Assignment - grant extensions for assignments (Extension request tool)

1. Plan  |   2. Build  |  3. Test   | 4. Administer   |  5. Review  ||  Support

This entry relates to the Assignment activity.

The Extension request tool formalises the extension process for assignments, ensuring a decision trail for each student's request. Students give the reasoning for their request, upload evidence (eg a medical certificate) and propose a new due date. The topic coordinator (or nominated person) receives notifications of pending requests, which they can approve, approve with amendments, or decline. Students are then emailed the outcome, and their assignment is automatically updated with a new due date if the extension request has been approved.

Note: When setting the due date for a resubmission, or changing the initial due date for an individual student or a subsection of students, do not use the extension tool, instead apply a user/group override.

Accessing the extension tool

The tool is available in every FLO topic and is generally found either with the assessment information or in the top module.

When you open the tool, you will be asked to log in again with your FAN and password. This is normal behaviour for the tool.

If the tool has been deleted, you can add it back:

  1. Turn editing on by clicking the green button available on the topic homepage (top left of screen)
    Turn editing on

  2. Go to the module where you want to add the tool and click the Add an activity or resource link at the bottom of the module

  3. Select External tool from the Activities tab

  4. Select Assignment Extension from the Preconfigured tool list

  5. Type ‘Assignment extension requests’ in the Activity name field and save your changes


Adding assessments other than assignments

The Assignment extension tool is automatically populated with the assignment activities in the topic, but you can add other activities to allow students to submit extension requests in a consistent manner. When you add other activities to the tool, you will need to manually manage the extension inside the activity (eg for a quiz, you would create an override for the student).

To add other activities to the tool:

  1. Open the tool and log in

  2. Go to the Topic settings menu and select Manage assignments

  3. Click on the Add new assignment button

  4. Add the name and due date of the activity

  5. Click the Create assignment button

Note: Manually added assignments do not roll over, they will need to be recreated the next time the topic runs.


Processing requests

1. Assignment selection list 

View pending requests per assignment by selecting one assignment from the drop-down list, or you can view all assignments.

2. Extension request length tabs

Under each assignment, you can view all requests, or those 1 - 3 days, or 3+ days. If an assignment has no due date, it will be under the 3+ days tab.  Note: ‘days’ are university business days.

3. Bulk moderating requests 1 - 3 days 

On the 1 - 3 days tab you can choose all, or one or more requests and then click on ‘Approve/decline selected requests’ to moderate multiple requests. Individual moderation is also available by clicking on the ‘pending’ link located in the ‘Status’ column. 

Scrolling towards the bottom of the page allows you to:

  • change the status of the request from pending to approved or declined
  • review the proposed due date and amend it where it is not suitable
  • give a reason or comment on your decision (this is mandatory for declined requests)
Important: If you are granting an extension after the assignment due date/time, you should let students know that it won’t be recorded as 'late submissions' hence no penalties would be applied.

When you click Save and send, the extension date (new due date) will be set in FLO, and the student(s) will be emailed with your decision. Alternatively, you can press Email Preview to review what is sent to the student or Save without email to approve the request without emailing the student. Note: There is no ‘preview email’ function available if using the bulk moderating feature. 

Notification settings

By default, topic coordinators will receive a daily email with a list of requests that need attention. However, you can change the notification frequency or allow other teaching staff to review requests for a topic.

Change your email frequency
  1. Go to the Topic settings menu and select My email configurations
    My email configurations

  2. Click on the Edit link at the end of the table

  3. Change the frequency to Never, Daily, Weekly, or Immediately

  4. Save your changes

Note: FLO will stop sending notification emails two weeks after the topic’s end date, to prevent emails from unprocessed requests from being sent indefinitely.

Nominate a new approver

If you are not going to be actively teaching in the topic, or if you have large student numbers, you can nominate other members of the teaching team to be notified of/process requests:

  1. Go to the Topic settings menu and select Nominate approver

  2. Click on the Add new nominee button

  3. Select members of the teaching team (teachers/tutors) from the list of enrolled users and click the Add tutor / Add teacher button

Note: These settings do not roll over. You will need to add approvers each time the topic runs.

Send emails to a shared account

You can also send emails for pending requests to a shared email account (note that this only changes who is notified about requests, not who can access them).

  1. Go to the Topic settings menu and select Set shared email

  2. Click on the Add shared email button

  3. Add the email address and choose how often the account should receive emails

  4. Save your changes

Note: These settings do not roll over. You will need to set the shared email account each time the topic runs.

Limitations of the tool

The Assignment extension tool supports managing requests for extensions for the majority of topics, but this lightweight tool does not cater for all assignments:

  • Timed release and complex restrictions: Assignments that are restricted to certain students (eg only available to one group) will be seen by all students inside the tool. Seeing assignments they don’t have access to may cause confusion for students.

  • Feedback only assignments: Assignments set up to provide feedback only (ie no submission required) will be listed, along with any recorded due date.

  • Overrides, granted extensions: When a student submits a request, the tool is unaware of any existing extensions or group/user overrides, and will only report the assignment’s original due date. If you use group/user overrides you should review the student’s overridden date when considering the length of the extension.

  • Group assignments: If a student requests and is approved for an extension for a group assignment, only that student will receive an extension (not the entire group). In these cases, it might be easier to grant an extension manually within the Assignment grading screen instead, as this action can be done in bulk.

  • Resubmissions/reattempts: If the assignment resubmission feature is used, the tool is unable to determine a student's current attempt number and it may be difficult to track extension requests.

  • Hidden assignments: The tool will not list hidden assignments to students; however, teaching staff can see hidden assignments via Topic settings > Manage assignments.

  • Other activities: The tool cannot apply extensions for other activities in FLO (eg quizzes). However, a quiz or other activity can be added manually to the list of assignments, but any extensions will need to be manually applied inside that activity (eg for a quiz, apply a user override).

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

College settings

College support staff see a third menu option with additional settings, which are currently not functional. Click the link below for further information about these settings.

View resources

The third menu option is called 'school settings'. It has two settings - Set policy messages, and download requests

Set policy messages allows College staff to change the messages sent to students. This change will then be applied to all topics in the college.

Students who create a new request will see messages that explain when and why they need to upload evidence when they submit their request. These messages are in the system is to discourage students from asking for an extension without a good reason, and to make sure 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 these instructions are 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. Clicking the Save button changes the text for all topics in that college. 

The Download request option allows college staff to download a selection of requests in the college; for example, to report about numbers of requested and approved extensions for one semester. For privacy reasons the download will not include any uploaded evidence, but be aware that the spreadsheet may still contain confidential data. 

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

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