Assignments & Quizzes

You have many options for delivering exams using Canvas’ Assignments and Quizzes features, including configuring a specific timeframe and/or due date.

In Canvas, all graded activities appear on both the Assignments page and in the Gradebook, including Assignments, Graded Quizzes and Graded Discussions. Graded and Practice Quizzes appear on the Quizzes page. Practice Quizzes do not appear in the Gradebook. 

An Assignment can be used to track participation or attendance, to accept online submission, to link to an external tool, or can be just a page containing information. 

A Quiz contains questions worth points. Those points are summed to determine the value of the Quiz. Quizzes can be timed by setting a time limit, which appears as a countdown timer while the student is taking the Quiz. 

Canvas can be used to collect online assignments and assessments, including midterm and final exams. 

You have several options for creating and delivering remote exams: 

  • There is no one “best” method. Various factors will determine the type of exam (take home, scheduled, open book, closed book) and the method of delivery (invigilated or not) based on your specific course (e.g., learning outcomes, level, size, accreditation requirements. TA support etc.). 
  • If you have questions or need help with designing or delivering your exam online email the CTL Helpdesk. 
  • If you have questions around exam or grading policies, please consult with your Department Head, Director, or Dean. 
  • Clearly communicate the format and delivery of the exam to students. 
  • Explain why you have chosen the particular design and delivery as this often helps students better understand the rationale and can increase understanding 
  • Provide students the opportunity to practice (e.g., similar questioning in low-stakes assessments, practice the technology set-up). 
  • Ease student concerns by taking time to answer questions and providing documentation that clearly outlines exam instructions and how to contact you if something unanticipated happens. 


More information:

If you are running a timed final exam, it should begin at the date and time outlined in the Final Exam Schedule. 

In case there are technical issues during an exam, we recommend that you make your quiz available for 30 minutes longer than the time limit. This does not increase the length of time that students write the exam for but allows for a time limit extension when there are extenuating circumstances. 

For example, if your exam is scheduled at 1:00 pm for a three-hour exam: 

  • Set the Time Limit to 180 minutes (3 hours). The countdown timer will count down from 180 minutes when the students start the quiz and will auto-submit after 180 minutes. 
  • Make the quiz available for an additional 30 minutes. For example, make a 1:00 pm exam available from 1:00 pm until 4:30 pm (3.5 hours). This does not extend the writing time for students but does allow you to manually extend an individual student’s time limit at your discretion.

Instructors may have students who take the quiz at a different date, time, and a longer quiz time limit than the main cohort of students. You will need to add these exceptions to the quiz settings. 

More information: