Exam accommodations during the COVID-19 outbreak

Exams for students with disabilities

UBC is committed to ensuring that students with disabilities are able to complete their coursework within the term where possible.

The Disability Resource Centre is fully engaged in supporting students and instructors to make sure that exams are accommodated where possible and assist students to access academic concessions where necessary.

SCROLL DOWN FOR STUDENT INFORMATION

Instructor Information

The staff at the DRC are available to support instructors in determining how best to accommodate students given the format and/or platform of their online exam.

Seven days prior to the exam instructors will receive a system generated email letting them know that students have requested accommodations for that exam. The DRC exam coordinators will follow up with another email that provides the instructor with more detailed information about each student’s accommodations.

Implementation of exam accommodations

Extra time consideration
Instructors are asked to manage this for each exam.

Private or distraction reduced space
Students are responsible for finding suitable space to write their exams.

Alternate format
Alternate format will be requested by the DRC for students who are not able to write the exam within the Proctorio or Canvas Lock Down browser platforms due to disability or accommodation related reasons. Ideal format is a Word (.doc) file that can be downloaded to the student’s computer. If a PDF is preferred please ensure that it is a ‘readable PDF’.

Adaptive software/technology
Students who require this technology should already have it on their personal computers. Students may require alternate format of the exam to be able to utilize their software outside of Canvas or Proctorio.

In person supports
For the few students who require this type of support (scribe or mobility assistant) the accessibility advisor will plan directly with the instructor and student to find appropriate accommodation.

Traditional take home exams
Take home exams may be used where students are given more than a day to complete the exam. The accommodation of extended time does not typically apply in these cases. There may be some exceptions, so consult with the DRC if you have questions about this format of exam and accommodations.

Exams using Proctorio or Canvas Lockdown Browser

For accessibility and accommodation reasons we recommend staying away from  exam invigilation programs that don’t allow for the use of assistive technology and/or create linear exams in which students are not able to review their work. If you are planning to use this type of proctoring program you may need to provide an alternative to students for whom these platforms are not accessible.

What happens if exam accommodations are not met?

All efforts are being made to provide exam accommodations to students in the online environment. However, there may be times when the accommodations and/or technology do not work out and result in a failure to provide accommodations. Below are some guidelines for students and faculty to follow and options to consider when this unfortunate and unintended situation occurs.

Before the exam:

  • If there is a student in your class who has requested exam accommodations, you will receive an email from the DRC listing the student number and accommodations for each student, including the time extension if relevant (e.g. 1.25x, 1.5x, 2x). If you are using a timed Canvas Quiz or Assignment to run your exam, you will need to update the date and time settings on the exam. Please see the Centre for Teaching and Learning resources Scheduling Exams in Canvas for instructions.
  • If you are unsure about how to update the date and time settings or provide any other accommodations in the exam setting, you can contact the DRC here exams@ubc.ca.

During the exam:

  • The Centre for Teaching and Learning recommends you open a Collaborate Ultra or Zoom session, starting 15-30 minutes before the exam begins. Upload a document with a welcome message and any instructions. Let your students know ahead of time they should “drop in” to the Ultra or Zoom session before the exam begins. Once the exam is underway, stay in the Ultra or Zoom session for the duration of the exam, and invite students to join the Ultra or Zoom session during the exam if they have any questions.
  • Check the CTL’s Monitoring Exams in Progress page for other recommendations and troubleshooting advice.

After the exam:

  • You will receive an email from the student’s Accessibility Advisor at the DRC. The Accessibility Advisor will gather the relevant information and put forward a request to you for your consideration of the student’s unmet accommodation.

Student Information

Booking exam accommodations

Students requiring exam accommodations should book their exams in the accommodations portal as usual. This booking is the students’ formal request for accommodations for any given exam.  The booking activates the DRC staff involvement with the professor to put accommodations in place.

If students have concerns about receiving their accommodations or questions about how they will be accommodated in the online environment they should contact their accessibility advisor directly. Students whose accommodations include assistive technology may experience problems using the technology in some exam platforms. Please contact your accessibility advisor to discuss.

Here are some links to information for students who have questions about online exams using Proctorio:

UBC student guide to Proctorio: https://keepteaching.ubc.ca/files/2020/03/proctorio-student-guide.pdf

Proctorio support for test takers: https://proctorio.com/support

Proctorio system requirements: https://proctorio.com/system-requirements

Student instructions for installing Proctorio: https://ctl-ok.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2020/03/Canvas-Quiz-Proctorio-Students-20200319.pdf

If your exam is using a Canvas Lockdown browser with Respondus here is a video explaining how it works: https://youtu.be/XuX8WoeAycs

What happens if exam accommodations are not met?

All efforts are being made to provide exam accommodations to students in the online environment. However, there may be times when the accommodations and/or technology do not work out and result in a failure to provide accommodations. Below are some guidelines for students and faculty to follow and options to consider when this unfortunate and unintended situation occurs.

During the exam:

  • If you believe you have not received your accommodations for your exam, quickly document the event noting any pertinent details. For example, you notice your time has not been extended as per your accommodations. (Note: this does not include your accommodation for distraction reduced or private space as you are responsible for finding the appropriate setting for your exam.)
  • If possible, contact the professor to request assistance or any adjustments that are possible in the moment. Follow any pre-arranged protocols for tech failure or contacting the professor.
  • Try not to waste too much time trying to ‘fix’ the problem. Continue with the exam and get as much done as possible.

Immediately after the exam:

  • Email your Accessibility Advisor with detailed information about what happened during the exam to prevent you from having your exam accommodation(s).
  • Your Accessibility Advisor will work with you to put forward all of the pertinent information to your professor and work with your professor as necessary to determine what type of consideration may be required.

After the exam:

  • If you are satisfied with the consideration given by your professor, then all is well.
  • If you are not satisfied with the consideration being given then the next step is to appeal to the Department Head and/or Associate Dean and request a review of the professor’s decision. If you are satisfied with outcome of the Head/Dean’s review, then all is well.
  • If you are not satisfied with the outcome and consequently are not satisfied with your grade here are some options:
    1. Accept the grade and carry on;
    2. Request a late withdrawal (before May 6, 2020;)
    3. Request a credit/D/fail standing (if it’s appropriate for that course and before May 6, 2020);
    4. Initiate a grade appeal. Here is a link to the Academic Calendar outlining the policy and process for this type of appeal. See the ‘Applications and Deadlines’ page for procedures and timelines. http://www.calendar.ubc.ca/okanagan/index.cfm?tree=3,294,878,0