Will students' accommodations need to change due to the new learning environment?
We have asked students to consider their new learning environments and reach out to their Access Advisor if they feel changes or adjustments need to be made. If it is determined that a change needs to be made, instructors will receive an updated accommodation email. You may also receive a direct email from the Access Advisor for assistance to determine what is reasonable.
I think an accommodation that made sense for on-campus courses no longer makes sense in the distance delivery environment. Who do I speak to about that?
We recommend reaching out to the students Access Advisor for questions or concerns related to their accommodations. Most students' accommodations were approved with an on-campus environment in mind. We may need to re-evaluate given the new environment.
Is there a streamlined method to track all the students with accommodations in my class?
We encourage instructors to use the Faculty Portal. This portal is designed to give instructors more access to information and make the process of serving students with disabilities easier and more efficient.
I want to design my distance learning environment in a way that is usable by as many students as possible. Where do I start?
As you transition your courses to online, we encourage you to embrace the tenants of universal design. For more information please visit AOIs site, Universal Design for Learning.
Another useful site is the Tips for Creating Accessible Course Materials.
I am having technical difficulties. Who do I contact?
To get started, review the Tool Kit for Extended Distance Delivery. For general assistance with technology as you transition to online course delivery, please contact AOI at firstname.lastname@example.org and there are also training sessions as well. For questions regarding assistive technology as it relates to accommodations, contact Kyle Gonzalez, Assistive Technology Coordinator, at email@example.com
EXAMS, QUIZZES AND FINALS
Is the Access Center open to proctor exams?
No. Due to the governor's "Stay at Home, Stay Healthy" order the Access Center is not open to proctor exams.
I have students with testing accommodations. How do these translate into the distance learning environment?
Most alternative testing accommodations translate well, though there are additional considerations to be made. Below are some of the more common ones.
Extended time: Instructors are responsible for extending time in the online environment. We advise instructors to review each student's specific time extension accommodation (e.g. 1.5X, 2.0X, etc...) and adjust accordingly.
- If you have a student needing extended time, refer to How to Set Test Exceptions in Blackboard Learn
- We have advised students to NOT begin their exams unless they can determine that time has been extended to meet their accommodations. If time has not been extended, students have been advised to contact their instructors and the Access Center ASAP prior to beginning their exam. Faculty will need to extend/reopen the exam for students in these instances.
Other testing accommodations:
Prior to COVID-19, the following accommodations required on-site proctors:
- When students use Memory Aids/Reader/Scribe/Calculator/Assistive Technology
- When virtual proctoring presents barriers
- When students need paper exams
How do I accommodate a student who cannot take a proctored exam online due to the nature of their accommodations?
Students who cannot take their exam in a proctored online environment are advised to email both their instructor and their Access Advisor to discuss options. Alternate exam formats that do not require a proctor may be necessary. Different formats may also require a relaxing of submission times (i.e. instead of a two-hour submission window of time; a 24 - 48 hour window of time or longer may be necessary).
If the proctoring service (Proctorio) creates a barrier (i.e. it will flag a student who uses memory aids), you may choose to use Zoom to proctor a student with certain accommodations. In this case, faculty would need to create a separate exam instance, outside of Proctorio, for the student who has an accommodation. This will allow the student to bypass the automated Proctorio service. For Zoom assistance contact AOI at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note: The Access Center is unable to offer proctoring services through Zoom. (Exceptions are only made on a very limited case-by-case basis).
It seems like proctored exams may pose barriers for students with certain accommodations. Is there any easier way?
Until further notice, the Access Center will not be providing onsite proctoring for students (with very few exceptions). Students are expected to use the proctoring method established by their instructors. Students who are concerned about taking exams in the online environment are asked to email both their instructor and their Access Advisor to discuss options.
If the Access Center closes completely (and other public spaces across the state are not available to proctor), alternate exam formats that do not require a proctor will be necessary. This may also require a relaxing of submission times (i.e. instead of a two-hour submission window of time; a 24 - 48 hour window of time or longer may be necessary).
- Possible Zoom proctoring option for paper-based exams and other accommodations that require onsite proctoring. The instructor may proctor a student using Zoom. In this case, the instructor would need to create a separate exam instance, outside of Proctorio, for the student who has an accommodation. This will allow the student to bypass the automated Proctorio service. For Zoom assistance, contact AOI at email@example.com. (Note: the Access Center will not offer remote proctoring using Zoom).
LECTURE CAPTURE ACCOMMODATIONS
We understand the recommendations we make below may or may not be reasonable for your courses. We offer these suggestions to reduce barriers/obstacles regarding high stakes testing in the online environment.
- To give non-proctored exams. Hold students to the honor code.
- To offer open-resource exams (access to notes/books) that would be open for a day or longer. This would alleviate issues with virtual proctoring, extension of time, locating an onsite proctor due to online barriers, information in the online environment, etc.
- To assess student's knowledge in different ways: e.g. short answer/response papers/"take-home" essay exams (allowing the use of resources)/presentations, etc.
Do I need to continue providing PowerPoints to students with that accommodation?
What about students approved to record lectures?
If all students now have access to PowerPoints/lecture material on an ongoing basis, then no. The need for this accommodation is being met.
If you are planning to use Synchronous delivery of lecture material, and these sessions are not recorded or you do not provide general access to material presented, then yes you will need to continue to provide this accommodation.
What about Peer Notetakers?
If you are providing pre-recorded lectures for all students, nothing more will need to be done.
If you choose to use synchronous delivery, we encourage you to record these sessions and provide them to students who have this accommodation.
Previously hired notetakers are being asked to continue to provide any notes they may be taking for themselves. Notetakers will receive their full stipend for the semester.
For new notetaking requests we will assess each course individually with the student to determine where they feel a notetaker would be appropriate.
I have entered into agreements with one or more students approved for Flexible Attendance or Flexible Assignment Deadlines. Do these need to be reconsidered?