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shane_cronin
Surveyor II

Available Until field overrides Timer in New Quizzes

Until recently, the Available Until field in Canvas for New Quizzes imposed no hard deadline on New Quizzes (in the way that Classic Quizzes does) - it simply dictated the window within which students could launch the quiz. 

Example: A quiz has a 60 minute time limit and availability from 12pm until 12:10pm. The student started the quiz at 12:09pm. They are able to work on the quiz for the full 60 minutes from the launch time and either submit before the timer ends or New Quizzes auto-submits for when the timer is up.

However, it appears this relationship between timer and available until function in Canvas has changed in recent days to work more like Classic Quizzes in that the "Available Until" field now stops the quiz and auto submits - it does not take the timer into account like before.

I have read some other related articles in forums over the months, but wondered if anyone has experienced this change, which appears to be undocumented as a Feature update anywhere by Canvas?

Very frustrated with the existence of Two quiz tools in Canvas. We have been advocating for New Quiz adoption from day one, when Canvas were saying that the tool would become the defacto tool within the year. This is two years later and we are still looking at July 2021 for this to occur? It is causing much confusion with users.

 

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7 Replies
SuSorensen
Instructure
Instructure

I would like to begin by saying that I understand the gravity of the situation. To your point, changes to behavior around assessments are impactful generally and more so during this particular time of year. The response from support conveys that we had intended -- to "fix the new quizzes" functionality to lock the quiz after the until date so that it provided a consistent experience for users of both classic and new quizzes. It is clear that this change is not a bug fix in your situation, but entirely new behavior. 
It sounds like that is not actually a granular enough action, and that the lock should allow the time to run out on the timer prior to auto-submit/ locking a student from answers. Is that an accurate interpretation? 
 
After doing a little forensics on this release, I've found that it was deployed on December 3rd. As you mention on December 7th the release notes did not include the fix description. This appears to be a failure of our internal process which will be examined and addressed. 
 
In the past year, Instructure has been adjusting to Covid specific needs, due to this the July 2021 enforcement will not stand. I will be looking at how to expediently bridge any truly critical user identified gaps between Classic Quizzes and New Quizzes ASAP. I wholeheartedly agree that two tools create confusion and additionally maintaining two tools creates division. Unifying the community around New Quizzes is the primary goal for 2021. 

@SuSorensen  December 9th a student of mine manged to trigger a start to a new attempt on a quiz that was locked since Nov 24th.  (Start but not actually even begin the first question).  The result was the earlier legitimate score replaced by a zero from this inappropriate "attempt."   Support attributed it to cached pages, and I am not sure the student intended to start a new attempt.  The December 3rd update does not seem to have been a complete fix for the issue, if the goal was to have availability dates enforced in new quizzes.

The legacy quiz behavior of locking all attempts at the until time is what is expected by most users, but it may be reasonable to allow timed quizzes started during the available times to use the complete allotted time.  It would not be appropriate to let an un-timed quiz continue indefinitely.  The behavior needs to be communicated to instructors setting up assessments either way, so that we can provide correct settings and instructions for our students.

erinhmcmillan
Community Team
Community Team

Hi @shane_cronin 

Thanks for your patience on this. The fix was added to our Canvas Deploy Notes (2020-12-02) - Canvas Community

Thank you!

Erin

@Steven_S I can try to see if I can make this trigger as well, but if you haven't already done so, please submit a support ticket. Then we can capture all of the details and make sure it can be resolved. Thanks for letting me know you ran into an issue. 

@SuSorensenI provided the quiz link and student's name to chat support and they determined that the student had passed the check for the availability dates on a previous use of their device, and so when they returned to the page that cached copy opened and the check was not repeated.  Instead the new quiz registered the initiation of the quiz, even though it must have immediately closed the new "attempt."  The chat support said they might pass the information to a higher support level, but I have not heard back about a ticket.  Instead I started an idea conversation right after ending the chat: https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Idea-Conversations/New-Quizzes-availability-dates-accurately-cont...

The problem was that the quiz was set to use the latest attempt, so it changed the student's grade from 100% to 0%.  I likely would not have heard about it otherwise.

Hi, I'm a bit confused about the fix linked to here?

Shane's post seems to be describing that he'd discovered that the Available Until date doesn't take account of the timer - and Erin's post seems to indicate a 'fix' to this. But it seems to describe the same behaviour reported by Shane.

"If a quiz includes an Until date, the quiz autosubmits on the Until date, and quizzes cannot be attempted after the Until date. However, if a quiz has no Until date, timed and untimed quizzes are not affected."

Apologies - am I misunderstanding?

cheers

@james_trueman  It seems that new quizzes temporarily behaved differently then expected with regards to the until date.  Temporarily, new quizzes were allowing students to continue past the until date/time, which is expected to close their access to the quiz in either classic or new quizzes.  Shane expected that behavior to continue.  Canvas corrected the behavior to match what was expected:  When the until date/time arrived, the quiz closes and autosubmits.  The change Shane observed was the implementation of that fix.  Adding an option to allow students to continue until the timer runs out even beyond the until date is something that you or Shane could suggest here: https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Idea-Conversations/idb-p/ideas