Disability Services Office
The Disability Services Office provides a proctored test center that is available to support disability-related testing accommodations.
Reserving a Seat in the DSO Test Center
All test/quiz scheduling requests must be submitted through the MyDSO portal at least FOUR full business days in advance. Weekends and after-hours are not included when counting business days.
|In order to take a test on:||MyDSO Scheduling Request must be submitted before 4:30pm on this day:|
|Monday||the Tuesday before|
|Tuesday||the Wednesday before|
|Wednesday||the Thursday before|
|Thursday||the Friday before|
|Friday||the Monday before|
Final Exams must be scheduled one month before the first day of Finals Week. Please check your course syllabus early in the semester to see if your class has a written final exam….and schedule those exams early!
The Test Center consists of one group-testing room with individual cubicles to seat up to 17 students; one group-testing room with individual cubicles to seat up to 10 students; and four private exam rooms. Each cubicle and private testing room has a video camera mounted above the desk for remote proctoring by DSO staff.
The test center has 12 PCs and one iMac, all of which have monitoring software so that proctors can see which applications or websites a student is accessing throughout their test. These computers have basic (Microsoft Office) software, text-to-speech reading software, speech-to-text voice recognition software, and limited other software. If a test requires specialized software, please contact the DSO Test Center Coordinator to see if the DSO computers can support it before scheduling the test.
During final exam weeks, additional seats in classrooms or conference rooms are used as necessary. Since these rooms do not have cameras, an in-person proctor is assigned to each location.
Accommodated Testing Guidelines
Some tests require specialized equipment or software and must be taken in the classroom setting, while other tests can be taken in the Test Center. Students should discuss testing accommodations with faculty at the beginning of each semester, and together make a plan for when and where the tests will be taken.
Tests with accommodations should be scheduled through the MyDSO portal at least four business days in advance of each test and a month in advance for final exams. Faculty will receive automatic notification of the upcoming test once it is requested in MyDSO. Both hard copy tests and those requiring access to a computer can be administered.
On the day of the test, students should arrive at the test center a few minutes before the scheduled start-time in order to check in.
There is a separate coat-rack area where students will leave their jackets, backpacks and other belongings, including their cell phones. Cell phones are not permitted in the test rooms unless required for dual-authentication login to MyCourses or for those students who have an accommodation to use an app for medical reasons.
Students should bring their own pencils or pens as well as any allowable resources (calculators, equation sheets, etc.). The DSO has a limited supply of pens, pencils and erasers that are offered as emergency supplements to a student’s own writing implements.
The Test Center staff is not responsible for providing graph paper or green engineering paper, printing equation sheets for students, loaning calculators, or providing batteries. We can provide scrap paper, blue books, and Scantron sheets, if needed. Disposable earplugs are also available, or students may bring their own noise-canceling headphones.
Computers equipped with software for application and internet monitoring are available within the Test Center for test-taking. Personal laptops are permitted if instructor approved. Students approved for this accommodation may also be approved to use specific software such as Text to Speech, Voice Recognition, or MathType.
Students should take their tests at the same time as the class unless the accommodation causes a conflict with another class or is to take place when the test center is closed.
Being tardy for a test does not change the scheduled end-time. If the student is more than 15 minutes late, the test will be marked as “no-show” and a notification email will be sent to both the student and the instructor. At that point, it is up to the instructor’s policy to determine if a make-up test can be scheduled.
Extended time for timed quizzes, tests, and final exams is based on a factor (e.g. 1.5x or 2x) as requested on a test-by-test basis. Students must communicate their intent to use their approved extended time to their instructor in advance of each test.
The accommodation of extended time on tests, exams, and quizzes generally applies to assessments with time limits measured in hours, not days. Therefore, take-home exams that are not timed do not qualify for this accommodation. However, take home tests that are open for a period of time and have a time limit once started (e.g., exam is open for 3 days, but once started a student has only 1 hour to complete) do qualify.
The Disability Services Office employs a staff of student employees who serve as proctors for the test center. The proctor is responsible for:
- handing the test and other provided materials to the student who has scheduled a test
- reviewing the test administration details (are books/notes/calculators allowed?) that the instructor has provided
- stating the end-time
- relaying questions about the test to the student’s instructor (via phone call, email or text message as preferred by instructor) and relaying these answers back to the student
The proctor is not responsible for:
- supplying a calculator or batteries
- printing out notes or equation sheets
- answering questions about the test, including providing a definition or spelling for words on the test
- collecting homework or a take-home component along with the completed test
- grading the test
If there is a fire alarm while students are taking tests in the Test Center, all students will leave their test papers on their desks. Students will not stop to pick up their cell phones as they leave the room. The proctor will record the time that the fire alarm interrupted the testing. One Disability Services staff member will ensure the room(s) are empty of students while another staff member will escort students to a safe location outside the Student Alumni Union (weather permitting this will be outside; otherwise in the lobby outside Artesano’s or in the lobby of Eastman Hall). The office door will be locked. All test-taking students will remain with the proctor throughout the evacuation.
Once it is safe to re-enter the building, all staff and students will return to the Test Center and students will return to their seats. The proctor will note the time that students resume their tests, add the minutes onto each student’s end-time and inform each student of their new end-time. A note about the fire alarm and changed end-time will be sent to each student’s instructor.
A student who has the accommodation “Breaks Permitted During Tests – Not Counted in Testing Time” is able to ask the proctor to stop the clock during the test for a few minutes while they take a break. During this break time, the student will not be allowed to access phone, computer, or notes. A general rule of thumb is to add about 5 minutes of break time for each hour of test time; however, for some students, more or less time may be appropriate. When the student returns to their test, the proctor will add the corresponding number of minutes to the test time.
Faculty Guidelines for Accommodated Testing
The Disability Services Office is dedicated to helping faculty navigate the process for accommodated testing. Accommodations can be approved for students in all modalities of courses, including those that are fully online. Faculty can directly adjust individual students' allotted time for a test in MyCourses (or other online platforms). The adjustment should be in direct alignment with a students' DSO accommodation. If exams are offered remotely to the class, students with test accommodations should have the same opportunity to test remotely.
Please note: exams that are proctored remotely are not proctored in the DSO Test Center unless there are extenuating circumstances that require the use of our facility (e.g. use of a human reader or scribe). If you have questions about the implementation of accommodations in specific classes, please contact the Disability Services Office.
Students should discuss their accommodations with faculty each semester; if the student does not initiate the conversation then faculty are encouraged to reach out. Some tests may require specialized equipment or software, so the faculty and student must make arrangements for the student to take the test, with accommodations, in the appropriate setting. Faculty are able to self-proctor accommodated exams if both the student and instructor agree this is appropriate. Some students may have access needs that explicitly require use of the Test Center, while others may be more readily handled directly by the faculty (e.g. extended time on tests, exams, and quizzes).
When faculty receive Accommodation Notification Letters, a link to the Testing Agreement will be included if the student has test-related accommodations.
There is no need to fill out the Alternative Testing Agreement if:
- the class has no exams/quizzes; or
- the exams/quizzes are administered online and do not require proctoring; or
- the instructor is able to proctor the exams/quizzes with all applicable accommodations without using the DSO Test Center.
This Testing Agreement must be submitted through the MyDSO Faculty Portal for each course – if the same information is applicable to multiple courses, it can be copied. Agreements can be amended throughout the term if necessary, but are intended to provide proctoring information in one place for all tests. More information about the Alternative Testing Agreement
Students will be asked to schedule exams with the Test Center at least 4 business days in advance. Faculty will receive automatic notification of the upcoming test once it has been scheduled by the student.
Faculty will be asked to upload exams at least one business day prior to a scheduled test. If we do not receive a test from a faculty member by the one business day deadline, the exam will not take place at the originally scheduled time and will need to be rescheduled at a time that is convenient for both Disability Services Office staff and the student.
Faculty are responsible for ensuring students with approved accommodations are given the appropriate length of time for any online timed tests, exams, and quizzes. To manually extend an individual student’s allotted exam time, please follow the instructions found in this brief video. Instructors can also reach out to the Innovative Learning Institute for MyCourses support, if needed.
The accommodation for extended time on exams is not the same for every student. Each student’s specific accommodation (usually 1.5x or 2x extended time) is stated in the Faculty Notification Letter that is sent via email and maintained within the MyDSO Faculty portal.
Note that this accommodation is distinct from “extended time on assignments” which implies due date flexibility and requires clear communication and negotiation of details between students and their faculty.
When a student takes a test in the Disability Services Office Test Center, we have the ability to effectively stop the clock during breaks so there is not a need to proactively plan for break time. However, it’s not so easy to “stop the clock” reactively when a student needs to take a break for online tests. For online tests where faculty adjust students’ test time in MyCourses, breaks should be included proactively in the students’ testing time, in addition to whatever extended test time they may have. (Note that some students only have an accommodation for breaks during tests, and do not have additional extended testing time.)
For online tests, we recommend accommodating for breaks by adding 5 minutes of break time for every hour of testing. This amount of time will suffice for the majority of students with break accommodations, however, for some students, more or less time may be appropriate. In those cases, the Disability Services Office has advised students to work directly with their faculty to decide upon an appropriate amount of break time.
An example: For a student with Disability Services Office accommodations for both breaks during tests and 1.5x extended time on tests, their allotted time in MyCourses should be 1 hour and 35 minutes for a typically one-hour test.
In order to limit office traffic and reduce the handling of shared paper documents, the Disability Services Office will not accept or return tests in paper format at this time. Faculty must upload all exams to MyDSO at least 24 hours in advance of a scheduled test.
- The Disability Services Office will no longer return tests to college drop points and will not ask students to deliver sealed envelopes to faculty offices. Scanning/emailing will occur once a day.
- After a test is returned, the original paper test will be kept in a secure location for a period of two weeks, at which time the test will be shredded. Faculty must notify Disability Services Office staff within those two weeks if the scanned copy is illegible or if there are other problems with the file.
- After a test is uploaded, if an instructor realizes (prior to the test day) there was a typo or other error in the test document, they can upload another file to replace the previous version directly via the MyDSO Faculty Portal.
If general information is announced to the class or written on the board during the test, it also must be provided for any students who are taking their test in the Test Center. If additional time is given to students in the class, then additional time must also be given to your students in the Test Center. Please contact the Test Center with any updates.
- Email: email@example.com
When students have a question during their test, the question will be sent to the faculty according to the contact information provided in the Testing Agreement. If a reply is not received before the student’s test time is up, Disability Services Office staff may extend the test time while we wait for an answer or may include information about the question with the completed test and instruct the student to reach out to their faculty directly.