04 Mar 2016

Quizzes are one of the most common features we see teachers using in Canvas. And with the help of Canvas, you can create some truly impressive and useful quizzes. This blog post will cover some of the great options that are available to you in Canvas that you might not be aware of. Use the links to find more detailed step-by-step instructions that show you how to use these features.


With Canvas, you can create all sorts of quizzes; multiple choice, matching, true/false, drop down menus, multiple answers, essay, etc. But with Canvas, you can add digital media as well! Kids can watch a video in the quiz directions or in each question. You can insert high-quality images (think maps, charts, and diagrams), math equations, and even use formulas to create randomly generated math questions. You can even create question banks and randomly select only some of the questions, then use numerous question banks on a later unit test. And of course, any selected-response questions are automatically graded for you and your students! Convenient!


For each question, you can provide details as to why a question was answered correctly or incorrectly so that students receive immediate feedback. I love this feature because then you can address misconceptions, give links to resources, or simply give feedback so that students know what they got wrong.




You also have the option to use the SpeedGrader to give them detailed comments and points for each question after they have taken the quiz.




Quizzes are a great place to use requirements in a Module. This allows you to restrict students from moving on to the next assignment until they have achieved a particular quiz score. You can give kids multiple attempts to complete a quiz. Using the “moderate this quiz” options, you can even differentiate the number of times specific students can retake a quiz.

Advanced analytics are at your disposal once all your students have taken the quiz. You can see overall statistics/averages for the class, item-by-item breakdowns, and more! You can download them into a CSV file and manipulate the data in Excel for PLC data protocol. Another useful feature is the discrimination index, which tells you the correlation for how reliable that question measures your student’s understanding of a topic. Be sure to check out the quiz statistics!


22 Feb 2016

We know that feedback for students is very important in continuing their path towards mastery of skills and concepts. In fact, John Hattie rates it in his top 10 most influential factors on student achievement. Unfortunately, giving detailed feedback can be time consuming and difficult to organize. Canvas can help!


The Old Fashioned Way

When your students submit work to you in the traditional way (i.e. on paper or in-class performances), you are pretty limited in the modes of feedback that you can give them. You can write on their work, highlight, underline, and annotate. On Infinite Campus you are limited to giving students a score and a comment. You could sit down and chat with each student in person, at the expense of face-to-face time with your entire class. There must be a better way!


Meet the SpeedGrader

Using the SpeedGrader in Canvas you can write/comment anywhere on their work, use click-able rubrics, create typed comments, or even leave them voice or video comments. The SpeedGrader can be used on your MacBook or using the iPad app. Here is a quick look at what grading looks like using SpeedGrader.




Giving feedback is only half the battle. Students need feedback that they can act on and need to be taught how to use it. Double-check that they are viewing the feedback. Canvas just released a feature that lets you see when a student has viewed your feedback (see screenshot below).



Crocodoc Student Viewing SpeedGrader


Staying Organized

If you teach in multiple classes, prep in another room, and often are taking work home to grade, you know how difficult it can be to keep organized. Digital submission of assignments makes it easier for you to access your student’s work wherever you are. You can view submissions for one section in your course and each submission is tied to a student name. No more “no name” papers! And students can turn in the assignment when it is done rather than we they see you next. Digital submissions help students know they have turned something in and see their feedback as soon as you are able to grade it. Digital submissions help teachers and students stay organized without shuffling papers or turn-in baskets. Win-win!


Helpful Links:

SpeedGrader iOS Guide

SpeedGrader Guide for Instructors

Rubrics Guide

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