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Canvas Quizzes

NEW: A vision for education and skills at Newcastle University: Education for Life 2030+

Canvas Quizzes

Canvas quizzes offer a number question types, many of which can be automatically marked.  Canvas quizzes should not be used for long written answer/essay questions.  

Before settings are applied, the quiz must be created by following the Canvas guidance. It is important to note that the time and date that a quiz is available to students is set when creating the quiz rather than in the settings of the quiz. As with all content in Canvas the quiz needs to be published to be accessible by students; when they can access it is controlled by the date and time settings. 

A close-up of hand holding a pen, solving quiz

Using quizzes effectively

Note: links to Canvas Guides in this resource are for the New Quizzes tool.  In certain situations it may be more appropriate to use the Classic Quizzes tool, see Canvas: Classic versus New Quizzes functionality for more information.  

Ways of using quizzes

Quizzes can be used as a learning resource as well as an assessment tool.  Consider using a quiz in one or more of the following ways:  

Diagnostic test:

  • Aid students and instructors to gauge existing level of knowledge and understanding, and identify any weaker areas to focus on.  

Self-evaluation of learning:

  • Provide a short quiz that students can take after a learning activity, to check what they have learned and understood.
  • Consider adding written feedback for each question, to explain the correct answer(s) and why each distractor is incorrect, and/or to signpost related learning resources.  

Question design task:

  • Set students the task of designing quiz questions based on a specific learning resource, or a research assignment. 
  • As well as the question, correct answer and distractors, consider asking students to write feedback for correct and incorrect answers. 
  • Note that students do not have access to create quiz questions in Canvas themselves.  You could select the best submissions and create a Canvas quiz from them for all students on the module to try.  


  • Set quizzes on topics covered throughout a module, using settings to release feedback immediately. 
  • Consider using item banks and creating a quiz that presents students with a different random set of questions from the bank each time. 
  • Allow students to take the test multiple times.  

Summative assessment:

  • Consider using a range of question types to assess different levels and learning outcomes. 
  • Quizzes can include a combination of automatically marked questions and short written answer questions that are marked manually. 
  • Quizzes are not recommended for long written answer or essay questions.  

Frequently asked questions