Blackboard Tip: How to Grant Extended Time for Quizzes

To grant extended time for assessments in ANGEL, instructors had to have a second version of the test/quiz/exam and a DSS team set up. No more in Blackboard! This process will actually be much easier to set up. Here’s how to do it.

Many ANGEL master courses have hidden “alt assessment” folders with extended-time assessments already set up for instructors to trigger should a student in a particular section have DSS accommodations for extended time. We don’t want this practice to continue in Blackboard Learn, and any alt/copies-of-tests folders should be deleted. The reason behind this is two-fold:

1) Adding a group (formerly called a “team”) to a course, as in the ANGEL method for creating alt assessments, defaults in Blackboard to adding a “Groups” option to the students’ course menu. Though “visible to students” can be turned off for a particular group, we wouldn’t want a group created for Disability Support Services compliance to accidentally show all students who has been granted extra time. It’s a potential privacy violation, but also it’s just not necessary. We’ll go over below what I think is just an easier way of doing it all around. Groups allow for some cool possibilities, but we’re focused on getting the fall launch working smoothly and only recommending those features for “advanced users” — or just something extra we’ll teach instructors about later.

Setting up a Blackboard group.

Setting up a Blackboard group.

With group viability on, a student in the group gets an added course menu option.

With group viability on, a student in the group gets an added course menu option.

2) The extra copies of tests can mess up the Grade Center. If you have alt assessments, even hidden, they’ll automatically appear as Grade Center columns if not removed, and those columns will erroneously bump up the total available points in the course. Again, it’s also just not needed. There’s another, simpler way to do this in Blackboard, so you don’t need extra copies.

If you have “hidden extras,” delete them from the Lessons area and from Course Tools > Tests, Surveys and Pools > Tests to clean up the course files and Grade Center columns. (See the glossary/guide to discussions and tests post if you need help.)

How to Set Up Extended Time for Blackboard Tests

From your Lessons area, you can Edit the Test Options for a test that you need to grant exceptions for.


Edit the test options to get to the “exceptions” settings area.

You’ll want to navigate to the “test availability exceptions” settings, which is between “test availability” (the visible dates) and “due date” on the test options screen. Click to add a user.

exceptionsThe resulting pop up will show all the available users (students) and groups in the course. In this example, there’s the “fake student” user from my student preview activity, plus the DSS group I made earlier. You could use this functionality to make certain items available to certain groups of students, but, for now, we’re just recommending adding individual students for the extended-time use case.

To do this, just select the user who requires whatever exception needed, then click submit.

adduserThis takes you back to the test options screen, where you can add 200 percent time, or whatever you need. For extended time to appear as an option, you’ll just need to make sure “timer” is set on the test in the section above, and then it will appear as an editable option in the exceptions area. In this example, the “regular time” limit is 60 minutes; for the extended time student, I’ve allowed 120 minutes. (Click the picture for a larger view.)


Add extra time and/or attempts.

That’s it! You’ll add each student and his or her exceptions here, from the test options.

Again, there are more advanced possibilities for these features, but for the basics of allowing extra time for specific students, this is what we’re recommending. It’s a change of approach from extra copies of tests and teams, but we hope it’s also easier.


Alex is online course support technician at IDS, working to support all online, hybrid and LMS-enhanced instructors and students in using Blackboard and several media servers. She's also the administrator for the MCC Blogs network. You can reach her at

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Posted in Blackboard, Blackboard Learn for instructors, Blog
5 comments on “Blackboard Tip: How to Grant Extended Time for Quizzes
  1. Ellen Jacobs says:

    Great advice I was wondering about this. Will the student who has the time accommodation see both tests in their view?

    • IDS@MCC says:

      Great question, Ellen. There’s only one test, so each student only sees one item. The student(s) with exception(s) just get more time. I just tested to confirm (that’s a little trickier in Blackboard because, in ANGEL, we could “spoof” specific users) by putting my student preview user as the exception to an exam in my sandbox. Sure enough, I saw one item, with the extended time limit.
      Thanks for reading!

  2. Ellen Jacobs says:

    Thanks this is very helpful.

  3. […] this technique to give a group exclusive access to an item. But remember! This is not the way to grant extended time for a quizzes, just a way to give some students access and restrict […]

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