Students’ Use and Perceptions of a Due Date Extension Policy


  • Stefanie Boswell University of the Incarnate Word



due date extensions, course policy, student perspectives


Students may sometimes benefit from due date extensions due to significant extenuating circumstances. These circumstances, though, may not be supported by documentation as required by university policies. Given this, I implemented a flexible due date policy called the Pause Button (PB) in a 16-week behavioral sciences research methods course. Students could use the PB to extend two due dates up to seven days each if they did not qualify for other university-approved extensions. Twenty-three students completed a survey about their use of the PB and perceptions of its helpfulness and benefits. Overall, students perceived the PB as very helpful, improving their ability to learn and complete greater quality coursework. Moreover, they perceived that it allowed them to better manage their academic workload, personal responsibilities, and stress. One of the PB’s perceived benefits, though, was dependent upon the assessment to which it was applied. This paper also suggests concerns for instructors who are considering implementation of a PB policy. It also contains recommendations for its use.