Canvas and Firewall -- What to take into consideration for online exams

Canvas and Firewall -- What to take into consideration for online exams

As you have heard, firewall problems have been causing intermittent connectivity issues on the AU network. In many cases, students and faculty alike find they cannot log in to Canvas or Panopto or any other system that requires authentication. Or the connectivity you  have may be lost during a task, requiring you to log in after it is re-established.

Until OIT can solve the problems, and if you plan to give exams in Canvas, please consider the following:

  • Answers students choose in a Canvas quiz are automatically saved. This includes work done in a text box for an essay question.
  • Students should be able to log in and resume the quiz if they suddenly lose connectivity – time permitting (see below for specific examples).
  • Students’ ability to complete a quiz may be affected by the teacher’s choices of duration and availability (see below for specific examples).
    • If you set duration and availability dates/times, and students lose connectivity during the test and it is NOT restored in time for them to finish, you will want to consider changing the availability dates/times and the duration and give students another chance. How to do that is covered on this help page:


Examples of duration/availability dates/times

Let’s say you have a quiz set up with the following settings:
Quiz Duration (or Time Allowed): 30 minutes
Available From: 8:00 AM
Available Until: 9:00 AM

Student 1:

Student begins quiz at 8:05 AM. At 8:35 AM, the quiz auto-submits as the time allowed (duration) for the quiz has expired. All answers have been saved.

Student 2:

Student begins quiz at 8:15 AM. At 8:25 AM, her computer crashes (or internet connectivity is lost, power goes out, etc.) and she’s logged out of Canvas. At 8:30 AM the student logs into Canvas again. She can resume the quiz where she left off, but the duration clock has not paused. This means she has 15 more minutes to finish the quiz, not 20 minutes (because she only gets 30 minutes to take it).

Student 3:

Student begins quiz at 8:45 AM. Even though the duration clock is 30 minutes, the quiz ends at 9:00 AM and auto-submits the student’s work. Duration does not take precedence over Availability dates/times. When the Available Until date/time occurs, the quiz is auto-submitted.

To summarize:  Canvas auto-saves students responses. If their computers crash, they should be able to resume around the same place they left off. This auto-save includes essay type questions, but we don’t know how often essay questions responses are auto-saved.

Please don’t hesitate to contact IMG with any questions, (844-5181)

Content release date: Thursday, April 24, 2014