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dan_baeckstrom
Community Member

New quizzes: restrict availability during certain hours?

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My course has a number of "mini-tests" designed to encourage students to get started with their textbook reading on time. If they manage to score 95% on such a test (after a limited number of trials) they get a small bonus addition to their exam result. Many students like this, but it has been observed that some students take these mini-tests during lectures, thus defeating the purpose of the tests and potentially distracting them from learning during lectures.

What I would like to do in response is to restrict the availability of the tests (which are set up as New Quizzes in Canvas) to certain hours during the day such that the students are prevented from taking the tests during lecture time. Can that be done?

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bneporadny
Community Champion

Hi Dan,

While restricting when quizzes can be taken is offered within Canvas, it does not get to the granularity I think you're looking for.  Here's a document‌ about all the options you have when you're setting up a quiz. https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10152-415241475 

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ericwerth
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @dan_baeckstrom   This is a good question.  I have been using New Quizzes for a while and couldn't think of any way to limit availability as you mentioned but checked again and don't see a way this is currently possible.  You can set available to/from days and times (see How do I create an assessment using New Quizzes?) but not times within a particular day or set of days.  Moreover, you cannot unpublish an assessment in New Quizzes if there are student submissions.  Depending on how the course is set up, you might be able to keep these quizzes in a module that is manually published/unpublished, but it probably wouldn't take students long to find a way around this approach.  You could consider creating a feature idea for this functionality (How does the feature idea process work in the Canvas Community?  and How do I create a new feature idea in the Canvas Community?) to give everyone an opportunity to speak into this ability.

Hopefully someone else has an idea that is helpful in the meantime!

All the best---

bneporadny
Community Champion

Hi Dan,

While restricting when quizzes can be taken is offered within Canvas, it does not get to the granularity I think you're looking for.  Here's a document‌ about all the options you have when you're setting up a quiz. https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10152-415241475 

Thank you Brian. I guessed as much. We have recently switched to Canvas from another LMS ("PING PONG") which did not offer this functionality either, but did allow (maybe by mistake) for <script> tags in its HTML editor. So I snuck some Javascript code in there which actually managed to hide the test at specified hours. The computer-savvy student might of course be able to find and disable that code in their browser, but I don't think anybody considered it worth the hassle Smiley Happy

I understand it that in Canvas, Javascript can only be used in the Theme Editor which is restricted to the Admin?

Yet another avenue would be to encrypt the exam or use a password and then have the students use a browser extension which manages the decryption/login at the allowed hours. I actually explored that, but since the quiz questions are placed within an <iframe> element whose contents are inaccessible to extensions due to Same-Origin Policy, that approach seems doomed too. Or does anyone know of a way around this (or whom to ask)?