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Community Member

Navigating Assessments in Canvas using JAWS

Hello all,  I have a student who uses JAWS along with Canvas and he states that after he answers a question on an assessment, that he is directed back up to the top of the assessment instead of being allowed to continue to the next question.  Does anyone know if there is a way around him having to start back at the top of the assessment and then scrolling down to find where he left off?

Thanks in advance!

3 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @loriargosino , I haven’t heard of this issue before. I shared this question with the Accessibility‌ group in the Community to see if they can help. I would also recommend contacting Canvas Support to see if they can help. If you’re not sure how to do this, click on the Help link and Report a Problem. 


Community Coach
Community Coach

 @loriargosino ,

Were you able to find an answer to your question? I am going to go ahead and mark this question as answered because there hasn't been any more activity in a while so I assume that you have the information that you need. If you still have a question about this or if you have information that you would like to share with the community, by all means, please do come back and leave a comment.  Also, if this question has been answered by one of the previous replies, please feel free to mark that answer as correct.



Community Participant

I am a JAWS user and this happens on some exams but not others.

I wonder if it has something to do with which quiz interface is in use.

Can you simply create one question per page? This also helps cut down on cheating.

When a JAWS user is reading the assessment, they are in Virtual cursor mode. They have a virtual cursor which lets them read and navigate the content. 

But when they respond, either by typing in an answer, choosing a radio button, dropping down a list or checking a box, they have to go in to forms mode. They can set JAWS to do this automatically if it senses their focus is on a form field, or they can do this manually, by pressing Enter.

For me, when JAWS is in automatic forms mode, this tends to happen more frequently. However I can often prevent it from happening when I finish answering a question, leave forms mode (press the numeric plus or the capslock semicolon key depending on your JAWS keyboard layout) and wait for a second or two. I believe JAWS has to refresh its view of the screen, now that it looks different with a new answer inserted, and during that refresh, if you press a key it doesn't know where you are, so it takes you back to the top.

So the steps are these

  1. Read the question with the virtual cursor.
  2. Find the form field where you need to type an answer. If it's a check box or radio button you can press Enter for the radio button or space for the check box and your forms mode won't be turned on if you've set it to manual. But if it's an edit box, pressing Enter lets you type, but also turns forms mode on.
  3. When you've entered your answer, press the numeric Plus key or the capslock with semi-colon depending on whether your keyboard layout is set to desktop or laptop.
    1. Now breathe and say one-mississippi-two-mississippi. You should now be able to navigate to the next question.