Hard deadlines in formative assessments have been the traditional approach to managing coursework and ensuring timely completion of assignments, but recent research has highlighted several downsides to this one-size-fits-all approach, which may have negative implications for student learning outcomes, well-being, and overall academic success. This study seeks to explore the role of flexible extensions in formative assessments, examining both the potential benefits and challenges of implementing a more accommodating assessment model. By examining the impact of flexible extensions on student self-efficacy, well-being, and academic success, as well as how the introduction of such a system would impact staff time and resources, this research aims to contribute to the ongoing discourse on effective and inclusive assessment practices in higher education. We introduce the Flextension system for automating large portions of managing flexible extension policies through automation. Analysis of data from a case study in CS161 found an average improvement of 150% in homework assignments and 183% on project assignments when an extension was requested. Through all this, the importance of flexible extensions in its effectiveness on alleviating stress, increasing students' understanding and learning, and ensuring that a student's grade reflects their learning rather than external factors is punctuated.




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