How can I create quizzes and assignments?

In Canvas, there are multiple ways to assess student learning, including the assignments feature. However, the term “Assignment” is used in more than one way in Canvas, and this can be confusing, especially when you are building your course for the first time. See below for more information to help you break down the options and terminology:

Ways to Assess Student Learning in Canvas:

There are several options for assessing your students’ learning in Canvas, and the following three assignment types are the most common:

  • Assignments:  Use assignments to collect student work online or in person (on paper) and to provide them with grades and feedback in return. You can also create assignments in order to add columns in the gradebook for participation and other completion-based grades.
  • Quizzes: Use quizzes to create a variety of question types to test your students’ learning in an exam format. There are also options to create formative and self-assessments by creating practice quizzes and surveys.
  • Discussions: Use discussions to evaluate students’ engagement with specific course topics through their text, audio, or video-based responses to questions and prompts posed by you and/or their peers.

Graded vs. Not Graded/Ungraded:

Whenever you create an assignment, quiz, or discussion, you will have the option to classify the item as graded or not graded/ungraded. While most forms of assessment are graded, the ungraded option allows you to create low-stakes learning and practice opportunities for your students throughout the semester. Ungraded assessments are sometimes referred to as “activities” in Canvas, and most can still be assigned a due date, but they will not appear in the gradebook.

The Assignments Tab:

In your Canvas course, you will notice a tab called “Assignments” in your course menu. This is an area of your course that will automatically display several forms of assessment in one location. The items automatically displayed in the Assignments tab include:

  • Any graded & ungraded assignments you create (i.e. Assignment type=assignment)
  • Any graded quizzesor graded discussions you create, even if you create those items in other parts of your course (e.g. from the calendar, quizzes tab, or discussions tab).

Help your students stay on top of due dates

Use Built-in Due Dates in Canvas

Whenever you create an assessment or event in your course, it is important to include a due date using the built-in due date option for that item! All due dates will appear automatically in several areas of your course, including the course syllabus page and the calendar; students will also receive alerts about due dates through their Canvas notifications. If you need to change a due date during the semester, it will be automatically updated in each of those locations.

Using the built in due date option helps ensure the dates are accurate wherever they appear in the course, and this makes it easier for students to stay on track no matter how they access the information.

Watch this short video to see how due dates are automatically connected to the grade book, the syllabus tool, and the calendar:

Course Expectations (3 min) (transcript)