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On this page you will find guidance for setting up and managing various assignment types within Canvas. Whilst this guidance is focused on contributory and summative approved modes of assessment, much of it is equally applicable to formative assessment.

For help and support related to the administration of assessments in Sussex Direct or CMS please speak with your relevant School office colleagues.

  • How to edit ‘Canvas Turnitin’ and ‘Canvas Online’ assignments

    This guidance will take you through how to edit the description of ‘Canvas Turnitin’ and ‘Canvas Online’ assessments to provide students with contextual information or supporting files.

    Please do not edit the settings of the assignment or delete it from your site. If any changes need to be made please contact your School Office who can update assessment details.

    Use the following steps.

    1. Go to your Canvas module site and click ‘Assignments’.
    2. Click the title of your assessment.
    3. Click ‘Edit assignment settings’.
    4. Click in the title field to edit the title of the assignment. If any change is made to the assessment details in the university database this will revert back to the default naming convention (such as Essay, 1000 words, T1 Week 8).
    5. Place your cursor below the statutory Turnitin or Canvas Online information and type in your text.
    6. If you would like to include files, use the chevron next to the ‘Document’ icon.
    7. You can now select ‘Upload Document’ to add a new file, or ‘Module Documents’ to choose a file that is already in the module’s files.
    8. If you select ‘Module Documents,’ a side bar will pop out showing the list of files on the module.
    9. Click the file you want to add.
    10. The link will appear at the location of your cursor.
    11. Do not change any of the assignment settings.
    12. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click ‘Save’.
    13. You will probably this warning, Do not make any changes to the sections, just click ‘Continue’.
  • How to set up a Take Away Paper (TAP) assignment

    A TAP is an assessment submitted within a given time period from the time the unseen paper is published. Students may use web resources, notes and/or texts when completing a TAP.

    • Automatically created in Canvas: Yes
    • Duration: Typically 24 or 48 hours with a ‘notional’ work time of 8 hours..
    • Submission points available:
      • Canvas Online
      • Canvas Turnitin
    • Ability to pull grades in to Sussex Direct: Yes
    • Reasonable adjustments: Automatically applied for you

    To set up a TAP, you will need to follow these steps:

    • Upload a file with scheduled availability to prevent access prior to the start of the TAP.
    • Update the Assignment information to ensure clear instructions and links to the relevant exam files are available.

    For help with either step please see the File availability and other common steps for supporting students with online assessment guidance section below.

  • How to set up a Distance Exam (DEX) assignment

    A DEX is a test of knowledge and understanding where the student is required to complete the exam remotely under timed conditions and to submit the file electronically, as instructed, by the end of the exam.

    • Automatically created in Canvas: Yes
    • Duration: Available for 24 hours with expected work time of 1-2 hours.
    • Submission points available:
      • Canvas Online
      • Canvas Turnitin
    • Ability to pull grades in to Sussex Direct: Yes
    • Reasonable adjustments: Students self organise their time accordingly.

    To set up a DEX, you will need to follow these steps:

    • Upload a file with scheduled availability to prevent access prior to the start of the DEX.
    • Update the Assignment information to ensure clear instructions and links to the relevant exam files are available.

    For help with either step please see the File availability and other common steps for supporting students with online assessment guidance section below.

  • How to set up a Computer based Examination (CEX) using Canvas Online or Turnitin


    Note: Whilst similar to DEX, this was adopted to enable online exams during the pandemic. It has since been refined to provide a better experience for students and staff, and in most cases would be a suitable alternative to DEX to enable timed exam conditions. See associated news item for headline changes.

    A Computer Based Examination (CEX) is a computer based test of knowledge and understanding by question/s not known to the student prior to the examination.

    • Automatically created in Canvas: No
    • Duration: Typically 1-2 hours, plus an additional 30 minutes for administrative tasks. For example a 2 hour exam would be 2.5 hours of 150 minutes.
    • Submission points available:
      • These will be set as Ask tutor in Sussex Direct
      • You can then choose to use Canvas Online or Canvas Turnitin within Canvas
    • Ability to pull grades in to Sussex Direct: No
    • Reasonable adjustments: Manually set, follow linked guidance.

    Setting up a CEX

    To set up a CEX, you will need to follow these steps:

    1. Go to the module within Canvas. In the module menu select the Assignments option.
    2. Select + Assignment.
    3. Add an assignment name. This name will be displayed to students and should indicate that this is a CEX assessment.
    4. Add assessment instructions. Enter information and instructions here. This will be displayed to students before they start the assessment. This is where a link to the exam paper will be placed.
    5. Ensure that Points are set to 100.
    6. Ensure that Assignment group is set to Contributory E-submission.
    7. Please note: At this stage the guidance will differ depending on if you are setting up a Canvas Online or Turnitin assessment, for Canvas Online specific guidance follow steps 8-10, for Turnitin specific guidance follow steps 11-13, then follow on from step 14 for both types of assessment.
    8. For Canvas Online assessments ensure that Submission type is set to Online.
    9. Tick the File uploads option to ensure the submission will allow file uploads.
    10. If you wish to restrict the file types that students are able to upload then tick the Restrict upload file types option and type the file extensions into the field below. This marks the end of the Canvas Online specific steps. Now go to step 14.
    11. For Turnitin assessments, change the Submission type to External tool using the drop-down box.
    12. Under External tool options select Find.
    13. Within the Configure external tools menu scroll down the list and select UoS e-submission standard settings and then click Select.
    14. Set allowed attempts to Unlimited.
    15. By default the Assign to setting will be set to assign the assessment to all students enrolled on the module. Alter the Assign to settings if you need to adjust which students have access to the assessment.
    16. Adjust the Due, Available from and Until settings to reflect the time window of the CEX, the Available from date and time controls when students can access the CEX and the Until date and time controls when the CEX will close, the Due date and time should match the Until date and time.

    Setting up the exam paper file

    A CEX assessment may require students to download an exam paper. To make the paper available to students only once they’ve started their assessment attempt, it is important to carry out the following steps.

    1. First go to the Files area and click + Folder to create a new folder within Files.
    2. Name the folder ‘Exam Papers’ or similar and then click the ✓ icon.
    3. Click on the green tick icon next to the folder name to edit the folder permissions.
    4. Select the option Only available to students with link and then click the Update button. The green icon next to the folder will turn into a crossed-out eye icon.
    5. Open the ‘Exam Papers’ folder by clicking on the folder’s name.
    6. Ensure you are within the folder then click Upload and choose the appropriate paper to upload.
    7. Locate and edit the CEX assignment you created earlier.
    8. Click the chevron arrow next to the link icon on the toolbar above the assessment instructions, this will display a submenu where you can select the option Module Links.
    9. The Add sidebar will then appear on the right-hand side of the screen, ensure the top dropdown box is set to Files.
    10. You’ll then be shown a directory of files, select Course files to see all files and file folders associated with the current module, navigate to wherever the exam paper is saved and select the exam paper file.

    A link to the paper will now have been created within the assessment. Students will only be able to access it once they have access to the assignment.

    Setting up Reasonable Adjustments (RAs)

    1. Edit the CEX assignment
    2. Scroll to the bottom of the settings to the Assign settings and select the +Add option
    3. Within the Assign to search for the relevant RA students and select them.
    4. Set the Available from and Until dates and times to set the time window for the RA students (For example if the CEX was an hour long and RA students get 25% extra time then you would ensure the window was open for an hour and 15 minutes.)
    5. Select Save to save your changes.

    Marking and marks release

    This is important guidance about marking and marks release.

    Set grade posting policy to manual

    You must change the grade posting policy to manual, to ensure grades aren’t shown to students until you are ready to release them. Please note assessments need to be published before you can alter the grade posting policy.

    1. Select Grades from the module menu.
    2. Within the grades screen you’ll see columns for each of the module’s assignments and quizzes. Locate the relevant CEX assignment and click the vertical ellipsis button next to the assignment name.
    3. This will display set of options; from these, click Grades posting policy.
    4. This will open the Grade posting policy menu on the right-hand side of the screen. Select the option Manually and then click the save button.
    5. You should then receive a notification at the top of the screen confirming that grades have been hidden.
    Turnitin Release date

    If you have set up the assessment as a Turnitin assignment then you will need to set the Turnitin release date.

    1. Go into the CEX assignment.
    2. Select the Settings option, this appears as a gear icon and will either be found directly on the assignment page or if you are on a smaller screen you may have to select the hamburger menu icon to reveal a submenu that will contain the Settings option.
    3. Within the Turnitin assignment settings look at the Feedback Release Date field, this contains a date when any feedback for the assignment will be released, ensure this is set to the date and time you’d like feedback released.
    4. If you need to alter the date and/or time then you can either type in a new date and time or select the calendar icon next which will bring up a calendar submenu, allowing you to select a new date. Once you have made the alteration select the Submit button to save your changes.
    Posting grades
    1. To post grades and feedback to Canvas you will need to manually release them, to do this go into Grades.
    2. Within the grades screen you’ll see columns for each of the module’s assignments. Locate the relevant CEX assignment and click the vertical ellipsis button next to the assignment name. Then select Post grades within the submenu that appears.
    3. A sidebar menu will then appear, within this menu select Post to post all grades and feedback to Canvas.
  • How to set up a Presentation (PRE), Oral (ORL) or Group Presentation (GPN) assignment

    Presentation (PRE) is a prepared oral presentation by a student before a Marker/s and/or peers, where knowledge, technical content, ability to answer questions and presentational skills are assessed.

    Oral (ORL) is a test of knowledge and/or ability conducted between a Marker/s and a student by means of spoken face-to-face questioning led by the Marker/s in which the student has no knowledge of the questions beforehand. Group Presentation (GPN) is a presentation prepared and made collectively by a group.

    The recommended submission point for these assessment modes is Ask Tutor, however for solo presentation modes it can be Canvas Online.

    Panopto, Canvas and/or Zoom provide potential means of conducting presentations/oral assessments remotely, taking advantage of students’ access to these platforms. These are likely to be new assessment processes for students, so attention will need to be given to the guidance they receive in how to make and submit their presentation/oral. Schools are strongly advised to liaise with EE to ensure correct setup of these types of assessments.

    Please note that if a School would like a presentation to be submitted for marking using the University’s e-submission workflow, it is recommended that the assessment mode is changed to Project or Media and submission point switched to Canvas Online. Marking of submissions will involve use of SpeedGrader. Training in use of this marking tool may be required. This should not be used for Group Presentations (GPN) though if only one student is expected to submit as the rest will be marked as non-submissions.

    What else do I need to know?

    When planning the assessment, note that:
    • for oral assessments or presentations involving questioning, the time zones of the participants will need to be taken into consideration when scheduling the assessment
    • where students are asked to record a presentation, the submission location (Panopto Assignment Folder or Canvas Assignment) will need to be created manually in the relevant Canvas module
    • only one Panopto Assignment Folder can be created for each module, although this folder can be used for multiple assessments, if necessary. Students will be able to submit multiple recordings to a Panopto Assignment Folder, so clarity of communication around expectations and assessment protocol will be vital
    • the recommended maximum file size for a single upload in Canvas or Panopto is 1GB.
    Pedagogical/practical considerations:
    1. Where the assessment is designed around a question and answer process between assessor and candidate, a one-to-one meeting in Zoom could be used to facilitate this process. Where the assessment is intended to include peer questioning, a group meeting in Zoom could be used.
    2. For individual presentations, students would be able to download and use the Panopto recording software to create a recording of themselves making the presentation and submit this, either in Canvas or through a Panopto Assignment Folder for the module.
    3. For situations where students are talking to an on-screen presentation, such as a set of PowerPoint slides, the Panopto Recorder will similarly provide the most consistent and reliable mechanism.
    4. Where only video or audio of a student making a presentation is required, students could additionally make use of any audio or video tools on their personal devices. The video or audio files produced in this way could be uploaded to a manually-created Canvas assignment or to a Panopto Assignment Folder.
    5. Students should be alerted in time for them to take any steps to download/install any required software and more.

    How to set up and manage a Canvas Group Presentation task

    This guide will take you through the process for setting up a formative Group Presentation task for your students. In this guide we suggest you use the Canvas Discussion for sharing Group Presentations between students for peer review and comments. This guide will cover setting up a discussion space for students to post their recording, and how to manage and review submissions.

    Set up a Discussion

    Use these steps to set up a discussion.

    1. Select ​Discussion​ from the module menu.
    2. Select ​+Discussion​ to open the new assignment form.
    3. Give the ​Discussion​ a title in the ​Subject​.
    4. Add instructions about the assignment in the ​Discussion​ post box.
    5. If this is a contributory assignment, check the ​Graded box​.
    6. Do not set ​‘This is a group assignment’​ else students outside the group will not see each others’ posts.
    Give students instructions

    Ask the EE team for the ​student guide for submitting formative Group Presentations​ which you can share with your students.

    Giving students feedback

    You can leave the students feedback by replying to their Discussion post. Alternatively, you can use the Panopto Discussion Tool to leave feedback at specific points during the recording.

    How to create a Canvas Online presentation assignment

    This guide will take you through the process of creating a Canvas Online assignment for students to submit video presentations for the assessment modes Presentation (PRE) or Oral (ORL).

    Create a new Canvas Online assignment
    1. Select Assignments from the module menu.
    2. Select + Assignment to open the new assignment form.
    3. Give the assignment a title. The convention is to use A for assessment period and T for term/semester followed by the week. For example, A2 Week 2 would be for an assignment due in Week 2 of assessment period 2.
    4. Add instructions about the assignment in the assignment details box. Please copy, past and amend the text below these steps.
    5. Set the points for the assignment to 100.
    6. If this is a contributory assignment, set the assignment group to Contributory E-Submission. If not, leave this as Assignments.
    7. Set the assignment submission type to Online.
    8. Check the option for File Uploads. To avoid students submitting file types that may be hard for tutors to view, it is recommended to enable Restrict upload file types. MP4 is a standard for video files and students may submit a PowerPoint file with embedded narration in PPT or PPTX format.
    9. If the assignment is for all students on the module, set the Assign to to Standard.
    10. Set the due date and time.
    11. If there is a 7-day late period, set the Until date to 7-days after the due date. If there is no late submission period, then enter the due date here. Leaving the Available from date blank will mean that it is visible to students as soon as published.
    12. If there are students with reasonable adjustments. Click + Add to add another due date. Remember to assign the additional due date to the correct candidate.
    13. Click Save & Publish.
    This assignment is submitted through Canvas (student notice for use)

    Please note that:

    • it is your responsibility to ensure you submit the correct work for your assignment; check carefully that any files are your final work before you submit them
    • in making a submission, you are declaring that your work contains no examples of academic misconduct, such as plagiarism, collusion or fabrication of results
    • you can submit and resubmit work up to your deadline.

    If after the deadline has passed, you:

    • have already submitted work your last submission before the deadline will be marked and any further submission you make will not be considered
    • have not yet submitted work you will have a further 7-days to make a submission. This late submission will normally incur a penalty. Only the first work submitted during this period will be marked; any further work you submit during this period will not be considered.
  • How to setup a Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) assignment

    A Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) assessment is a test of knowledge and understanding where the student is required to select the correct answer/s from a list.

    • Automatically created in Canvas: No
    • Duration: Varies
    • Submission points available:
      • These will be set as Ask tutor in Sussex Direct
      • The guidance below refers to using Canva Quizzes (Classic)
    • Ability to pull grades in to Sussex Direct: No
    • Reasonable adjustments: Manually set, follow linked guidance.

     

    To set up a MCQ, you will need to follow these steps:

    1. Go to your module within Canvas. In the module menu, click the ‘Quizzes’ option.
    2. Click ‘+Quiz’.
    3. You will then be presented with a menu asking you to choose between ‘Classic Quizzes’ and ‘New Quizzes’. Choose the option for Classic Quizzes and then click the ‘Submit’ button.
    4. You’ll then be brought into the quiz settings.
    5. Add a ‘Quiz title’. This title will be displayed to students and should indicate that this is the MCQ assessment.
    6. Add ‘Quiz instructions’. Enter information and instructions here. This will be displayed to students before they start the quiz.
    7. Select a ‘Quiz type’. Then select ‘Graded quiz’
    8. Next complete the Quiz Options; there are certain options that need to be set-up to ensure the MCQ works correctly.
      • Shuffle answers – if selected, Canvas will shuffle the order of questions that appear to students, decreasing the risk of collusion between students. This is recommended for MCQ assessments. (If this option is enabled then you must ensure none of your quiz question rely on the potential answers displaying in a set order).
      • Time limit –This should be left unchecked. Time limits will be controlled through the Assign to From and Until options rather than the time limit option. (See step 9 for details)
      • Allow multiple attempts – This should be left unchecked.
      • Let students see their quiz responses - This should be left unchecked.
      • Show one question at a time – you are recommended to select this option, which will present questions one at a time in the quiz; otherwise all questions will appear on the screen in a list.
    9. Adjust the Due, Available from and Until settings to reflect the time window of the MCQ, the Available from date and time controls when students can access the MCQ and the Until date and time controls when the MCQ will close, the Due date and time should match the Until date and time.

     

    Creating questions

    Once you have entered the quiz details, you will need to populate the quiz with questions.

    1. Scroll to the top of the page and click ‘Questions’.
    2. In order for your quiz questions to be randomised you’ll need to create a question group containing all your quiz questions. Click + ‘New question group’. Note: the points available for each question in a question group must be the same. If your assessment has questions worth different numbers of points, these questions must be added separately and cannot be randomised. In this case, click ‘+ New question’ instead and go to step 5 below.
    3. Enter a name for the question group, how many questions your quiz will have, the number of points available for each question and then click ‘Create group’.
    4. You’ll now have an empty question group, to fill it with questions click the + icon within the group box to add questions to the quiz.
    5. You’ll then be taken to the question creation screen.
    6. Select your question type from the dropdown box.
    7. See Canvas guidance on creating your selected question type in the below question type bulletpoints
    8. Repeat these steps for each additional question you need to create.
    9. Finally click Save and publish at the bottom of the page to make your quiz available to your students.

     

    Setting up Reasonable Adjustments (RAs)
    1. Edit the quiz
    2. Scroll to the bottom of the settings to the Assign settings and select the +Add option.
    3. Within the Assign to search for the relevant RA students and select them.
    4. Set the Available from and Until dates and times to set the time window for the RA students (For example if the MCQ was an hour long and RA students get 25% extra time then you would ensure the window was open for an hour and 15 minutes).
    5. Select Save to save your changes.

     

    Changing the grade posting policy

    For MCQ assessments, you must change the grade posting policy to manual, to ensure grades aren’t shown to students until you are ready to release them.
    To do this:

    1. Select Grades from the module menu.
    2. Within the grades screen you’ll see columns for each of the module’s assignments and quizzes. Locate the relevant quiz and click the vertical ellipsis button next to the quiz name.
    3. This will display a set of options; from these, click Grades posting policy.
    4. This will open the Grade posting policy menu on the right-hand side of the screen. Select the option Manually and then click the save button.

     

    Images in quizzes

    Please note if you are uploading images to use within a quiz students can view the names of image files, therefore do not include any information within the image’s file name that could help the student answer the question. It’s advisable to give image files generic names such as quizimage1, quizimage 2 and so on.

  • File availability and other common steps for supporting students with online assessment

    Important note on the Files menu item

    When uploading an exam file, you will need to ensure that students do not have access to the file prematurely. The easiest way to do this is to hide the Files area in the module navigation.

    Remember that:

    • you should check to ensure this is hidden by looking for the crossed-out eye icon next to Files in the module menu
    • students will not receive notifications of files being uploaded while this is hidden
    • if students require access to material in the files area, then either make the Files area visible again once you’ve set the restrictions on the uploaded exam file or use a restricted folder within Files to make your uploads, allowing Files to be visible.

    Uploading and restricting access to a file using scheduled availability

    1. First go to the ‘Files’ area and click ‘+Folder’ to create a new folder within ‘Files’.
    2. Name the folder ‘Exam Papers’ or similar and then click the ✓ icon.
    3. Click on the green tick icon next to the folder name to edit the folder permissions.
    4. Select the option ‘Only available to students with link’ and then click the ‘Update’ button. The green icon next to the folder will turn into a crossed-out eye icon.
    5. Open the ‘Exam Papers’ folder by clicking on the folder’s name.
    6. Ensure you are within the folder then click ‘Upload’ and choose the appropriate paper to upload.
    7. Any files you upload to a folder set with folder permissions to ‘Only available to students with link’ should inherit the same permissions, but you can always check this by ensuring files have the hidden eye icon next to them. If the icon is different, you can change the permissions of the file using the same steps as used to change the folder settings in steps 3 and 4.

    Adding a link to the exam paper in the Assignment instructions

    For students to see the exam paper you will need to add a link to it in the Assignment details.

    1. From ‘Assignments’ in the module navigation menu, click on the Assignment you want to edit.
    2. Click on Edit assignment settings.
    3. Locate and click to select where you would like the link to the exam paper to appear within the instructions
    4. Select the ‘down chevron by’ chain icon in the RCE and then ‘module links’.
    5. Click ‘Files’ in the Panel and navigate through the Course files to find the relevant exam paper.
    6. Select the relevant exam paper file to insert a link into the assignment instructions.

    Setting an ‘Available From’ date for the Assignment

    You will need to restrict access to the assignment page to ensure students cannot view the exam paper file ahead of time, this is done by setting an Available From date and time.

    1. From ‘Assignments’ in the module navigation menu, click on the Assignment you want to edit.
    2. Edit the assignment settings; there are two routes to this dependent on the submission type. For a Canvas Online submission click ‘Edit’, and for a Turnitin submission click the ‘Edit assignment’ settings.
    3. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find the ‘Assign’ options, locate the ‘Available From’ field.
    4. Type in the date and time that you wish for the assignment page to become available to students. Prior to this date and time students won’t be able to access the assignment page or any exam paper file links within the page.

Last updated: 11 November 2022

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