Canvas Quizzes: Capabilities, Limitations, and Best Practices for Remote Testing


Canvas quizzes provide the following options:


  • Students require a stable, uninterrupted internet connection. Once a student begins a timed exam a countdown begins; if they lose access to the internet this countdown will continue even though they cannot access the quiz.
  • Should an instructor inadvertently input an incorrect question or answer while creating the quiz, quiz regrading only works in certain circumstances with multiple choice, true/false, or multiple answer questions. The only other way to give back credit is to use fudge points.
  • There are no options for sub-questions (multiple questions based on the same prompt) or scientific notations.
  • Word count is not currently available for essay questions.

Best Practices

  • Allow sufficient time to set up and test your Canvas quiz, especially if you are new to Canvas.
  • Make a plan for how you will handle technological problems and communicate this plan to your students.
  • Mitigate students’ stress levels by providing clear and detailed instructions for students in the event of a technological disruption.
  • In larger classes, instructors and TAs may wish to set up windows during which students may sign up to take an exam when TAs/Instructors are available via email to grant extra-attempts or add additional time for students with technology issues.
  • Another option is to pre-configure the exam to allow for multiple attempts and notify the students that unless there has clearly been a technological interference with their exam that only the first submission will be graded.
  • Create a zero-point practice quiz that students may take prior to the final in order to familiarize themselves with the format and trouble-shoot any technical issues.
  • Consider allowing students a slightly longer period for a timed exam as well as a broader window of availability that would allow students in different time zones to take the exam at a reasonable hour.
  • Clarify your expectations regarding the extent to which students are permitted to discuss answers with peers or TAs. You may wish to remind of Penn’s Code of Academic Integrity.
  • Hide correct answers and don’t post grades through Canvas until all students have taken the test and grades are assigned. 

For a comprehensive list of Canvas quiz features see: Exams and Quizzes Overview

For more information about creating your remote final exam see: CTL Resources and Strategies for Teaching Remotely

If you have any questions, please contact Courseware Support at

Last Updated: 20 Oct 2021

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