Exam accommodations are reasonable changes to the testing circumstances that allow students to demonstrate their academic ability and fulfill bona-fide course requirements. For example, students may have extra time, access to a computer or assistive software for writing, a scribe or specialized furniture.
The ACSD will send letters of accommodations weekly. Letters of accommodation will provide you with a list of students registered with the ACSD in each of their courses, along with individual students’ accommodated times.
Exams on COLE: Accommodations are applied by the COLE team, who receive the extra time information from the ACSD on a weekly basis. The ACSD exams team works as a quality control for COLE exams to assure every ACSD student has the correct extra time. The faculty is not required to add any accommodations.
Exams on eConcordia: Accommodations are applied by the eConcordia team who recieve the extra time information from ACSD. The faculty is not required to add any accommodations.
For Moodle-based exams or exams on department specific software: You can configure the limits by following the steps outlined in this video. The detailed version of the video is provided by the Centre for Teaching and Learning. Below is a grid outlining how much extra time a student would receive based on different accommodated times.
If the amount of time provided to all students exceeds the expected completion time by the maximum percentage of accommodated time, then no additional time is required. It would be important to explicitly explain to students that the exam duration includes their accommodated time.
For example, if you administer an exam that is designed to be completed in 2 hours, and the entire class is given 5 hours to complete it, additional time would not be provided. The 5-hour window already encompasses the extra time. Please ensure that this is clearly communicated to all students.
Yes. For exams with a timer, extra time must be added to the expected completion time (duration of the exam) no matter how long students are given to write it throughout the day.
For example, if you administer an exam that is designed to be completed in 2 hours without extra time, but the students can take it anytime within a 24-hour window; additional time would need to be added to the two hours, as per individual student accommodations. If the timer, however, is set to include the maximum extra time requirement of all your students, then no additional time is required.
If the take-home exceeds the expected completion time by 100% then no additional time is required. It would be important to clearly explain to students that the exam duration includes their accommodated time.
For example, if you assign a take-home exam that is designed to be completed in 3 hours, and the entire class is given 24 hours to complete it, additional time would not necessarily be provided. The 24-hour window already encompasses the extra time. Please ensure that this is clearly communicated to all students. If a student requests an extension due to their disability, please feel free to consult the student’s advisor for more information.
Each week the ACSD sends out automated letters of online exam accommodations to faculty informing them of students registered with the centre in their classes. ACSD advisors work with students to set their academic accommodations. We ask that you adjust test times to accommodate students with disabilities. This can be accomplished by changing individual students’ test times, or by extending times for the class as a whole.
One of the most common academic accommodations includes extra time for exams, which typically ranges from 25% to 50% depending on the barriers the student is facing. Other accommodations include the use of a computer for exams, transcription services, or attendant care. Most accommodations are established and administered by the ACSD.
We do not send detailed information outlining all accommodations for each student. We will inform professors of extra time accommodations should they apply; you will receive a Letter of Accommodation via email with this info. The ACSD encourages self-advocacy and supports students in communicating their academic needs to faculty, which may include disclosure of other accommodations.
If you would like to learn more about the barriers your student faces and the academic accommodations they receive, we encourage you to reach out to your students about this. Additionally, you are always welcome to contact the student’s advisor.
The ACSD does not mandate extensions or adjustments to attendance requirements.
Students registered with the ACSD are expected to attend class and submit assignments on time. However, some disability conditions may affect the timely submission of assignments and/or class attendance. Any adjustments to requirements are made at your discretion while respecting that the fundamental requirements of the course are not being altered.
We encourage students to communicate in advance directly with you regarding potential adjustments. You are welcome to discuss individual cases with the student’s advisor.
It is at your discretion whether to share their slides or to allow students to record their lectures. However, many students experience barriers related to note-taking. As such, we encourage you to consider sharing their slides with their students.
For synchronous classes where lectures are delivered via Zoom, consider recording the class so that students can have access to the lecture at a later time.
Universal Design for Learning is a research-based educational framework that considers learner variability when developing curriculum. UDL aims to reduce barriers to learning by designing flexible learning environments. UDL is guided by three main principles:
By providing multiple means of engagement, you can improve interest, persistence, and self-regulation among students.
By providing multiple means of representation, you can improve comprehension and how information is internalized among students.
By providing multiple means of action and expression, you can help students engage in goal-directed learning. UDL benefits all students including students with disabilities.
Faculty can consider incorporating principles of UDL in the design of their class. Examples include providing closed captions for videos, incorporating extra time on tests for all students, allowing students various ways of participating in class discussions (e.g. discussion board, in person, written on a cue card), or allowing flexibility with assignment formats (e.g. video presentation vs. written essay).
For more information about UDL or how to incorporate its principles in your classroom, don’t hesitate to contact us.
You can learn more about how to build more inclusive and accessible courses by reviewing the eAccess online instructional modules. You will learn how to transform your class materials into accessible formats, identify accessible web resources, and create inclusive learning environments.
The ACSD employs transcribers, professional note takers, and in-class attendants to reduce barriers to learning for certain students. The employees that we hire are well trained and are unobtrusive in the classroom.