Faculty FAQ - Exams

How is it decided which test accommodations a student will receive?

What kind of test accommodations can they receive?

Student has “Reduced distraction testing location- With Proctor Only” as an accommodation. What does this mean?

Will providing accommodations on examinations give an unfair advantage to a student with a disability?

A student has given me an LOA but they don’t look disabled?

How do students make testing accommodation requests?

Can I just call the ODS and schedule an exam for a student?

What happens when a student makes a late request for testing accommodations?

Can I accommodate a student myself or must I use the ODS?

I received an Exam Confirmation/Request from ODS asking for an exam for a student. I never received an LOA from the student? Do I still give have to give you the exam?

What do I do when a student identifies themselves as having a disability and wants extra time?

When and where are accommodations provided?

Will students take the exam at the same time as the class?

How can I get my exam to the ODS?

Can I get the completed exam delivered to me immediately after the student finishes?

I have a non-disabled student who needs to make-up an exam; can the ODS do this for me?

How do I know my exam will be securely handled and administered equitably?

Why do you want my contact information? For the time during the exam I will be busy administering the exam to my class.

Do I need to alter the exam or grading criteria for a student with a disability?  

 

 

How is it decided which test accommodations a student will receive?

Students must provide documentation from a professional specialist (e.g., physician, clinical psychologist…) to the Office of Disability Services (ODS).  If the documentation meets guidelines establishing a disability, an ODS Coordinator will develop appropriate recommendations, based upon the documented limitations of the student, for reasonable accommodations and record them on a student’s Letter of Accommodation (LOA). Students must provide faculty with a copy of their LOA if they want to use their exam accommodations, we encourage them to do this in a timely manner.  Faculty can request confirmation of the accommodations by contacting the ODS, We are more than happy to consult on any questions or concerns you may have you may have.

 

What kind of test accommodations can they receive?

Exam accommodations may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Reduced distraction testing location (RDTL)
  • Extended time
  • Reader
  • Scribe
  • Large print
  • Use of a computer
  • Screen reader software (e.g. Kurzweil)
  • Raised table
  • Reduced distraction testing location- With Proctor Only

 

Student has “Reduced distraction testing location- With Proctor Only” as an accommodation. What does this mean?

 A proctor will be in the room supervising the student at all times. For further clarification about this accommodation please feel free to contact the students ODS coordinator who is listed on the LOA.

 

Will providing accommodations on examinations give an unfair advantage to a student with a disability?

No. Accommodations don't make things easier, just possible. The purpose of testing accommodations is to put the person with a disability on a level playing field with other students who do not have a disability.  For example, the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states: “The results of an examination should accurately reflect an individual’s aptitude or achievement level or whatever the test purports to measure, rather than reflecting an individual’s impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills.” Legally a lengthening of the standard examination period is accepted as an appropriate accommodation for some students with disabilities.

 

A student has given me an LOA but they don’t look disabled?

ODS students have documented disabilities, which significantly affect major life functions but are not apparent by looking at them. Students registered with our office have one or more of different kinds of disabilities including; physical, visual, hearing, psychiatric, learning, ADD/ADHD, other health disabilities, and traumatic brain injury amongst others.

Contact our office if you have any questions or concerns.

 

How do students make testing accommodation requests?

In order for an approved student to have testing accommodations for an exam or quiz the student must submit an Exam Request Form to the ODS. This form can be found on the ODS website. On the form students provide details about the course, the date and time of the exam(s) and whether they have any potential time conflicts on the exam date. Students must submit this form a minimum of 5 business days prior to the exam date. This deadline is required so that the ODS can secure a room for the exam and appoint a proctor and or scribe to administer it. Students are aware of this requirement (The student should already have met with the exam coordinator and been informed of, shown and signed an acknowledgment of understanding of the procedures to follow) – failure to submit a request in time will result in the student’s request being denied. Eventually a confirmation email will be sent to both the student and the professor that provides details for the student’s exam. In addition it also gives step by step instructions for professors to upload exams to our secure site; https://ods.rutgers.edu/faculty/exam-upload.

 

Can I just call the ODS and schedule an exam for a student?

The secure online request form that the student needs to submit is the only accepted method for scheduling accommodated exams. In order to ensure the security and integrity of every exam, we need a process allowing us to track and monitor every request therefore it is important we all abide by this process.

 

What happens when a student makes a late request for testing accommodations?

If the student tries to submit an Exam Request Form less than 5 business days before the exam date the Exam Request Form will automatically reject the submission and not allow it to be submitted.    We usually advise the student to reach out to their instructors to discuss if any arrangements can reached.  At this point, faculty are within their rights to expect the student to take the exam without accommodations with the class as scheduled. However faculty may, if they choose, accommodate the student themselves.

 

Can I accommodate a student myself or must I use the ODS?

Faculty may accommodate students directly and we would strongly recommend that they do. Generally, the ODS administers exams because faculty do not have the time or resources. However, since the most common exam accommodations are only extended time and a reduced distraction testing location, faculty often make arrangements themselves. Many instructors prefer arranging with their students to proctor their own exams because this process is simpler and usually results in quicker grade turnaround. These instructors are also relieved of completing the paperwork required for ODS to proctor the exam. Students also benefit from this arrangement by having their instructors at hand to answer questions about the exam. The main advantage of accommodating students directly are that the instructor maintains control over the exam. The student does not submit an exam request if the professor will accommodate the student. 

ODS staff is available to consult with faculty regarding the requested accommodations.

 

I received an Exam Confirmation/Request from ODS asking for an exam for a student. I never received an LOA from the student? Do I still give have to give you the exam?

No. it is the responsibility of the student to have presented you with an LOA which lists their approved testing accommodations and discussed it with you.  Occasionally when a student is newly approved for testing accommodations the student may present the LOA to you after you receive the Exam Confirmation/Request, we ask for your understanding for these very few instances.  Please feel free to call our office if you have any questions.

 

What do I do when a student identifies themselves as having a disability and wants extra time?

See the answer immediately above.  Students must present an LOA from ODS to receive accommodations, you are only obligated to provide the accommodations if you have received an LOA.

 

When and where are accommodations provided?

As a rule, exams are scheduled to overlap with the time of the regularly scheduled class exams. Occasionally, due to schedule conflicts or back-to-back classes, students may take exams before or after the regularly scheduled class times. For any exam that has to take place at a time different from the class we will need a written agreement (email) from the instructor so you will be contacted.  It is the student’s responsibility to contact you and get the agreement.  Any changes to dates, days and times of exams being made where they are different to the time the class is taking it have to be approved by the instructor.  We will not make any changes without this approval. 

Exams administered through the ODS are generally proctored in our testing location, which is located next to the ODS Exams Office in Lucy Stone Hall.  During busy exam periods, alternate sites may also be used. All exams and related correspondence should be directed to ods.proctor@echo.rutgers.edu.

 

Will students take the exam at the same time as the class?

As a rule, exams are scheduled to overlap with the time of the regularly scheduled class exams. Occasionally, due to schedule conflicts or back-to-back classes, students may take exams before or after the regularly scheduled class times. For any exam that has to take place at a time different from the class we will need a written agreement (email) from the instructor so you will be contacted.  It is the student’s responsibility to contact you and get the agreement.  Any changes to dates, days and times of exams being made where they are different to the time the class is taking it have to be approved by the instructor.  We will not make any changes without this approval. 

Exams administered through the ODS are generally proctored in our testing location, which is located next to the ODS Exams Office in Lucy Stone Hall.  During busy exam periods, alternate sites may also be used. All exams and related correspondence should be directed to ods.proctor@echo.rutgers.edu.

 

How can I get my exam to the ODS?

The ODS has a secure upload site which faculty can use to upload a copy of the exam. The ODS will then print the exam and ensure it is kept secure until the day of the exam. If circumstances do not allow an exam upload, then faculty can drop off the exam to the ODS Exams Office.  It is important you provide us with all the necessary instructions on administering the exam such as if notes are allowed, a cheat sheet, if yes, what size? Etc.  Please be diligent in checking the details on the exam confirmation/request e.g. length of time of the exam for the class, date and day etc.  Look at the approved accommodations.

 

Can I get the completed exam delivered to me immediately after the student finishes?

The ODS secure exam upload site gives you the options for return of a completed exam, these do not include delivery.

If you still ask for delivery we do not take responsibility for any exam once it has been signed for and handed over at the address you supply for delivery, or put into campus mail.  In order to keep the integrity of exams we do not make and keep copies of completed exams.  We deal with a large number of exams and have limited manpower which limits when we may be able to deliver exams.

 

I have a non-disabled student who needs to make-up an exam; can the ODS do this for me?

No.  We can only administer exams to students registered with ODS who have a documented/verified disability and have been approved for “testing accommodations”.  Note we do have students registered with our office for other academic accommodations but who are not approved for testing accommodations, even these students will not be accommodated.

 

How do I know my exam will be securely handled and administered equitably?

The ODS recognizes the importance and sensitivity of administering exams for faculty. We make every effort to ensure the security and integrity of each exam.  Student requests and faculty exam uploads occur via the secure on-line Rutgers portal.  Every request is authenticated. Students must present a photo ID each time they take an exam.  No phones or backpacks are allowed with the student. Every exam is strictly proctored.

Once acquired, exams are recorded as received, placed in an envelope with all the instructors’ instructions for the proctor, and carefully monitored up until and throughout the exam administration. Upon completion, exams are returned to faculty by their preferred method as soon as possible.

Exams taken on a computer are constantly monitored by a proctor, with internet access on the computer disabled. Only a “clean” computer provided by our office is used unless the instructor gives specific instructions that the student may use their own laptop.

Faculty who are concerned about the handling of exams can deliver exams directly to the ODS (rather than email) or faculty can opt to administer the exam directly to students.

 

Why do you want my contact information? For the time during the exam I will be busy administering the exam to my class.

The challenge of accommodating students on course exams outside of the classroom or academic department are situations where either the instructor is providing information to students during the exam or the student with a disability taking an exam at the ODS may have a question.

Ideally, faculty provide contact information or a method that allows for communication to occur during the accommodated exam. We ask that faculty make a good faith effort to be available and/or provide contact information so that we can attempt to reach them if needed. If you are unable to be contacted please keep this disadvantage in mind as you are grading the papers. 

 

Do I need to alter the exam or grading criteria for a student with a disability?  

No.  The instructor is not expected to alter the grading scale or evaluation criteria for the course. Although students with disabilities may receive accommodations, they should be expected to perform at a level commensurate with their peers.