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Best practice: using start dates, due dates and end dates.

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You can set up several dates for Assignments, Quizzes and Content topics in Brightspace. You can set up a Start Date, Due Date or End Date. Setting up due dates has different implications than setting up an end date.

Do you want to learn more about setting up a start, due or end date? Read the articles for Restrictions in Assignments, Quizzes and Content:

How do I set restrictions for an Assignment?
How do I set restrictions for a quiz?
How do I edit the properties of a topic and how do I move a topic?

Due date

When you add a due date to a topic or activity, it will automatically be visible in the students' Calendar. Students will also receive notifications about upcoming deadlines in Brightspace (unless they have turned this feature off). When the due date has passed students can still access the topic or activity. This means that when you have added a due date for an assignment, students can still submit their assignment after this due date has passed. If you are dealing with Activities, you will see a list of the submissions that have been handed in late. Brightspace will mark these submissions as Late and will also show how much time has passed since the due date.

It is possible to erase the marking for an assignment that has been submitted late. You can choose to do this when the student has a valid reason for a late submission, for example a technical error or personal circumstances.

  • Click on the key item for the late submission. A pop-up window will open.
  1. Select Has Due Date and enter a new due date. If you just want to remove the marking, then click in the date field and click Today. If you want to extent the deadline for one or multiple students, enter the new deadline.
  2. Click Save.

When a group assignment is concerned, you will see a heading with Users below Availability, with the group concerned right behind it. Here you will find the names of the students who are a part of this group. You can select the students for whom the new due date applies. This is important because it might occur that several students have submitted an assignment too late, but that not all students have a valid reason. You can now select just those students who had a valid reason.

When you want to change the due date for multiple students at once, you can do so with the use of Special Access in the assignment itself. For more information please read the article How do I set restrictions for an Assignment?

End date

An end date, which can be used for a topic or an Activity, means a hard deadline. When this deadline has passed, the topic or Activity will no longer be visible and accessible for students. The end date is not visible in the Calendar, so you have to be clear and communicate it to students to prevent any misunderstandings. Unlike with a due date, students cannot submit their work late. The downside of this is when students have a valid reason to submit their assignment, quiz, or survey late, they do not automatically have the possibility to do so.
It is possible, however, to make exceptions for the end date for specific students with the option Special Access. Please note that when you set this up only after the end date has passed, students can submit their work after you have granted special access. This means you have no way to check whether students have worked on their assignment or quiz, which is something they are not supposed to do if they were dealing with a technical error.

  • Navigate to the desired assignment, quiz, or survey and go to the editing page (Edit).
  1. Click Restrictions (second tab).
  2. Select Allow users with special access to... 
  3. Click Add Users to Special Access.
  1. Enter the changed End Date. 
  2. Select the students for whom this new end date applies.
  3. Click Save. Then click Save and Close.

It is suggested to always work with a due date, so students can use their Calendar to see when they have to submit anything; they will also receive notifications. It is also suggested to work with an additional end date to motivate students to submit their work on time. Ideally, you would leave a short period of time, for example 2 hours, between the due date and the end date. This way student can still enter their submission if they are slightly late. The submissions entered during this time will be marked as Late. You can then decide whether the students had a valid reason and whether you want to rate the submissions at a later moment.

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