. In your Canvas Assignment, select the option ‘This is a group assignment’.

  • Use existing group sets within your course, or create a new group set (automatically or manually assigned, or self-selected).
  • Assign grades to each student in the group individually, or give a collective mark for the group’s submission.

For more information about creating and marking group work, refer to our guides:

Peer Review

Settings can be enabled to require students to complete peer reviews for other students’ work. For more information, refer to our guides:

Graded Discussions

When creating your Discussion select the option for Graded. You can assign points, due dates, availability dates, and rubrics as you would with any other form of assignment.

External assessment tools

View a list of external tools that can be used as Assignments in Canvas.

Submit an assignment on a student’s behalf

This is a feature of Canvas that the University has allowed. Use cases might include: submitting a late assignment on a student’s behalf after the deadline, or where a student has encountered technical difficulties in submitting their document.

View details on the Canvas instructor guide or watch this video.

Video – Submitting an assignment on behalf of a student.

Assignment settings

Set the submission type

The Canvas Assignment tool allows a few different options for submission.

  • From the dropdown menu select Online.
  • From the Online entry options, select File Uploads to enable students to upload documents.
    Canvas screenshot
  • Do not limit the number of attempts in case the student uploads the wrong file by mistake or they need to correct something before trying again.
  • Include this instruction the Assignment blurb: “We strongly recommend you download your submitted document from Canvas, after submitting it, to verify you have uploaded the correct document. It is your responsibility to check you have submitted the correct document.”
  • Alternatively, you can use the Text entry to enable students to type directly into the assessment box.

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. Also, familiarise yourself with the layered PDF problem so that you know what to do if you encounter it.

Using Turnitin Plagiarism Review to detect plagiarism

Activating the Turnitin Plagiarism Review tool for your Canvas Assignment enables Turnitin to generate a Similarity Report, comparing a student’s file submission to existing work on the web, including other students’ submissions.

Turnitin Plagiarism Review

Supplementary materials should be locked

If you require students to upload files as part of their answer, you can use the File upload question type. Please note that when marking the uploaded document in SpeedGrader, applying comments and annotations to the document is not possible.

Read about why some content may not display on student’s PDF submission.

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

To make sure Canvas Assignment grade is not posted to the students during marking:

  • From your Canvas course, go to Grades, locate the Final Assessment(s). Click on the three dots beside the name of the assessment.
    Canvas screenshot of the Grade Book with the assessment options visible
  • Click on Grade Posting Policy and choose Manual, scroll to the bottom and click Save.
    Canvas screenshot showing the Grade Book options for setting the Grade Posting Policy to manual

 

Setting the Assignment timing and duration

These examples demonstrate the use of a Canvas Assignment for a mid-semester test. Teachers should also consider using Inspera for mid-semester tests. To set the timing in Inspera, check out the quick reference guides from the .

Setting the availability of the Assignment

Difference between assignment due dates and availability dates.

Assignments should be made available for the duration of a test sat under normal conditions, with the addition of 15 minutes to cater for the online delivery mode. Below is an example of a 1-hour, 15-minute test, starting at 1pm. Add an additional 15 minutes as a ‘grace’ period in case of technical difficulties but do not publicise this to students as it can lead to confusion. Students that submit outside of the 75-minute test window, but within the 15-minute grace period, will have their submissions flagged as ‘submitted late’.

  • Set the availability of the Canvas Assignment by clicking Edit, then scrolling down to Options.
  • Set your Due date for the end date and time of the assessment, e.g. for 2.15pm NZST, use 14:15 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 the Due time to act as a grace period for any technical issues. Set ‘Until’ for 14:30 for the same day.*
  • Don’t forget to Save and publish your Assignment when ready.

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

Screenshot of Canvas Quiz due dates

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 Term Start and End dates are entered correctly in the course Settings, and the option ‘Students can only participate in the course between these dates’ is checked.

* Ensure that 15 minutes is also added as a grace period for any students with approved special conditions of extra time. Please see the heading below for setting the availability for individuals.

Setting the availability of the Assignment for students in different time zones

Assignments should be made available for the duration of a test sat under normal conditions, with the addition of 15 minutes to cater for the online delivery mode. Below is an example of a 1-hour, 15-minute test, starting at 1pm. Add an additional 15 minutes as a ‘grace’ period in case of technical difficulties, but do not publicise this to students as it can lead to confusion. Students that submit outside of the 75-minute test window, but within the 15-minute grace period, will have their submissions flagged as ‘submitted late’.

Online tests will need to cater for students in different time zones. For example, the students in Southwest University in Chongqing have their test time set to four hours later (NZDT), which is 1pm in their time zone. Please note, you are able to determine offshore students in your course and to understand their group ‘section code’ in Canvas.

  • Set the availability of the Canvas Assignment by clicking Edit, then scrolling down to Options.
  • For multiple ‘sections’ (offshore students) that require different start times, click the ‘+ Add‘ button and add these times under the ‘Assign to‘ section.

 

Screenshot of Canvas Quiz due dates

Setting the availability of the Assignment for individuals

Assignments should be made available for the duration of a test sat under normal conditions, with the addition of 15 minutes to cater for the online delivery mode. Below is an example of a 1-hour, 15-minute test, starting at 1pm. Add an additional 15 minutes as a ‘grace’ period in case of technical difficulties, but do not publicise this to students as it can lead to confusion. Students that submit outside of the 75-minute test window, but within the 15-minute grace period, will have their submissions flagged as ‘submitted late’.

Assign a different duration for a test for those with approved special conditions.*

For this example scenario below, John Smith requires an extra 15 minutes added to the 75-minute test. This also shows the 15-minute post-deadline window (grace period).

  • Set the availability of the Canvas Quiz by clicking Edit, then scrolling down to Options.
  • For students with approved extra time, click the ‘+ Add‘ button and add the time extension under the ‘Assign to‘ section.

Screenshot of Canvas Quiz due dates

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

Assignment groups and weightings

This setting in your Assignments allows you to allocate a weight to each assignment group, rather than individual assignments. Within each assignment group, a percentage is calculated by dividing the total points a student has earned by the total points possible for all assignments in that group.

Rubrics

Rubrics are presented as tables, with the criteria for assessment presented in rows and the levels of performance for each criterion presented in columns.

  • Create, edit and delete rubrics in your course.
  • Add rubrics to assignments, quizzes and graded discussions.
  • Include outcome-based assessment criteria for scoring.

Important: You should not edit your rubric if you’ve already attached it to a published assignment.

Video: Canvas Tutorial – Rubrics.

Outcomes

Outcomes are used to track mastery in a course. From the outcomes page, you can create and manage outcomes, create outcome groups, import outcomes, and manage rubrics.

  • Import University of Auckland outcomes into your course.
  • Align University and faculty graduate profiles to course assessments.
  • Pull graduate profile attributes to course-level outcomes.
  • Associate outcomes to assignment rubrics.
  • Create nested outcomes by dragging and dropping outcomes to create structure. This can be done at the account, sub-account or course-level. Remember the hierarchical structure of top-level accounts, sub-accounts and courses.

Video: Canvas tutorial – Outcomes.

Assignment Cover Sheets

For information about how to activate Assignment Cover Sheets, and select their preferred template of cover sheet, refer to in the Canvas documentation course module on .

Support

Support options are available through the Staff Service Centre or the 24-hour hotline. Please visit the learning technology support page for details.

See also

Canvas Quiz

Creating a quiz using question banks and various question types.

Comparison – Quiz vs Assignment

Describing the differences between Canvas Quiz and Assignment.

Page updated 17/10/2023 (minor edit)

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