Atomic Assessments - Determining Assignment Settings

Atomic Assessments is an advanced quizzing tool that is currently available through Canvas to all of UW-Madison's for-credit users. Because it is an advanced quizzing tool, it is recommend for technically advanced instructors or instructors with local support staff. Please leave ample time to develop and test assessments in Atomic Assessments before incorporating them into your live courses.

This document outlines the advanced settings available in Atomic Assessments, as well as the effect enabling or disabling each setting has on the assignment.

Determining Assignment Settings

  1. Create a new assignment as outlined in Atomic Assessments - Creating Assignments in Canvas.
    • After clicking Create, click on the Settings tab. 
    • Make sure the Assignment Name is set to something that clearly and concisely identifies the assignment.
    • Determine whether this assignment should create a gradebook entry. Make sure the box is checked if you want this assignment to appear in the gradebook.
      • You are only able to change this when you first create the assignment, so make sure to check the Create gradebook entry box if you want this assignment to appear in the gradebook.
    • Set the total number of points possible for the assignment. You can update this at a later time if necessary.
    • Determine whether grades for this assignment should be automatically submitted to the Canvas gradebook. Check the Auto submit score to gradebook box for the grades to automatically submit to the gradebook after the assignment is graded.
    • Determine how you want to deal with incomplete attempts where a student has not submitted their work. You can either:
      • Automatically submit assignments that were left unsubmitted at their closing date. For this option, select Automatically submit at close date
      • Or leave the assignment unsubmitted, if you wish the students do not receive scores for partially completed assignments. For this option, select Leave unsubmitted.
    • Determine whether the assignment will be graded server side or if it will be graded in the browser.
      • Selecting the option to grade the assignment server side prevents any question validation information from being sent to the client at any time and computes scores server side rather than determining grades in the browser. While this prevents any scoring information from being sent to the browser during the activity or during review, round trip calls to the servers can decrease performance and response time. 
      • Note that selecting this option will not display feedback for custom question types when clicking Check Answer, will disable the feedback options for correct/incorrect answer highlighting, will not allow the use of the Give Up button, and will disable the showing of correct answers until the review page. 
        List of the general settings in atomic assessments
  2. Configuring the Assign settings for a new assignment:
    • Determine who you would like to assign this assignment to in the Assign to box. 
      • Assignments are typically assigned to everyone, but you can also assign to specific students or course sections.
    • Set the number of allowed attempts.
      • This setting is auto-set to 1 attempt, but it can be set to any number of attempts you would like, including unlimited attempts.
    • Set the assignment Due date and time. 
      • The time zone of the assignment due date will reflect the course time zone, which is auto-set to match the instructor’s time zone.
    • If needed, set the Available from and Until dates and times. 
      • The time zone of the available from and until dates will reflect the course time zone, which is auto-set to match the instructor’s time zone.
      • It is recommended that you set the ‘until’ time to at least an hour after the due date time to avoid student requests to reopen assignment.
    • If needed, set the time limit in minutes for the assignment in the Time Limit box.
    • Add any overrides needed for your students by clicking Add Override and fill in the relevant information. 
      • For example, if a student has an accessibility request and needs more time to complete an assignment, you can fulfill their request here.
  3. To review more advanced settings available in Atomic Assessments, click on More Options.



    • Configure the assignment's General Settings 
      Setting NameDescription
       Score to keepHighest: When multiple assignment attempts are enabled, the student's highest score will be kept as the final score.

      Latest: When multiple assignment attempts are enabled, the student's most recent score will be kept as the final score.

      Average: When multiple assignment attempts are enabled, the student's average score will be kept as the final score. 
      Show all items on a single pageAll items and questions will be shown on a single page. This option overrides page and section breaks.
      Shuffle itemsItems will be shown in a different order to each student.
      Show start screenA screen with a Start button will display when the student first clicks into the assignment. Time limits will not start until the student clicks Start.
      Show remaining timeRemaining time (if a time limit is specified) will be shown in the top right corner. This could help students manage their time more efficiently.
      Hide Canvas module navigationInstructors can use this to hide the previous/next navigation below the assignment when students are viewing canvas modules. When the student reaches the assignment, the module navigation at the bottom will disappear until the assignment is submitted.
      Require submission confirmationA confirmation button will display at the end of the assessment asking the student to confirm if they would like to submit the assignment.
      Show summaryStudents will see the summary, which includes score, previous attempt details, retake and/or review buttons, at the end of the assessment. When disabled, students will only see the review screen, which includes the questions with their answers
      Allow student reviewStudents will be able to review their answers and feedback to any of their previous attempts. 
      Show question numbers during reviewItems and questions will be numbered when students review their attempts. Items with multiple questions will be separated using a period. Ex. Question 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 etc.

    • Configure the assignment’s Question Settings
       Setting Name Description
      Enable multiple question attemptsUse Item-Level: Question attempts will be determined by the Check answer attempts set in each item.
      Never Show: The Check Answer button will never display, overriding item-level settings.
      Always Show: The Check Answer button will always display. You will also need to specify the number of allowed Check answer attempts.
      Number of allowed question attemptsStudents will be able to attempt each question the number of times specified here. NOTE: This is only available when the setting Enable multiple question attempts is set to Always Show
      Show remaining attempts for questionsThe number of remaining attempts for each question will be displayed at the bottom left of each question.
      Show Check Answer button even after student answers correctlyIf this option is enabled, students that submit a correct answer will still see the check answer button. When not enabled, students that submit a correct answer will no longer see the check answer button, even if they have not used  all of their allotted attempts.
      Show Try Again button after an incorrect Check AnswerAfter a student clicks the Check Answer button and the answer is incorrect, a Try Again button will display. When the Try Again button is clicked, highlighting and feedback disappear and the student can select a different answer. This button only shows if the student has remaining question attempts.
      Show Give Up buttonWhen a student clicks the Give Up button, answers will be displayed and there will be no more check answer attempts available to students. Students will not be able to submit alternate answers, even if check answer attempts remain.

      When enabled, highlighting and correct answers are shown based on the feedback timing grid.
      PenaltiesDisable penalties: When a student checks their answer by clicking the Check answer or Submit button, no penalties will be applied.

      Use question penalties: When a student checks their answer by clicking the Check Answer or Submit button, a penalty percentage will be applied. This percentage is determined by navigating to the question settings and applying a percentage penalty to the question.

      Apply penalty to all questions: Instructors will set a penalty percentage that will be deducted from the question point total each time the user selects Try Again.
    • Configure the Feedback Timing Settings

      A number of feedback timing options are available to instructors. Depending on your preferred feedback strategy, you can adjust when answer feedback,  correct answers, and several other feedback options are made available to students. If you are unsure of what feedback strategy you would like to use, contact the DoIT Help Desk and request a consultation with a Learn@UW-Madison consultant.

      Setting NameDescription
      Show teacher feedback to studentFeedback that teachers have written in the Atomic Assessments comment box in Speedgrader will be shown to students in the review screen.
      Correct/Incorrect HighlightingCorrect/Incorrect highlighting, set by the instructor in each question, will display when one or all of the following conditions are met, depending on the instructors preferences: 
      • When student checks answer
      • When student can no longer change answer
      • After submitting assignment but before the due date
      • After due date
      • Never
      Correct AnswerThe Correct Answer, set by the instructor in each question, will display when one or all of the following conditions are met, depending on the instructors preferences: 
      • When student checks answer
      • When student can no longer change answer
      • After submitting assignment but before the due date
      • After due date
      • Never
      General FeedbackGeneral Feedback, written by the instructor in each question, will display when one or all of the following conditions are met, depending on the instructors preferences: 
      • When student checks answer
      • When student can no longer change answer
      • After submitting assignment but before the due date
      • After due date
      • Never
      Response-Specific FeedbackResponse-specific feedback, written by the instructor in each question, will display when one or all of the following conditions are met, depending on the instructors preferences: 
      • When student checks answer
      • When student can no longer change answer
      • After submitting assignment but before the due date
      • After due date
      • Never
      Sample AnswerSample answers, provided by the instructor in each question, will display when one or all of the following conditions are met, depending on the instructors preferences: 
      • When student checks answer
      • When student can no longer change answer
      • After submitting assignment but before the due date
      • After due date
      • Never
      ScoreThe question score will display when one or all of the following conditions are met, depending on the instructors preferences: 
      • When student checks answer
      • When student can no longer change answer
      • After submitting assignment but before the due date
      • After due date
      • Never
      Points Possible The total points possible for a question will display when one or all of the following conditions are met, depending on the instructors preferences: 
      • When student checks answer
      • When student can no longer change answer
      • After submitting assignment but before the due date
      • After due date
      • Never


    • Configure the assignment's Item Pool Settings

      Pools of items can be generated to sample from if you would like to have quiz variations. This  helps promote academic integrity by removing the option to cheat, because all students will have different sets of questions for each assessment.

      Setting NameDescription 
      Number of items to randomly selectStudents will only see the specified number of items that are randomly selected out of the total number of items in the activity.

      For example, if you have a pool of 20 items and enter 10 here, each student's assignment will have 10 random items selected from the pool of 20.
      Sample items based on tagsFor each tag type included in the activity, you can set them to:
      • Don’t include items with this tag: Items with this certain tag that are in the activity will not be included in the assignment.
      • 1+: The specified number of items with this certain tag will be included in the assignment.
      • Don’t sample based on this tag: Items with this certain tag will not be sampled. All items with this tag will be included in the assignment.

    • Configure the assignment's Access Restrictions

      Setting NameDescription
      Access codeInstructors can toggle the Require an access code option to specify an access code that users will need in order to access the assignment. This is useful if you'd like students to
      IP Address filtersAccess to an assessment is restricted based on the IP address of the user’s computer. Separate entries with a comma. Valid entries are a full IP Address or those in CIDR notation such as 192.168.1.1/20

Managing Assignment Settings Presets

An assignment settings preset is a configuration of assignment settings that can be easily reused in other assignments. You can manage assignment presets from a list by going into an assignment and clicking Load Presets the top right of the assignment settings view. 

Assignment settings preset button

Saving a preset stores a configuration of assignment settings so that they it be later loaded by selecting the preset from a list. Assignment presets can be copied when a course is copied by a Canvas course copy or when a course is exported.

To create a new preset
  • Specify desired settings
  • Click on Load Presets in the assignment settings
  • Select Save new preset
  • Enter a Preset Name and click Create
To update an already existing preset:
  • Specify desired settings in the assignment
  • Click on Load Presets
  • Select the floppy disk to the right of a preset you'd like to update.

To set a default preset for new assignments in a course:
  • Click on Load Presets and select Set Default from the drop down menu.
  • Choose which assignments to set the default for:
    • New assignments in this course
    • New embedded assignments in this course 

To delete a preset:
  • Click on Load Presets
  • Click the X to the right of the preset name.
  • Confirm deleting the preset.



Keywords:atomic assessments, quiz, quizzing, advanced quizzing, assessments   Doc ID:92409
Owner:Learn@UW Madison .Group:Learn@UW-Madison
Created:2019-06-13 10:50 CSTUpdated:2019-08-06 10:13 CST
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, Learn@UW-Madison
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