Exam Accommodations for Online Course Delivery

Definitions and Responsibilities

Below is a table of common exam accommodations, as well as definitions of those accommodations. We encourage instructors and students to reference the information below in regards to our shared responsibilities for providing exam accommodations for any tests/quizzes/exams during online and alternate delivery of course work.

Accommodation Provided By:
Type of Exam AccommodationInstructorExam AccommodationsStudent Accessibility ServicesStudent
Extended TimeX
One Exam Per DayXXXX
Reduced Distraction SettingsX
Physical Space RequirementsX
Accessible / Ergonomic FurnitureX
ReaderXX (in rare cases)
ScribeXX (in rare cases)
Alternate Format MaterialsX
ASL InterpretationXX
Music Accommodation / Access to HeadphonesX
Health Related Accommodations (stretch breaks, washroom breaks)X
Assistive Technology / Adaptive EquipmentXXX
Access to Instructor for ClarificationX

Extended Time

Instructors are required to adjust the individual student’s time for each LEARN quiz/test/exam, as per Exam Accommodations’ instructions.

When we send notification to an instructor of a time extension they can ask us for clarification at that time.

Who is responsible: Instructor

One Exam Per Day

If a student is eligible for, and wishes to access this accommodation, the student must contact their instructor(s) to inform them of the conflict and to request one exam be rescheduled.

Questions about how to implement this accommodation should be directed to the Accessibility Specialist.

If within 7 days, Exam Accommodations staff will work with the instructor(s) to determine an appropriate deferral date/time.

Who is responsible: Student, Instructor, Exam Accommodations, Accessibility Services

Reduced Distraction Setting

For exams taking place on campus, students were approved for 1 of 3 types of exam environments:

  • Private room – with no other students
  • Private space – with fewer students (i.e., up to 3 other students in a classroom setting)
  • Small group – up to 11 other students in a classroom setting

For online quizzes/tests/exams, regardless of the exam environment a student was deemed eligible for, the student is responsible for securing a private space within their home suitable for completing their exams. Unless directed by their instructor, students are not to work in “small groups” remotely in order to complete their online exams.

Completing exams at home will require adjustments for all students, particularly those who are used to writing in a private room/private space. Students are encouraged to review the Suggestions for Online Test Taking Page for tips on creating a suitable test environment.

Who is responsible: Student

Physical Space Requirements

Accommodations that fall in this category include natural light, lamp, no fluorescent lighting, etc.

Who is responsible: Student

Accessible/Ergonomic Furniture and Equipment

Height adjustable desk, ergonomic chair, ergonomic keyboard, ergonomic mouse, etc.

Who is responsible: Student

Reader

All exam questions are read to the student

For online testing, Exam Accommodations staff will work with the student to determine the best way to implement this accommodation. Students will be given the option of either using text-to-speech reading software (i.e., Kurzweil), provided by Exam Accommodations, or having Exam Accommodations staff read the questions aloud over the telephone or via Microsoft Teams. If this accommodation cannot be arranged remotely, another individual within the home, who is not familiar with the subject matter, may perform this role. The individual will be required to review the Exam Accommodations Reader Guidelines, and sign an academic integrity form before the individual is permitted to provide assistance.

NOTE: Text-to-Speech software cannot be used with Respondus Lockdown Browser. Instructors are asked to refrain from using Respondus for all students eligible for a “Reader” accommodation.

Who is responsible: Exam Accommodations and (in rare cases) Student

Scribe

The student dictates short and long answer questions, which are written down/typed, verbatim, by a proctor.

For online testing, Exam Accommodations staff will work with the student to determine the best way to implement this accommodation. Students will be given the option of either using voice dictation software, provided by Exam Accommodations or having Exam Accommodations staff scribe virtually over Microsoft Teams through it’s “take control” feature . If this option is not feasible, another individual within the home, who is not familiar with the subject matter, may perform this role. The individual will be required to review the Exam Accommodations Scribe Guidelines, and sign an academic integrity form before the individual is permitted to provide assistance.

NOTE: Voice dictation software cannot be used with Respondus Lockdown Browser. Instructors are asked to refrain from using Respondus for all students eligible for a “Scribe” accommodation.

Who is responsible: Exam Accommodations and (in rare cases) Student

Alternate Format Materials

For online testing: some students will need to use magnification software to enlarge the materials. If a student does not own the necessary software, Exam Accommodations will provide it to them.

NOTE: Some screen magnification software cannot be used with Respondus Lockdown Browser. Instructors are asked to refrain from using Respondus for all students eligible for Alternate Format of test/quizzes/exams.

For online course materials: it is the responsibility of instructors to prepare all course material, including online exams, using an accessible format. For additional information, please refer to:

  • Flexible Online Delivery Model – Accessibility
  • Creating Accessible Documents (PDF files, MS Office files)
  • Video – How to use LEARN’s Accessibility Checker

Who is responsible: Exam Accommodations and Instructors

ASL Interpretation

For online testing: students requiring ASL-English interpreting for their tests/quizzes/exams are to submit a request to the Exam Accommodations department, who will coordinate with Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services to ensure that interpreters are booked.

Who is responsible: Student Accessibility Services and Exam Accommodations

Music Accommodation

Due to disability related reasons, some students are permitted to listen to music while completing exams, including online exams. Students must adhere to any restrictions instituted by their instructors and Exam Accommodations about accessing information outside of the LEARN platform while writing an online exam.

Who is responsible: Student

Health Related Accommodations

Stretch breaks, Washroom breaks, Rest – Time for breaks as an accommodation, is included in the student’s time extension.
Students are responsible for managing their time appropriately when breaks are taken.

Who is responsible: Student

Monitoring a Medical Condition

Some students will need to monitor and manage their medical condition during an exam including: checking glucose levels, taking medication when necessary, permission to eat or drink during an exam.

Who is responsible: Student

Assistive Technology/Adaptive Software

Some students will require access to specialized software in order to complete online exams. Many of these students already own the necessary software. For those who do not, Exam Accommodations will provide the necessary software to the students on a temporary basis.

Instructor Note: Most specialized software programs are not compatible with Respondus Lockdown Browser. Please refrain from using Respondus for exam situations in which a student requires specialized software. Exam Accommodations staff will directly contact the instructors of students who require this accommodation.

Text-to-Speech Software: Kurzweil 3000 – available to all RRC Polytech students and staff. To read web material, including LEARN content, a web extension must be downloaded. To access the software, and for additional information, please email Lori Walkow.

Voice Dictation Software:

Dragon Naturally Speaking (Windows) – this speech-to-text software allows students to complete written assignments and short and long answer test questions by dictating their work.

Apple OS Dictation – speech-to-text software built into the Apple operating system.

Magnification and Screen Reader Software (for individuals who are partially sighted or blind)

Magnification software, such as ZoomText, enlarges and enhances everything on the computer screen to enhance access. Screen Reader software, such as JAWS, reads content on the computer screen allowing individuals who are blind access to the content.

Who is responsible: Student Accessibility Services, Exam Accommodations and Student

Access to Instructor for Clarification

For on-campus exam situations, this accommodation is in place to ensure that students writing outside of the classroom (i.e., with Exam Accommodations) are provided with the same level of access to the instructor as those students who are writing in the classroom with the instructor.

For online exams, it is recommended that instructors be available to all students should they require clarification during the exam, or should the student believe their eligible time extension has not been applied. It is also recommended that the instructor provide clear instructions regarding the manner in which they will receive those questions (i.e. by email, WebEx, Teams). If an instructor will not take questions during an exam, students should be informed of this prior to the exam.

Instructors and students are encouraged to contact Exam Accommodations staff, via email, with any exam accommodations related questions:

Who is responsible: Instructor