Setting Up Reasonable Accommodations in Canvas

Setting Up Reasonable Accommodations in Canvas

As an instructor, you may learn that a student requires a reasonable academic accommodation. Accommodations may be because of one these reasons: 

Next, you will learn how to use Canvas for setting up reasonable accommodations, including (but not limited to):

Six ways to set-up accommodations in Canvas

Instructors can easily set an extended time or extra attempts on quizzes built within Canvas. This step is completed after publishing a quiz but before administering it.

Extended Time guide

Quiz availability dates still apply when moderating a quiz. If the Until date passes when students take the quiz with extended time, the quiz auto-submits even if the student’s time extension has not expired. If you have set a time limit on your quiz, you can grant access for extra time.

If the student hasn’t taken the quiz, you will add the extra time to the student’s initial attempt and additional attempts. Learn more about managing extra attempts. To set this up, use the give my students extra time guide.

Extra Attempts guide

You can grant access to an individual student, several students, or the entire class to have extra attempts on a quiz. If your quiz is locked, you can manually unlock the quiz for a student, even if it has not yet taken the quiz.

You can add extra attempts by accessing student quiz results or moderating the quiz. To set this up, follow the give my students extra attempts guide.

Students may need to take a quiz earlier or later than the rest of the class. Quizzes built within Canvas can be made available to individual students outside the scheduled quiz time in two ways. One option allows instructors to set a different scheduled time, while the other unlocks the quiz to take at any time.

Set a new scheduled time

When assigning a quiz to an individual student, set the availability date to a different date/time. This step will make the quiz available for that individual at their newly scheduled time and be done before, after, or during the initially scheduled time. Use the assign a quiz to an individual student guide.

Unlock the quiz at any time

You can unlock a quiz under the moderate quiz page. This step will override the current availability date/time for the selected student and allow that individual to take the quiz at any time after the unlock option has been checked. To set this up, use the give my students extra attempts guide.

To print a quiz in Canvas:

  1. Open Quizzes Click Quizzes from your Course Navigation.
  2. Select Quiz Click the name of your quiz.
  3. Preview Click the Preview button in the top right-hand corner.
  4. Browser Print Function Using your browser’s print function, find and select Print.

Note: Printed quizzes often split answer options between pages and leave little room for essay answers.

Differentiated assignments is a function within Canvas that allows you to set different due dates/times as well as availability dates for an individual student within the same activity assigned to the rest of the class. This can be done on assignments, quizzes, and graded discussions:

a. Assignment:

When creating or editing an assignment, you can assign an assignment to individual students. You can also set different due and availability dates for a student within an assignment that is assigned to the rest of the class. Availability date functionality is still available for each assignment. To set this up, use the How do I assign an assignment to an individual student? guide

b. Quizzes:

When creating or editing a quiz, you can assign a quiz to a specific student. Availability date functionality is still available for each quiz. To set this up, use the How do I assign a quiz to an individual student? guide

c. Graded Discussions:

When creating or editing a graded discussion, you can assign a graded discussion to a specific student. Availability date functionality is still available for each graded discussion. Only the student(s) specified in the discussion details can view the graded discussion. To set this up, use the How do I assign a graded discussion to an individual student? guide.

While not necessarily an accommodation, creating content in an accessible way is an integral part of making sure your course is inclusive. Both native and integrated tools within Canvas help instructors create accessible files, pages, and other content. Use the following resources:


(Note: This allows these designees access to course content while assisting your students)

If a student is eligible for interpreting or transcribing accommodations to your course, it is the instructor’s responsibility to provide the interpreter or transcriber access to course materials in Canvas. This access is necessary to provide accurate interpreting or transcribing services.

Interpreters and Transcribers will need access to the course Canvas site as early as possible. This step allows them to download handouts, PowerPoint presentations, and other course materials in advance. Transcribers can input names or vocabulary that students will use in a lecture into the dictionary that is part of the transcribing software; interpreters and the Deaf/hard of hearing student receiving accommodations can discuss and select vocabulary/name sign choices before class.

Add Interpreters and Transcribers may to a Canvas course as Reviewer. If you need assistance with adding a Reviewer to your course, contact the ISU Solution Center at 515-294-4000. Note: Because this is a local issue, Canvas Support will not assist with this question.


It’s beneficial to be thinking about these things during the planning stage of your course, but you can also apply these concepts and best practices during a course redesign. Consider using these Iowa State University resources for help with your course or questions about accessibility:

Create a compelling, engaging, and enjoyable online learning environment for your students.


Reduce barriers to learning and facilitate meaningful participation by all students.