Best practices for student scanning

Refer to this guide for creating a scanning option for an assignment or exam where students will be using a mobile phone to scan and upload scratch paper or other hand-written work.  Please note there are multiple possible workflows and a number of different scanning apps available. What follows is intended to cover tools that are available for both Android and iOS, are available at no cost to students, and to give simple and consistent workflows for different situations. These are powerful tools. This document covers only a limited range of uses. It also assumes that students may not be working from their own computers, so they may not have cloud services set up as they normally would.

We recommend that students use Microsoft Lens or Adobe Scan. These are cross-platform (iOS & Android) tools and are free to students.

Download Links: 

Adobe Scan for Android - Documentation

Adobe Scan for iOS - Documentation

MS Lens for Android - Documentation

MS Lens for iOS - Documentation

Please give your students these instructions on how to upload scanned files.
Uploading scanned files to Canvas assignments and quizzes with Adobe Scan

Uploading scanned files to Canvas assignments and quizzes with Microsoft Lens

Canvas Set up for Assignments

When creating the assignment, review the below suggestions.

  1. Submission Type: Online > File Uploads
  2. If you wish to require PDF files, check Restrict File Upload Types and type "PDF" - not ".PDF" - if allowing more than one type, separate by commas, thus: "PDF, JPG, PNG".
  3. Do not enable Plagiarism Review. Turnitin is not able to process PDFs or image files that are scans of handwritten or drawn work. 
    Note: If the assignment requires multiple files, that include word-processing files, then you can enable Plagiarism Review so that those files may be checked. If doing so, and you are restricting file types in step 2, be sure to add DOC and DOCX to the list of allowed files. Files, such as scanned PDFs or PNG files, will be marked with an ! in SpeedGrader because Turnitin cannot generate a report for them.
  4. Give explicit instructions, such as: 
    Use a scanning app to turn in a PDF file of your work. Do not submit a photo (JPG, PNG, etc.). Be sure to include the entire page or pages in your scan, not just portions of a page. Instructions may be found here. [Insert link to student instructions]
  5. Save and Publish the assignment.

Canvas Setup for Tests

 This is normally done in one of two ways:

  1. Canvas quiz with one or more file upload questions
    This works best for having students upload single pages of work. If using Classic Quizzes, only one file may be uploaded per question. If using New Quizzes, multiple files may be selected and uploaded in one question.
  2. Canvas assignment
    This works better for having students upload multiple pages of work. Set the assignment to be open during and shortly after the testing window, so students must upload within a given period of time after the test is completed.

Option 1: Canvas quiz with file upload question(s)

 In your quiz, under Questions, create a new question and choose File Upload as the type.

  1. Enter the number of points. If students are uploading scratch paper, you may wish to set the points to zero.
  2. Give explicit instructions, such as: 
    • Use a scanning app to turn in a PDF file of your work. Do not submit a photo (JPG, PNG, etc.). Be sure to include the entire page or pages in your scan, not just portions of a page. Instructions may be found here. [Insert links to student instructions]. 
    • If you are unable to upload the file successfully for any reason, email it to me immediately upon completing the test. Files must be submitted within [n] minutes. (In case a student gets a technical glitch or user error such as clicking the wrong button and accidentally submitting the test) 
    • If using Respondus Lockdown Browser, inform students that they must have Microsoft One Drive installed and set up on their computer prior to starting the test.
  3. Select Update Question.
  4. Save and Publish the quiz.
  5. If you are using SmarterProctoring, turn off Disable New Tabs.

Option 2: Canvas assignment used as a test

 When creating the assignment, choose:

  1. Submission Type: Online > File Uploads
  2. If you wish to require PDF files, check Restrict File Upload Types and type "PDF" - not ".PDF" - if allowing more than one type, separate by commas, thus: "PDF, JPG, PNG".
  3. Do not enable Plagiarism Review.
  4. Submission Attempts: Limited > Number of Attempts should be set to "1".
  5. Set the Available Date to coincide with the start of the test.
  6. Set the Until Date to a value after the Due/Until Date of the test. We recommend adding 30 minutes after the quiz closes. For instance, if the quiz opens at 8:00 a.m. and closes at 11:00 a.m. set the Available Date for the Assignment to 8:00 a.m. and the Until Date to 11:30 a.m. the same day.
  7. Give explicit instructions, such as: 
    Use a scanning app to turn in a PDF file of your work from the test. Do not submit a photo (JPG, PNG, etc.). Be sure to include the entire page or pages in your scan, not just portions of a page. Instructions may be found here. [Insert links to student instructions] You have 30 minutes past the end of the testing period to submit your work. If you are unable to do so, please email the work to me immediately. 
  8. Save and Publish the assignment.

Canvas Assignment scanning Student

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Modified on: Wed, Apr 13, 2022 at 10:48 AM