Test Taking Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
A Faculty Guide (revised 8/2012)
This Faculty Guide addresses the provision of accommodations for students with disabilities related to exams, tests, quizzes and pop-quizzes (all referred to as "test" in this guide). There is a wide variety of circumstances that faculty will encounter when providing testing accommodations. There are two main reasons for this variety: Accommodations are individualized and established on a case-by-case basis, and faculty are using increasingly diverse methods to administer tests. Recently, faculty, academic deans, and other offices have requested a practical guide for providing testing accommodations in a fair, equitable, and inclusive manner. In response, the SSD staff developed this guide.
The topics in this guide are listed below, and we encourage you to become familiar with the information and refer to this guide as needed. This information and any updates will also be posted on the SSD website and emailed to departments and faculty each semester. The SSD website provides additional information about the provision of accommodations for students with disabilities including Frequently Asked Questions for Faculty and Test Taking Accommodations.
Unique circumstances regarding students and testing accommodations continue to emerge. If faculty need clarification on the process of providing accommodations, the SSD staff is always available to answer questions, discuss concerns, and problem-solve any issues related to providing accommodations and instructing students with disabilities. Please contact us by phone (231-3788) or by email: email@example.com. The SSD staff truly appreciates the time and effort that Virginia Tech faculty and staff show to students with disabilities.
TOPICS COVERED BELOW
In all circumstances regarding the provision of any and all classroom accommodations, a student must provide a Letter of Accommodation to each of his or her faculty members each semester. In order to maintain confidentiality, the faculty member and the student should meet face-to-face regarding the provision of classroom accommodations. Students must provide faculty with letters of accommodations and notify faculty of testing needs in a timely manner.
1. Faculty's Responsibility To Provide Testing Space
A student requiring the accommodations of extended time for tests and or quiet testing space should take his or her test in a distraction-free environment arranged by the course faculty member. Appropriate space includes conference or board rooms, private offices, or empty classrooms free from noise. A student should never be required to start a test in one location (i.e. the classroom with other students) and finish the test somewhere else or stay after the class finishes. A student should not miss a class or part of a class as a result of using accommodations. Many faculty work with their respective departments or colleges to find and reserve appropriate testing space. Students report that when faculty locate such space, students benefit from closer proximity to the faculty, less time and paperwork arranging for testing accommodations, and less disruption to both faculty and students' time.
2. Maintaining the Integrity of Tests
The SSD Testing Center is committed to maintaining the integrity of tests. We proctor students taking tests by video and audio monitors. If we suspect an Honor Code violation, we will notify the faculty, and the faculty can address it with the student.
Faculty are able to specify details concerning how they want the test to be administered to the student, such as length of time for the test or materials allowed in the testing room. The SSD Testing Center will work to honor all such specified details, and will contact the faculty if any of the testing conditions may deviate from what was requested.
With the integrity of tests as a priority, we no longer recommend that students handle their tests prior to or following taking the exam. Therefore only these options will be available for delivering tests to the SSD Testing Center and returning them to the faculty:
1) Faculty may deliver tests to the SSD Testing Center vie a-mail, fax, or in person.
2) Completed tests may only be picked up by the professor or his/her official representative - office staff, graduate student, or teaching assistant. The person picking up the tests will sign a Test Pick-Up Log that will be kept in the Testing Center. If extenuating circumstances exist, please call the SSD Testing Center to make arrangements for test return.
3. Reserving Space in the SSD Testing Center for Tests
The SSD office has a testing center that faculty may utilize by reserving seats. The SSD testing center has a limited number of available seats and should be used only if other space is not available or if a student has needs or accommodations that the faculty member is not able to address. Students are proctored by video and audio monitors, but no recordings are made. In order to use the SSD testing seats, the faculty must make an SSD Testing Reservation Request using the Online Testing Reservation System (OTRS). See the Faculty's Guide to Using the SSD Online Testing Reservation System *link*for detailed instructions on how to use the OTRS. The student is responsible for meeting with the faculty to arrange dates and times for the tests in plenty of time to meet testing reservation deadlines. The faculty is responsible for submitting the Reservation Request to the SSD Testing Center using the OTRS (www.ssd.vt.edu/testingreservation/) *link*so that it may be submitted to the SSD office in a timely manner (See Item #20 for deadline dates).
The SSD Testing Center Hours of Operation
The SSD office is open for proctoring tests Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Students must finish a test by 5:00 pm. During Fall and Spring semesters the SSD office is open for all finals' hours including Saturday. During summer sessions the SSD office is open for exams during normal office hours only.
4. Submitting and Receiving Tests at the SSD Testing Center
Faculty are responsible for ensuring that a test arrives in the SSD office by a specific date via fax, email, or in person (See item #20 for deadline dates). Students should not bring their own test to the Testing Center in a sealed envelope. Completed tests are sealed in an envelope and kept at the SSD Testing Center until the faculty member picks them up. The faculty member may come to the SSD office to pick up tests or may send a representative such as a teaching assistant or office staff. This is a change in policy due to security issues. For test security reasons campus mail is not used to return tests. Failure by a faculty member to submit a test on time may result in the SSD office being unable to accommodate a student, but the faculty member will still be required to accommodate the student. If problems arise with submitting a test 3 business days before the test, please contact the SSD Testing Center.
5. Scheduling Specific Dates and Times
If it is necessary for a student to take tests at the SSD Testing Center, testing dates and times must be specified on the Online Testing Reservation System. The Testing Reservation Request cannot be made with non-specifics such as “To Be Announced.”
6. Rescheduling Tests (Faculty's Decision)
If a faculty member has to reschedule a test for an entire class (due to weather, material coverage, etc.), the faculty member must provide the same conditions for a student using testing accommodations. If a student is scheduled to take a test at the SSD office, the faculty must contact the SSD Testing Center to reschedule. The SSD Testing Coordinator will try to accommodate the new testing date and time depending upon available space.
7. Rescheduling Tests (Student's Request)
If a student needs to reschedule a test he or she is taking in a location the faculty member arranged, this change is worked out between the student and the faculty member. A student may need to reschedule a test as a result of his or her disability and we encourage contingency plans be made for such events. If a student was scheduled to take a test at the SSD Testing Center and has a disability-related need to reschedule, the SSD Testing Center will consider the request, with the permission of the faculty member. However, the SSD Testing Center cannot guarantee that space will be available. Also, the SSD Testing Center will not reschedule a test or final exam for any other reason (e.g. student forgot or was confused about a test time or day) or for a student's personal convenience (e.g., wants an earlier flight home).
8. Equality in Testing
A student who uses testing accommodations is entitled to take the same test as other students, even if the student is taking the test in a different location and/or time than the class. If multiple forms of a particular test are used as part of the regular testing process, any of those forms can be used for students taking the test with accommodations. In the event that a student has to reschedule or make-up a test he or she previously scheduled, regardless of the use of accommodations, a make-up or alternate form of the test can be given provided that any other student in the class would have to follow the same procedure. If there are concerns about maintaining the integrity of a test, faculty should contact the SSD Testing Center.
9. Quizzes & Pop-quizzes
Students are eligible to use testing accommodations on quizzes and pop-quizzes. A student should not be penalized for using testing accommodations. Examples of penalization include the student missing parts of a lecture, being singled out, or not having the opportunity to take a quiz. The SSD staff realizes that this can be a tricky accommodation to provide and will be glad to assist faculty with providing testing accommodations in an appropriate, fair, and inclusive manner. Faculty should contact the SSD office if there are any questions about providing accommodations for tests and quizzes. See "The Pop Quiz Dilemma" for more information.
10. On-Line Testing, Including Scholar
Students taking on-line timed assessments should be provided the same accommodations as if the test were given by pen and paper. Administering testing accommodations through Scholar is somewhat complex, but faculty members can work directly with Scholar staff if encountering any problems, such as setting up a test for extended time. Faculty members using Scholar for tests should complete 4-Help's "Help Request Form" found at https://ars.cns.vt.edu/prsubmit/prsubmit.action. Within the problem description box enter "SSD Testing Accommodations", and a Scholar staff person with specific knowledge of these testing setup needs will contact the faculty member to set the testing protocol in Scholar.
11. Math Emporium Classes
The SSD office has two computers that are part of the Math Emporium system. Students taking Math Emporium tests at the SSD Testing Center must ask their faculty to submit an Online Testing Reservation Request three business days prior to the test (five business days for final exams).
12. Take-Home Exams
Generally, extended time and other testing accommodations do not apply to take-home exams. Students should be able to complete those assignments on time. In rare circumstances exceptions have been made, so faculty is encouraged to contact the SSD office for guidance.
13. Medical Conditions
Some students have medical disabilities that require attention during a test such as frequent restroom breaks, snacks, drinks, or other medical interventions. A student needing to attend to medical conditions may or may not have additional time on tests as an accommodation per se, but in either case, the student should not be penalized for time taken during a test to attend to medical needs. The need for breaks or other medically-based accommodations will be specified on a student's accommodation letter.
14. Special Test Administration Instructions
: If a student is taking a test at the SSD Testing Center, faculty should provide details concerning special test administration procedures in the Online Testing Reservation Request. Special instructions include specific order of administration of items, using open book or notes for certain portions, a part of a test is take-home, or type of calculator (graphing vs. simple function). More specific instructions may be given to the Testing Center Coordinator at SSDTestingCenter@vt.edu.
15. Reader Accommodation
Some SSD students require test items to be read aloud. The preferred mode of accommodation is electronic format. Faculty can arrange for space for the student and provide an electronic recording of the test. The SSD Testing Coordinator can make an electronic recording of a test for a student's use during a test at the SSD Testing Center, if the faculty member provides an electronic copy of the test (via e-mail) three business days prior to the date of the test (five business days for final exams). If the test is not received in time, the faculty member will be responsible for providing a quiet space and an electronic or audio recording.
16. Scribe Accommodation
A scribe writes a student's responses to test questions verbatim. Faculty can arrange for a quiet space for the student and provide a scribe. If a student taking a test at the SSD Testing Center needs a scribe, the faculty member should indicate that a scribe is needed on the Online Testing Reservation Request three business days prior to the test (five business days for final exams). The SSD office staff will work with faculty if needed to secure an appropriate scribe.
17. SSD students requiring a word processor for tests need a quiet space and a computer for typing answers. SSD recommends that faculty provide a laptop and disable the Internet access. The faculty member can provide a removable drive, and the student can save the test to the drive and give it to the faculty member for grading. The SSD Testing Center can accommodate students needing the use of a word processor provided the Online Testing Reservation Request is made three business days in advance (five business days for final exams). The SSD Testing Center will provide a laptop without Internet access and print a copy of a student's responses.
18. Whiteboard Accommodation
SSD students requiring a whiteboard for tests need a quiet space and the use of a whiteboard during a test. A student may need to bring his or her own whiteboard markers. The SSD Testing Center can accommodate students needing a whiteboard provided the Online Testing Reservation Request is made three business days in advance (five business days for final exams).
19. Op-Scan Accommodation
Some SSD students are not able to use an OPSCAN, SCANTRON, or other type of answer sheet requiring the “bubbling-in” of answers. Faculty can allow a student to write responses directly on a test, or a student can request a scribe to assist with filling in the OPSCAN. The student should read his or her answers to the scribe and the scribe bubbles in the responses, double-checking with the student for accuracy. The student should not be penalized time-wise for this process; however, the student should not be attempting to complete previously unfinished test items during any additional time needed to fill in responses. The SSD Testing Center can assist students with OPSCANS provided the Online Testing Reservation Request is made three business days in advance (five business days for final exams).
20. Deadlines for Submitting Online Testing Reservations and Tests to SSD
For any student needing to take a test at the SSD Testing Center
Test Day Day Testing Reservation Must Be Made Day Test Must Be in SSD Monday The Wednesday before by 5:00 pm The Thursday before by 5:00 pm Tuesday The Thursday before by 5:00 pm The Friday before by 5:00 pm Wednesday The Friday before by 5:00 pm The Monday before by 5:00 pm Thursday The Monday before by 5:00 pm The Tuesday before by 5:00 pm Friday The Tuesday before by 5:00 pm The Wednesday before by 5:00 pm
(Please account for holidays and breaks and extend the time accordingly).
Charts for Final Exam Reservations and Test Submissions at The SSD Testing Center will be provided to students and faculty and posted on the SSD website three weeks before finals begin.
Last updated: Monday, 29-Apr-2013 13:18:01 EDT