Assignment - grant extensions for assignments (Assignment extension tool)

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assignment iconThis entry relates to the Assignment activity.

If required, topic coordinators/teachers can grant a student/s an extension beyond the due date and cut-off date for an assignment. You can do this using either the Assignment extension tool or in the Assignment grading screen

The Assignment extension tool is a Finders' tool built to 'plug into' and integrate with FLO. The Assignment extension tool formalises the extension process, ensuring an approval trail for the student's request. 

The Assignment grading screen is FLO’s inbuilt method for applying extensions for assignments. It enables the teacher to grant an extension for administrative reasons (eg to allow a student to resubmit beyond the cut-off date). You can grant extensions via the grading screen in circumstances where the student has not made a request via the Assignment extension tool (eg when a student has been granted a resubmission). Ideally, an extension should be applied to a resubmission so teacher and student know when the resubmission is due. (If the agreed resubmission date is beyond the cutoff date, an extension must be applied for the student to be able to submit.)



Assignment extension tool

assignment extension toolStudents can create a request for an assignment extension online. They are required to provide a reason, can upload documentation (medical certificate), and propose an extension date. The topic coordinator (or a nominated other person) will receive a notification that there is a pending request. They can then either approve/decline the request. If it is approved, the extension date will be automatically set in FLO. The student will receive an email that tells them whether the request has been approved or not.

This tool is designed to integrate with the FLO assignment activity, but can also be used to allow students to submit extension requests for other activities so that there is a consistent request process for students. The Assignment extension tool allows you to enter details of these alternate activities (eg quizzes). For students, the process is the same. For staff, approving the request is the same but you must manually manage that extension according to the activity (eg for a quiz, you would grant an override for the student).

This tool is is available in all topics (module 0). If the tool is 'Hidden' in your topic, unhide it and move it to the location you think is best for easy access. If it has gone missing, you can add it back: Turn editing on > 'Add an activity or resource' > Add an external tool' > Select the assignment extension manager from the preconfigured tool dropdown list.

By default, only the topic coordinator can process extension requests. The topic coordinator can delegate authority to other staff via the nominate approval option. Staff must have either a tutor or lecturer (teacher) role to be nominated as an approver. This approval does not rollover to the next year.

The tool manages requests for assignment extensions but does not cater for every situation/exception (ie it has limitations). 


Access the application

When a student submits a request for an extension to an assignment, the tool will send email notifications. By default, notifications go daily to everyone who is enrolled as topic coordinator in the FLO site. Notification frequency and recipients can be managed in the Topic settings for the tool (see below). For more information about the notification email, please see the section Topic Settings below.

To access the tool go to your FLO site and click on:
assignment extension tool
You will be asked to login again. Use your normal FAN and password.  

Topic coordinators will see a top menu that looks like this: 

topic menu

The 'View requests' menu option allows you to view and process requests. The 'Topic settings' menu options let you manage assignments, and change settings around who is allowed to process the request / how often you will receive notification emails. More information about these menu options is described below (Topic settings).

College support staff will also see a third menu option:

school settings menu

See College settings for more information.


View and process requests

topic request

  • Requests of current topic shows an overview of all requests (pending, approved, declined) for the topic you launched the extension tool from in FLO. 
  • All pending requests shows an overview of all pending requests from all topics you are allowed to process requests for. This option allows you to quickly access and process requests from multiple topics. 

You can sort these tables by clicking on the heading (helpful if you are for example looking for a request from a specific student, or all requests for one specific assignment).

To process a request, click on the blue text 'pending' in the Status column. This will take you to a page where you see all the details. If you scroll to the bottom you will see the options available, including any uploaded evidence.

  • For approval: Change the 'Status' from pending to approved. As part of the request, students nominate a extension date and time. Unless you change the date, the student's nominated date will be approved. You can optionally add a reason for approval or an altered date.
  • For decline: change the 'Status' from pending to declined and give a reason (mandatory).

The extension date must be after the original assignment due date. 

Important: if granting an extension that is after the assignment cutoff date/time, warn students that late submissions will not be possible.

When you press Save, the changes will be saved in the system, the extension date will be set in FLO, and an email with your decision will be sent to the student and staff involved in the topic.

If you want to review the email before it is sent, you can press E-mail Preview. From the email preview, you can send the email or go back to the request.

If you press 'Save', the system will send the emails, even if you did not look at the E-mail preview! 


Topic settings

topic settings

The option Manage assignments displays a list of assignments. This list is automatically populated from FLO. It is possible to manually add assignments or other assessment item activities, if you need to let students request extensions for an assessment item. Click on Add new assignment and fill in a name and a due date. 

  • Important: the system cannot automatically set extensions dates in FLO for manually entered assessment items, You will need to manually complete this task in the relevant FLO tool as a second step after approving the assignment. For example, you would need to add a user override for a quiz.

When a student has submitted a request for an extension to an assignment, the tool will send a notification email to everyone who is enrolled as topic coordinator in the FLO topic, to inform you that there are pending requests. By default these notification emails are sent out daily, but you can change the frequency at My email configurations. You can also indicate whether or not you want to receive a copy of the approved/declined email (which is sent to the student after the request has been processed). This could be relevant if you are a topic coordinator but not processing the requests yourself. 

Two weeks after the FLO topic end date, you will no longer receive notification emails for pending requests. The main reason is to prevent emails from being sent indefinitely if, for whatever reason, a request has not been processed before the end of the topic.  

These settings are for one topic only. A topic coordinator may want to process requests themselves for one topic, but nominate someone else for another topic. If you want to change it for another topic, you will have to go to the other topic and access the Assignment extension tool there. 

By default, staff members able to process requests will be those enrolled in the topic as Topic Coordinator, and college staff members with the role of College Support in FLO. The option Nominate approver allows you to let someone else process the requests for extensions. Only staff members who are enrolled as Teacher to the topic can be nominated. Follow the instructions in the tool.  

All emails are by default sent to topic coordinators and nominees. The option Set shared email allows you to use a shared email address. You can set which emails go to this shared email address and how often:

add shared email


College settings

College staff members who have access to FLO with the role of College Support have access the extension tool as well. They can access the tool by clicking in the tool in a topic. From there they can access requests from other topics via the menu option 'All pending requests'.

College support staff will see a third menu option:

school settings menu

The Set policy messages option allows College staff to change messages to students. This change will then be applied to all topics of this college.

Students who create a new request will see messages that explain when and why they need to upload evidence when they submit the form. These messages are in the system is to discourage students to ask for an extension without a good reason, and to make sure that they understand that requesting an extension doesn't automatically result in it being approved.

The default texts are consistent with University policy, but if the college wants to provide more details or other changes, they can do so as long as it is still compliant with University policy. When students create a new request for an extension, they can choose different reasons for requesting the extension (Illness, Injury, DAP, Family tragedy and Other).

  • When they choose the reason Illness or Injury, the system requires the student to upload evidence (mandatory).
  • For the other reasons, it is not mandatory to upload evidence but students will see a message explaining that without evidence their request may not be approved. 
  • The message for the Disability Action Plan (DAP) is slightly different. It doesn't ask for evidence but it explains to the student that a DAP must have been discussed with the topic coordinator before a student can use it as a reason for requesting an extension.
  • There is also the option to add a standard text to the (approve/decline) emails that are sent to emails after processing a request. It could, for example, give the students a link to a webpage with the college policy around extensions. 
The table below shows where and when which message is shown. If the college has different policies about requiring evidence, it is possible to convey these policies through these messages. The Message content column shows the default text. These default texts can be deleted and replaced with other text. Click Save for the messages to change. This then changes it for all topics in that college.  

edit policy messages

The Download request option gives college staff the possibility to download (a selection) of all requests; for example, to report about numbers of requested and approved extensions for one semester. For privacy reasons the download will not include the uploaded evidence, but be aware that the spreadsheet may contain sensitive data, so please treat this data as confidential

download requests

If you need any help, please contact your college eLearning support team.


Limitations

The tool supports managing requests for extensions for the majority of topics. This lightweight tool does not cater for all assignments:

  • Timed release and complex restrictions: The assignment extension tool will not list hidden assignments. All other assignments will list for student to select. This includes assignments which may only be available to some students in the site due to access restrictions (eg only available to one group). This may result in confusion for students as they may see more assignments within the Assignment extension tool than are visible within their FLO topic.
    Note: Assignments which are set up to provide feedback only (no due date and no submission required) will also list with '[due]' displayed as the due date.
  • Overrides, granted extensions: When a student submits a request, the tool is unaware of any already applied extensions or user/group overrides, and will only report the original due date. If you use group/user overrides you should review the overrides when considering the length of the extension requested.
  • Group assignments: If a student asks and is approved for an extension for a group assignment, only that one student will receive an extension within the FLO assignment tool. Other students in the same group will have to request extensions themselves. In these cases, it might be easier to give an extension manually within the Assignment tool grading screen and not through the Assignment extension tool. This action can be done in bulk.
  • Resubmissions / reattempts: If the assignment resubmission feature is used, the Assignment extension tool is unable to determine a student's current attempt number and it may be difficult to track extension requests.
  • Other activities: The tool cannot apply extensions for other activities in FLO (eg quizzes). However, if required, a quiz or other activity can be added manually to the list of assignments. This provides a consistent extension application process for all assessable items in the site. After approving the request you will need to make the applicable changes to FLO (eg for a quiz, apply a user override).

If you have any queries around the suitability of the Assignment extension tool in your topic, please contact your college eLearning support team.

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