Exam Accommodations

How To Provide Students with Exam Accommodations on Canvas

Some students with disabilities may require additional time for taking examinations on-line, unless efficiency or speed is the essential skill that is being assessed. Typically this applies to timed exams that are taken through Canvas where the student may log-in and access exams away from the classroom. In such instances, it is possible for professors to provide the extended time accommodation to students using simple tools available in the Canvas environment.

Based on the documentation submitted to SDS, extended time is typically approved in increments of either one and one half or double the allotted time. The extended time accommodation does not apply to take home exams. Extended time ensures that a student's performance is reflective of his/her mastery of material rather than the speed at which a student performs. 

Reduced Distraction Environment

Students with disabilities may be approved for and request a separate "reduced distraction" testing space. The space may be a conference room, unused classroom, or instructor's office. This accommodation is not a guarantee of a "distraction free" testing space, but rather a quiet space where students have fewer distractions from fellow test-takers and are thus better able to maintain focus.

Readers for Exams

Some students with disabilities may require readers to read aloud exam questions. Often, SDS employs a variety of computer software programs that can "read" the exam aloud to a student. If necessary, an SDS employee will read the exam aloud to a student.

Use of a Calculator for Exams

This accommodation allows students to use a calculator as long as the calculator is unable to perform the functions that are being tested. This accommodation typically allows for the use of four-function calculator so that students who understand the concepts will not be penalized for errors in basic calculations. Instructors will approve the calculator to be used by the student.

Use of a Computer for Essay Exams

Some students with disabilities will be approved for and request a computer for essay exams. Using a computer allows students to avoid physical fatigue and/or to provide legible, better-organized answers to essays. Students making such a request may use a computer in the SDS office or a personal computer that is pre-approved by the instructor. Computers in the SDS office allow for word processing and assistive technology programs without Internet access. First preference for SDS computers is awarded to students who need assistive technology assistance.

Use of Spell Check for Exams

This accommodation allows students to use a dictionary or spell check device during exams so that they will not be penalized for basic spelling and grammar errors when they are otherwise able to provide accurate responses to the questions be asked.