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leo_devin
Community Participant

File permissions for exams/tests

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Hi!

Some colleagues and I have experienced the following issue:

We wanted to create a test with a file that the students only should have access to from a specific date & time.
This is easy enough, BUT when uploading a file, the DEFAULT setting is "published", so we manually have to set status to "unpublished", "access via link", or "specific time interval" (translated from the options in the Swedish version).

So the issue is that if we forget this, the students have access to the file in advance. Actually in one case a Lecturer waited about 5 seconds to change the permissions which was enough for for one student to access and download the file (which contained an exam).

Does anybody how to solve this, apart from uploading the file some seconds before the exam is about to start (which van be impractical in some cases).

/Leo#

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kblack
Community Champion

Hi  @leo_devin  - I feel your pain, as do many instructors at my own institution that have had similar things happen to them.  Frankly the best way to 100% avoid thisis to simply disable the Files menu item altogether from student view via Settings and then clicking the Navigation tab at the top of the settings screen.  I do this myself when I teach, and it has been a life-saver for this very reason.  Naturally, this may be a bit too major a step for some instructors who are otherwise used to having students head directly to the Files area to get material, since it involves creating links to each and every file somewhere on a page, assignment, module etc., that students are directed to. 

But if this happens a lot to people, they may prefer the security of hiding the Files menu area over the hassle of having to set permissions immediately otherwise....which, frankly, is about the only way to otherwise control this, as you surmised. 

The other possibility is placing these files as a first step into a folder that has not been published.  If a folder is not published, students will not see anything in that folder.  HOWEVER, that will still involve--when the test is ready to be deployed--putting the file in another area later, since any file--even if it is linked to--in a folder which is not published will NOT be able to be seen by students or downloaded at all.  (Students will get the message that the folder is locked.)

Hope this helps a bit, Leo.

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kblack
Community Champion

Hi  @leo_devin  - I feel your pain, as do many instructors at my own institution that have had similar things happen to them.  Frankly the best way to 100% avoid thisis to simply disable the Files menu item altogether from student view via Settings and then clicking the Navigation tab at the top of the settings screen.  I do this myself when I teach, and it has been a life-saver for this very reason.  Naturally, this may be a bit too major a step for some instructors who are otherwise used to having students head directly to the Files area to get material, since it involves creating links to each and every file somewhere on a page, assignment, module etc., that students are directed to. 

But if this happens a lot to people, they may prefer the security of hiding the Files menu area over the hassle of having to set permissions immediately otherwise....which, frankly, is about the only way to otherwise control this, as you surmised. 

The other possibility is placing these files as a first step into a folder that has not been published.  If a folder is not published, students will not see anything in that folder.  HOWEVER, that will still involve--when the test is ready to be deployed--putting the file in another area later, since any file--even if it is linked to--in a folder which is not published will NOT be able to be seen by students or downloaded at all.  (Students will get the message that the folder is locked.)

Hope this helps a bit, Leo.

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leo_devin
Community Participant

Ken,

I’ll look into this but I feel that these suggestions are very helpful.

At my university, basically we got instructions (due to Covid-19) on a Thursday that no ordinary written exams would take place the week after, and that we had to run everything as a home assignment on Canvas (which also meant reconstructing the exam – because students would have access to whatever they wanted to have access to).

So we did not have much time to think about practicalities. Actually switching on file menu view for students and then turning it on again (if needed at all) sounds very useful!

Thanx, Leo

kblack
Community Champion

Glad I could help, Leo. Stay healthy over there in Sweden!