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Special Access and Time Limits in D2L

Your course content should be designed for all types of users.  This includes students with disabilities, and also students with different learning styles and in non-classroom environment.  For a online, self-directed primer on Universal Course Design, login to D2L and look under Self Registration (menu near the top, on the right).

Introduction

This tutorial will cover how to make course assignments, quizzes, and dropboxes can be made more accessible through:

Flexible Assessment Time Limits

Students with visual, motor, or learning impairments may have a difficult time with assessments that have a time limit. One way to mitigate this issue is to extend the time limit to make it more flexible for specific students.

If a time limit is essential to the assessment, try to accommodate students that may need an extended time limit, and inform them that they may request this time extension for D2L quizzes.  To extend the time limit of an assessment, click the drop down arrow next to a quiz, then click the Edit button.

Screenshot of the drop down menu of a created quiz. Edit is highlighted as the first item on this menu.

Then click the Restrictions tab.

Screenshot of the drop down menu of a created quiz. Edit is highlighted as the first item on this menu.

Next, scroll down to the Advanced Availability section, ensure the Allow selected users special access to this quiz option is enabled, and click Add Users to Special Access.

Screenshot of the Advanced Availability section located at the bottom of the Restrictions tab. The first option, Allow selected users special access is enabled. Add Users to Special Access is located below this option.

Here you will be able to change the start date, end date, time limit, grace period and late submission requirements for specific students in your course that have requested special access through the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD).

To enable special access conditions for specific students, click the checkbox next to any users that require special access conditions.

Screenshot of the Users section at the bottom of the Special Access page is shown. A checkbox to the left of a demo student is selected, indicating special access conditions will be applied to them.

Once you have selected the appropriate students click Add Special Access to save your changes.

You can allow special access to specific students with the dropbox tool as well. Follow the same process: Click on the dropbox, scroll down to the Advanced Availability section of the Restrictions tab, and click Add Users to Special Access.

Screenshot showing the Add Users to Special Access button located at the bottom of the Edit Dropbox Restrictions tab.

Here you will be able to change the start date, end date, time limit, grace period and late submission for specific students in your course that have requested special access through the RCPD.

Screenshot of the Special Access menu for a quiz, with arrows indicating fields where you can edit start date, end date, time limit, grace period, and late submissions.

Scroll down to the Timing section, and extend the time limit to the necessary level.

Screenshot of the Optional Advanced Restrictions menu to change time limit for quizzes.

You can change the time limit and grace period for all students in your course as well. If the course material does not require a strict time limit, ensure the deadline or limit is long enough for those with impairments.

Availability of Course Materials

You should always provide readings, assignments, and any other class material well in advance of their deadlines. This will give the students time to work ahead and prepare responses. To make sure that you are adding accessible documents to your D2L course, be sure to follow the software specific tutorials on the webaccess.msu.edu website.  

To enable earlier access to D2L assessments, click on the Restrictions tab when creating or editing an assessment.

Screenshot showing the Restrictions tab of the Edit Quiz page selected.

Then click the checkboxes next to Start/End dates to enable deadlines. Click the date next to either one to edit deadlines.

Screenshot of the start date field selected, bringing up a calendar where the user can click on a day to set a start date. Dates can also be typed in a mm/dd/yyyy format.

Ensure you give students access to assessments well in advance of their deadline.

When using communication tools, it is recommended to use the Discussion tool rather than the instant messaging tool. Instant messaging tools can be difficult to those with impairments, as they require quick processing and respond time to information which some students may find impossible. Discussion forms give the users more time to process, reflect, and respond to information that has been provided. If instant messaging is necessary, be aware that those with impairments may require alternate methods of communication to participate in the conversation.

Alternative Learning Materials

To help engage students, offer course materials in a variety of formats: audio, video, and text alternatives should be available. Though it can seem redundant at times, applying various formats to course materials can reinforce concepts and ensure that those with impairments have equivalent access to the content. Alternate formats that are provided must be made appropriately accessible.

  • If a PDF is needed, use optical character recognition to allow screen readers to read through its content
  • Provide a transcript or captions for videos
  • Provide text-only alternatives for readings and lecture materials
  • Setup discussions that encourage peer-to-peer support.
  • In quizzes, use the vertical layout so that only one question appears per page.