Conquering Canvas: Outstanding Quiz Submissions

Last week, my students took a timed, in-class quiz on Canvas. Students were given the entire class, 75 minutes, to submit their quiz. Any quizzes not submitted by the end of class would time out and submit after the 75 minutes expired. All but one of my students took the quiz in class that day. However, when I checked my gradebook later that afternoon, I was missing two submissions. One of the students who took the in-class quiz did not have a submission. I was perplexed since I saw the student taking the quiz in class just earlier in the day.

After reaching out to the wonderful support team at Canvas, they were able to determine the student had navigated away from the quiz prior to submitting. So what? Well, if a student leaves a quiz prior to submitting, the quiz becomes an outstanding attempt. This becomes a problem for instructors because there is no indicator in the gradebook that the quiz was even started/attempted. To the instructor, it looks as if the quiz was never taken.

In my case, I knew the student had at least started the quiz, so what happened to the quiz? Like I said, there was no indicator in my gradebook. This is where Canvas support informed me of the How Do I Manually Submit Outstanding Quiz Submissions? article. Little did I know, the Moderate Quiz page will display a notification when there are outstanding quiz attempts that need attention. From that page, the instructor can force the submission, which will now appear in the gradebook. Canvas support also provided this information:

If a student takes a timed quiz, does not hit the “Submit” button and leaves the quiz page, Canvas will auto-submit and register the attempt in the gradebook:

  • when the Student returns to the quiz.


  • instructor moderates the quiz for outstanding submissions.


Per the Canvas support information, students can force the timed out submission the next time they click on/ visit the quiz. To the student, it may look as if the quiz was never taken. After clicking on the quiz, only then will it show the quiz was started earlier and “submitted” when the time expired.

Instructors, take caution that there could be lingering quiz attempts not showing in your gradebook. Students can help themselves by ensuring their quiz attempts have been submitted, by either checking the quiz or Grades.


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