Assignments & Assessments

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This is how you can give and collect online assignments and assessments, including midterm and final exams.

Set Up Assignments | Set Up Non-Proctored Assessments | Set Up Proctored Assessments | Consider Exam Alternatives


Set Up Assignments

Assignments can securely be facilitated through Canvas. First, follow the instructions for setting up a Canvas course, if you haven’t already. Then create an individual or group assignment that will give students a convenient place to submit their work.

Create course assignments in Canvas

  1. Log in to your Canvas course, and click Assignments in the Course Navigation.
  2. Click the +Assignment blue button in the upper right side of the screen.
  3. Enter the assignment name and provide any instructions using the text editor.
  4. Indicate the number of points, the assignment group (i.e., the group of assignments this should belong to for grading purposes), and submission type(s) allowed.
    • By default, Canvas will assign the assignment to everyone in your course. For assigning to groups, see the next section.
  5. You can add a due date for the assignment, which allows for late submissions. Alternatively, you can add display dates and students will only be able to submit during this time frame.
  6. Click Save & Publish. You will be able to edit the assignment until students start submitting.

Tip #1:
You can let students submit links or file uploads (including multimedia like images and videos) for their assignments.

Tip #2:
If your assignments are presentations, you can have students upload a pre-recorded video or present during a live class session.

Other tools that work with Canvas are available to facilitate specific assignment types like peer review »

Learn more about Canvas assignments »

Create group assignments in Canvas

  1. Before creating a group assignment, set up student groups.
  2. Log in to your Canvas course, and click Assignments in the Course Navigation.
  3. Click the +Assignment blue button in the upper right side of the screen.
  4. Enter the assignment name and provide any instructions using the text editor.
  5. Indicate the number of points, the assignment group (i.e., the group of assignments this should belong to for grading purposes), and submission type(s) allowed.
  6. Click the This is a Group Assignment checkbox. You can assign an assignment to a group set (which contains multiple groups) or to a specific group in a group set:
    • To assign to a specific group, click the x icon next to the “Everyone” label.
    • Start to type the name of the group in the “Assign to” field. Click the group’s name when it appears.
  7. You can add a due date for the assignment, which allows for late submissions. Alternatively, you can add display dates and students will only be able to submit during this time frame.
  8. Click Save & Publish.
  9. A warning message will pop up indicating that not everyone will be assigned this item. Click Continue to confirm.

When you create and grade a group assignment, all members of the group will receive the same grade for the submission by default.

Learn more about Canvas group assignments »


Set Up Non-Proctored Assessments

Assessments can securely be facilitated through Canvas. First, follow the instructions for setting up a Canvas course, if you haven’t already. No matter how you want to assess students in Canvas (e.g., quizzes, written tests, exams), you can use the Canvas Quiz tool to build your assessment.

Create Canvas quizzes

  1. Log in to your Canvas course, and click Quizzes in the Course Navigation.
  2. Click the +Quiz blue button in the upper right side of the screen.
  3. To create a quiz, choose the Classic Quizzes option and click Submit.
  4. In the Details tab, enter the name of your quiz. In the text editor, introduce your quiz.
  5. Set the quiz options:
    • Quiz Type: Graded or Practice (ungraded)
    • Assignment Group: The group of assignments this should belong to for grading purposes
    • Shuffle Answers: Randomize answers
    • Time Limit: Time allowed to complete the quiz
    • Allow Multiple Attempts: Allow more than one
    • Let Students See Their Quiz Responses: Show students what they answered and any feedback you add
  6. You can add a due date for the quiz, which allows for late submissions. Alternatively, you can add display dates and students will only be able to submit during this time frame.
  7. Click Save. You are now ready to add questions to your quiz. Follow the steps below.

Quizzes in Canvas can be used for graded or ungraded assessments. Creating a graded quiz automatically adds a column to your online Canvas Gradebook spreadsheet.

Learn more about Canvas quizzes »

Add questions to Canvas quizzes

  1. To add questions to an existing quiz, edit the quiz and click the Questions tab.
  2. Click the +New Question gray button.
  3. In the question type drop-down menu, you can select:
    • Multiple Choice
    • True/False
    • Fill-in-the-Blank
    • Multiple Answers
    • Multiple Drop-down
    • Matching
    • Numerical Answer
    • Formula
    • Essay
    • File Upload
  4. To set a point value for the question, enter the points.
  5. Enter the question text using the text editor.
  6. If applicable, add the answers for each question and select the correct answer by clicking it.
  7. Add any feedback to individual answers and/or the overall quiz.
  8. Click Update Question to save your question.
  9. Repeat the steps to add more questions. When you have finished, click Save & Publish.

By default, grades in Canvas will be visible to students as soon as they complete an auto-graded quiz. If you want to control grade release, enable manual posting »

Learn more about Canvas quizzes »


Set Up Proctored Assessments

Assessments can securely be facilitated through Canvas and remotely proctored with a tool called Proctorio. In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), there is currently no charge associated with setting up Proctorio in any assignments for the 2019W term, including midterms and finals. An update on costs for future terms will be provided in May 2020.

Note: For midterm and final exams, you can follow the instructions here to create a Canvas Quiz or consider exam alternatives below. Your Faculty, Department, School, or Program may have provided specific guidance about final exams; please be sure that what you choose fits with that guidance, and consult with your Department Head, Program Director, or Faculty for more information if needed.

First, follow the instructions for setting up a Canvas course, if you haven’t already. No matter how you want to assess students in Canvas (e.g., quizzes, written tests, exams), you can use the Canvas Quiz tool to build your assessment.

Create Canvas quizzes that use Proctorio

  1. Before you begin, you will have to install and use the latest version of the Chrome web browser with the Proctorio Chrome extension.
  2. Using Chrome, log in to your Canvas course, and click Settings in the Course Navigation.
  3. Click the Navigation tab.
  4. Find the “Secure Exam Proctor” menu item, click the options menu (i.e., the 3 vertical dots), and choose Enable.
  5. Save your setting changes.
  6. Now click Quizzes in the Course Navigation.
  7. Click the +Quiz blue button in the upper right side of the screen.
  8. To create a quiz, choose the Classic Quizzes option and click Submit.
  9. In the Details tab, enter the name of your quiz. Under “Quiz Instructions“, provide assessment information.
  10. Set the quiz option settings:
    • Quiz Type: Graded
    • Time Limit: How long students will have to finish the exam. Please add 5 minutes for students to complete the Proctorio setup.
    • Availability from / Until: The period of time the exam will be open for students before the exam automatically submits. Please add 30 minutes here for students to complete setup and deal with any technical issues.
  11. Click the Enable Proctorio Secure Exam Proctor checkbox, then click the Proctorio Settings tab.
  12. Proctorio Exam Settings are separated into four categories. If you are not sure what a setting means, hover over the option in Proctorio and click the question mark. Recommended settings are *starred:
    • Recording – You can choose: *Video, *Audio, *Screen Recording, *Web Traffic, *Room Scan
    • Lock Down – You can choose: Force full screen, *Only one screen, *Disable new tabs, *Close open tabs, *Disable printing, *Disable clipboard, *Block downloads, *Clear cache, *Disable right click, Prevent re-entry
    • Verification – You can choose: *Video, *Audio, *Desktop, *ID, *Signature
    • In-quiz Tools – You can choose: Calculator, Whiteboard
  13. Note: Keeping the “Force full screen” setting OFF is highly recommended, as it requires students to stay on the exam the whole time, which makes troubleshooting technical issues (e.g. Internet connection) hard.
  14. Set your Proctorio Behavior Settings:
    • Frame Metrics: Indicate which student behaviours you want automatically flagged in the recordings. You can leave these levels set to Proctorio’s default recommended settings, choose from preset options, or set a custom level.
    • Exam Metrics: Measure abnormalities comparing one student’s actions to the rest of the exams in the class. These metrics work best in larger class sizes that offer a better sample pool (50+ students); in smaller classes, it’s better to leave them disabled.
  15. You are now ready to add questions to your exam. This process is the same for proctored and non-proctored assessments. Follow the steps for adding quiz questions in the earlier section above.

Tip:
Create a practice exam for students to take prior to the real exam, so they can prepare themselves and their systems for the experience of remote proctoring.

Students will be asked to record themselves with Proctorio when taking their exams. This requires they have access to a webcam and microphone on a desktop computer or laptop with the Chrome web browser installed.

Once students complete exams, Proctorio’s algorithms will review the recordings according to the Behaviour Settings you choose and assign a Suspicion Level for each exam. These settings are adjustable at any time.

Learn more in UBC’s Proctorio instructor guide » and Proctorio student guide »

More information on using Proctorio

Read UBC-specific answers to Proctorio frequently asked questions.


Consider Exam Alternatives

There are many types of alternative assessment options to consider. With the March 16, 2020 transition to online classes for the remainder of the term, modifying your assessment strategy is allowable under UBC Vancouver’s Senate Syllabus Policy V-130. (You can read more about late syllabus changes.)

Note: Your Faculty, Department, School, or Program may have provided specific guidance about final exams; please be sure that what you choose fits with that guidance, and consult with your Department Head, Program Director, or Faculty for more information if needed.

Suggestions beyond remote proctoring

Open-book exam with integrity pledge

  1. Restructure your questions knowing that students will have access to course materials and the Internet.
  2. Set up an exam following the steps for creating a non-proctored quiz above.
  3. As the first question in the quiz, ask students to agree to an integrity pledge. Example language developed by UBC’s Faculty of Science:

Alternative learning activity

  1. Consider your most important learning objectives for the course and how else students might demonstrate their mastery. This might include:
    • Assignments submitted online like case studies, essays, concept maps, annotated bibliographies, videos, portfolios, etc.
    • Presentations given to you or the whole class online
    • Discussions with peers on discussion boards
  2. Once you’ve picked an activity, follow the relevant steps to:

Oral exams

  1. If your class size is manageable and your course context allows, construct a shorter oral exam.
  2. Set up an online time with each individual student to meet privately in Canvas.

Tip #1:
Keep in mind that you don’t have to pick one approach and can offer students options for what they substitute in place of a final exam.

Tip #2:
If you use an integrity pledge, explain its language and purpose beforehand to give students the opportunity to ask questions.

Open-book exams pose questions that can’t quickly be solved using a textbook or going online.

With whatever approach you take, remember UBC’s commitment to accommodate students with disabilities » and the different accessibility issues introduced by remote learning » like students in different time zones.

Learn more in UBC’s guide for alternatives to in-person exams »

Learn more

Contact the Learning Technology Hub for hands-on assistance:
604.827.4775 | lt.hub@ubc.ca | LIVE Online Support (Mon-Fri 9:00-4:30)


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