Guide to Enhancing Student Learning and Instructional Improvements with Canvas Quizzes

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This guide aims to equip faculty with effective practices for leveraging quizzes in Canvas to improve student learning outcomes and refine teaching methodologies.

Quiz Design

  • Alignment with Learning Objectives: Ensure quiz questions closely align with course learning objectives to accurately gauge student mastery of key concepts and skills.
  • Diverse Question Types: Incorporate a variety of question types to assess different cognitive levels and skills.
  • Consider Ways to Deter Cheating: AI tools are making it tougher than ever to design assessments. Consider your instructional goals for the quiz and if in-class quizzes and/or tools like LockDown Browsers could help in ensuring the integrity of students’ work.

Leveraging Canvas Analytics for Instructional Insights

  • Review Quiz Reports: Use Canvas’s quiz report features to generate Quiz and Item Analysis reports for a quiz. This will tell you a score distribution as well as how much time on average students spent on the quiz. Analyze data on student performance, question difficulty, and overall quiz trends.
  • Conduct an Item Analysis: Canvas’s quiz reports include individual item statistics, so you can see student’s performance on each question. You may want to take note the lowest-scoring questions. The item analysis report also includes measures of each item’s difficulty and how well each item discriminates between the highest and lowest scoring students. This information may help you identify which quiz questions need revising or dropping.
  • Class Review Sessions: Host class review sessions where you discuss the lowest-scoring quiz question with the students, showcasing where the answer information originated (e.g., lecture notes, PowerPoint slides, page in readings) to reinforce learning and clarify concepts. This can also help students better understand how to study for your course.

Implementing Data-Informed Instructional Improvements

  • Curriculum Adjustment: Use quiz grade data and item analysis insights to identify topics needing additional instruction or clarification. Adapt the course curriculum to better meet student needs and enhance comprehension.
  • Targeted Support: Each semester, examine students’ performance on your quizzes and use this data to inform how your approach next semester. Consider identify the three lowest-performing quiz questions and providing supplemental instructional support around the related topics, such as additional readings, tutorials, or practice exercises, to address student learning gaps.
  • Question Redesign: Revise quiz questions based on item analysis findings and student feedback to enhance clarity, relevance, and alignment with learning objectives, promoting deeper understanding and engagement.