Accommodate and Overcome - “Extended” Edition

January 5, 2022

Welcome to the Accommodate and Overcome series; a blog series addressing common accommodations and scaffolds in science classrooms. In each blog, we will look at not only the educational need, but how to address it in Pivot Interactives and in your classroom. Our primary goal should always be to SUPPORT THE STUDENT to meet the challenge. If this is not an option, then we should ADJUST THE CHALLENGE to meet the student. 

The most common technique to increase equity is to give students more TIME. 70% of Pivot Teachers said that "extended time" was an accommodation they provided the most. Today, we'll focus on what extended time is and how it works in Pivot Interactives.

Today’s Topics:

#1 What is extended time and how does it work?

#2 How is time logged in Pivot Interactives?

#3 How do Due Dates and Visible Dates work?

#4 How can we extend the time for our students?

What is extended time and how does it work?

Generally speaking, extended time involves changing or delaying the due date of an assignment. This is by no means the only time-based modification, however it is the most common time based modification. This modification, if provided based on an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Accommodation Plan (504), generally includes a modifier, like “1.5x extended time” or “2x extended time,” meaning that the student should receive 1.5x or 2x the original length of the assignment to complete the work. This is based on the time that was assigned to the average student. So, if the average student is expected to finish and turn in the assignment in class, allowing a student to complete it at home and turn in their work the next day may meet the needs of their accommodations. Just a note: these terms can get very specific, so always check a student’s IEP or 504 to ensure that you are meeting the expectations of their services team. If you ever have specific questions about an individual student, you should discuss those with the special education coordinator at your school or the case manager for the student. 

Extended time is not only a common accommodation, it can be an excellent scaffold for students who simply need an extra day or so to get caught up. Unlike in a traditional lab setting, it’s VERY easy to extend time on Pivot labs; because there is no equipment to set up and the activity is incredibly portal (all you need is a device and an internet connection), these can have unlimited time. 

How is time logged in Pivot Interactives?

When students work on an assignment, their progress is captured and displayed on the Scores page. To get there, click on the activity’s title on the Class page. Your Scores Page will look like this:

Here, we see three students who have been working on an activity: William, Linda, and Emmett. There are two time columns: The Last Change By and the Student Updated At. The Student Updated At column is a great way to track if an assignment was completed on time without using Due Dates. 

The other column, the Last Change By column, provides data on the last person to edit the activity.

  • A teal dot means that the instructor was the last person to edit the document. This is done when the instructor grades a question or leaves a comment.
  • A yellow dot means that the student was the last person to edit the document. This is done when the student answers any question on the assignment. 
  • A black dot means that no one has ever edited the document. This is usually paired with “No Response Received” and “Not Started,” meaning the student has not engaged in the activity. 

How do Due Dates and Visible Dates work?

Every activity has two dates: a due date and a visible date.

  • The Due Date is the date and time when the activity is automatically submitted. Students cannot continue working on the activity after it has been submitted. This is a hard deadline, meaning the student cannot move it. 
  • The Visible Date is the last day that you can see the activity. Like, AT ALL. Once the visible date has passed, the assignment disappears. Why on Earth would you want this? Simple: security. Like, exam security. If you are giving an assignment and want the results to be hidden, you would set a last visible date. Otherwise, you can just leave this blank. This is also a hard deadline, meaning the student cannot move it. 

These dates are generally set when you assign an activity; however, you can modify them at any time from the Details page from within the assignment.

How can we extend the time for our students?

#1. Use your LMS due dates for “lateness” and use the Pivot Interactives due date as a “cut off.” 

Your LMS, like Canvas or Google Classroom, uses soft deadlines. In a soft deadline, students can continue working even after that date has passed. So, use these soft deadlines as your first line of defense.

Example: Say you want the activity finished by the 5th, but you won’t accept it anymore past the 10th. Set the LMS due date as the 5th and the Pivot Interactives due date as the 10th. This will allow students to continue working up until your “cut off.”

#2. Request Revisions to unlock the activity after the Pivot Interactives due date.

Once an activity has been submitted, you can pass it back to the student using the Request Revisions feature. This will allow them to continue working even after the due date has passed.

To do this:

  1. Find the assignment you want to change on the Scores page.
  2. Click on the status drop-down menu and change the status from Submitted to Request Revisions.
  3. If you are working with locked sections, a popup will appear asking if you want to unlock any locked sections. Generally, I answer YES if I want them to fix their old work and NO if I’m just extending the due date. 

Once you have made your selection, the activity will be in “Revision” status and will move to the bottom of the list. You will also notice that the Last Change By column has changed to the date and time that you set this status. When the student makes changes, that teal dot will turn yellow, letting you know that you may want to go look for any updates. This will return BACK to the Submitted status when the student resubmits the activity.

Now Linda, what if I wanna do that for EVERYONE?

Too easy! Simply change the due date in the Details section. This will unsubmits everyone’s work and allow them to keep working. You can also request revisions for the whole class.

A word of advice!

When you apply an accommodation or provide a scaffold (whether it's whole group or small group), make sure you document it!

  • You can leave that student a private message on their LMS.
  • You can send a BCC email to all students and parents about submission changes and expectations. (Very important: those contacts need to be in the BCC section; otherwise, you will release sensitive education information.)
  • In my classroom, I added a note to the activity in the grade book. (We used Infinite Campus, so I did this with the "Fill Grade" feature.)
  • You can also just record these on an accommodation tracker in your teacher notes if you prefer pen and paper.

No matter what you do, document it so that you have a record in case you are asked for it later.