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Getting Ready for Finals: Online Testing Options

Thinking about online testing? Here are some things to consider and options available to you.


Canvas’ assessment tool is called Quizzes. Even if you create a complex final exam with dozens of questions, it will still be created with the Quizzes tool if you want Canvas to administer and grade the Quiz. For more information on administering a Canvas Quiz, visit our Assignments and Grading resource guide.

Note: Many publishers provide ZIP files of quiz questions and answers that can be uploaded directly into Canvas. Check your publisher’s website to see what is available to you. Anything your publisher provides doesn’t necessarily have to be used, but it can be helpful to have some test content to start out with.

There are several options in Quizzes that can help to preserve academic integrity:

  • Instructors can shuffle answers to their questions, or even randomize the questions
  • Strict Availability Dates can be set to narrow the window of opportunity given to students to view an exam
  • Most important, however, is the Timer function, which—when coupled with a strong balance of quantity and quality of exam questions—can do more to limit students to working on their own submission than anything else

Instructors do not have to use the Quizzes tool for testing, however. For some comprehensive testing, final compositions, and essay exams, the Assignments tool is a better fit:

  • Assignments allows students to submit their work remotely, and to upload their submission files directly to Canvas quickly and easily
  • SpeedGrader can be used to quickly read, annotate, and grade student submissions
  • The Assignments tool allows the use of Rubrics for grading submissions


Additional layers of protection are provided by the Respondus tools. If you’re new to Respondus LockDown Browser, head over to our Teaching Tools section to learn more.

  • Respondus LockDown Browser prevents students from using their computer for anything other than taking their online Quiz
  • Respondus Monitor captures audio and video footage of students while in the process of taking an exam, and flags that footage any time a student does anything it considers to be out of the ordinary

Akindi Users:

Starting as soon as April 8th, Akindi will begin to offer the ability for instructors to create a multiple choice exam, define a scoring key, and distribute a score sheet which includes the question text for students to fill out online. Currently, online assessments only include the score sheet. Additionally, the instructor has the ability to set limits for the exam duration. Students and faculty can find more information about Akindi Online electronic exam scoring on the Akindi help forum. Akindi does sync with the Canvas Gradebook.

Qualtrics Users:

Qualtrics also has the ability to develop online assessments and automatically score results for multiple choice questions and short answer text entry. Essay type questions can be collected but will need to be manually scored. Additionally, time limits can be placed on individual questions or on the entire exam. For more information on how to develop and score examples using Qualtrics, visit Qualtrics’ Scoring support page.  Qualtrics does NOT sync with the Canvas Gradebook.

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