Canvas quiz times for accommodating students with disabilities

Before the pandemic, university students would go to a student-accessibility-services office to take their scheduled examinations and get their needs accommodated.  These accommodations include additional time, a separate room to read aloud, and quiet environments. During the pandemic, accommodations for online examinations are generally monitored by the instructor, provided they only involve giving extra time.

I have made a mistake or two while hand calculating the assigned due time or the additional time that needs to be input in the learning management system such as CANVAS. To minimize such mistakes, I made an excel file, and it has worked well so far. In this blog, I share the excel file with you.

Use the spreadsheet as you see fit. I have protected the cells in the excel file so that they do not get changed inadvertently – you can always unprotect (go to Review->Unprotect in the excel menu) the excel sheet and make modifications to suit your needs.

The inputs are

  1. starting time of the test or when you want the students to have access to the test
  2. time in minutes you want students to be working on the test
  3. time in minutes given to students for uploading files, if any (needed for submitting handwritten free responses, for instance) and
  4. Time over and above the length of the test to create a window in which the test is available.

The instructions for entering the above inputs are as follows.

  1. Enter the starting times in Row 10 (Columns H thru N): e.g., 2:00 PM. Mind the space between 2:00 and PM.
  2. Put the time in minutes for the test in cell H11
  3. Put the time in minutes for uploading of a file, if any. in cell H12. Enter zero if no uploading of the file is needed.
  4. Put the extra time in minutes in cell H13 for creating a window for the test.

Let’s take an example. I want to give a test that is 40-minutes long that requires students to handwrite free-responses to posed questions. They will be given additional 10 minutes to make a PDF file of the free-responses and upload the file. I want the test to start at 11:40 AM for all students but make it due at 12:45 PM, and hence give a window of 65 minutes within which to complete the test. So the extra time given in minutes to create the window is 15 minutes (65-40-10=15). Based on the example, I would enter 11:40 AM in Row 10 (Columns H thru N), 40 in cell H11, 10 in cell H12, and 15 in cell H13.

The outputs that are needed for the CANVAS LMS are shown in green color. Do not forget to go to publish the quiz, and then go to “Moderate Quiz” to add the extra time for the accommodated students.

Two of the links below are just references to show how to add extra time and add the names of students who get extra time.




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Author: Autar Kaw

Autar Kaw ( is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Florida. He has been at USF since 1987, the same year in which he received his Ph. D. in Engineering Mechanics from Clemson University. He is a recipient of the 2012 U.S. Professor of the Year Award. With major funding from NSF, he is the principal and managing contributor in developing the multiple award-winning online open courseware for an undergraduate course in Numerical Methods. The OpenCourseWare ( annually receives 1,000,000+ page views, 1,000,000+ views of the YouTube audiovisual lectures, and 150,000+ page views at the NumericalMethodsGuy blog. His current research interests include engineering education research methods, adaptive learning, open courseware, massive open online courses, flipped classrooms, and learning strategies. He has written four textbooks and 80 refereed technical papers, and his opinion editorials have appeared in the St. Petersburg Times and Tampa Tribune.

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