Collect Assignments and Assess Learning

  • Use Canvas tools (Assignments, Quizzes, Discussion Boards) for student submissions instead of email attachments
  • State expectations but be ready to allow extensions
  • Pick tools that your students are familiar with
  • Use SpeedGrader and Rubrics to grade and provide feedback

Promoting Academic Honesty in Online Tests

Online Testing Strategies to Promote Academic Honesty (information taken from CSUN)

How can you prevent students from not taking screenshots or collaborating with others when taking a Canvas quiz? You can't. But there are ways to minimize that risk.
Consider the following:

  • Add an honor statement to your quiz instructions or as a question in the exam.


"I have done my own work and have neither given nor received unauthorized assistance on this work." (add as question. From Fresno State Honor Code)

"You may use your books and notes while taking the test but you must work on your own. Do not share your answers or discuss with anyone, even after completing the test. You will have 60 minutes to complete the test up until the deadline of Tuesday at 11:55 PM. (add to quiz instructions)

Please read the statement below carefully before beginning the test: By selecting Attempt quiz now, I acknowledge that I am the assigned student taking the quiz and the work is entirely my own. (add to quiz instructions)

  • Shuffle possible answers in Multiple Choice/Multiple Answer questions. Be sure that all possible answers are worded correctly (e.g., all of these options, none of these options, etc.)
  • Add a time limit for completing the quiz. This reduces the amount of time that students have to be fact-checking or looking for the answers (suggested questions times: 30-45 second/True-False question, 60-90 seconds/Multiple Choice question).
  • Choose to release only scores and not show student's their correct/incorrect answers until after the exam is complete for everyone - or don't release that information at all.
  • Create a quiz/exam from pulling random questions from a large Question Bank so students do not get the same questions.
  • Use open-ended questions that require students to analyze and evaluate rather than recall facts.

Assessment Tools in Canvas

  • Assignments - create assignments for students to upload their work. You will also need to create an assignment to add columns in the gradebook. Peer Review capability can be added to assignments, as well as rubrics.
  • Quizzes - create quizzes to access student knowledge. Types of questions include multiple choice, fill-in-the-blanks, matching, essay. 
  • Discussions - can be graded or ungraded. Use Discussion boards for students to post replies to a prompt you give them and also allow them to reply to each other.
  • Google Assignments create, analyze, and grade coursework. Version control. Grammar suggestions. Comment bank. Spell checking. Two-way commenting. Use as an external tool through a Canvas Assignment.
  • Respondus Lockdown Browser is a secure browser used solely for taking online exams and quizzes within Canvas.
  • Turnitin is an originality checking and plagiarism prevention service. Use as part of a Canvas Assignment.
  • Gradebook Use the Canvas Gradebook to track students' grades. 
  • SpeedGrader makes it easy to evaluate individual student assignments and group assignments quickly.
  • Rubrics - Rubrics are used as grading criteria for students and can be added to assignments, quizzes, and graded discussions.

Virtual Options for Assessments

(information taken from Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology, CalPoly with permission) 

There are options that would replace in-class (in-person) assessment. Alternatives may involve minor or major adjustments in the type of assessments that are possible.
If in-class student work was dominated by problem-solving, a final assessment consisting of solving appropriately complex problems would reflect good alignment. If students' learning experiences were dominated by taking lecture notes and completing multiple-choice questions on midterms, a final assessment that consisted of creating a complex proposal for a novel project may reflect poor alignment.

For many types of exams, the quiz tool in Canvas provides instructors the capability to select question types, set correct answers for automatic test scoring, set time constraints for test responses,randomize questions and answers, and set the date and time for opening/closing.

Keep in mind that exams in Canvas (see Promoting Academic Honesty):

  • should be considered open book/open notes
  • lend themselves to student collaboration

For some exam designs, these could be considered as contributing to violations of academic integrity (cheating) and undermine the validity of the assessment. This is most likely when the assessments are dominated by questions addressing lower levels of Bloom's Taxonomy (i.e., Remembering, Understanding). Questions tend to take the form of the more basic forms of multiple choice, matching, fill in the blank, etc.
It is also possible to design effective and appropriate exams that are better suited to assessments that are untimed, open book/open note, and may allow student collaboration. These exams tend to be dominated by questions assessing higher levels of Bloom's Taxonomy (e.g., Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating, Creating). Questions tend to take the form of short answer responses or longer responses solving complex problems, generating recommendations for specific scenarios, analysis of case studies, evaluating competing options, creating an artifact applying principles, etc. 

Each instructor can decide, as with all assessments, what constitutes an appropriate measure of students' knowledge and/or abilities. Alternative assessments should be aligned with the appropriate Bloom's Taxonomy level(s) for the course learning activities and prior assessments. Instructors should provide students with clear guidelines for appropriate -- and inappropriate -- behaviors when completing the exams so they understand the specific expectations for what is considered a violation of academic integrity and what is acceptable.

For courses with assessments involving presentations or speeches (individual or group), virtual alternatives to in-class presentations are available. Virtual forms differ in potentially important ways (e.g., a virtual audience instead of the immediacy of a face-to-face audience). Instructors can determine how these differences may change expectations and evaluation when moving to a virtual mode.

Zoom is a recommended tool for presentations. Zoom allows for webcams, screen sharing, chat feature, ability to record, and live captioning capability if necessary.

Zoom can be used for:

individual or group presentations

synchronous (real-time) or asynchronous (recorded and submitted) presentations

Panopto can also be used as a presentation tool as is integrated with Canvas. Students can use Panopto to record or upload video which can then be uploaded to a Canvas assignment.  

Alternate Assessments

There are many alternatives to assessing your students. You will find the Provost Series of Just in Time Videos in the Faculty Toolkit (Continuity Teaching Resource Module) to give you ideas of what is possible. 

Flipgrid is another option for assessing student work through video responses. Only the educator needs to create an account and then share it with all students through any browser. If you are using Canvas, Flipgrid has full integration with Canvas as a plugin. You can open each student's post in SpeedGrader to grade. If the assignment calls for collaboration or discussion, students can respond via video to one another. Learn more about Flipgrid - The Educator's Guide to Flipgrid.

Resources for Alternative Assessments



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