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Multisensory Assessments

We are looking to vary assessment measures to get away from quizzes, discussions, and paper-based assignments. 

Any creative ideas to assess student understanding of course content using Canvas functionality? 

Thanks for any suggestions!

11 Replies
Community Champion

Ooooo, Katie I think this might spark some interesting comments. I suggest that one of our fearless Community Leaders change this to a discussion rather than a question.

One tool I'm liking right now that shows a lot of promise is Office Mix from Microsoft. I installed the LTI to our Upper School sub account (we're K12) and have several teachers experimenting with "flipped" content. Scores on Mix questions are passed back to the Canvas gradebook so you can use it for assessment purposes, and the analytics on student participation from are fantastic.

Has anyone else tried Mix?

Community Team
Community Team

 @katiechhu ​, because your question is intended to elicit an open-ended discussion rather than posing a question that will result in a single "Correct Answer," I'm changing this from a question to a discussion.

Community Champion

Video Presentations can be fun. Here is an example assignment from my Introduction to Philosophy course:

Smiley Happy 

Community Champion

Hi Katie Chhu,

One idea not mentioned yet is to use the audio feature in Canvas. I think it’s an under-utilized tool for assessment. Our faculty use the audio feature to provide feedback to students. Students can also use audio to provide peer feedback and to respond to questions. It might be a great feature to use in communication and foreign language courses. I'd be interested in learning how others are using audio for assessment.

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @katie_chu ‌

I work at a technical college, and one of the approaches used by our faculty is to have students create a video demonstrating  their accomplishment of a specified activity - students can upload videos into assignments, discussions and quizzes. Our faculty then develop a rubric used to both inform students and guide grading. You can learn more (from the student perspective) at:

And from the teacher's perspective:

I hope this helps,


Thanks for combining all of the Canvas resources  @kmeeusen ‌, and describing how your faculty use video assessments at your college! Do you or anyone else have rubrics that were successful with students that you can share? It would be helpful to see rubrics that are specific to assignments, rather than the generic video presentation rubrics that are posted on the internet.

Community Champion

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about Mastery Paths and the Outcomes area. If you are moving away from standard tests as a demonstration of learning, they can help students understand how their work fits into the overall objectives for the course. For example, let's say your students take a quiz at the beginning of the class about the kinds of learning they excel at, or the kinds of activities that help them best. The quiz awards points so that Visual learners score 75-100%, Auditory learners score 50-74%, Reading/Writing learners score 25-49%, and Kinesthetic learners score 24% and lower. The quiz wouldn't affect their actual grade; it would just queue up a different track of assignments based on their score (almost like a Buzzfeed quiz). You might use a non-standard grade display to emphasize this point. Some assignments or activities could be common to all paths, but the culmination of each path could play to each learner strength. Here's a resource I've been looking at:

How do I use MasteryPaths in course modules?

I think Outcomes can also help support your project because they can reinforce the pedagogical validity of activities besides tests. They help ground the really creative projects by drawing a direct line to the course objectives they satisfy.

What are Outcomes?

As for actual assignments, here's some off the top of my head. I've tried to pick some arbitrary subject matter to make the assignments feel more concrete.

- Run a social media presence for a field of science. Submissions are external URL links.

- Collaborating on a Wiki built through Canvas pages.

- Design a physical game that demonstrates an aesthetic movement. Students post the rules for their game in Canvas.

- Build a photo-gallery of geometric solids in the real world (buildings, pipes, etc).

- Jumble all the sentences of a significant essay, and make students reassemble the essay in the correct order.

- Document examples of monitoring/observation technology in public places; have students compile them in a document using Collaborations

- Break students into groups of managers running separate businesses. Send each group messages, requests and announcements from their "employees" that require them to reach a managerial consensus about how to handle the situation.

- Have Spanish students record themselves telling the beginning of a story, then use Peer Review to randomly assign several responses to each learner. Repeat several times, with each learner adding the next section of the story. This could also be done with video posts to a discussion board.

Hi  @jonesn16 ‌

I appreciated that you included this..............

I think Outcomes can also help support your project because they can reinforce the pedagogical validity of activities besides tests. They help ground the really creative projects by drawing a direct line to the course objectives they satisfy.

Many people understand the value of good learning outcomes (even if they are still students of writing very good ones), but most do not understand the power and flexibility they can provide, and especially in creative courses.

Agent K

Thank you for posting all of your great assignment ideas,  @jonesn16 ‌! Also great ideas are focusing on the Course Outcomes and using Mastery Paths to customize learning. I'm very interested in hearing how you "use a non-standard grade display" - can you describe how that is accomplished in Canvas?