If a student in your course has an approved accommodation from Student Disabilities Services (SDS) or needs to take an exam at a different time than the rest of the class because of their time zone or a personal reason, you should ensure that reasonable accommodations can be made for quizzes and exams. It is the responsibility of the teaching team to set up these accommodations in Canvas Quizzes or reach out to the Courseware team for assistance.
Fortunately, Canvas makes it easy to give individual students additional time and extended availability windows for quizzes without having to make separate versions of the assessments. Please contact Courseware with accommodation requests at least 1 business day before the exam is administered.
In the following sections, you'll find information about how to set up extended time accommodations for students in advance of the exam, which is most common. Scroll down to In-Progress Quizzes if you need to allow more time to an exam while students are taking it.
Availability Window vs. Time Limit
When setting up online exams, it is important to understand the difference between the Availability Window and the Time Limit. The Availability Window is when the exam is open to students (eg, "This assignment is locked until April 28 at 12 pm") and when the exam is locked again (eg, "Available until April 28 at 6 pm"). The Time Limit is a specified amount of time given to students to complete the exam (eg, 60 minutes).
Important: If your exam is using both availability dates and a time limit, be sure to update both for accommodations.
When students take an exam that has a Time Limit, the timer starts as soon as they begin taking the exam (by clicking "Begin" in New Quizzes or "Take the quiz" in Classic Quizzes). A countdown clock displays their remaining time and provides a warning message shortly before the time runs out and the exam is automatically submitted. The timer does NOT pause if students leave the exam or close their browser. Exams are automatically submitted at the end of the Time Limit or at the Available Until date, whichever comes first.
If you are giving an exam during class time, the Courseware team suggests setting only an "Available from" for the start of the exam and setting a Time Limit to correspond with the end of class. If you do decide to include an "Until" date, consider setting it for 10-15 minutes after the end of class or until the end of the day in case students started the exam a few minutes late.
Note: The Courseware Team does not recommend using only an Availability Window as a substitute for a Time Limit because Available from/Until dates cannot be adjusted, if needed, after students start taking the exam. Students are locked into the "Available Until" date that was in place when they started the exam. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
The Availability Window is created by choosing an "Available from" and "Available Until" date and time on the assignment details page of an Assignment or Quiz.
Students are prevented from viewing or starting the exam before the "Available from" date/time (eg, "This assignment is locked until April 28 at 12 pm") and are locked out of the exam or cannot start taking it at the "Until" date (eg, the exam is available until April 28 at 6 pm). You can set different Availability Windows for students within the same quiz or assignment. Availability Windows can be used to allow students to take a timed exam within a larger window (eg, a timed 2-hour exam that students must start and complete anytime within a 12-hour window). Use a larger Availability Window (12-24 hr is recommended) if you need to accommodate students in different time zones.
- To differentiate an availability window for a student with an accommodation, open the quiz (in New Quizzes or Classic Quizzes) and scroll down to the "Assign to" field.
- After setting the Due Date and Available from/Until dates, click the "+Add" button to create a second "Assign to" field.
- Start typing the first few letters of the student's name and select their name from the student list that appears. You can assign a different Availability Window to multiple students or to different sections of students.
- Enter the new Due Date and Available from/Until dates for these students.
- Repeat steps 2-4 if you have multiple Availability Windows to add. Click "Save" when you are finished.
Notes: Individual students can only be assigned one (1) Availability Window. Students will see only the Due Date and Available from/Until dates assigned to them, not their peers.
Allowing Extra Time Before Exam Starts
In addition to adding extra Availability Windows, you can extend the time limit of a quiz for individual students without adjusting the time limit for the rest of the class (eg, if the quiz is timed for 120 minutes and some students are granted 50% more time, or 180 minutes, you can give those students extra time without changing the time limit for the rest of the class). Both New Quizzes and Classic Quizzes allow you to change or remove time limits for individual students. This should be done in the Moderate tabs before students start taking the quiz.
- To allow individual students more time in New Quizzes, open the quiz and click Save to launch the quiz builder. You can add extra time for individual students without having to publish the quiz first.
- Click the Moderate tab at the top of the page.
- To the far right of the student's name, click the Moderate button.
- Select Give additional time, and enter the amount of extra time you want to give the student. This extra time is in addition to the amount of time given to all students, and just applies to this student's attempt.
- Alternatively, if a student has an approved accommodation to receive more time on all quizzes/exams, you can click to edit the student's Accommodations. When you edit a student's Accommodations, you can add on more time (eg, 30 minutes) or multiple their time (eg, 1.5x more time) and it will apply to all future quizzes/exams. Click Save when you are finished editing the accommodations.
- To allow individual students more time in Classic Quizzes, you will first need to publish the quiz.
- Next, open the quiz and click Moderate This Quiz.
3. Select multiple students  or an individual student  and click Change Extensions for [x] Selected Students .
4. In the box labeled Extra time on every attempt, enter the amount of extra time you want to give the students. This will be in addition to the amount of time all students receive.
5. When you are finished, click Save.
Allowing Extra Time for In-Progress Exams
Note: It is not possible to give a student additional time while they are taking an exam using New Quizzes. You can allow them another attempt, but not additional time.
- If a student has an emergency or technical issue while they are taking a quiz using Classic Quizzes, you can open Moderate This Quiz, then click the clock icon next to the student's remaining time.
2. Enter the amount of extra time to give the student and select to apply the extra minutes to the current end time of the quiz. Then click Extend Time. The extra time will be applied to the student's in-progress attempt and their countdown clock will be updated.