Exam Accommodations

With the majority of courses being on-line for the fall and with the guidelines from The California Department of Public Health, proctoring through the DSS Office will unfortunately not be possible. As we want to ensure that the DSS students continue to have their appropriate accommodations, please know our office remains virtually open and that our staff is available to you and to our students. 

As you receive notifications of accommodations, we encourage you to reach out to your DSS students to discuss and develop a plan for the implementation of their specific testing accommodations. Please know that while our office is unable to assist with proctoring during these special times, we remain available to strategize, discuss, and collaborate on any exam scenarios. Please feel free to contact our office at the DSS main email dsslmu@lmu.edu and we will be happy to work with you.

To assist you in administering online exams for students with testing accommodations, we have the following Frequently Asked Questions with useful strategies. 

FAQs for Proctoring Exams Online

How do I give a student extended time on an online assessment?

For timing accommodations through Brightspace, (using Respondus): In the set-up of the exam, faculty are able to select different timing specifications for individual students through Brightspace. Please note that not only will a student's timing be adjusted to reflect extended time under the "Timing" section of Brightspace, the student's testing window under "Due Date" (which indicates how long a student has to submit the exam), must also be appropriately adjusted. In typical manner, if a student plans to use an extended time accommodation for a particular exam, this must be arranged prior to the scheduled exam.

What if a student is adversely affected by the countdown timer in a Brightspace exam?

If a student has presented with or self-identified as having debilitating test anxiety, a feature of Respondus which may potentially impact some students may be the countdown timer which appears during an exam session. ITS has shared that this is something that can be turned off if needed, if you approve your student to use a digital or analog clock as an alternative timing piece in their testing space.

What if a student's testing accommodations allow them to take breaks during an online exam?

For Off-The-Clock breaks, students are permitted to take breaks while testing, with no penalty. In general, the guideline for students with this accommodation is that the student can have a maximum of one 10 minute break per each hour of testing. In order to prevent penalizing students for their approved off-the-clock breaks, the testing window established through Brightspace/Respondus, will need to be extended past their calculated extended time.

For example, a student may be approved for 50% extended time AND off-the-clock breaks. If the standard time of the exam is 90 minutes, the student's 50% extended time calculation would be 135 minutes. However, in order to implement the student's off-the-clock breaks, the testing window for this student would need to be established as a total of 160 minutes, in order to allow for two 10 minute breaks, and one 5 minute break for the partial hour. This will prevent the student from timing out of the exam session. However, this will only be applicable to situations where the students have confirmed that they will indeed implement their off-the-clock breaks, in the format of one 10 minute break per hour of testing.

How do I protect the integrity of the exam for a student who is allowed to take breaks during the exam?

To protect the integrity of the exam, guidelines around the breaks will definitely need to be discussed.

One such guideline is that the student must remain in the testing room, an environment check (using the computer's camera) may be requested before and after the break, and that the computer's camera face the door of the room to ensure that the student remains in the testing room during each break.

Another possible guideline may be that the student remain in view during the break.

What do we do if the Brightspace exam will have Respondus enabled, and my student requires Assistive Technology on the exam?

If a student requests to use Kurzweil 3000 on their exam and if a professor assigns the exams through Brightspace/Respondus using the lock browser function, the student will not be able to access the Kurzweil program for the read aloud functions.

A work around for this would be to still monitor the exam session through Respondus, but elect to disable the lock browser function.

Another option would be to monitor the student's exam behavior through ZOOM, through the share screen function, while still allowing the student to access their assistive technology program (Kurzweil 3000).