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Overview


This wiki article contains instructions for how to do specific accommodations on tests in Canvas and/or Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor (Webcam).  Disability Support Services (DSS) will communicate with you when a student requires a specific accommodation.   

Test accommodations are modifications made to tests or testing conditions that allow all students the ability to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in a testing situation. 

Below are some examples of accommodations:

  • Extended time
  • Multiple attempts
  • Taking a test in a quiet environment
  • Reader or Scribe available for student's test support
  • Access to applications to during the exam (screen readers, dictation software, Microsoft Word, etc)

Please keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive and students may receive specific accommodations that are not addressed on this page. 

If  you are unsure how to best meet the accommodation requirement and need support, please reach out to ETM at etmhelp@spu.edu to discuss your options.

General Accessibility Tips

When building test questions it is important to make sure your questions are accessible.  Learn more at Accessibility and at Universal Design for Learning.

Remember to do the following:

  • Make sure images and tables have alternative text
  • Ensure all images/graphics used have an appropriate level of contrast
  • If you attach documents to questions, make sure the text can be selected and can be read (no images)
  • Ensure any video or audio files used have captions or have been properly transcribed

Extended Time & Multiple Attempts

There are two ways to extend time in Canvas. Extending the time before the quiz starts is the preferred method for adjusting time. We generally recommend the first option and have provided those steps below.  This is so students can see that they have the appropriate amount of time before starting the exam.

  1. Extend time before the student has started the quiz.
  2. Extend time while the student is actively taking the quiz.

The maximum amount of time a test can be extended is 1440 minutes (24 hours).


Quizzes must be published to access the Moderate Quiz menu. If you are concerned about a quiz opening too soon, you can set availability dates to restrict access.

If you set availability dates, these must be adjusted for the individual student who needs extended time or if they will take the quiz on at a different time.  Otherwise, the quiz will automatically submit on them without providing the accommodation. View more on the Canvas website.

Additional Time Before the Quiz

View more on the Canvas website about additional time.

Follow the steps below to add time before a student has started taking the quiz.

  1. Open the quiz by clicking on the name of the quiz.
    • make sure the quiz has been published, if not, do that now.
    • Set availability dates, if the test should not be taken at this point.
      • Be sure to set dates that work for the student(s) who need additional time too.
  2. In the upper right-hand corner of the page, click the link Moderate this Quiz.
  3. Locate the student(s) who need additional time by using the search filter or scrolling through your roster.
    • If you need to adjust more than one student at a time, use the check marks to the left of the student names to select each student and then click the link at the bottom of the page "Change Extensions for # Selected Students."
  4. Click the Pencil Icon located to the far right of the student's name.
  5. A new window will open, type the number of additional minutes (not total time provided) that the student will receive and press Save.
    • If the quiz already provides 10 minutes and you need to provide time + 1/2, then you would add 5 minutes.

Additional Attempts

View more on the Canvas website about setting up additional attempts.

Follow the steps below to add attempts before a student has started taking the quiz.

  1. Open the quiz by clicking on the name of the quiz.
    • make sure the quiz has been published, if not, do that now.
    • Set availability dates, if the test should not be taken at this point.
      • Be sure to set dates that work for the student(s) who need additional time too.
  2. In the upper right-hand corner of the page, click the link Moderate this Quiz.
  3. Locate the student(s) who need additional time by using the search filter or scrolling through your roster.
    • If you need to adjust more than one student at a time, use the check marks to the left of the student names to select each student and then click the link at the bottom of the page "Change Extensions for # Selected Students."
  4. Click the Pencil Icon located to the far right of the student's name.
  5. A new window will open, type the number of additional attempts that the student will receive and press Save.

Instructors may also allow students to view quiz results one additional time, if they had set their quiz settings to only show results once after each attempt.

Availability Dates

Availability dates are a specific range when students can access and complete their assignment, participate in a discussion or take a quiz.  These are optional settings and are set separately from the assignment (discussions or quiz) due date.

If a student has extended time, but the "until date" passes, the quiz will automatically submit prior to the time extension and the student will not receive their additional time.

This feature is also useful for setting different due dates for groups or sections who have different due dates/times or for individuals who need more time to complete the assignment, discussion, or quiz. View more about Canvas availability dates on the Canvas Support site (Links to an external site.).

Set Multiple Due & Availability Dates

As noted about quizzes above, additional dates must be set for any individual who receives additional time, if an instructor uses availability dates on their quiz.  Follow the steps below to make the appropriate changes.

  1. Open the Quiz and click the Edit button.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom on the settings tab.
  3. Click the +Add button underneath the due date assigned to Everyone in the course.
  4. A new group of fields will appear below.
  5. Press the Save button to update the quiz details.

The process above works for assignments and discussions too, instead of opening the quiz, go to the Assignment or Discussion and press Edit.

If these dates were set up correctly, assignments will appear to have multiple due dates to you.  Only the specific student who has different dates will see the updated dates and times.

Respondus LockDown Browser + Monitor (Webcam)

Respondus LockDown Browser is a tool that disabled other programs/applications and tasks while the browser application is running on a system.  Once the browser is closed, the system returns to normal. That said, there are some things instructors need to be aware of when they have students with accommodations.

  1. If you have a student who receives extended time or multiple attempts, you will set that up in Canvas (see above) and Respondus will honor those settings.  
  2. For students who need a screen reader, you do not need to do anything to allow the screen reader to work.  Respondus Support has stated the following:

    The Mac version of LockDown Browser works with VoiceOver (the standard screen reader that comes with the Mac OS). LockDown Browser's functions and security remain the same when VoiceOver is used. Be sure you are using LockDown Browser version 2.0.3.03 or newer.

    As of LockDown Browser 2.0.1.07 for Windows, accessibility is enabled for all users. Improvements to accessibility were added to version 2.0.3.00 for Windows. Please have all students on Windows platforms upgrade to version 2.0.3.03 and newer. The Windows version of LockDown Browser allows a student to use some screen reader accessibility programs, such as NVDA, JAWS, MS-Windows Narrator, ReadSpeaker webReader, and Windows-Eyes. In our experience, NVDA works the best. It is free and available to download here:https://www.nvaccess.org/

  3. If you have students who need access to other applications during testing, you will not be able to use Respondus LockDown Browser or Monitor due to the way these tools function.  In these cases, ETM recommends creating a duplicate version of the test for students to complete the exam in Canvas, but without LockDown Browser or Monitor enabled.  


A quick method for duplicating a quiz in Canvas is to export the quiz as a QTI file and import the QTI file into your course. Just make sure during the import process that you do NOT check the box to "overwrite assessment content with matching IDs."