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Community Participant

excluding students from a quiz that is assigned to everyone else in a section of the course

I am administering my exam to a course with a combined enrollment of 500, as a multiple-choice Canvas quiz.  The course has two sections, 12:30 - 1:45 pm and 2 - 3:15 pm, EDT.  I understand how to assign a different quiz link to each section separately.  But what I would also like to do is to exclude certain students from these regularly-scheduled quizzes.  This is because (a) some students will have to take the quiz at a third, later time, because they live in a very distant time zone, and (b) some students have extended-time accommodations through our Academic Resource Center and will have a different time limit from the rest of the class.

As I understand it, if I assign one exam link to all students in, say, the 12:30 - 1:45 pm section, then students who are enrolled in this section but not taking the exam then due to (a) or (b) will see two exam links:  one for the regularly-administered exam and another for their special exam (later or with extended time).  This seems like it could cause confusion, so I would like it to be the case that I can create one link for everyone in the 12:30 section except for the (a) and (b) students in that section, and other links for the (a) and (b) students who are registered in the 12:30 section.  

I have 500 students, so manually assigning every student to an exam link is out of the question.  Any advice?

7 Replies
Community Champion

In addition, the student with their own set of times to take the quiz can access the quiz during the regular section and their special time.  If you happen to allow multiple attempts (possible, but usually not the case), then they could access it before one time, then take it again at the later time.

Community Participant

@carol_rogers I have a very similar issue with large class sizes and needing to exclude a select group of students from a particular assignment that would otherwise be for "everyone". Did you find a suitable solution for this?


Community Participant

Same issue here. From my perusal of other questions and answers, it doesn't look like there is any reasonable means of creating an exception to remove a small number of students from an assignment. It's as if the developers never imagined anyone having more than 20 students in a class.

Community Member

Dear Canvas,

The ability to differentiate assignments in this manner is sorely needed.  A teacher may want to assign a quiz to the majority of students in a class, while leaving the special education students off that assignment.  The special education co-teacher could then copy that assignment, modify it, and assign it only to those requiring the modifications.

As stated above, selecting individual names when assigning to the majority of a large class is not feasible.  Canvas should be able to leverage one of the following methods:

  • Choose from Groups when assigning Quizzes
  • Enable a Checkbox list of students with a Check/Uncheck All box, as Google Classroom uses (see image)
    • GC Differentiation.png






I found this thread, which was begun in 2015 (2015!), and it is still marked as Open for Conversation.  There have been posts to that thread as recently as November 2020.  When will this situation be addressed?  Thanks for reading.

Community Participant

These both look like good approaches. I love the "check all" and then individual uncheck idea, but I do fear that it may still be difficult to implement with very large courses, in which all the students don't fit on a single-page menu. The ability to define a group and include/exclude the group would definitely work. My favorite approach, though, would be to just have an "exclude" option: either as an "assign to everyone but" or as a separate box that we could use to enter just the exceptions. 

Community Contributor

We just ran into this issue and are filing it as a bug. There's no indication to the instructor that an individual student is receiving the union of the section and individual availability dates, and this has the potential to create academic integrity issues.

Community Participant

Just to add my support... it is insane that you have to manually delete everyone, click 19 students (and you can't just click 19 rows but have to reload the list 3 times no matter how fast you click), save it, yes save it, click quizzes, click the dots, click copy to, type the course number, click the class, click copy, click to close, open the quiz, edit, new name, delete everybody, add one student, add open date, add close date, add due date, save.

Repeat 13 more times.