Dear Colleagues, 

Thank you again for your dedicated work in moving your courses to the remote format and for the three-day pause that gave our students the opportunity to vacate the residence halls.  As you are aware, Spring Break is from March 30th to April 3rd.  When we restart classes on April 6th after Spring Break, we will continue to teach remotely through the end of the semester.  We will provide guidance regarding final exams upon our return from Spring Break.

As we re-engage with our students on Tuesday, March 24th, it is likely that many of you will have an exam, quiz, or other assessment soon.  One recurring question that has been raised concerns internet connections and the ability of students to complete exams and assignments in a timely manner.  In the section below, we will provide guidance on the remote delivery of examinations.  It is important that we remember many faculty are continuing to teach during their regularly scheduled times and that there are conflicts if a class session starts early or continues beyond the scheduled end time.

Examination Guidance.  

We hope by this point you have contacted each of your students to gauge their level of connectivity. Please continue to be flexible and understanding as you give assessments.  Some faculty have asked whether they can extend their class period in order to allow students more time on a timed exam.  While understandable, this extension of the class period creates a host of potential issues, chief among them is the fact that students may have back-to-back classes.  Giving them additional time for your exam may conflict with their subsequent class, which also may have an exam.   The same would be true if you offered to let them start before the exam.  In short, altering the class period time is not a good option, because it will likely cause students in your class to miss a portion of one of their classes. 

A better approach is to use the Quizzes feature in Canvas that allows you to give certain students additional time.  With this tool the settings could be used to allow the exam to be available for 24 hours (the day the exam is scheduled) and restrict the amount of time students have to take the exam ( e.g. 1:20, 1:50, 2:00). Whenever students open the exam within the 24 hour period, they will have the specified amount of time to take the exam. When the time has expired, the exam is submitted automatically. The student could take the exam when it is most convenient for his/her schedule that day.  These times can also be adjusted for individual students who need accommodations.  Please keep your students’ DSS accommodation guidelines in mind when setting time limits.

To assist you with alternatives for handling exams and assignments, Enhanced Teaching and Learning has provided the following links.  These options maintain the time limit on exams, allow students more than the standard class time to take the exam, and yet gives them flexibility to take the exam when they have no class conflicts. ETL stands ready to assist if you need help setting these or other approaches for your assessments.  You can contact them at or 256 824-3333. 

Instructions for assigning quizzes to individual students at specific times depending on the student. (

Options faculty have for setting up a quiz in Canvas including setting the time limit. ( 

Great post in the Canvas Community that outlines options that are available to maximize security:

Other information concerning assessment security on the ETL website:

OIT Help Guides

OIT has developed the following guides for your use:

Thank you for your dedication to teaching our students.  Please remember that the ETL group and OIT stand ready to assist you as you teach remotely. ETL and OIT can be reached at and 256-824-3333.


Christine W. Curtis
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Brent Wren
Associate Provost

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