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Granting individual student an extension to an assignment

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I want to be able to grant an extension of 1-2 weeks to an individual student for an assignment (not a quiz).

I don't want to give the whole class an extension and I don't want to have to create a separate assignment for this one student who needs the extension.

How do I do it in Canvas please?

How do other organisations manage giving individuals more time to complete an assignment (not a quiz)?



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Accepted Solutions

Hi vrs07nl​, this question was originally posted back on April 24. Since then, Canvas has implemented new functionality that extends the Differentiated Assignments feature to encompass individual students. As long as your school has already enabled Differentiated Assignments at the account level, you can easily assign a single student a different due date without having to create a duplicate assignment or separate section. Just click on the Edit button for the assignment, scroll to the bottom where the due date information appears, and click on the +Add button. That will allow you to select a single student from the dropdown menu that appears when you click on the "Assign To" box and give that student customized "Available" (from/to) and "Due Dates."

I'll post the link to the Canvas Guide on Differentiated Assignments for reference: What do Differentiated Assignment varied due dates look like in Canvas? I notice that that lesson doesn't show the +Add button, but this one does: What is the difference between due dates and availability dates?

I've also made a screenshot of my own:


If your institution has not enabled Differentiated Assignments, you might take  @kona ​'s advice and extend the "Until" date for the entire assignment.

Hope this helps!

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The "beta" designation is not significant; mine still says that as well.

View solution in original post

22 Replies
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Community Coach

I think Instructure is working on something like this for the future, but right now I don't think there's a great way to make this work - unless you have the ability to create sections in your course, which most instructors don't. Below are two options that I know my faculty have used in cases like this:

1. Change the Until date (not the due date) and most of your students probably won't realize that the assignment is still open. In addition, as long as you have something in your syllabus or the assignment itself stating that you don't accept late work without prior approval then anything other students might turn in you don't have to grade.

2. Leave the assignment closed and have the student email it to you. You could then go in and upload the student's file/submission into Canvas as part of your comments. It wouldn't show up like the student submitted it and you couldn't use Crocodoc, but at least the assignment would be in Canvas and you could still enter a grade and comments for it, etc.

Hope this helps!

Hi and thank you for taking the time to reply.

Neither of these solutions would pass our quality assurance processes or are academically robust enough.

I understand they are workarounds for the lack of a real solution.

I have put this idea forward as a feature request as this kind of extension handling is part of every UK University process. I have checked the ideas section for things in development by Canvas but have not seen anything relating to this specific issue. I hope that it gets through to the next round of voting and Canvas realise that this is a big barrier for UK Universities.

Canvas would do well to enter into dialogue with JISC here in the UK and engage in the National Project on developing effective EMA (Electronic Management of Assessment) solutions as part of the Canvas Product.

Electronic management of assessment | Jisc

 @joel_mills  here's the link to information about what's coming Canvas Studio: Granular differentiated assignments that may help solve this type of problem. I'm not sure though if it's to just assignment different groups or individuals different assignments or if it will also allow different settings for different groups/individuals within the same assignment. Deactivated user​ can you speak more to this?

Community Champion


Our current workaround is to create a special section for the student, add her to it (keeping her in the original), and then use the differentiated assignments to give the student extra time.   We have a home grown process on how to add students and create sections.  Check with your local admin on how you can do that.

A few caveats.  First, the student will appear more than once in the gradebook/people/etc.  Not really a big deal.  The second one, however, is a bit bigger.  If you decide to remove the student from the extra time section, she will also be removed from any groups she may have been in in your course.   The solution for that is to either a) don't remove the student from the custom section or b) take not of which group(s) she is in and re-add her after.


Community Member

I'm curious  @joel_mills ​, why you have to do anything special? I have assignments with deadlines and students are permitted to submit multiple times and/or late. Canvas Speedgrader highlights them with a red "late" flag, but otherwise nothing special happens. I have setup my rubrics to allow me to deduct points for tardiness but I can arbitrarily choose not to make this deduction -- typically by prior arrangement as stated in my syllabus. If I am worried the student won't submit anything and I might lose track, I simply award a "0" in the gradebook and leave it to the student to follow up. Canvas notifies me when I get a "late" submission. Why do you have to do anything special in Canvas?

Community Champion

Hey  @joel_mills 

Between the responses from  @kona ​,  @James_Kocher_UF ​ and John, I think you have your best possible answers. First, it might be helpful to review the Canvas Guide, What is the difference between due dates and availability dates?​ to make sense of all of your options.

If you are using availability dates, you could bump the availability back a couple weeks as Kona suggested. Or you could wait until the student is ready to submit and then change the availability date to allow them to submit at that time, and then change that date back to the original (changing it back will be helpful for when you copy the course to a new semester).

As James recommended, you could work around changing the availability date by using the Differentiated Assignments​ feature, but as he mentioned you would be adding the student to a different section and that can create a few headaches.

Also as John pointed out, if you aren't using the availability dates, then students can submit after the due date and you will see the red highlighted late assignment indicator in your gradebook when the student does submit the assignment.

Hope that is helpful for you.

Hi John,

We have to do have this feature as it is part of the Academic regulations that we are bound by. QAA, the Quality Assurance Agency in the UK regulate our academic procedures and regulations and therefore we are bound by them.

Therefore we have to be able to grant an individual an extension at the discretion of the Academic. There are workarounds, but it would be much simpler if we could just click on a student's name in the assignment and then change just their hand in date.

I believe this may be part of the Granular Assessment update that is planned by Canvas. We will just have to wait and see.


 @joel_mills ​~

So, on a quiz if you Moderate Quiz and add an extra attempt does that fulfill the QAA requirement that you have?

Like i said in the original post... Need to be able to add individual extensions to assignments.

Nothing to do with quizzes.