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Quiz log interpretation

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Can you help me understand the attached screen shots of quiz logs.  I'm particularly interested in how the quiz can be "resumed" without a prior "stopped viewing" event.  Also it seems that there are instances when there is a answer submitted after at "stopped viewing" event but before a "resumed" event.




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Community Contributor

Hi  @tknapp ,

Thanks for your testing of this back in 2016. Have there been any updates? I just checked the Guide and there isn't any new information. I have a faculty member considering that a student cheated due to time gaps between each question and it looks like the Quiz Logs are still not clear enough to know for sure if they were cheating or just pausing to think before answering a question.

I'm going to put a tix into Support but wanted to reach out to you because you are experts who might reply faster!

Thank you!


My situation is different and I'm hoping someone can help me.  I'd love to view the log I've followed the directions and where the VIEW LOG should be - it doesn't exist!  I'd love to check up on a student.  HELP! Is there something I need to do in settings to make that appear?

Community Member

While this thread began four years ago, its basic questions remain unanswered.  How exactly are the "stopped viewing the quiz log" and "resumed" sentinels generated and, specifically, what does it mean when the question is indicated as being "answered", between, and only between a stopped viewing and a resumed sentinel? Does typing in the text box not count as being on the quiz page? In the attachment, question 1 is only being answered in the snippet shown - and apparently repeatedly autosaved - between a stopped viewing and resumed message. Was the student off looking at another website some of the  time,  all of the time,  or typing in the text box? The answer was several sentences, not a multiple choice, and had to have been entered during the interval shown. My apologies if this has already been answered elsewhere.

True. I can not also see the View log as described. Has the feature been removed? Or is there anything we have to install before we can access and use it? Please reply.

tl;dr Weirdness in Canvas Quiz Logs may appear because of various end-user activities or because Canvas prioritizes saving student's quiz data ahead of logging events. Also, there is a known issue with logging of "multiple answer" questions.

@astro-guy, I did take a look at the log you attached. Unfortunately, I can't definitively predict what happened on the users' end in that particular case, but I may be able to shed some light by explaining what happens behind the scenes.

'How exactly are the "stopped viewing the quiz log" and "resumed" sentinels generated...'

"Stopped viewing the Canvas quiz-taking page" is intended to represent if / when a student navigates away from the quiz, though it really just means that the user's browser focus was moved off the Quizzes page. For example, this will trigger if…

  • A student navigates to a new tab or window within their browser;
  • A student switches to a different application entirely;
  • A student's computer or browser pops-up an alert ;
  • A student is inactive on the page for a period of time (this can depend on the user's browser, so we can't say definitively "30 seconds" or whatever);
  • A student experiences an interruption in their internet connection.

"Resumed" is the opposite of the above -- i.e. a student's browser is re-focused on the quiz page.

'...and, specifically, what does it mean when the question is indicated as being "answered", between, and only between a stopped viewing and a resumed sentinel?'

Occasionally, a Canvas Quiz question may look like it was answered before it was shown or before activity resumed. This quirk can happen because Canvas prioritizes saving a student's answer and backing up that data before it sends a confirmation event to the Canvas server for Quiz Logs. This not only ensures that a student's answer is recorded above all else, it also helps prevent the students' quiz activity from being flagged by a user's ISP for sending too many network requests.

In the example you shared, you'll note there was a lot of student activity on that one question! Knowing that this question required the student to be typing paints the picture: I imagine that Canvas was busy recording the answer as the student typed, and thus delayed logging the "resumed" information until there was a sufficient pause in the answering activity.

Finally, I will note that there is a known issue with logging multiple answer questions in classic Quizzes. This is not a problem in new Quizzes.



Community Member

Dear Jared,

Your detailed, informative response is very helpful and answers part
of my question, namely what factors can trigger a stopped viewing
message and how a question might be flagged as answered without a
resumed message (the autosave has priority). But while my post only
showed the log for one question, a nearly identical pattern persists
for 27 consecutive questions (full log attached) so it is not an
``occasional'' occurrence. Further the stopped viewing message usually
appears within 15 seconds of every resumed message and almost all
answering is during periods when the student is reportedly not viewing
the page.

How short can the ``30 s or whatever'' inactivity trigger due to
inactivity be? Can it be 15 s or less? Seems like that would make it
hard to tell if a student ever really left the page.

Hello @astro-guy ,

I am somewhat relieved to hear that someone is experiencing a very similar situation as me. I wonder if the student of the quiz activity log you attached was using Firefox as they were taking the quiz? 

According to my instructor, I have never triggered any "Stopped viewing the quiz log" messages (or page blurs) on my quizzes using Chrome; however, I triggered page blurs on quizzes in a very similar order as your attachments using Firefox. Given that my quizzes are timed free-response questions, I will click into the textbox first thing in preparation of typing an answer, read the question, and then start typing my answer. In my small experimentation, I created a basic HTML page using what is likely to be the same HTML text editor used by Canvas (TinyMCE) and opened it on various Internet browsers. I found that Firefox treats clicking into the textbox as "leaving the page"; whereas Chrome and Microsoft Edge does not generate such a response. Although I cannot guarantee what I recreated is exact to Canvas' environment, I am eager to hear what thoughts or comments @jared has on this matter. 

@astro-guy, if you are able to share the browser the student was for the quiz, we may uncover an issue with the way the quiz log activities are recorded by Canvas. 

Community Member

Very interesting ml42. The student was indeed using Firefox on an Lenovo Thinkpad running Windows 10.

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New Member

I think it is not fair. How about if my book is an e-book. The quiz allows one to looks at the note and the book. Does it mean whenever I look at the book or resources, I will get cause?