Technology Center

Set Up Course Activities


As an instructor, you can create Assignments in Canvas that students use to review requirements instructions and submit their work. Students view the Assignment via the Canvas course site and submit their work online through text entry, file uploads, media recordings, Google Docs, URLs, or Canvas pages. This assignment appears on the Assignments Index Page, the Syllabus, and the Gradebook and User Dashboard, if the Assignment is graded. 

Important Assignment settings include:

  • The points available
  • The Assignment Group (especially important if you use a weighted graded system)
  • The grade display type (points, percent, incomplete/complete, letter grade, GPA scale)
  • Submission type (text entry, URL, media recording, file uploads)
  • Plagiarism review (none, SimCheck by Turnitin) 
    • If you are using a plagiarism review tool (now SimCheck, instead of VeriCite) be sure to let students know.
  • Group assignment settings, if a group assignment
  • Peer review 
  • Assign to (everyone, select students)
  • Due Date
  • Available from, Until (if you only want students to have access between certain dates)

Assignments can be assigned to individual students, groups, or sections. Additional settings control how group assignments are graded. Canvas also can be used to assign peer reviews to encourage interactions among students. 

Read the Canvas instructor guide to creating assignments to learn more. 



Students can have discussions asynchronously using Canvas Discussions. When you plan for students to take part in asynchronous discussions, it’s helpful to offer clear criteria and examples of strong responses. It’s also a good idea to remind students about the etiquette of online conversations–it’s important to think through tone when responding to classmates in discussion threads.


There are several settings that allow you to tailor Discussions for specific instructional purposes. These include:

  • Deciding between a full group or small group discussion
  • Determining whether it’s graded or ungraded
    • If the discussion is graded, the point value needs to be set
  • Considering whether the discussion will the threaded or focused (not threaded)


 Discussions are most engaging when the prompt is relevant, authentic, and challenging. The Discussions rich content editor allows you to to embed media within prompts as well.


Canvas Quizzes allow you to create both informal checks for understanding or formative assessments (practice quizzes) and higher stakes summative assessments (graded quizzes). Depending on the purpose of the Quiz, there are several options you can choose from. These include:

  • Shuffle answers, to minimize academic dishonesty
  • Time limit
  • Allow multiple attempts
  • Quiz responses, to allow students to view their responses
  • Show correct answers, after completing the quiz
  • Show one question at a time

Quizzes also allow for many question types, including:

  • Multiple Choice
  • True/False
  • Fill-in-the-Blank
  • Fill-in-Multiple-Blanks
  • Multiple Answers
  • Multiple Drop-down (can be used for Likert scale)
  • Matching
  • Numerical Answer
  • Formula (simple formula and single variable)
  • Essay
  • File Upload