Canvas making switch to New Quizzes

Quizzes administered through Canvas are changing, impacting every instructor and student who uses the learning management system. But for instructors who are already busy, don't worry. There is time to get used to the change.

Canvas is phasing out Classic Quizzes and replacing it with New Quizzes

"New Quizzes give instructors more options for question types and are built for accessibility," said Lori Mickle, Center For Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) instructional technology specialist.

New features include the ability to print quizzes and quiz keys, and accommodate students who need time extensions. Instructors also can create new question types that provide a variety of engaging and user-friendly assessments.

New Quizzes will be tentatively enabled in all Canvas courses campuswide on June 1.

"Starting June 1, it is up to the instructor whether they want to implement New Quizzes or continue with Classic Quizzes," said Lesya Hassall, CELT instructional technology specialist. "CELT recommends all new courses and small- and medium-sized courses that use uncomplicated low-stakes assessments consider implementing New Quizzes."

Instructors can create quizzes in the classic format until June 1, 2023. After that, Classic Quizzes can only be edited and administered to students. Canvas will sunset Classic Quizzes on June 30, 2024, but instructors can continue migrating them to the New Quizzes format after that.

The pilot

A pilot group of nine instructors are testing New Quizzes this semester. They were chosen based on their comfort level with the technology and the way they integrate quizzes into their current course content.

CELT provided training on New Quizzes for the instructors, and staff at each college have access to the new assessment tool to actively help the piloting courses, instructors and students.

Because the transition to New Quizzes is mandated by Canvas, CELT is collaborating with other peer institutions to share best practices and offer troubleshooting advice.

"It allows us to keep an open conversation to see what is working best for supporting faculty in this transition," said Gretchen Anderson, CELT instructional technology specialist. "Canvas is listening to us and activley provides updates in the development process."


Veterinary clinical sciences associate professor Jessica Ward is using New Quizzes in an elective cardiology course for third-year students.

Ward built quizzes in the new program in the same amount of time it previously took. She likes using item banks that allow questions to be stored and used in other quizzes across multiple Canvas courses, a time-saving feature.

"It is not all that different from Classic Quizzes," Ward said. "It didn't take any longer and maybe a little quicker to build. People who are not building new quizzes daily are probably not going to notice a huge difference."

Bruce Kraft is a professor of practice in the Ivy College of Business teaching a pair of courses that use New Quizzes for all exams.

"I enjoy testing new technology early, and it allows me to see if there is a way to improve exam delivery for the student," he said. "From a student standpoint, I hope they won't see a drastic change."

Both instructors said the addition of a stimulus question type is one of the most beneficial features. It allows a group of questions to be asked around a single piece of content, such as an image, video or document. The stimulus is displayed on the left side with associated questions on the right.

"In Classic Quizzes I would have had to have the image uploaded for each of my questions or the image and then all the questions after it," Ward said.

"The transition allows instructors to reevaluate their quizzes and better align them with their course learning objectives," Hassall said.

​​Canvas continues to update New Quizzes and add functionalities. For more information, go to the New Quizzes webpage.