Select your assessment tool

This guide helps you evaluate which 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.

Online Assessment Tools in the Academic Toolbox

  1. Quercus Quizzes (Jump to Canvas support guides for Quizzes)
  2. Quercus Assignments (Jump to Canvas support guides for Assignments)
  3. Crowdmark Assessments (Jump to Crowdmark support guides for assessments)

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.

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 and assignments by visiting "What does the assessment look like for the student?"
  3. Set your grade posting policy. If you are the Quercus gradebook, you will want to confirm how and when your grades are shared to students - do you want them to show immediately or at a certain time? If the latter, which is more common, you will want to set your grade posting policy for the course as a whole or per each individual assessment column in the gradebook. NEW! As of November 06, 2020, the default grade posting policy will be MANUAL, which means that they will automatically be hidden until a member of teaching team releases the grades (see how to post grades in the gradebook).

How do the different assessment tools compare?


Quercus Quizzes Quercus Assignments Crowdmark Assigned Assessments
Ideal for: Assessments with multiple question and question types requiring some academic integrity security; accommodating different start/end and active writing times Submission of (photographed or digitally scanned) handwritten work for grading within SpeedGrader; open window access and submission availability; accommodating different start/end times; can use Turnitin
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.
Not ideal for: Feedback/marking submitted files (e.g. handwritten work)  Multiple questions; No function to limit active writing time (within larger availability window)

Assessments requiring rigorous technical academic security; high volume of accommodations

Student View of Interface Student View: Submitting a Quercus Quiz Student View: Submitting a Quercus Assignment
Student View: Completing and submitting an assignment
Student Access via Quercus Course Quercus Course Individual assessment link sent to student's email via Crowdmark
Measures for academic integrity? Strong (quiz settings to maximize security) Weak Weak
Live Assessment Moderation? Yes (once published, how to moderate quiz) No Yes
File marking available in SpeedGrader? No (files submitted via the File Upload question type cannot be marked using the Speedgrader; they require downloading) Yes (How do I use SpeedGrader?) N/A; has proprietary annotation feedback tool, see also grading a remote assessment
Supports large marking team? Yes, but might require set up (see filtering by groups or sections) Yes, but might require set up (see filtering by groups or sections)
Yes
Randomize questions? Yes (create a quiz with question group to randomize quiz questions) No No
Enables Group Assessment? No Yes (How do I assign an assignment to a course group?) No
Review individual student activity? Yes (view a quiz log for a student) No Yes (verifying a student's submission)
Customize availability window? Yes (see quiz options) Yes Yes
Limit active writing window? Yes No Yes
Supports LaTeX? Yes (using the math editor as instructor | as student) N/A; tool accepts file uploads. Yes (see Adding Questions to an Assignment and Grading Tools)
Formula question type? Yes (create a formula question) No The Text (with Markdown formatting) question type supports LaTeX for equations. However, this question type is not automatically graded.
Download assessment in bulk? Yes-ish; .csv files that works better with some question types than others Yes; zip file Yes; export graded booklets to PDF
Override due date/lateness? Yes Yes Yes (override late submission)
Submit on behalf of students? No No Yes (submitting on behalf of a student)