I watched the InstructureCon presentation by Jason Sparks on Quizzes.Next called An Ace Sees Miss Stimtron earlier today. At 28:10 in the video, he is showing a "spell check" checkbox. It's confusing in the video because he said "I can disable spell check" but then he checked the box, which sounds backwards.
Anyway, I was thinking about this question that came up the other day and I finally got around to looking it back up. For a long time, we have all been of the opinion that you can't disable spell check because Canvas doesn't offer spell check, it's something that is built into the browser.
That said, I did some looking and the HTML5 standard offers a spellcheck attribute that can be used to enable or disable spell checking. You can set a default value, which depends on whether it's specified on the html, textarea, input, or some other element, but the video showed it being a per-question setting, meaning that some question could have it and some may not.
It also comes with a warning.
This is an experimental technology
Because this technology's specification has not stabilized, check the compatibility table for usage in various browsers. Also note that the syntax and behavior of an experimental technology is subject to change in future versions of browsers as the specification changes.
When you check that table, the basic support is there in Chrome, Firefox since 2.0, Internet Explorer (presumably Edge as well), Opera, and Safari. It shows broad support on the caniuse.com website as well. That means that it's pretty well supported for a long time now and not really so experimental, but whatever ...
So the answer is that there not currently a setting that you can use within Canvas to disable the spell check, but that it should be coming with Quizzes.Next.
Edit: I did some testing in Chrome. I have not verified any of this beyond reading the documentation and watching Jason's video, so I don't know that this is the way that Canvas plans to implement it, but it makes sense.
Here is a screen shot of two essay questions. The first one set spellcheck="true" on the body of the Rich Content Editor iframe and the second one set spellcheck="false". Notice the red underline on the one where spellcheck is enabled.
Right clicking and choosing spellcheck only configures the spellcheck, it does not allow you to run a spell check.
1. Practice PARCC Assessments
2. Sentence structure gameshow quiz: http://www.quia.com/rr/126726.html
3. Texas Practice Tests
4. Practice PLAN Test
Grammar and Literature Vocabulary Flashcards
Please note these reviews are general ELA material made by teachers and students; they do not reflect specific, state-by-state curriculum standards.
Regular English Literary Terms:
Advanced Placement Literary Terms:
Overall "English Class" Necessary Terms:
Study Sets: Links to grammar quizlets by topic: http://quizlet.com/subject/english-grammar/
English as Second Language Practice: http://www.usingenglish.com/quizzes/