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 Other Alternatives to In-Person Exams


Set Up Assignments

Assignments can be securely facilitated through your Canvas course. You can create an individual or group assignment that will give students a convenient place to submit their work.

Create 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. See the group assignments section for assigning to groups.
  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, with no late submissions.
  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 group sets.
  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, with no late submissions.
  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 »

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Set Up Non-Proctored Assessments

Non-proctored assessments can be securely facilitated through your Canvas course. Canvas will always call your assessment a “quiz”, whether you want to assign a quiz or exam to your students, and you will use the Canvas Quiz tool to build your questions.

Create a Canvas assessment

  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, with no late submissions.
  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 a Canvas assessment

  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 question.
  8. Click Update Question to save.
  9. Repeat the steps to add more questions. When you have finished, click Save & Publish.

Tip:
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 instead, enable manual posting »

Learn more about Canvas quizzes »

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Set Up Proctored Assessments

Proctored assessments can be securely facilitated through your Canvas course and remotely proctored with a tool called Proctorio. In place of a physical person in the room with your students, you can have Proctorio record their webcams, microphones, screens, and any websites they visit during the assessment.

There is usually a cost associated with courses using Proctorio at UBC. In response to the COVID-19 situation, there is currently no charge to using Proctorio. However, be aware Proctorio cannot currently be accessed from China.

Note: For midterm and final exams, you can follow the instructions here to create a proctored assessment or consider other alternatives to in-person exams that don’t require proctoring. Your Faculty, Department, School, or Program may have provided specific guidance about 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.

Create a Canvas assessment that uses 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 (the 3 vertical dots), and choose Enable.
  5. Save your setting changes.
  6. Now click Quizzes in the Course Navigation. (Canvas will always call your assessment a “quiz”, whether you want to assign a quiz or exam to your students.)
  7. Click the +Quiz blue button, choose the Classic Quizzes option, and click Submit.
  8. In the Details tab, enter the name of your quiz. Under “Quiz Instructions“, provide assessment information.
  9. Set the quiz option settings:
    • Quiz Type: Graded
    • Time Limit: How long students will have to finish the exam from the point they start it. Please add 5 minutes for students to complete the Proctorio setup.
    • Availability from / Until: The period of overall time the exam will be open for students before it auto-submits. Please add 30 minutes for students to complete the setup and deal with any technical issues.
  10. Click the Enable Proctorio Secure Exam Proctor checkbox, then click the Proctorio Settings tab.
  11. 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. These settings cannot be changed once the exam has started, so please carefully choose the appropriate options.
  12. The following settings are highly recommended, particularly for midterm and final exams. Settings will become blue once you click to enable them.
    • Recording Options
      • Enable: Video, Audio, Screen, Web Traffic, Room Scan: Scan at Start (option when you click Record Room)
      • Don’t use: Room Scan: Intelligent Scan (option when you click Record Room; students may be required to redo their room scan multiple times during the exam)
    • Lock Down Options
      • Enable: Only One Screen, In Quiz Links Only (option when you click Disable New Tabs), Close Open Tabs, Disable Printing, Disable Clipboard, Block Downloads, Clear Cache, Disable Right Click
      • Disable: Force Full Screen, Prevent Re-entry (these will require students to stay on the exam the whole time, which makes troubleshooting technical issues hard, and will lock students out of their exam for potentially benign behaviour, requiring you to resolve)
    • Verification Options
      • Enable: Video, Audio, Desktop, ID, Signature
    • In-Quiz Tools
      • Disable: Calculator, Whiteboard
  13. 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.
  14. You are now ready to add questions to your exam. This process is the same for proctored and non-proctored Canvas assessments. Follow the earlier steps for adding questions above.

Tip #1:
Use the recommended Exam Settings to minimize administrative time, as these settings help preserve exam integrity without locking students out for accidental clicks, which they will need your help to fix.

Tip #2:
Create a practice exam for students to take prior to the real exam, so they can try out the experience and test the technical requirements before the stakes are high.

Tip #3:
Remember that using Proctorio will still require making accommodations for any students with disabilities »

Proctorio’s algorithms will automatically look over the student recordings and flag unusual activities based on the Behaviour Settings you choose. Then you review the recordings and flags to determine whether any activity constitutes actual misconduct.

More information on using Proctorio

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Consider Other Alternatives to In-Person Exams

There are many types of alternative assessment options to consider.

Note: Your Faculty, Department, School, or Program may have provided specific guidance about 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 assessment in Canvas.
  3. As the first question, ask students to agree to an integrity pledge. Example language developed by UBC’s Faculty of Science:

Closed-book exam with integrity pledge and timing gates

  1. Restructure your exam into smaller subsets of questions, creating a number of “mini-exams”. This will enable you to apply a variation on time pressure to reduce the feasibility of using outside resources.
  2. Set up the mini-exams following the steps for creating a non-proctored assessment in Canvas, making a separate assessment for each one. Place time constraints so only one is open at a time.
  3. As the first question, ask students to agree to an integrity pledge as well as to not use any outside resources. See example language above.

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 using Collaborate Ultra.

Tip #1:
Keep in mind that you don’t have to pick one approach and could offer students options for what they can do remotely in place of an in-person exam.

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

Tip #3:
With whatever approach you take, remember UBC’s commitment to accommodate students with disabilities » and keep in mind accessibility best practices » as well as issues introduced by distance learning, like students in different time zones.

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

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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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