[New Quizzes] Improve the warning when a student is running out of time

Canvas has a feature which gives a warning when the student is running out of time (60 minutes left, 5 minutes left, 1 minute left). However, this warning is a small pop-up that is open for five seconds.

When I have students working on problems, they can easily miss this warning. It should be improved by doing at least one of the following (and preferably both):

  • Being larger, more visible, perhaps flashing
  • Playing a sound

Currently, there does not seem to be any way to do this, or have an audio file play when the quiz starts. (I've seen references to creating links which allow the students to play sounds, but this would be automatic.)

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I'd recommend warnings be optional features that students can choose to enable/disable themselves rather than instructors deciding for the entire class.  Some students need that warning, but others will have more test anxiety with warnings.  Allowing students to choose whether or not to see the warning allows individuals to take control in an appropriate way and could help some students feel more confident with managing the time they have remaining.


Allowing students the freedom to customize when the warning appears would help them set whatever is best for themselves.  One person may prefer a 10 minute warning and a 2 minute warning rather than the 5 minute and 1 minute (60 second) ones.  This would also allow individual students to decide on timings that are most helpful depending on the quiz type.

For example, the 60 minute warning isn't as helpful in a 75 minute test as it is in a 120 minute test.  If a test ends with Essay questions, the 5 minute warning might or might not be helpful.  Then the 1 minute warning is more helpful with a last minute multiple choice question and is less helpful when responding to an essay or show your work type question.

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