Exam accommodations are designed with two main purposes in mind: 1) to allow students with qualifying disabilities access to otherwise inaccessible exam content, and 2) to provide the time, place, and resources required for students with qualifying disabilities to convey what they think and know. Essentially, these accommodations ensure that exams are accurately reflecting a student’s thoughts, knowledge, and learning, and not merely measuring a student’s disability.
It is the instructor’s responsibility to provide effective testing accommodations. When this is not possible due to an unavoidable conflict (i.e. a scheduling conflict or lack of required technology) the proctoring center is available to administer exams.
Instructions for requesting exam proctoring:
1. Student and instructor meet to determine effective means of accommodation and conclude that exam proctoring at the Exam Proctoring Center (EPC) at Disability Services is appropriate.
2. Student requests exam proctoring with the EPC by contacting the Exam Accommodations Coordinator (EAC) online via Clockwork. (The student’s request must be received by DS no less than one week prior to scheduled exam date).
3. The EAC emails instructor requesting a copy of the exam and description of testing conditions (Note: exam time must overlap the regularly scheduled exam unless alternative time is approved by instructor).
4. Instructor or designee delivers exam to the EPC (169A Whitmore) either by Clockwork download, hand, email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or fax (413-577-0122), no later than 12:00 pm the day before the exam is to be administered.
5. Exam is picked up by instructor (or designee) at the EAC, or it will be delivered to instructor’s main office (by request).
Exam Accommodation Center Information
Hours of operation: Monday – Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm.
Contact: Patricia Link, Exam Accommodations Coordinator
Exam Proctoring Center: 169A Whitmore Administration Building
Phone: 413-545-2827 Fax: 413-577-0122
Exam accommodations refer to allowances and/or modifications applied to the administration of course exams. Examples of specific exam accommodations include time-and-a-half and double time for exams, a distraction reduced setting, use of a computer, large print copy of the exam/quiz, use of a scribe, and use of a reader. While Disability Services does offer proctoring services, it is a finite resource so we ask that you plan to provide exam accommodations for your eligible students when possible. Figure 1 provides you with some guidance around when it is most appropriate to provide the accommodation yourself, and when it is most appropriate to ask the student to take the exam at Disability Services. The EPC is only available for quizzes where use of a reader, scribe or a specific computer program is required in addition to a need for extended time or a distraction reduced setting. Otherwise, we must request that the instructor provide the quiz accommodation.
Guidelines for when to proctor an exam accommodation and when to refer to Disability Services.
Consider the size of course and/or number of students requiring accommodations.
Instructor Proctors Exam (Preferably)
If you are teaching a large course (i.e., over 50 students), it is likely that you will have multiple students requiring exam accommodations. If so, given the demands on the Exam Proctoring Center space, we request that you provide an alternate location to accommodate students with accommodations for extended time and a distraction reduced environment, if possible. This allows students access to the instructor if there are questions or exam issues and allows DS to handle accommodations for those who need readers/scribes and other complex accommodations.
Refer to Disability Services
If you have a small course with one or two students requiring exam accommodations, it may make sense to ask the student to take the exam at Disability Services—particularly if the accommodations would be difficult to provide due to a lack of resources (e.g. Teaching Assistant) or technology (see below).
Consider your access to Teaching Assistant (TA) support level.
If you have one or more TAs, you should consider assigning someone to coordinate and proctor examinations with accommodations.
If you do not have a TA, and you are unable to offer the required accommodation without additional support, then it is appropriate to enlist the support of Disability Services.
Consider the technological requirements of student.
If the student solely requires additional time and a quiet location to take the exam, it might be appropriate for you to administer the accommodations yourself.
If the student requires a reader, a scribe, or some form of technological support (e.g., use of a computer) it is likely most appropriate for the student to take the exam at Disability Services.
Extended time on exams. Perhaps the most common and fundamental exam accommodation is the provision of additional time. Students will typically be eligible for either time and a half (150% time) or double time (200% time), but in very rare cases a student may be eligible for longer or “untimed” exams (which may extend to a full business day). Determination of the accommodation length is based upon the clinical recommendations found in the student’s diagnostic documentation, the experiences of the qualified student, and the professional judgment of the student’s Consumer Manager at Disability Services.
A distraction reduced setting. This accommodation calls for you to arrange an alternative setting, one with less likelihood of auditory or visual distractions. For small classes, this accommodation may not be necessary (speak with the student to determine if this is true); but for larger classes, where the sounds of students moving, zipping up bags, moving chairs, and turning in exams can be distracting, it is necessary to schedule an alternative room for the students receiving this accommodation to take the exam. If you are unable to provide this accommodation, the proctoring center at Disability Services can offer assistance.
Use of a computer. In some cases, the nature of a student’s disability requires the use of a computer to access or respond to an exam. In these cases, Disability Services is prepared to support the student with appropriate hardware and/or software via our exam proctoring services. When necessary, Disability Services will provide test takers with appropriate assistive technologies such as JAWS, Kurzweil, and MathType.
Large print version of test. In many cases, this accommodation only requires that you make an enlarged copy of an exam with your department’s photocopy machine. If the materials are electronic, they can likely be accessed through the accessibility features native to most computers, or the student may need to take the exam at the Disability Services proctoring office. The student should be consulted to determine the degree of enlargement/font size required.
Night Exams. Evening exams are often a challenge for students who need extended time or other exam accommodations. Currently, Disability Services only have the resources to provide Exam Proctoring through the EPC from 8 am – 5 pm. You may contact the EPC Coordinator to provide approval for students to take their exams during the day of the exam or the day after, but students cannot book those exams without instructor approval. From time to time, we can provide 2 proctors for evening exams held elsewhere. This requires considerable planning, so please notify the Coordinator of this request as soon as you schedule your exams.
Use of a scribe *and/or* reader for exam. The purpose of a scribe and/or reader is to allow the student to access exam content and accurately represent their responses. Readers and scribes do not correct answers or clarify the meaning of questions. Some instructors prefer to provide these accommodations themselves so they can ensure that the student understands the questions fully, but Disability Services is prepared to offer a scribe or reader as needed, assuming the request is received seven business days prior to the exam date.