Quizzes in Canvas

There are four types of Quizzes and Surveys in Canvas. All of the varieties of Quizzes have similar settings that can be set by the instructor. There are few distinctions between the choices, and they appear in the table below.

Type of Quiz

Keep submissions Anonymous?

Shows points in Gradebook?


Graded Quiz                           

No  Yes

Mute grades before students take the quiz.

Practice Quiz

No  No

Select “multiple attempts” to allow for more practice.


Graded Survey                                                  

Yes Yes

Canvas automatically applies participation points once students complete the survey. Submissions can be kept anonymous.  

Ungraded Survey

Yes No

Submissions can be kept anonymous.  


A column will be created in the gradebook for each quiz or survey that is created as Graded.

Setting up Quizzes

There are several ways for faculty or GSIs to set up a quiz that both helps in grading and encourages good scholarship. Students are always clever with technology, and it is difficult to prevent them from looking up the answers online while taking an electronic quiz.

One method to discourage academic dishonesty is to give the quiz a time limit. Students will have to know the material well to complete the quiz on time.

Another common method of quiz design is to use a large question bank of multiple choice questions and set the time for taking the quiz, which randomly includes different questions for each student. This method works well with subjects that require learning a large amount of vocabulary.

QTI Format in Canvas Quizzes

Some textbook publishers provide a question bank in QTI (Question and Test Interoperability) format for easy quiz creation. QTI format allows assessment materials to be authored and delivered on multiple systems interchangeably.1  

When importing quizzes from previous semester courses, it is important to use the QTI option in Canvas. Using the import may result in a loss of data or functionality in the quiz.

Canvas Quizzes also provide matching, fill in the blank, true/false and text entry fields for questions. When choosing to use a combination of question styles, the faculty member must “Mute” the column of grades in the gradebook before students take the quiz. Only certain question types result in automatically graded quizzes. Any quizzes with content that requires review (such as essay questions) by faculty or GSIs for grading should not have the grades released immediately to students after taking the quiz. The missing points from the essay section of the quiz will alarm students and lead to excessive email requests and questions for the faculty member.

Surveys in Canvas

Ungraded Surveys: The main purpose of surveys is to obtain information and opinions from students. Instructors usually administer ungraded surveys for student evaluations, peer evaluations on group work and presentations, and student opinions about issues outside of their courses. You have the option to make submissions for ungraded surveys anonymous.

Graded Surveys: Graded surveys are similar to ungraded surveys, except you can give students points for completing the survey. Graded surveys do not let you grade by question.


1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QTI - extracted 12/14/2016 at 10:39am