Accommodating Students in Canvas

snugent
Community Champion
13 0 15.1K

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 - (updated 2/15/2022) 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.

Differentiated Assignments

With all assignment types you can differentiate assignments by due date or individual students, sections, or groups. When applying by individual students, sections or groups, only the students who are assigned will see the assignment and receive a grade for the assignment. This is useful for example when your have students with two different majors in your course. You can assignment different assignments for majors 1 and 2. An important note with this option is that you never want to use it with an assignment that already has previous student attempts as this will remove previous grades from the grade as those students who are now not assigned to the assignment. When you want to differentiate by due date, use the +Add option below the the date fields in the assignment settings. See the following guides for details. 

Quiz Settings and Moderate Options

Important Note about Quizzes

Canvas is in transition from classic quizzes to new quizzes. Please view the following community document for the latest information about this process. 

Classic Quizzes

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! 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. Review the following guides and helpful resources in the Canvas Community for further details on all of ways you can adjust quiz result settings.

This resources may also be helpful

New Quizzes

New quizzes will have "assignment settings" and "quiz settings". When you create or edit a new quiz you will see the assignment settings first. This will include the points, grade display, assignment group and assign to and date options. Once you are finished editing these settings click build to see the quiz settings and moderate options. See the following guide for details on assignment settings. 

On the Build screen there is a menu in upper left where you can find the quiz settings and moderate options. 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!  Please note if you give a student an extra attempt on a quiz that has a set availability period that has passed, you will need to edit the assignment settings for the quiz so the student can complete the quiz attempt. It is important to note from the Moderate tab instructors can adjust time for individual students per quiz or for all quizzes at once  Review the following guides.

Modules Prerequisites and Requirements

Modules can be setup for students must move through content in sequential order. This can be useful when you have content where students must complete previous assignments to have the knowledge to the complete the next assignment in the sequential you design in your lesson plan. Be sure that all your content is arranged in the modules in the desired sequence before applying requirements and prerequisites. Test your sequence in student view. 

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. See the differentiated assignment section above for details. 

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. This will apply to both quiz tools. See the previous quiz sections for details for each quiz tool. 

Mastery Paths

Mastery paths is another way instructors can setup "paths" for students based previous performance or choice. This helps students move at their own pace through the content. Depending on the settings your institution has applied in course settings, you may be required to enable Mastery paths in the feature options. If you don't see it in feature options, contact your local IT department for assistance. 

Some important things to consider before configuring Mastery paths in your assignments.

  • Carefully plan out the paths and create the required assignments you will need to build the paths. Please note you cannot change the paths once released to students. 
  • Arrange all your content into modules so students can see the paths. 
  • The path won't be released to students until the starting assignment is graded. Quizzes work best for the starting assignment since they can be setup to be auto-graded.  
  • All assignments used in the mastery path with the exception of starting assignment must be be assigned to mastery paths. This ensures that students only see the assignment once a path has been completed. 
  • Consider leaving off availability dates on assignments that are part of the path since students will be participating in the assignments at their own pace. If you do decide to apply availability dates, you can adjust them for individual students using the +Add option in the assign to section of assignment settings. 

Below are the Mastery Path guides. 

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. Canvas is always improving so be sure to check out the roadmap. If you have a great idea on how to improve anything discussed in this article, 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!

snugent_0-1644949050655.png