Best Practices for Posting Exam Files

While creating an exam question in Canvas Assignments or Quizzes, instructors might embed an image or a link to a PDF into the rich content editor box. If you upload a file from the editor of either Assignments or Quizzes, the file may remain unpublished, or could be accessible in the Canvas Files tool sooner than you intended. 

If you want to use a file in either Canvas Assignments or Quizzes, or even just direct students to download a test and return scans of their work to Gradescope, you should either A) upload files outside of Canvas or B) restrict both the folder and files in Canvas. 

A) Upload file outside of Canvas

Google Drive

You may wish to use Google Drive to upload your exam file, then reference this URL within your time-released Quiz or Assignment. These files can be restricted to Stanford-authenticated users only and only users with the URL can find them. 

  1. Login to drive.google.com using your Stanford authentication. If you haven’t done this before, see Stanford UIT’s getting started guide.
  2. Create a new folder and drop a file into it
  3. Double-click to open the file 
  4. Click the three dot icon Screen_Shot_2020-04-29_at_5.22.42_PM.png in the top right to see Share, then click that option
    Screen_Shot_2020-04-29_at_5.23.34_PM.png
  5. Click Get sharable link in the top right of the window that appears
    Screen_Shot_2020-04-29_at_6.00.03_PM.png
  6. This shows you a link which you can copy. This file will be available to any authenticated user who has the URL.
    Screen_Shot_2020-04-29_at_6.00.37_PM.png
  7. Add this URL to your Quiz or Assignment. Once the exam opens and the student accesses it, they will be able to access the exam file. 

Stanford Box

You may wish to use Box to upload your exam file, then reference this URL within your time-released Quiz or Assignment. These files can be restricted to Stanford-authenticated users only and only users with the URL can find them.

  1. Login to http://box.stanford.edu/ using your Stanford authentication. If you haven’t done this before, see Stanford UIT’s getting started guide.
  2. Select the New button and create a new folder
    Screen_Shot_2020-04-29_at_5.29.25_PM.png
  3. Click into the folder and upload the file
  4. Hover over the file and select Share
    Screen_Shot_2020-04-29_at_5.32.56_PM.png
  5. Click Enable share link
  6. Click the "Invited people only" link and select "People in your company". This file will be available to any authenticated user who has the URL.
    Screen_Shot_2020-04-29_at_5.35.09_PM.png
  7.  Click to copy the link
    Screen_Shot_2020-04-29_at_5.37.41_PM.png
  8. Add this URL to your Quiz or Assignment. Once the exam opens and the student accesses it, they will be able to access the exam file. 

B) Restrict folder and files in Canvas with special permissions 

Make folder available by link

Creating a folder that is available by link means the folder is available but invisible to students; users can access files in the folder, but can only find them if they get a link to the folder’s contents, as from a Quiz or Assignment. Putting files in such a restricted folder also prevents notification which would be sent with a link.

  1. Go to Files in your Canvas course.
  2. Click + Folder, then give it a name (e.g. Exams or Restricted), and click check mark.
    Screen_Shot_2020-04-29_at_5.40.47_PM.png
  3. Roll over new folder, click on the three dots Screen_Shot_2020-04-29_at_5.41.47_PM.png on the right, click Manage Usage Rights.
    Screen_Shot_2020-04-29_at_5.45.37_PM.png
  4. Set Usage Rights to “I hold the copyright” (or more appropriate option).
  5. Select Only available to students with link.
    Screen_Shot_2020-04-29_at_5.47.17_PM.png
  6. Click Save.
  7. Access icon will change on the folderScreen_Shot_2020-04-29_at_5.49.32_PM.png

Upload file and schedule it’s availability to students

  1. Open the folder
  2. Upload exam file, or supporting material, by dragging them into the Files area, or with the Upload button.
    Screen_Shot_2020-04-29_at_5.51.02_PM.png
  3.  Files are not published by default. Click the Screen_Shot_2020-04-29_at_5.52.06_PM.png
  4.  Specify your Usage Rights and Schedule Student Availability for the file to match that of the exam, including availability to students with accommodations.
  5.  Click Save.
  6.  Access icon will change on the file Screen_Shot_2020-04-29_at_5.54.50_PM.png. Verify that the file has the correct scheduled availability by rolling over the calendar icon.
    Screen_Shot_2020-04-29_at_5.55.38_PM.png

For more advice about teaching remotely, see https://teachanywhere.stanford.edu/best-practices