Protection of Equal Educational Opportunity
Students with disabilities may be entitled to alternative testing arrangements to provide an equal opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of course material. Valid measurement of learning is an essential component of the educational process. The impact of some disabilities can affect the accuracy of classroom evaluation measures and, consequently, some students cannot be fairly evaluated without appropriate accommodations. These accommodations should not change the examination content through which the attainment of course objectives is measured, but may alter non-related procedures through which a student demonstrates his or her mastery of the objectives (e.g., test location and amount of time).
Protection of Academic Standards
Modifications to classroom testing procedures should not reduce academic standards, nor may they compromise fairness by giving any student a competitive edge. Rather, they must serve to eliminate a competitive disadvantage caused by incompatibility between a testing method or environment and an individual’s specific disability.
Types of Exam Accommodations
- Testing in a distraction-reduced environment
- Extended testing time
- Provision of readers, scribes, or sign language interpreters
- Provision of assistive technologies, such as computers, calculators, or a CCTV
- Provision of alternative formats, such as large print or electronic text
Security of Examination Materials and Administration
The security of exam materials used in proctoring tests is of critical importance to the DSS staff. Instructors whose exams will be administered at DSS are responsible for selecting the procedures through which exam materials are delivered to and returned from DSS. Upon receipt of exam materials, DSS assumes responsibility for maintaining them in a secure manner prior to and during test administration. The test administration procedures are intended to discourage and detect academic misconduct. Students who wish to take their exams at the DSS office must sign an Academic Integrity Testing Agreement (annually) before taking any exams in DSS. Prior to entering a testing room, students must leave all belongings (coats, backpacks, books, cell phones, etc.) with DSS staff. Only approved materials are allowed in the testing area. Students are periodically monitored to prevent academic dishonesty.
Student Responsibilities in Arranging Test Accommodations
Students are responsible for arranging test accommodations by adhering to the following procedures:
- Meet with a DSS Administrator to determine appropriate accommodations.
- Sign an Academic Integrity Testing Agreement (annually) before taking any exams in DSS.
- Present a letter regarding accommodations to instructors and request accommodations in a timely manner.
- Discuss with instructors and fully agree upon which test accommodations are needed and how they will be implemented. DSS recommends that students meet with their instructors at least one week before the scheduled exam.
- For exams at DSS, complete and submit an electronic Exam Proctoring Request Form at least three business days before the test. (Business days do not include Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays.)
- Students must arrive at DSS by their scheduled testing time. Students who arrive late may have the late time deducted from the total time allowed for the test.
Faculty Responsibilities in Arranging Test Accommodations
Faculty are asked to assist in the facilitation of exam accommodations by doing the following:
- After a student makes a request for accommodation, instructors and students should fully discuss and agree upon which test accommodations are needed and how they will be implemented. Possible options include:
- taking the exam with accommodations in the classroom.
- taking the exam with appropriate accommodations arranged by the instructor.
- determine if the classroom is available for an early start or late finish
- identify a department office or conference room that can be used for proctoring
- determine which individuals in the department can assist with exam proctoring
- taking the exam at DSS.
- If the agreement is for the office of Disability Support Services to proctor the exam, professors will receive a continuation of the online request form and are responsible for answering the questions and confirming that the requested arrangements are satisfactory.
- Instructors are responsible for secure and timely submission of exam materials to DSS at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled administration, not including weekends and holidays. DSS is unable to pick up or return exams to offices.
General Information about Alternative Testing through DSS
- Testing services are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
- DSS will generally proctor exams at the same time as the standard class administration. However, occasionally, other arrangements are warranted. Some of the legitimate reasons that would justify proctoring an exam outside of the standard class administration times include:
- if obtaining an accommodation of extended time would cause the student to miss a portion of a class;
- if it is necessary to reschedule based upon the DSS hours of operation;
- other reasons with permission of the professor.