Ultra Course - Exceptions and Exemptions
Exceptions and Exemptions are gradebook tools that allow instructors to make a one-time change to assignment settings for an individual student, such as changing a due date or allowing an extra attempt to account for personal circumstances. For ongoing or repeating adjustments to assignment settings, such as a student with a disability accommodation requiring extra time on all timed assessments, see the page on Accommodations.
Use Cases for Exceptions
Individual circumstances cannot always be planned for in advance. When a student has a sudden change in circumstances such as an illness or unavoidable conflict, you can use the exceptions function in the Gradebook to make individual changes to due dates, or re-open assignments for extra attempts, to resolve problems when they occur.
An exception is a reactive, individual change to the permissions for a specific graded item, to allow a student to access, re-take, or revise work after the original submission deadline has passed. Exceptions are designed for one-time, individual events such as allowing a student to re-take a quiz they missed due to an excused absence, or changing a due date for a student to accommodate a religious observance. Exceptions are not designed for repeating/ongoing individual accommodations, or for universal changes that apply to all students in a course or section.
Exceptions can be used to change a due date, allow extra attempts, or allow a student early/extended access to an item with date restrictions. Certain uses of exceptions, such as for accommodating a religious observance, are governed by university policy. Other uses, such as the decision of whether to allow an exception for a student to re-take a quiz they failed to complete on time due to personal circumstances, are generally up to the discretion of the instructor.
How to Apply an Exception
To apply an assignment exception for an individual student, open the Gradebook in list view. Then, click on the name of the assignment to view all individual attempts.
Find the student(s) in need of an exception and click the three dot (...) menu to the right of their name to access the exception/exemption settings.
You can set exceptions for the item due date, the show/hide dates for item visibility, and/or the number of attempts allowed. These changes will apply only to permissions for the individual student. For all other students, the default settings for the item set in the Course Content view will still apply.
Exceptions can only be set for assignments or tests. Other graded items like discussions or attendance do not have an exceptions option, but see exemptions below.
Use Cases for Exemptions
Exemptions in Ultra course view are used to remove items from an individual student's gradebook record entirely. While the other two functions described above are used to customize the individual conditions around graded assignment requirements, exemptions alter the coursework/grade requirements themselves, and represent a more significant change to the student's course experience.
An exemption is a reactive change which removes a graded item from an individual student's Gradebook calculations entirely. Exemptions can be applied to any graded item including attendance and discussions as well as assignments or tests. Exemptions can alter a student's overall grade profile. For example, in a course with ten discussions worth 10 points each, and a total discussion grade calculated out of ---/100, a student with an exemption for one discussion will have their discussion grade calculated out of --/90 instead.
How to Apply an Exemption
To set an assignment exemption for an individual student, open the Gradebook in list view. Then, click on the name of the assignment to view all individual attempts.
Find the student(s) in need of an exemption and click the three dot menu to the right of their name to access the exception/exemption settings.
Select "Add or edit exemptions" and then check the box labeled "Exempt grade" in the panel that opens on the right. Once saved, the student's grade for the item will display as "Exempt" in the gradebook, in both list view and grid view.
If the exempted grade is included in the Overall Grade or any other other calculated columns in the gradebook, the total number of points possible in that column will change for the student with the exemption.
Because exemptions can potentially create noticeable differences between students in terms of grading expectations and outcomes, they should be evaluated for their potential to create unfair situations before being used. Consult with your department, program, or college administration if you have questions about best practices for altering grading policies or granting exemptions.