Online Timed and Take-Home Exams: Accessibility and Accommodations
A student has contacted me directly to ask for accommodations for an online or take-home assessment? What should I do?
Students with accommodations are asked to register their online final exam and take home assessment requests through the Late Request Module on myAIMS.
The Accommodated Tests and Exams team in the Office of the Registrar will process the accommodation request and send instructors the accommodation details (e.g. additional time) for application in the online environment.
Students and Faculty can contact email@example.com directly with questions relating to the administration of the extra time accommodations in an online environment.
How do I add extra time for a specific student in Quercus?
Please download this instructional PDF for step-by-step instructions on how to add extra time in Quercus.
If you have additional questions related to disability-related accommodations after connecting with them, please reach out to AccessAbility Services.
How is break time differentiated from writing time in an online setting?
Break time and writing time are both added as extra time. Students are expected to self-manage their writing time vs. break time. The University has approved this approach during this time.
How do I calculate the total amount of extra time and break time to assign each student?
Multiply the total class writing time by the student’s accommodated extra time. Then add their break time.
- 2 hour assessment
- Accommodations: 50% (1.5) extra time, 60 minutes of breaks
- Total writing time: 2 hours x 1.5 = 3 hours
- Total writing time + break time = 4 hours total
- 2 hour assessment
- Accommodations: 100% (2.0) extra time, 5 minutes of breaks per hour
- Total writing time: 2 hours x 2.0 = 4 hours
- Total break time: 4 hours x 5 min/hour = 20 minutes
- Total writing time + break time = 4 hours and 20 minutes
What if a student requires accommodations beyond extra time and breaks?
If a student raises any accommodation-related concerns that you cannot address for your assessment, please have them get in touch with their Disability Consultant at AccessAbility Services
I am an instructor who has several students registered with AccessAbility Services. One of my AccessAbility students has indicated to me that they do not feel comfortable with an online testing methodology. How should I respond to this?
If a student is reporting a need for an alternate assessment format due to disability-related reasons, please refer the student to AccessAbility for guidance.
What is the difference between a take-home assessment and an assignment a student would usually request a one-week extension for as noted on their Letter of Accommodation?
A take-home assessment as replacement for a final exam is time limited (between receipt of questions and submission of responses).
The accommodations for additional time on these will be provided to you by the Accommodated Test and Exam office. In the situation of a term assignment where a student has had weeks or months to prepare for it, they may request the usual extension accommodation of up to one week from the due date. If you have questions related to additional time or extensions, please communicate with your student’s Disability Consultant.
What suggestions can you provide for administering take-home exams, in particular for students with disability-related accommodations?
It is important, especially for some students with disabilities, for faculty to inform students what they can expect for the take-home exam and to outline clear expectations including:
- How to access the take-home exam
- When to access the take-home exam
How much time you are allocating on the exam and if you have factored accommodations into this time.
- Example: It should take 24 hours for students to complete the take home exam, but 72 hours is being allotted to complete the exam to accommodate students who require additional time.
- It is important to note that 24 hours/ 72 hours is the window for completion of the assessment. Students should manage their time according to their individual needs, and are not expected to write for the equivalent of 24 hours.
- Where to submit the take-home (e.g., within Quercus or through email)?
- What is the submission date and time for the take-home exam?
- Are students expected to work independently, or within a group?
- Whom should the student speak to if they are experiencing technological problems accessing the take-home exam?
As an Instructor, what options can I provide on a take-home exam that will make this assessment method more accessible to students with disabilities?
In addition to the recommendation to allocate a reasonable amount of time that considers additional time:
- Accept different methods of submission. If a student is required to demonstrate knowledge through illustrations (graphs, charts, diagrams, formulas, maps, etc.), consider students submitting through various means including Microsoft word, pictures, scanned documents, etc.
- Consider how students receive and submit take home exams. Students should receive their exam via portals familiar or previously accessed in class. These portals should allow students to receive and review the exam, and be able to come back to it throughout the exam window.
- NB: Quercus limits an activity window for a student to 24 hours. Consider alternative platforms for submission to allow a greater window for students to complete their take home exam. Students should be able to submit their take-home exam via email, Turnitin, Dropbox, or other platforms, which would allow for access at different times throughout the exam window.
I am an Instructor administering a take home exam and one of my students have requested an extension on my take home exam based on disability-related reasons? Can you advise me on my next step?
As an instructor, the extension request can be approved at your discretion. Please do not deny the request without consulting with AccessAbility. If there are further questions or concerns about the accommodation request you can refer the student to their Disability Consultant to review the accommodation request and the consultant will reach out to you should an extension be required.
Please review the Accommodation Calculation Document [PDF] for guidelines on how to calculate extra time and extensions for take home exams.