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Concordia launches new online booking system for accommodated exams

New system welcomed for its ease, convenience and security
May 17, 2012
By Balbir Gill

The new online booking system for accommodated exams has had about 120 users since its launch earlier this month. The Access Centre for Students with Disabilities (ACSD) piloted the system, which is now up and running for all students registered with the centre.

Second-year psychology student Stephanie Adler says booking an exam with the new online tool is much easier and saves a lot of time. “I don't have to remember to drop the forms in the box when I am on campus,” she says. “I don't need help to fill them in because I use my accessibility software that is already installed on the computer to help me.

Online booking of accommodated exams is more accessible than paper-based system. | Photo by Concordia University
Online booking of accommodated exams is more accessible than paper-based system. | Photo by Concordia University

“I am able to see which accommodations I am entitled to and get immediate feedback that my request has been received,” she adds. “I am also able to download a copy of my upcoming exams schedule so I can see what my start and end times are and plan my day accordingly.”

Leo Bissonnette, ACSD’s manager, is pleased to add the online service to the centre’s offerings to students. “With more and more being done online, it makes sense to give ACSD-registered students an easy, convenient way to book exams online, too,” he says. “It saves those students with mobility impairments from having to arrange to come into our offices to schedule their exam.” The system also cuts down on paper – an added bonus.

Students pick a course from a list, select the date of the exam and the accommodations they are eligible for, such as individual testing or the use of adaptive equipment or software. They can review their accommodated exam schedule on another tab on the same form. This decreases data entry errors, and increases the quality of access and convenience.

Charles Altman, a technology consultant for Concordia’s Advocacy and Support Services, made use of student feedback to tweak the system. “Students are enthusiastic, and have adopted it quickly,” he says. “In fact, they have offered great ideas that show that they care about this effort and want to contribute to its success.”

Professors appreciate the convenience and security. “They no longer have to deliver paper documents, or use email,” Altman explains. “Now, they can upload exam documents through a secure channel and have peace of mind that it is stored in an encrypted form.”

Altman hopes the online booking process encourages students to contact ACSD with any difficulties well ahead of time. A student who books an exam can view the full list of accommodations they have access to, and notify their advisor if any changes need to be made. “The day of the exam is not the best time to realize there’s an accommodation they need but don’t have,” he says.

Related links:
•    Advocacy and Support Services  
•    ACSD 
•    Exam accommodations 


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