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Improve Anonymous Surveys to Make them fully Anonymous

Improve Anonymous Surveys to Make them fully Anonymous

(6)

One of our faculty noticed that surveys in Canvas can't be officially anonymous. Students need to know that their feedback is actually anonymous for surveys to work.  Right now, an anonymous survey can be made anonymous and then edited after the students have responded to make it no longer anonymous.   This allows the teacher to see the student individual responses.    A simple solution would be to grey out that button once students have started taking the quiz/survey just like some of the other features in the quiz/survey once the survey has been started.

I found a similar request in the archives: 

Improve Anonymous Submissions - Graded Survey/Quiz

21 Comments
traciebosket
Community Contributor

I agree, that's pretty important!

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @soxford  

I agree that truly anonymous surveys are very important to improving participation rates, honest results, and a safe academic environment.

You may want to participate in the https://community.canvaslms.com/community/ideas/quizzesnext project where the new quizzing engine is being developed with considerable Community member involvement.

Kelley

soxford
Community Contributor

Hi Kelly, 

Thanks for the feedback.  I am now following the site and tagged this idea for Quizzes_New since I did not see it in the list of ideas. 

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

I had also checked to see if your idea was in there, in case it was a duplicate, but found none.

Let's hope this gains traction, because the timing is soooo good!

Kelley

natalie_norton1
Community Champion

YES! We would love this feature so we can use surveys for end of course feedback, but we do need it to be fully anonymous. I agree just greying out that option once a survey has started would be a simple fix! 

hpalmersheim
Community Participant

This is VERY important.  We contacted Canvas over 2 years ago about this being a problem for us. 

hpalmersheim
Community Participant

How long will this feature be open for voting?  

a1222217
Community Member

Unfortunately I have an academic who has just moved on to Survey Monkey because there is no true anonymous feature using surveys (among other reasons Smiley Happy), and so I echo the importance of anonymity. Not having this feature is leading academics outside of Canvas to find a solution, which is not the best from a governance point of view.

mlewis23
Community Champion

I'd call this a bug fix not a new feature. If you can simply check a box to see responses to users, the results are NOT anonymous, making this a bug!

This should have been fixed years ago.

ericwerth
Community Coach
Community Coach

I agree that someone with a teacher role shouldn't be able to collect survey results anonymously, and then turn this off to see student responses connected with their names.  I don't think it would be a bad idea, however, to ensure that somehow administratively these students can be connected to their response in case something that is written is of sufficient concern.

jim_yang
Community Member

Any word on fixing this issue. I also noticed that when a quiz/survey is set to anonymous, results can be viewed by Student 1, Student 2, Student 3, ... The problem is the order is still in alphabetical by last name so that Student 1 would be the first student under the People tab. 

stevenwilliams
Community Participant

This is an important feature, and well aligned with the current Canvas Anonymous & Moderated Marking Priority anonymous&moderated‌ #a&mmarking

joseph_clark
Community Participant

Just adding another voice in favor of a can't-take-it-back anonymous feature. We recently migrated to Canvas from a competing LMS that had this feature and it's sorely missed (and I only discovered this bug--I agree with @Matt Lewis that "bug" is the correct label--by accident). While we use an external tool for formal end-of-term evaluations, a true anonymous survey tool in Canvas would be very helpful for instructors who want to administer midterm surveys to make course corrections. #anonymous&moderated

lbethany
Community Member

We are looking for a why to do our "end of term" course surveys directly in canvas so that we can force students to complete them in our online courses by locking down a certain assignment until the survey is complete.   It sounds like the anonymous grading might be a way to do this, but another concern is can we set them up so a faculty member can't "grade" or see the results until 2 weeks after the course has ended?

We currently use class climate for our course surveys and are thinking about asking students to upload a certificate of completion as a assignment  and then unlock the rest of the course, however, with this method the student must download the certificate of completion - its not personalized, and the students could really just upload any document before unlocking other assignments.   That seems like a lot of hurdles and loopholes for students where we still wouldn't get the data we need. 

tasha1_allen
Community Member

This is very important to receive honest feedback.  Students will not feel comfortable answering questions honestly if it is not completely anonymous.  

olsona
Community Participant

Hello,

I was hoping the optional 'New Quizzes' feature that is slated to migrate/replace the Quizzes tool in 2020 would have the anonymity issue fixed, but the 'New Quizzes' FAQ "Can I create a survey in New Quizzes?" says, "No. However you can create an assessment without a poi...

Please Canvas, let us know you are working on a survey option or feature that allows anonymous surveys. We require our online courses to conduct a survey of students and it will be so much better if we can keep these within Canvas.

Thank you,

🙂 Andy

Mya1919
Community Member

I agree because we can use finalize the courses but it also needs more anonymous.

RickMoore
Community Member

I'm the Assistant Director for Assessment and Evaluation at the Center for Teaching and Learning at Washington University in St. Louis. We've been promoting the use of Canvas surveys to collect anonymous course feedback and provided templates in Canvas commons to make this easier for faculty. I was just made aware of the bug - which has apparently been a problem for years, if you read this forum - that means that survey results of an anonymous survey can be de-anonymized after responses have been collected with a simple mouse click.

This is a serious issue. Unless this changes, we will have to recommend to our faculty a different solution outside of Canvas for instructors to collect student feedback. I'm very concerned that Canvas is promoting something as anonymous when it's clear that it knows it is not. Besides the obvious potential for abuse in this instance, it makes me wonder what other problems there might be in the Canvas platform.

adelelep
Community Member

I would like to add that survey submissions (ungraded and graded surveys) can also be viewed by going into the Moderate this Survey option and typing in a student number. On top of this, students submissions to graded surveys specifically can also be viewed by going into the Canvas Teacher app, clicking on the Assignments option and then going into the Graded section of a specific survey. At this point, there seems to be so many ways to work around this "anonymous submission" feature that I am not sure it is useful at all... 

jbrown
Community Participant

Yes, @adelelep, @RickMoore, etc., I agree! The anonymous checkbox should simply be ELIMINATED. It's sickening that this "lie" of an option has been allowed to linger so long. I wish we could do a cease and desist order! 

Assuming it is being ignored because of the development of Quizzes.Next.