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Accommodating Students in Canvas

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This is probably the most frequently asked question that comes through our help desk. A lot has changed in Canvas recently that makes it much easier to accommodate students but also a bit more confusing. I created a slidedoc to give to faculty a general overview of how to use quiz/assignment settings for optimal flexibility when accommodating students in Canvas. Below is a link to the slidedoc and a general overview of the slidedoc with links to specific relevant Canvas guides.

Accommodating Students in Canvas - Note this is pptx file that will open in the PowerPoint web app. From there you can download the file.

Ways to Accommodate Students in Canvas

There are three main ways you can accommodate students in Canvas. The moderate quiz option has been in Canvas for a long time now but the other two options are recent additions. Please note with Differentiated Assignments and And/Or Module options are in the earliest stages of development so expect changes in functionality as more features are added.

  • - Allows instructors to make adjustments to some quiz settings for the selected students
  •  - This option became available in this summer (2015). This option allows instructors to select individual students in the Assign To section of the assignment settings to give students a different due date and availability period for an assignment OR to assign an assignment to individual selected students.
  • And/Or Module option - This option will be in production on October 10, 2015. This option will allow instructors to create modules where students to choose their own path of assessments

Review Quiz Settings

When Moderating a Quiz be sure to review quiz settings before moderating a quiz. It is important to understand that the default quiz result settings allow students to view their responses along with the correct answers each time they view the quiz page. Make adjustments to quiz result settings especially if you are allowing students extra attempts! Review the following guides and helpful resources in the Canvas Community for further details on all of ways you can adjust quiz result settings.

What options are available for Quizzes?

Quiz Settings to Maximize Security - CanvasLIVE event featuring  @kona ​. If the recording isn't available yet, it will be soon.

Quiz Settings to Maximize Security - handy guide created by  @kona 

When Moderating a Quiz

The guides below gives instructions on giving a student extra time on a timed quiz or an extra attempt on a quiz. Please note if you give a student an extra attempt on a quiz that has a set availability period that has passed, you may need to unlock the quiz so the student can complete the quiz attempt.

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

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

When Using Differentiated Assignments...

Differentiated assignments allow you to accommodate students with different assignments or due dates. This is available in the assignment settings for online graded assignments, discussions, and quizzes. There are some key points to make note of when using this feature.

If you are differentiating an assignment by due date, be sure to always use the +Add option under the Assign To box in assignment settings. This will create a separate Assign To box where you can assign the selected student(s) the different due date and availability period. Once you assign students in the second Assign To box the first Assign To box will change to Everyone Else. Please note if you have an assignment where most students have submitted the assignment and you remove everyone from the first assign to box to pick selected students, only the selected students will see the assignment and grades! DO NOT DO THIS! This will causes mass confusion for your students who have previously completed the assignment. They will NOT be able to view the assignment or their grade for the assignment.

If you are assigning the assignment to individual students, you can remove everyone from the assign to box so you can select the students who will be assigned to the assignment. You will be warned that the assignment is not assigned to a section. Just click Continue. Be aware only students assigned to the assignment can be graded for the assignment in the grades and students will only see the assignments they are assigned. Please note this is best done when creating a new assignment. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, removing everyone  in the first assign to box in assignment settings with an assignment  that has previous submissions is NOT optimal and can lead to student confusion.

What do assignments with different due dates look like in Canvas?

How do I assign an assignment to an individual student or course section?

How do I assign a quiz to an individual student or course section?

How do I assign a graded discussion to an individual student or course section?

The New And/Or Option in Modules

The new And/Or option in module settings will allow instructors to require students to complete all requirements in a module or to allows students to select one requirement from a module. Please note this option will not be available until October 10, 2015. See 10/10/2015 production release notes for more details. In the meantime it may be a good idea to review what can currently be done with modules in production Canvas right now. Once the And/Or options are added these guides will probably be updated.

What are Modules for instructors?

What are Modules for students?

Canvas Pages vs Canvas Modules

How do I add requirements to a module?

How do I require students to move through each module item in order?

How do I set up prerequisite modules?

Important Notes on Assignments that have Module Requirements

If you add assignments to modules and apply module requirements to the assignments, there are some important considerations concerning assignment settings.

Online Submission Assignments (all types)

These two scenarios could happen with assignments that have module requirements and availability dates set.

  • If students have not contributed to a discussion with a Must Contribute module requirement and the discussion’s Until date has passed, they cannot complete the module requirement.
  • If students have not submitted an assignment with the Must Submit module requirement and the assignment’s Until date has passed, they cannot complete the module requirement.

In the assignment settings it may be best to remove the Until date and allow students to submit assignments late. Let students know what your grading policy will be when they submit late. Or as an alternative you could make adjustments to the assignment settings using the Assign To option to give individual students more time to complete the assignment with the module requirement.

What is the difference between assignment due dates and availability dates?

Quizzes with One Attempt Allowed

If a quiz only has one attempt and has the Must score at least # points module requirement, students who do not meet the score requirement cannot complete the module requirement.  In the quiz settings check the box next to Allow Multiple Attempts. Additional options will appear once checked. If the check box next to Attempts Allowed is left blank, this will allow students to take an unlimited number of attempts. If the check box next to Attempts Allowed is checked, input the number of attempts you will allow. Keep in mind if you limit the number of attempts, students could still potentially not meet the module requirement.  If this happens, you can moderate the quiz to give selected students more attempts if necessary.

What options are available in Canvas quizzes?

Turn On Enable “OR” Condition for  Modules in Your Course

If you decide to create modules using the OR option, first you will need to turn on this feature in the feature options of the course.

What feature options are currently available at the course level?

Grading Assignments that are Part of OR Module

When you use the OR option in modules there are a couple of ways of dealing with the assignments that the students do not choose to complete. Choose the option that works best for you.

Excuse the Uncompleted Assignments in Grades

In the grades you can excuse the assignments that the students don't complete. The excused scores will not be included in the total calculation.

See the following guide

How do I excuse an assignment for a student in the Gradebook?

Create an Assignment Group and Drop the Desired Number of Assignments

Create an assignment group on the assignment page and organize all of the assignments that are part of the OR module requirement into the assignment group. Edit the assignment group to drop the lowest # of desired scores from an assignment group. Once this rule is setup it will automatically drop the scores in grades. In Grades instructors will see horizontal lines over the cells of dropped grades and students will see the dropped scores grayed out in the grades list. The dropped scores will be not be included in the total calculation.

See the following guides

How do I add an assignment group in a course?

How do I create rules for an assignment group?

So in Conclusion

This gives you lots of options for providing students accommodations. It is important to be aware of all the assignment settings and module settings so you don't send students down a path of frustration. Many people have commented on the 10/10/2015 release notes about the new And/Or module feature and how to make it better. Perhaps you have a great idea as well. Be sure to add your feature ideas in the Canvas Community. See the guides below for further instructions on how add your feature idea and how the voting process works. If you do add a feature idea about the topics of this blog post, be sure to link them in your comments. Thanks for reading! Smiley Happy

How do I create a new feature idea?

How does the voting process work for feature ideas?