Information for Instructors
It is always preferable for students with disabilities to take their quizzes and exams in the classroom in case something needs to be clarified by the instructor during the course of the exam. To the greatest extent possible, the testing process should be designed to be accessible and inclusive for a diverse group of learners in order to minimize the need for ad hoc accommodations.
When working with students with disabilities, the most frequently encountered barrier that prevents them from having an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned is an exam that does not allow them to have enough time to read, process and respond to all of the test questions. If you are teaching an online course, or if you administer online exams, making the exam accessible can be as simple as adjusting the amount of time for a student who needs more time. Within the traditional classroom, this is only slightly more complicated. Many instructors administer the exam within the classroom and if a student needs more time, instructors, or their administrative assistants, find a quiet place for the student to complete the exam.
Traditional paper and pencil exams can create barriers for students who have disabilities related to vision and dexterity. To make an exam accessible for a blind student, for example, we can place a laptop computer in the classroom with software that will read the exam aloud (through headphones) to the student. For students who have limited use of their hands and fingers, exams can be made accessible through the use of adaptive computer hardware and software. Staff members in the Instructional Media Center can place technology in the classroom which will allow the vast majority of students to take their exams in the classroom with their peers. The one exception would be a student who needs to use voice dictation hardware and software (i.e., Dragon Naturally Speaking) because that would create a distraction for the other students. For those situations, it will be necessary to administer exams outside the classroom.
If a situation does warrant not allowing a student to take his or her exam in the classroom, or if a student prefers to take exams in the ARC Testing Center, quizzes and exams can be scheduled through the ARC by following the procedures outlined below:
- Students are encouraged to provide their instructors with a copy of their Accessibility Plan during the first week of the semester to initiate the process for taking their exams in the ARC. The Accessibility Plan describes the barriers that have been identified by the ARC that will prevent the student from having the same opportunities as his or her peers. Detailed within the Accessibility Plan are the steps we will take to remove those barriers in order to create an equitable testing experience for the student. When the date of an exam is approaching, instructors and students should work together to determine the day and time when the student will take the exam in the ARC. The instructor will need to include this information when completing the Testing Services Request Form. ARC staff will only administer an exam on the day and time specified by the instructor on the form.
- We need to have all forms and exams in the ARC at least 48 hours prior to the date of the exam in case we have any questions about how the exam is to be administered and/or if the exam needs to be reformatted to be accessible for the student.
- All completed exams will be kept in a secure location in the Accessibility Resource Center. Instructors may pick up their completed exams or the exams can be delivered to the instructor by a member of the ARC staff. This option can be selected on the Testing Services Request Form.
- The ARC administers exams Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Information for Students
You will need to provide your instructors with a copy of your Accessibility Plan during the first week of the semester to initiate the process for taking your exams in the ARC. Your Accessibility Plan describes the barriers typically found in the post-secondary educational environment that prevent students with disabilities from having the same opportunities as their peers. Detailed within your plan are the steps we will take to remove those barriers. As soon as you know that you have an exam coming up, you need to work with your instructor to determine the day and time when you will take the exam in the ARC. You do not need to make an appointment with the ARC to take your exam. Your instructor will include this information when he or she completes the Testing Services Request Form. ARC staff will only administer an exam on the date and time specified by the instructor on the form.
- Students are responsible for showing up and being prepared to take their exam at the scheduled time. Students who are more than 5 minutes late may be required to reschedule their exam.
- Students are responsible for adhering to the the Academic Honesty Policy as outlined in the MWSU Policy Guide.
- When working with your instructor to determine what day and time you will take your exam, make sure that your testing time does not interfere with attending your other classes.
- Remember to bring pens and pencils with you.
- Remember, cell phones are collected at the front desk as you enter the testing center.
- Remember to study. :-/