Frequently Asked Questions

We will populate this section with your questions as they arise over the coming days and weeks.

It’s important to note that the Teachers enrolled in the modules on Canvas have full control over all aspects of the space in Canvas. They will be the staff who set up each examination submission area if using Canvas for online submissions. Activities such as uploading the exam questions, creating the assignment upload section, setting the availability window will be at the control of the teacher. Support and training is available and outlined on the Using Canvas page.

Yes, if those students are enrolled in the correct modules. If you've been using Canvas with students this academic year, then those students will be able to see any assignments or quizzes you create in your module.

However, if you haven't yet had the opportunity to use Canvas, it is very important that you contact your students and check they can see the module on their Canvas dashboard. It may be empty of content if you haven't used it yet, but you will be able to add assignments as needed for your exams.

Yes, we believe so.

We have been in discussions with our partners in Instructure (the company that own Canvas), Turnitin and Panopto, and we are happy that the cloud infrastructure can cope with the emerging situation.  All have scalable technologies and are increasing capacity and support functions to support third level institutions globally.

Canvas has seen impressive adoption and usage in UCC, with over 150,000 submissions to more than 9,000 assessments and over 5 million page views of these assessment areas so far this academic year.

We are planning to do some large-scale test submissions in the coming weeks to check the systems and we will be communicating our examinations schedule with our partners in advance.

No. Many other universities use Proctoring Tools such as ExamSoft, Examity, Respondus and ProcturU for remote proctoring of exams. These tools work well, particularly for MCQs; however, we have not yet had the time or capacity to procure, test, deploy and train people on these technologies, so these are not currently available in UCC.

Canvas training has been provided for all staff since March 2019 and is ongoing now. There are a variety of support options available to staff:

  • If you haven't already done so, take the online Teaching with Canvas course.
  • Watch our one-hour Canvas training video.
  • Use the 24/7 Canvas Help system accessible through the Help option on your Canvas dashboard. This offers real time just-in-time training that will talk you through anything around which you need help.
  • Keep an eye on All Staff emails about Canvas training sessions. The Centre for Digital Education will be running Canvas Assessment webinars in the coming weeks.

For students, there is an online Learning with Canvas course and the 24/7 Canvas Help system has a Student specific online chat function.

Outside of Canvas, staff and students will need basic digital literacy skills, depending on the assessment task. But these would typically include basic Internet functionality, word processing and spreadsheet editing. They may also require some familiarity with camera functionality and image manipulation.

In the Student Guide to Online Summer exams, we have set the following technical requirements:

  • Students will need a laptop/computer and internet connection to take an online exam.
  • Students will also need to have Microsoft Word.
  • In some instances, other software may be mandated by the Department/School who will advise students separately of any such requirements.

If a student cannot meet these requirements, they can choose to apply to defer their exam as outlined in our student guide to online summer exams.

Technical Recommendations

We also make the following recommendations.

  • Students will need access to a laptop or desktop computer running a modern supported operating system with all software updates.
  • Some of UCC’s services (e.g. the Canvas Virtual Learning Environment) also have mobile apps for iOS and Android Devices that may be used for learning.
  • Students should always use the most current version of their preferred browser. In general we recommend the Chrome Web browser (NB: Internet Explorer is not supported).
  • Students will need access to a reliable broadband connection with at least 2Mbps download speed.
  • Students should have access to the Office suite of software (Microsoft Officer 2013 or later) or equivalent and a PDF reader. Please note that registered UCC students get a subscription to Office 365 software, which includes packages such as Microsoft Word/Excel, etc.

The Announcements tool in Canvas is the best way to inform your students about changes and updates.  For details on the Announcements tool and other ways to communicate with your students using Canvas, see the Communicating through Canvas section of the Teaching with Canvas module (you must be logged into Canvas to access this page).

That depends on what guidance you have given students before the exam. However, the simplest way is for students to use the 'Ask your lecturers a question' function on the Help menu, located on the left hand menu of Canvas.

A second option is for students to use the Conversations tool, which is labelled as the "Inbox" on the left hand menu of the Canvas dashboard. This allows course teachers and students to send messages to other people in the course without leaving Canvas.


Yes. Canvas, Google suite of apps and Office 365 are all available on Macs so students can answer quizzes, create and upload documents. If students have any trouble downloading software, they can also do everything they need to do through a browser window.

However, please note that Canvas have recently issued the following guidance about Safari:

Note: Safari 13.1 contains an update that may cause issues with downloading files and displaying images in Canvas. Canvas engineers are currently working on a solution for this issue. Until then, you can avoid errors with files and images by disabling cross-site tracking prevention in Safari when using Canvas.

More information on browsers can be found on https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10720-which-browsers-does-canvas-support.



Yes, students should see Google Doc as a tab as shown in the image below when they are submitting their answer.

Information on uploading files can be found here and information on uploading Google Docs can be found here.

Image showing the Google doc tab for uploading submissions in Canvas in UCC.

Yes. You should go to this page in Canvas, which explains how you can sponsor a Canvas account for someone outside of UCC.



We have created a checklist which academic staff should use when creating Assignments and Quizzes. You can access this guide here.


Yes. You can do this through Canvas Announcements. The Canvas Guide here explains this in detail, but the principle settings are shown in the image below:

Image showing settings for creating a delayed announcement on the Canvas Virtual Learning Environment

This depends on how you have set up the Canvas Assignment or Quiz. A full Canvas Guide is available here, which explains the key settings to be aware of.

By default, Canvas in UCC is set to allow multiple attempts. For the purposes of exams, we recommend this setting is retained as it allows students to submit again if they upload an incorrect document.

Yes, you can. However, you need to be careful to ensure there is no accidental release of grades before exam boards have met.

Our recommendation is that you should mark and annotate student work using whatever method suits you, and meets your school's requirements, but if you are familiar with grading in Canvas and using it to mark student work there are some key considerations you need to be aware of to prevent accidental release of grades. Further details on grading and posting grades can be found in the video available from 45m20s on https://www.ucc.ie/en/canvas/canvastraining/#d.en.997371.


Set your course Grade Posting Policy set to Manual

  • Why? The default setting in Canvas is ‘Automatically Post Grades. This means that students grades will be visible to students as soon as they are entered. Grades that have already been hidden will remain hidden.
  • How do I change this?
    • On your Canvas dashboard, go to Grades > Settings icon (cog / gear icon) > Grade Posting Policy > Manually Post grades)

 Dialogue box in Canvas LMS showing settings for grade posting policy


Select 'totals in student grades summary’.

  • Why? The default setting in Canvas is for totals and grade distribution to be visible in the Gradebook as they are entered. So again, students will be able to see marks before being approved by exam boards.
  • How do I change this?
    • On your Canvas dashboard, go to Settings > Course details > Scroll to bottom of page >More Options, then
    • Click ‘Hide totals in the student grade summary’ and
    • Click ‘Hide grade distribution graphs from students.’  


Dialogue box in Canvas LMS showing tickboxes to hide total grades 

If you have any questions on any of the settings above, please get in touch with the CDE by booking a consultation through the booking form here. An Instructional Designer from the CDE will then be in touch to answer your query.

Office of the VP for Learning and Teaching

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