Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Homework/Assignment Activity Tools

Educational technology tools can make homework/assignment management and collection more efficient for both students and instructors.  Some educational tools provide features that streamline collection, grading, and feedback for traditional paper-based class homework while other tools help expand beyond traditional homework by opening up more submission options.  Regardless of what tools you use, mapping your course activities, homework, and assignments to your course learning objectives and providing as much information as possible to your students about grading, expectations, collaboration options, guidelines/rules, etc will help make your students more successful.  When using a new tool for the first time with your class, it is advisable to have a low or no-stakes practice version of the activity ahead of time so that students can practice using the tools before working on real assignments.  


  • Canvas Assignments -  Canvas Assignments is a native Canvas tool that allows instructors to collect and score student work for grading.
    • Turnitin - Turnitin integrates with Canvas Assignments to compare student papers against a wide range of sources, to generate a report highlighting passages in the submitted paper that have phrasing similar to published material.
  • Canvas Discussions - Canvas native tool that allows for threaded asynchronous conversations. Canvas Discussions can be graded or ungraded and can also be limited to specific course sections and/or groups if desired.
  • Canvas Quizzes - Canvas Quizzes is a Canvas native tool where instructors can add multiple questions to a single quiz.  Question types can contain auto-scored question (multiple choice, multiple select, true/false, ranking, etc…) and manually-scored questions (fill in the blanks, essay/short answers, etc…).  Canvas Quizzes does also allow for “ungraded” or “graded” surveys.
  • GradeScope - Gradescope is a tool designed to streamline and standardize paper-based, digital, and code assignments. It supports problem sets and projects as well as worksheets, quizzes, exams, and papers.
  • Hypothesis - Hypothesis is a collaborative, digital annotation tool, which  allows students to add comments, notes, and highlights to the margins of  a shared digital document, whether it is an article on the web or a  PDF.
  • Perusall - Perusall is an annotation tool that helps your students engage collectively with texts. With it’s capability to integrate into Canvas, students can annotate and discuss course readings easily with their peers.
  • Media Library (Panopto) - Media Library is a video streaming service that is fully integrated with Canvas and can be used to store video content and can also be used to record new content.  Media Library provides some basic video quizzing options to turn videos into interactive quizzes.  Media Library can also be used in conjunction with Canvas Assignments to create video submission assignments where students must create/submit a video file as their submission.   
  • PlayPosit - An interactive video overlay which allows instructors to add questions and content at specific points within a video stored in YouTube, Vimeo, or Media Library. PlayPosit integrates with Canvas so that PlayPosit bulbs can be embedded as static content or it can be embedded as part of a Canvas assignment for grading purposes.
  • VoiceThread - VoiceThread is an interactive collaboration and sharing tool that enables students to comment, annotated and build content.  VoiceThread integrates with Canvas so that it can be embedded as a graded (Assignment) or ungraded activity.