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Compare and select your online assessment tool

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This guide helps you evaluate which online tool is most suited (there are benefits and drawbacks to each) to your assessment. This often involves evaluating academic integrity features, types of submissions (e.g. handwritten work, machine-gradable questions, etc.), and whether the assessment is designed to be completed individually or collaboratively. Before you make a selection, you might want to consider how your assessment is designed and if an alternative assessment could be right for you.

This guide provides a comparison of the online assessment tools available in the U of T Academic Toolbox: Quercus Quizzes, Quercus Assignments, and Crowdmark Assigned Assessments.

1. Online Assessment Tools in the Academic Toolbox

1.1. Quercus Quizzes

Quizzes is a tool in Quercus used to create and administer online quizzes, exams, and surveys, both graded and ungraded.

Quercus Quizzes are ideal for:

Quercus Quizzes are not ideal for:

  • Providing feedback on submitted files (e.g., handwritten work) in SpeedGrader

Learn more about Quercus Quizzes:

Will your students be submitting digital versions of handwritten work? You cannot mark files uploaded in the Quercus Quiz tool in the SpeedGrader; to mark, you can download them. If you are marking file uploads (especially across a large teaching team), you might consider using Crowdmark.

1.2. Quercus Assignments

Quercus Assignments are a tool for accepting student online submissions (including files, images, text, URLs, etc..)

Quercus Assignments are ideal for:

  • Accepting student online submissions (including submission of photographed or digitally scanned work) for grading within SpeedGrader
  • Open window access and submission availability
  • Accommodating different start/end times
  • Use of plagiarism detection tool

Quercus Assignments are not ideal for:

  • Multiple questions
  • Assignments where limiting active writing time is required - no function to limit active writing time (within larger availability window)

Learn more about Quercus Assignments:

1.3. Crowdmark Assigned Assessments

An Assigned Assessment in Crowdmark is administered fully online. It allows students to receive the assessment via email and submit their responses digitally within a specific time frame. Students can complete the assessment on paper and take photos using a mobile phone or complete it digitally using Microsoft Word and save it as a PDF file.

Crowdmark Assigned Assessments are ideal for:

  • Feedback on submitted files (e.g. handwritten work across large marking teams) for large classes; timed assessments
  • Assessments requiring a combination of multiple-choice, text responses, and file upload responses

Crowdmark Assigned Assessments are not ideal for:

  • Assessments requiring rigorous technical academic security
  • High volume of accommodations

Learn more about Crowdmark Assigned Assessments:

2. Things to do before your assessment

  1. Complete a test run using a mock or lower stakes assessment early in your course. Regardless of your solution, you want to ensure that your students are comfortable with the process, know what is expected of them, and have the technology to complete the assessment. A great way to ensure that everyone (you, your students, and your teaching team) is ready for the final assessment is to run a mock final assessment. You'll also be able to ensure that any handwritten work is submitted in a format that is easily legible (for tips on how to ensure high quality submissions, see "How do I submit handwritten work?")
  2. Review what your assessment looks like from the student point of view. You can review the student interface of Quizzes, Assignments, and Crowdmark Assigned Assessments by visiting "What does the assessment look like for the student?"
  3. Set your grade posting policy. The default grade posting policy is set to manual, which means that grades will automatically be hidden until a member of teaching team releases the grades (see how to post grades in the gradebook). If you want the grades to be shared with student immediately, you can change that setting either for the course as a whole or per each individual assessment column in the gradebook.

3. How do the different assessment tools compare?

Quercus Quizzes Quercus Assignments Crowdmark Assigned Assessments
Assessment distribution

Submit on behalf of students No No Yes;

See submitting on behalf of a student
Enables Group Assessment No Yes;

See How do I assign an assignment to a course group?

See Creating a group assignment
Question types
  • Multiple choice
  • True-false
  • Multiple answer
  • Matching
  • Fill-in-the-blank
  • Formula
  • Essay
  • File upload


LaTeX is supported. See Using the math editor as instructor | as student

  • Any question type that students can respond to on paper (handwritten, scanned and uploaded to Quercus, or typewritten and uploaded to Quercus) 
  • Text Entry
  • Website URL
  • Media Recordings
  • Student
  • Annotation
  • File Uploads
  • Image/PDF file
  • Text (with Markdown formatting). LaTeX are supported for equations with Text. However, it is not automatically graded.
  • Multiple choice


See Types of questions/responses
Randomize questions Yes;

See create a quiz with question group to randomize quiz questions
No Yes;

See Creating randomized question groups

Manage submissions

  • View Quiz log  for individual students (after submission)
  • View Moderate Quiz page for information in real time
  • Set late penalties (affects entire course)
  • View who submitted and at what time (via Gradebook or Speedgrader)
  • Set late penalties (affects entire course)
Customize availability window Yes;

See quiz options
Yes Yes
Limit active writing window Yes No Yes
Plagiarism detection


See Quiz Settings to Maximize Security


Plagiarism detection through Ouriginal tool

See Plagiarism Review – Ouriginal


Consider administered assessments for higher stakes assessments
Grade assessments
  • Automatic grading for some question types (MC, T/F)
  • View questions and grade directly in Speedgrader* (can grade by question)
  • Files submitted via the File Upload question type cannot be marked using the Speedgrader

See How do I use SpeedGrader?

  • View submission and grade directly in Speedgrader
  • Supports annotations and grading by rubric

See How do I use SpeedGrader?

 See Grading a remote exam
Multiple Grader Support Yes;

Might require set up (see filtering by groups or sections)

Might require set up (see filtering by groups or sections)


See Introducing Parallel Evaluations
Provide feedback
  • Provide general comments for the entire quiz or question-level comments in Speedgrader
  • Supports multimedia feedback
  • Add automatic feedback for correct/incorrect responses to individual questions
  • Add general comments for the assignment 
  • Annotate directly on submission in SpeedGrader
  • Supports multimedia feedback
  • Grade and provide comments with rubric

  • Attach files/images/links to comments via comment library
  • Annotate directly on submission
  • Supports latex comments

Download assessments in bulk Yes;

You can download a .csv file with student answers and each attempt from the Quiz Statistics section

You can bulk download a .zip file of all student submissions.
See How do I download all student submissions for an assignment?

Export graded booklets to PDF

See Downloading student work and results

If you are considering conducting an in-person assessment, refer to our comparison guide for assessment types available in Crowdmark: What Crowdmark Assessment type should I choose: Administered or Assigned?

Next Article Review what the assessment looks like from the student perspective
Still have questions? Contact the FASE EdTech Office