Please note that ODS Testing Coordinators and staff are available to assist faculty with test pickup inside the ODS Testing Center. The ODS Testing Center is located on the first floor of Houser Hall, off the main lobby, left of the elevator.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Am I required to provide testing accommodations to students who request it?
A: Yes, assuming the student is registered with ODS and has presented you with an accommodation notice specifying testing accommodations.
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protect students with disabilities. These laws require that qualified students with disabilities receive equal access to an education, including exam accommodations.
Q: Is the ODS Testing Center required to administer all tests that require accommodations?
A: No. The ODS Testing Center is a 50 room testing facility, but is not able to proctor exams for all students with testing accommodations. ODS encourages instructors to provide testing accommodations within the classroom or department. If you have any questions about the best way to provide an accommodation, do not hesitate to contact an Accommodations Specialist at email@example.com or (205) 348-4285.
Q: Can I provide a student with testing accommodations myself?
A: Assuming the student is registered with ODS and has been approved for exam accommodations, yes!
If you are able to work out an arrangement with the student to provide ALL of the necessary exam accommodations listed on their accommodation notice (and the student is comfortable with the arrangement), you may certainly do so. Please note, however, that it is necessary to allow for the entire amount of the approved extended time.
Q: How do I know what test accommodations to provide?
A: Students who are approved for test accommodations should provide you with an ODS accommodation notice indicating the specific testing accommodations needed. These may include, but are not limited to: extended test time, reduced distraction environment, use of a computer, large print, a scribe or reader.
Q: What constitutes a reduced distraction environment?
A: A reduced distraction environment is a testing location with minimal interruptions and limited noise. Smaller classrooms with fewer students or a quiet office would be suitable. It is important to discuss the proposed testing environment with the student in order to determine the appropriateness of the testing environment.
Q: I prefer to have my GTA upload tests into the Clockwork test scheduling system. How can I provide them access?
A: Please contact Seth Lawlor, Assistive Technology Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for GTA access to Clockwork.
Test Proctoring Solutions
Ultimately, the responsibility for providing accommodations rests with the instructor and the academic department. As a support to instructors, the ODS Testing Center makes every effort to proctor as many tests as possible. We engage in continuous evaluation of our space utilization, and creative problem solving in order to maximize our services. However, our testing space is finite and it is not possible for the ODS Testing Center to proctor every accommodated student. Therefore, we encourage academic departments to develop a back-up plan for exam proctoring, and we have provided some examples and guidance below.
- We encourage academic Deans to provide proctoring resources and support to each department. At the beginning of each semester, department chairs are encouraged to work with their instructors to develop a plan for proctoring.
- It may be possible to train Administrative Assistants, Graduate Teaching Assistants, or Student Workers to assist with test proctoring. The primary considerations for this are 1) ensuring this method does not violate a policy within your department or college and that you have the support of your chair, and 2) ensuring you properly train the proctors and have them sign a confidentiality agreement.
- Students are not required to receive a private room or distraction FREE environment while testing. Providing a reduced distraction environment simply implies a significant reduction in the number of students, noises, and movement compared to what would normally be experienced in that course section. It is usually reasonable to place several students in one classroom together. Astra can be used to search for available classroom space across campus if you are having difficulty identifying an available classroom in your department.
- Technology such as a web camera, or the Zoom virtual meeting platform available through OIT, can be used to proctor students who are testing in a separate room from the proctor. This allows the proctor to continue working from a separate location while simultaneously proctoring the student.
Note: It is not appropriate to place a set of requirements on accommodated students that are not placed on all students in the course. For example, instructors cannot require accommodated students to delay their final until the deferred exam date, and cannot assign the student an Incomplete while waiting for the student to be proctored at a later date. These are not acceptable proctoring solutions and can be viewed as discriminatory.
Please contact the Office of Disability Services at (205) 348-4285 if you have any questions or concerns about providing testing accommodations. The student’s assigned Accommodations Specialist or a Testing Coordinator can provide assistance.