Canvas Spotlight

Formative Assessments

Last updated on November 14, 2022

Creating Formative Assessments with Quizzes

Formative assessments provide opportunities to monitor students’ learning and immediately provide feedback. Formative assessments are generally low stakes and provide learners with a chance to gauge their knowledge of the course content and use the provided feedback in order to correct their mistakes before moving on to another course topic. Formative assessments can take many forms, including practice quizzes, drafts of projects, knowledge checks, and more! This Canvas Spotlight focuses on using “New Quizzes,” Canvas’s most recent version of quizzes, to develop knowledge checks that can help create formative assessments for all resources in a course.

Best practices

  • Include formative assessments throughout the entire course to help students prepare for larger summative assessments.
  • Ensure students receive timely feedback on their formative assessments, whether the feedback comes from the instructor or automatic grading.
  • Incorporate knowledge checks that correspond to resources in the course so students can immediately monitor their understanding and get pre-programmed feedback that saves instructors time grading.

Let’s walk through it together

Create a New Quiz

  1. Click Quizzes in the course navigation.
  2. Click +Quiz”.
  3. Select the New Quizzes option.
    • To save your quiz engine selection for this course, check the Remember my choice for this course checkbox.
      • Note: You can reset your quiz engine choice from the Quiz Options menu at any time.
    • Click the Submit button.
  4. Type the Quiz title.
  5. Type 0” for points (knowledge checks are typically ungraded and not worth points).
  6. Check the Do not count this assignment towards the final grade box.
  7. Select Unlimited Attempts.
    • Note: This will allow students to practice and review the knowledge check as much as they want. Leave the due date blank so students realize they can go back and review the knowledge check at any time.
  8. Click Save or Save and Publish.

Add Questions to the Quiz

  1. Click the “+” button below the quiz instructions box in the middle of the page.
  2. Select Question Type.
  3. Type Question title (e.g., Institutions in the Auraria Campus).
  4. Type Question stem (e.g., Which of the following institutions are located in the Auraria Campus?).
  5. Type question answer choices if relevant to the question type.
    • Note: For knowledge checks, consider using question types such as Multiple choice, true false, fill in the blank, etc. which can be automatically graded by Canvas. This ensures that students receive immediate feedback and will not require instructor grading. Essay questions are not ideal for knowledge checks as they require manual grading from the instructor, and students will not receive immediate feedback.
  6. Click Done to save the question.
  7. Repeat Steps 1-6 to add more questions.

Add the Quiz to a Module

  1. Click Modules on the course navigation menu to the left.
  2. Click the + (Plus) icon to the right of the Module title.
    • Note: view the “Add Content to the Module” tutorial on the MSU Denver Ready site for more information about setting up modules.
  3. Select Assignment from the drop-down menu.
  4. Select the new quiz.
  5. Click Add item.
  6. Click and drag on the eight-dot icon to the left of an item’s name to reorder the item in the module as needed.