Canvas giving students 5 extra minutes with a slow browser

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I have been using canvas for years at my university and I have never had this issue.  For all my Canvas quizzes, I put a time limit.  A student emailed me about a final they were taking saying that instead of getting a countdown timer, they got a message in red that said their browser was slow and it was removing the timer and giving them 5 extra minutes.  Like I said, I have been using Canvas for years, and this has never happened.  I reached out to a bunch of different people including Canvas support.  So I was figuring that student was making it up.  But then I was able to recreate it!  I had a few tabs open in Chrome and I got the message where the timer was that said in red "Your browser connectivity may be slow or unstable.  In spite of your browser's timer being disconnected, your answers will be recorded for an additional 5 minutes beyond the original time limit on this attempt."

Giving five minutes to students without my consent or knowledge makes me feel uncomfortable.  I also don't like that I don't know which students receive the message and additional time.  If a student is given additional time, shouldn't the instructor be informed?  I don't like it.  I also don't like no one knowing anything about it.  This sort of thing seems like something we should know.  But I don't know what can be done.  Any thoughts would be appreciated.

I guess the most helpful thing is acknowledging that it isn't necessarily a bogus thing students are saying.  I was able to observe it in a preview for a quiz.

1 Solution

Hello @kxs456 thanks for posting in the Community.

I understand we are investigating the message we see when taking a quiz "Your browser connectivity may be slow or unstable. In spite of your browser’s timer being disconnected, your answers will be recorded for an additional 5 minutes beyond the original time limit on this attempt"

I was looking into that message and we have been seen this before and I know the wording is a little confusing.

When the user network is unstable, Canvas will extend the time period for saving the answer entered BEFORE the timer runs out. This means that the answer will be saved before the timer runs out so that the students answers will be retained, and not submitted blank due to an unstable internet connection. So this error we are seeing is actually, in fact, extending the time for them to be able to take the quiz. 

I was looking in our guides and I was not seeing this error mentioned, but that is something that would show for users that are having internet network connection issues when taking a quiz.

This used to be mentioned in our guide regarding quiz options, and as others have stated, this does need to be clarified.

I would suggest using the Share Feedback button at the bottom of that guide in order to ask about somehow clarifying that guide regarding this.

Hope this helps!

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