Delivering online exams (in-person)

This article describes how best to deliver an exam through Canvas during in-person classes. See Exams for Remote Instruction - Faculty for advice on delivering online exams remotely.

Before You Start 

With  proper notice, the Courseware team can help prepare an exam for delivery through Canvas. Note that the Courseware team will not convert paper exams into online formats.

Exam venue

You can deliver an online exam either in a Wharton lab or your classroom.

Preventing cheating

There are several ways to prevent cheating during online exams.


A quiz can be given during a precise time period (e.g., April 4, 2020, 4:30 pm-6 pm), or can be made available during a longer period but for a limited duration (e.g. the student only has an hour to complete, and the quiz must be taken and submitted at some point during the period of April 2-6, 2020).  

Student accommodations

You may have students that have been granted accommodations by Penn's Office of Student Disabilities Services; the Provost's Office has issued general guidelines for faculty

Accommodations, such as granting extra time on an online exam, must be made in advance. It is not currently possible to allow students to edit previously submitted quizzes.

Creating a take-home exam

In place of a Canvas quiz, you have students download a document that contains the exam and then upload their answers in a Word file or pdf. 

  1. Create the document you will attach to the quiz. (We recommend .pdfs; it's easy for students to confuse the downloaded version of the Word file with the version they must upload.)
  2. Store this document in Files, in a new folder whose permissions are set to  "Only available to students with link."
  3. Create or edit a quiz, including one file upload question for collecting a student's answers. If there is no time limit, you can use an assignment instead of a quiz. 
  4. Link your exam document either from a text question or from the File Upload Question details.
  5. Use availability dates to prevent students from accessing the document too early and to prevent submissions after the due date.
  6. Use a time limit in settings to limit the amount of time permitted for the quiz.  We recommend allowing 5 extra minutes for students to save and upload their files. 
  7. Use Moderate Quiz  to monitor progress or to allow extra time or attempts to individual students, 
File upload quiz questions do not work in Internet Explorer for Windows nor in older Safari versions for Mac. These browsers also do not meet the general system requirements for Canvas.

After-hours Support

Please advise if your exam occurs outside of regular business hours (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm Eastern Time).