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Teach Online With Confidence

Helping Educators Engage More Online Students with Less Stress through Simple Strategies

Dr. Bethanie Hansen 

Teaching Excellence Strategist

Near the end of a session, you might need to consider accepting a course extension request in your online class. A course extension is also known as an “incomplete.”

Students request extensions because they cannot finish the class within its allotted time. They might be delayed by illness, an emergency, or a military deployment.

During difficult times, a flexible approach can help the struggling student finish well.

What Should I Consider Before Accepting a Course Extension Request?

When students request course extensions, consider these points:

  1. Have they completed any work?
  2. Do they have a plan for completing the course?
  3. How will you communicate during the extension?
  4. When will you finalize the grade?

Given the many disruptions COVID-19 is causing, extension requests may become more common.

How Can I Partner With Students on an Extension?

If you plan for this kind of arrangement, you can guide students in advance. And, a plan can help you manage your own time better. A plan will also give you reduced stress and confidence partnering with students who need your help.

Planning might include early outreach efforts with students who are not logging in regularly during the class, or who fail to submit assignments on time.

And guiding students means that you communicate the school’s extension policies before the last day of class, then work with anyone who needs help requesting the extension.

Another way to partner with students is to guide them to create a schedule to complete the remaining classwork by the end of the extension date. This might mean sending out reminders, messages, and e-mails to keep up the relationship.

While many colleges and universities offer their own arrangements for accepting a course extension, in today’s podcast I’ll share strategies I have used in my own online teaching that can be adapted for your situation.

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