Guide to Enhancing Student Learning and Instructional Improvements with Canvas Quizzes

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

  • Align with Learning Objectives: Ensure quiz questions closely align with course learning objectives to accurately gauge student mastery of key concepts and skills.
  • Use 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 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 taking the quiz. Analyze data on student performance, question difficulty, and overall quiz trends.
  • Conduct an Item Analysis: Canvas quiz reports include individual item statistics that allow you to see students’ performance on each question. You may want to take note of the lower-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.
  • Hold Class Review Sessions: Host class review sessions where you discuss the lowest-scoring quiz question with your 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

  • Revise Questions: Revise quiz questions based on item analysis findings and student feedback to enhance clarity, relevance, and alignment with learning objectives. This can promote deeper student understanding and engagement.
  • Add Targeted Support: Each semester, examine students’ performance on your quizzes and use this data to inform how you approach next semester. Consider identifying the 3 lowest-performing quiz questions and providing supplemental instructional support around the related topics, such as additional readings, tutorials, or practice exercises. This may help address student learning gaps.
  • Make Curriculum Adjustments: Use quiz grade data and item analysis insights to identify topics needing additional instruction or clarification. Adapt the course curriculum to better meet students’ needs and enhance their comprehension of the course material.