[New Quizzes] Student Highlight & Annotation Tools for Quizzes

Standardized testing looms large in the minds of all 3-8 grade teachers, in NJ where I work especially,  but also across the country. One of the skills students need to be able to succeed on the PARCC or SBA is to organize their thinking while reading across texts in an online testing environment, in order to write coherent essays and answer multiple choice questions citing text evidence in their answers. We teach them to do that by highlighting portions of the text as they are reading or going back to re-read, so they can use those pieces of evidence in writing their constructed responses. This is what they will be expected to do when they take PARCC or SBA.


We want our teachers to use Canvas to create engaging, meaningful, creative and collaborative learning experiences for students. The unfortunate reality of PARCC and SBA results being tied to teacher evaluations means our teachers also want tools they can use to specifically and directly help students practice for high-stakes testing. Annotation tools would go a long way in that regard. Please consider developing a way for students to highlight text in quizzes.

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Community Novice

Hi all,
I'm part of the learning tech team at our higher ed institution. We are keen to see an functionality like this in Canvas New Quizzes LTI so that we can look into decommissioning old tech. Specifically, we're interested in administering a reading assessment where our students need to be able to select/highlight the incorrect word in an extended passage. Example of an H5P task which fits out requirements copied below.

Example: Mark the Words | H5P

As an UserI want toSo that
Academiccreate an autograded reading taskI can understand our student's academic language proficiency
Learnerhighlight, remove or select the incorrect words/passages in the reading taskI can easily see my progress

Whilst there are complex workarounds we thought of for this specific feature request such as 'drag and drop,' it is not intuitive for extended reading tasks (20-30 minutes).

Community Explorer

I teach mathematics, computer science and project management.  Countless times I desperately needed to annotate student responses in Canvas and could not.  Consequently, many times I have avoided using Canvas altogether on assignments because this basic teacher tool is glaringly absent

I get very annoyed when I read statements like "Our developers considered this but it did not did not meet our prioritization criteria" or "We will consider this if if meets our vote quota" or some other nonsense.  I understand there are many requests for improvements and other bells and whistles facing the developers but I argue this is a fundamental tool and is an oversight and flaw in the original design. It should not considered a potential upgrade languishing in a catalog of esoteric requests.  We teachers spend countless hours grading student work.  Where is our electronic equivalent of a red pen?  Requests for robust annotation tools was documented in early 2016 and now we are going into 2020.  Enough! when are we going to see it?

Community Novice

Has this function been added since you've posted several years ago? Med student here hoping it has!

Community Novice

Sadly, it has not been added.

Eric Myers

Social Studies Teacher

Long Reach High School


Community Novice

Not that I know of.


Community Explorer

Hi there. No, sadly... We have moved to a separate system where strikeouts and highlights are supported via an integrated 3rd party tool.

Community Novice

Students in nursing have to learn application-style testing. They do this by breaking down the questions to its components. It would be great for them to be able to highlight and also make side notes to help their critical thinking.

Toni Vezeau, Seattle U

Community Member

Any updates on this feature?

Our math department and students would highly benefit

Community Novice

I would like for students to be able to draw on rectilinear area problems on their practice quizzes.  This would be especially helpful at the 4th grade level.

Community Explorer