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Community Contributor

Verifying if a student has attempted an assignment

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Hi Everyone,

I have a few different questions here.  I will bold them so as to make this easier to follow!

In my course, students have weekly homework assignments that we set up as quizzes in Canvas. Each assignment includes 10 multiple-choice questions.  Students get just one attempt at each assignment, and we mute grades until the deadline has passed (at which time we release grades and feedback to the whole class).  If students do not attempt the assignments, we automatically record a grade of 0 in our grade book.  

Yesterday (the day before our final exam, no less!), a student contacted us because she is puzzled as to why she has 0's for the last two of these assignments.  She claims she did in fact complete them this past weekend, before the due dates.  To check on this, I typically click on the name of the quiz, go to "Moderate This Quiz," and then look to see if the quiz was indeed attempted.  For both of the quizzes in question, I could see no attempts at all by this student.  In other words, it does not appear that she ever opened the quizzes.  My assumption is that if she opened either quiz, we'd see this show up as an attempt, correct?  And, if she did not properly submit, wouldn't the assessment automatically submit once the assignment closes, or, at the very least, remain "active" for us to see any work that she did complete??  Seeing that she failed to attempt either of these quizzes makes us suspicious, but since Canvas is new for us, we are not sure if this can sometimes happen.

I also went to "People" and looked at the Access Report for this student.  That report showed me that she only attempted to access those two quizzes one time each, and the date of her access was YESTERDAY, not over the weekend, as she claimed.

To put it bluntly, I don't want to accuse her of being dishonest, but what I am seeing is making me very skeptical.  However, again, I'm new to Canvas, and perhaps I am not looking at the right things.  

Related to this, I got to thinking about the fact that it's likely this could happen in the future...When students submit work, do they get any kind of email notification that could serve as a "receipt" that they can share with instructors in the event that we have questions about whether the work was actually completed?  If that kind of receipt is not automatically sent to students, is there a setting we can check so that students CAN get email notification of a successful assignment submission?

Thank you, as always, for your help and support!


16 Replies

I should have elaborated a bit more on my question.   I am an administrator, but the nature of the internet concerning logs makes it difficult or impossible for me at the moment to determine if a connection drops.  You can see there is no activity and you can see a login when the user connects to Canvas again, but none of that proves or disproves that a problem occurred.

I am hoping an admin far greater than myself might know of a way to ascertain if the drop happened or not, but I don't think there is.   Even if there was, what is to prevent a student from simply pulling the power on their PC mid-quiz?

Community Champion

You don't even have to worry about screenshots. Once they submit an assignment or finish a quiz, that page in Canvas makes note of when they did it. For assignments, its on the far right. For quizzes, its directly above the answers on the quiz. They can easily prove they did the work by signing into their Canvas account in front of you and showing the submission confirmation.

Community Champion

Edit: I reread  @dwillmore ‌'s comment. This really doesn't handle something like a power-outage.

I tested this out just now - I started a quiz in student view and force quit my browser without finishing or saving. When I went back as an instructor and used "Moderate this Quiz," it showed an attempt for my test student. To me, this means you should be able to see if a student at least started the quiz using the Moderate function.

Its not as fancy as a user log, but it looks like it works.

Community Contributor


Another option you might want to turn on is the Quiz Log Auditing under settings in the course.  It gives you a in depth breakdown of what the students actions from one questions to another.     I have found this especially helpful when confronting students about work that was never completed.  In my experience most students usually fess up to the truth after they are presented with the evidence that they didn't access the material at the times they claim.  I am a high school teacher and have found this information very helpful when discussing matters with the student's parents.

Thank you so much, John!  I'll give it a try.  

Community Coach
Community Coach

 @everson_50 ‌

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.



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Community Contributor

I am sorry.  I just assumed my earlier replies would have led to the conclusion that I did find this conversation helpful.