IDEA Courseware Team Support
Online assistance for Canvas and Learning Tools from Wharton Computing

Preparing an online exam for delivery through Canvas

Advance Notice Required

For best results, please contact the IDEA Courseware Team to discuss online exam plans in advance. We require a minimum of 1 week advance notice before the beginning of your exam.

If you would like to use Canvas to conduct an online exam, here are some issues to consider.

Quiz/Test/Exam Design and Configuration

The Courseware Team provides familiarization and support for use of Quizzes tool in Canvas to administer online exams.  However, we're unable to convert a paper exam into an online exam.

If you would like assistance with configuration of Quizzes, please contact the Courseware Team at least a week before your exam date.   We're also happy to consult with you about the design of a quiz, test or exam which will use the Canvas Quizzes tool.

Wharton Labs

If you want students to take the exam on campus in a Wharton computer lab, you will need to reserve the lab well in advance. In some departments, you might start with your course coordinator or business administrator for help with this; you can also review Wharton computer lab policies on this page

Starting in Fall 2017, a shared lab login can be specified in your lab reservation to speed access at the beginning of exam. If you choose not to request a shared lab login your non-Wharton students that they must create a Wharton "class" account to log on to Wharton lab machines or to print from Wharton public printers. Typically, non-Wharton students do not already have this type of account.

During Fall 2017, a pilot of DigiExam is available for Wharton faculty to try. DigiExam works on student laptops, plugs into Canvas, and can make exams more reliable when internet connectivity is marginal. (DigiExam is not currently available in JMHH labs.)

Preventing Cheating

Examples of pro-security/anti-cheating configuration possibilities are available in the Canvas Community.

Untimed, take-home essay exams can be submitted to a Canvas Assignment instead of a Canvas Quiz. To run a plagiarism check, you can employ the Turnitin tool that is available for Canvas Assignments. Unfortunately, this tool is not currently available for use with answers to essay questions in Canvas Quizzes. (There is a way to process file upload quiz question submissions via Turnitin, by special arrangement with the Courseware Team. Doing so is the currently supported way to plagiarism-check a timed, document-based exam.)

If the online exam is closed-book, but is still going to be administered on campus, you will need to make arrangements for proctors. Wharton Computing staff members cannot provide proctoring services. Wharton's JMHH labs (but not GSRs) include Respondus LockDown Browser as a way to restrict the online environment while students are taking a Quiz.

Power and Wireless Access

If you want students to take the exam in your usual classroom on their personal computers, you will want to find out if that classroom has adequate power and wireless coverage.  Please contact your department's Wharton Computing Strategic Partner Team for assistance with this question 1 week or more before the exam date.


Canvas can deliver an exam through the Quizzes tab; each Quiz will also be linked under Assignments and Calendar. A Quiz can be given during a precise time period (e.g., October 4, 2017, 4:30pm-6pm).  It can also be made available during a longer period, but for a limited duration (e.g, the student only has an hour to complete it, and it must be taken and submitted at some point during the week of Oct 2-6, 2017).  The Courseware Team is happy to help with these and other configuration questions.

Student Accommodations

You may have students that have been granted accommodations by Penn's Office of Student Disabilities Services; the Provost's Office has issued general guidelines for faculty. Accommodations for extra time on an online exam in Canvas can be made, but they must be set up in advance. It is not currently possible to reopen a previous Canvas Quiz for a student to add/edit after it has been submitted. Please contact the Courseware Team if you have questions about granting extra time on a quiz attempt.

After-hours Support

The Courseware Team checks email once each evening and once each weekend day. Thus, if your exam occurs outside of regular business hours (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm Eastern Time), please let us know as part of your advance request.

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