Canvas Helps Student Accommodations for Final Exams

Learning from Experience

Stumped about accommodating students in Canvas? We can help!

Stumped about accommodating students in Canvas? We can help!

Over the years, Courseware Support has helped instructors accommodate their students when the standard final-exam schedule conflicts with external circumstances or conditions in a student’s life. If you’re using Canvas for final exams, then there are a few things you should know about in case you need to accommodate a student. What follows are some of the more common scenarios for which instructors have requested our help in past final-exam periods. Through these examples, we thought it’d be useful for our readers to see how they can quickly and easily accommodate their students.

A Student Needs Extra Time for an SDS-Approved Accommodation (Before Taking the Exam)

The University of Pennsylvania’s Standards for Accommodating Exams for Students with Disabilities states, “SDS (Student Disabilities Services) encourages faculty to provide exams to students approved for accommodations.” While there are many accommodations for which students may receive approval from SDS (please click on the link above for a list), Canvas lends itself particularly well to the time-extension accommodation, which grants SDS-approved students “extended time (25%) (50%) or (100%) more time for in-class tests and quizzes” (borrowed from the “Definitions of Specific Accommodations” in the above link).

If one of your students needs the time-extension accommodation, you can set up your exam in Canvas so that this student, and only this student, has extra time. For instructions on how to do this, please see the section called “Adjust Additional Options” in the following link:

“Once I publish my Quiz, how can I give my students extra attempts?” (Reminder: A Canvas “quiz” is any question-and-answer-based assessment [e.g., final exam] created and given in Canvas).

Students Needs Extra Time While Taking an Exam

In certain situations, students might request extra time on a timed-exam, or you might decide they need extra time while taking your timed-exam. If you accept this request or make this decision, you can add extra time to the exam while students take it by following these instructions:

Once I publish a timed quiz, how can I give my students extra time?

A Student Needs to Re-Take an Exam

If you have decided to let a student re-take an exam, you can do this by following these instructions:

Once I publish my Quiz, how can I give my students extra attempts? (Same link as SDS-approved accommodations. Covers all extra-attempt scenarios)

A Student Needs to Take an Exam Early

If you are letting a student take your final exam before the standard exam time, you can do this by following these steps:

I. Add an availability date to your exam. The availability date should be the date and start time scheduled for your exam. For an explanation of availability dates and instructions on how to use them, please see:

What is the difference between due dates and availability dates?

Important: Please make sure to set the availability date before you publish the exam. If you reverse these steps, the exam will be available to all students until you set the availability date.

II. Publish the exam. Please see the section called “Publish a Quiz” in the following link for instructions:

How do I use Draft State in Quizzes?

III. Use the “Moderate This Quiz” feature to make the exam available to the student. To do this, you will use the quiz-moderating feature. In the following link, you will see the setting you have to enable, labelled “Manually unlock the quiz for the next attempt,” in the “Adjust Additional Options” of the page:

Once I publish my Quiz, how can I give my students extra attempts?

Need Assistance?

Please contact Courseware Support at canvas@pobox.upenn.edu if you have any questions.

Canvas Production Release: April 21, 2018

Canvas operates on a three-week release cycle through which features are added or updated. Courseware Support posts highlights from Canvas’s production release notes, a link to these notes, and other relevant content to the Canvas at Penn a few days before the production release, which usually occurs on Saturdays. Please contact Courseware Support at canvas@pobox.upenn.edu if you have any questions about an upcoming production release.

4/21/18 Production Release Highlights:

  • Individual Recording Deletion for Conferences: Conference recordings can be individually deleted. Previously, only the entire conference could be deleted, which would also remove all conference recordings. This change helps instructors who manage long-running conferences and create multiple recordings. Additionally, concluded conferences display the date and time the conference was concluded.
  • Inline Preview Document Height in RCE: When an auto-open inline preview file link is displayed in a Rich Content Editor browser window, the preview expands to a default height of 800px and displays the full file preview. Previously, the preview only expanded to a default height of 400px.
  • Word Counter in RCE: The Rich Content Editor displays a word counter within the editor browser window. This change can help users know how many words they have typed in a discussion, page, assignment text entry, or other content location where the Rich Content Editor is supported. The word counter calculates the number of words entered into the editor. A word is considered to be a single string of characters typed together without using the spacebar. The word counter only displays for the user creating content in the Rich Content Editor. After the content is saved, the word counter is no longer visible unless the content is edited. Additionally, the total word count is not visible to any other user. The Rich Content Editor does not have a word count limit. However, word count is not the same as a total character count, which does affect the Rich Content Editor and can vary based on HTML content and use of special characters
  • Announcements Reply Icon Update: In Announcements, the Reply icon has been updated to a Lock or Unlock icon, which displays according to the state of the announcement.
  • Announcements & Posted Date Display: New announcements created without a Delay Until date display their posted date correctly.

For a complete production release update, please see:

Canvas Production Release Notes: April 21, 2018

2018-04-21 New Feature Screencast from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

Access video transcript.

New Canvas at Penn Site!

New and Improved!

The new Canvas at Penn site is the result of a months-long, collaborative effort by Canvas support staff across Penn to create a comprehensive documentation website for Canvas and other online learning tools at the University of Pennsylvania. The new site is easier to navigate and search, and includes more information about instructional design, best practices, and how to get support with courseware tools.

Check It Out!

Please explore and bookmark the site: infocanvas.upenn.edu

Important Info: PLEASE READ

  • The old Canvas at Penn site (penncanvas.wordpress.com) will remain active until May 14, 2018. After this date, the old site’s URL will redirect to the new Canvas at Penn site.
  • Between April 2, 2018 and May 14, 2018, only timely announcements, Production Release Notes, and system-status updates will be added to the old Canvas at Penn site.
  • In Fall 2018 (date TBD), the old site’s URL will be disabled, and the new site will be the only Canvas at Penn site.

Questions?

Please email canvas@pobox.upenn.edu.

2018 Assistive Tech Fair: April 9th, 12-2pm

2018 Assistive Tech Fair event information. The Assistive Tech Fair is on Monday, April 9th, from 12pm to 2pm in the Weigle Information Commons, which is on the first floor of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. The Fair will showcase several innovative devices and software designed to help people with disabilities use technology more easily. Please come test out these tools and explore how they can support your work. The Fair will offer hands-on demos of the following tools: making accessible PDFs, Dragon Naturally Speaking, iOS/Mac Accessibility, Microsoft Office Accessibility Tools, Web Accessibility Testing Tools, Free Assistive Tech Apps, Livescribe Smartpens, Read&Write, 3D Printing, Canvas Accessibility, SensusAccess, and many more! Refreshments will be provided. For questions or more information, please contact Alice McGrath, Postdoctoral Fellow for Accessibility at the Penn Libraries (amcgr@upenn.edu).

Registration is not required for this event.

About the Accessibility and Learning Technologies Group (ALT)

The University of Pennsylvania’s Accessibility and Learning Technologies (ALT) group focuses on providing help to instructors, staff, and students to create a more universally accessible online experience. ALT is a collaboration that includes staff from Student Disabilities Services, Penn Libraries, Weingarten Learning Resources Center, and other programs at the University of Pennsylvania.

RESOLVED: Turnitin-Feedback Studio Service Degradation

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The service degradation affecting Turnitin and Turnitin UK has been resolved. During the service degradation, users may have been unable to view submissions in the Feedback Studio. Turnitin has confirmed that the service has been restored to a normal operational state.

We apologize for any inconvenience this issue may cause. Please direct questions: canvas@pobox.upenn.edu.

Canvas Production Release: March 31, 2018

Canvas operates on a three-week release cycle through which features are added or updated. Courseware Support posts highlights from Canvas’s production release notes, a link to these notes, and other relevant content to the Canvas at Penn a few days before the production release, which usually occurs on Saturdays. Please contact Courseware Support at canvas@pobox.upenn.edu if you have any questions about an upcoming production release.

3/31/18 Production Release Highlights:

  • DocViewer Updates:
    • Non-Author Annotation Comments: Users can comment on annotations if they are not the author of the annotation. This change allows any user to comment on annotations made by another user if a comment does not already exist.
    • Annotation Comment Icons: Individual comments include an icon that displays the type and color of the annotation. This change helps associate each comment with its annotation. The annotation icon displays next to the commenter’s name and only displays in the primary comment for an annotation. Replies to a comment do not include the icon.
    • Free Draw Stroke Widths: The Free Draw annotation supports varied stroke widths. This change allows users to choose one of three different widths for line annotations. Each ink annotation can only have one width. Individual annotations must be saved before creating a new line with a different width.
  • IE11 Functional Support: Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) will transition from a fully supported browser to a functionally supported browser. As future Canvas releases take place, Internet Explorer may begin to exhibit slight visual differences from other browsers, but these differences will not restrict product functionality or accessibility.
  • Additional Updates:  There are also updates to Outcomes, New Gradebook, and Blueprint Courses for users of those features.

For a complete production release update, please see:

Canvas Production Release Notes: March 31, 2018

2018-03-31 New Feature Screencast from Canvas LMS on Vimeo.

 

Access video transcript.