Atomic Assessments Introduction

Atomic Assessments has customizable question options and settings beyond those available in the built-in Canvas quizzes. It integrates with Canvas Speedgrader and Gradebook and is available for all Utah State faculty in Canvas.

Watch a two-minute feature demonstration or explore the Atomic Assessments overview page.

Atomic Assessments External Link Icon from Atomic Jolt External Link Icon  on Vimeo External Link Icon .

Should I Use Atomic Assessments?

There are five great reasons to use Atomic Assessments (Canvas Quizzes don't have these options):

  1. To embed an activity or assignment in a Canvas page containing other content
  2. To provide immediate feedback after a student answers a question
  3. To allow students an option to try answering a question again after feedback is given
  4. To utilize various question types that aren't available in Canvas Quizzes
  5. To get detailed reports about how students answered specific questions

For the following assessment types, you could use these features of Atomic Assessments:

Assessment Type

Embedded in
Canvas page


Added to


Assignment   *
Quiz   ✓ *
Exam     ✓ *
* could include questions that are not automatically graded

Question Types

Atomic Assessments has 10 question categories with 4+ question types each, including interactive and customizable options for fill-in-the-blank, images, math, graphing, chemistry, and more. See images of these categories and types in the questions overview.

Compare question options with Canvas Classic quizzes External Link Icon  and Canvas New Quizzes External Link Icon  to find the best option for your course.

Customizable Question Types

Questions and assessments can be customized at the code level. In Canvas quizzes, an HTML editor is available with the Rich Content Editor External Link Icon , but this does not change the format of the question type itself, as is possible in Atomic Assessments.

Texting icons

Supplemental Tools

In Atomic Assessments, instructors can enable on-screen features such as a protractor, ruler, line-by-line text reader, and scientific calculator.

Besides question types, Canvas Classic quizzes provide no built-in feature options. New Quizzes in Canvas provides a calculator option External Link Icon  

Atomic Assessments feature comparison 5

Embed Questions in a Content Page

Atomic Assessment questions can be embedded in lesson and assignment pages. The only equivalent option is a Design Tools multiple-choice option on lesson pages; however, only Atomic Assessment questions on lesson pages can be added to students’ grades.

Atomic Assessments feature comparison 7

Student Performance Reports

Atomic Assessments generates five different reports per assignment: Summary, Item Scores, Item Statistics, Responses, and Outcomes.

Atomic Assessments scores and statistics

Compare reports with Canvas Classic quiz reports and New Quiz reports to find the best option for your course.

Customizable Assessment Layout

Using a customizable format and the “passage” feature, instructors can build entire graded or ungraded lessons within an Atomic Assessments assignment.

Atomic Assessments customizable layout

If you are interested in a simpler layout feature, New Canvas Quizzes also offers a side-by-side passage and question(s) option External Link Icon .

Other Features

  • Print a copy of the assignment or answer key
  • An in-quiz “Check answer” button for individual questions
  • Multiple attempts for individual questions

Additional Resources

While Atomic Assessments has many sophisticated and exciting options, it may exceed your current course needs or interests. Explore the options and tutorials to see if it is a good fit for you.

Before copying a course using Atomic Assessment: You need to enable Atomic Assessment in the new course before you copy the content into the new course.


  1. Atomic Assessments – Documentation External Link Icon .” Atomic Jolt. Accessed 25 February 2020.

Atomic Assessments - Get Started

The following list of pages will guide you through getting started with this tool. The current page is listed in bold.