Best Practices for Posting Exam Files

If embedding an image or link to a file in a Canvas Quiz or Assignment, the file may remain unpublished, or could be accessible in the Canvas Files tool sooner than you intend. 

When adding a file in either Canvas Assignments or Quizzes, you should either A) restrict the folder or file in Canvas or B) upload files outside of Canvas.

A) Restrict folder and files in Canvas 

Make folder available by link

Create a folder that is available by link so the folder is available but invisible to students. Students can access files in the folder, but only with a link to the folder’s contents, as from a Quiz or Assignment. 

  1. Go to Files in your Canvas course.
  2. Click + Folder, then give it a name (e.g. Exams or Restricted), and click the check mark.
    Adding a new folder with view to add a folder name
  3. Hover over new folder, click on the three dots three dot icons on the right, select Manage Usage Rights.
    Dropdown menu option for a specific files with Manage Usage Rights highlighted

  4. Set Usage Rights.
  5. Select Only available to students with link.

    Settings for manage usage rights for a file
  6. Click Save.
  7. Access icon will change on the folderslash eye icon

Upload file and restrict link visibility

  1. Open the newly created folder
  2. Upload the exam file by dragging them into the Files area, or with the Upload button.
    View of files tool
  3.  Files are not published by default. Click the exclamation mark icon exclamation mark with a circle around
  4.  Specify your Usage Rights.
  5.  Select the Only available to students with link option.
  6.  Click Save.
  7.  Access icon will change to a slash eye on the file slash eye icon

B) 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 Quiz or Assignment. Please be aware that Google and its services are blocked in several countries.

  1. Login to using your Stanford authentication.
  2. Create a new folder and drop the exam file into it.
  3. Double-click to open the file.
  4. Click the three dot icon three dots icon in the top right and click Share.
    view to share
  5. Click Get sharable link in the top right of the window that appears.
    Get shareable link
  6. Select the option for Anyone at Stanford University with the link can view.
  7. This shows you a link which you can copy. This file will be available to any authenticated user who has the URL.
    Option for anyone at the university with the link can view
  8. Add this URL to your Quiz or Assignment.