Concerns About Transition to New Quizzes Tool in Canvas

For the sake of full transparency to Stanford faculty and staff, the Stanford Canvas team has documented our concerns about the transition to the New Quizzes tool in Canvas. This document will be updated as the transition progresses and our concerns are addressed either by Instructure (the company that develops and maintains Canvas) or our own custom solutions. Please refer back to this document periodically to see updates.

Transition Timeline May Be Disruptive

Update: Instructure's enforcement date has been removed (originally July 2022, then delayed to July 2024), and institutions are allowed to decide when they want to make the transition. Instructure says the enforcement won't happen until after a large majority of institutions have made the transition (80% was mentioned, but not promised). Our major concern regarding timeline was alleviated by the removal of an enforcement date. However, this may become a concern again if Instructure changes this policy.

Important Features Missing

There are also many (missing) features that are a high priority to Stanford schools and departments which are not even on the roadmap to be completed before the enforcement date (e.g., student analysis download, bulk file download). These omissions will leave some departments scrambling to find solutions other than Canvas for very important high-stakes activities and/or the Stanford Canvas team scrambling to create custom solutions. Instructure has given no rationale for why these important features have been given low priority. Considering the development of New Quizzes has been a long term development project, the Stanford Canvas team feels there should be no high-priority features that are dropped or unavailable by the enforcement date.

Confusing User Experience

Finally, the user experience of New Quizzes is of great concern. Because New Quizzes was built as an LTI (external tool), the design is very disjointed and will likely be confusing for users. New Quizzes plugs into the existing Assignments tool and uses the Assignments interface for some quiz settings, then uses the New Quizzes build interface for other settings and features. It also has the submissions/grading buried in the Grades interface with no link or information within Quizzes to make clear what instructors should do to view submissions. It will likely be a very difficult task for faculty and staff to learn how to use this tool, made much more difficult by the fact that the interface will be changing in potentially significant ways during the transition time.