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Access Center

  • What are my new responsibilities with respect to remote learning and student accommodations?

    Faculty will take a greater responsibility regarding implementing student accommodations.  Once faculty receive a letter outlining a student’s accommodations, you are responsible for:

    • Extending time in the remote assessment environment.
    • Proctoring your student in whatever method you have arranged for your class.
    • Discussing logistics (with students and/or Access Advisors) regarding the use of requested accommodations such as memory aids, calculators and other approved accommodations, especially if you are using a proctoring service. (I.e. How will students use their accommodations in a manner that maintains the integrity of your exam in the virtual proctored environment?)
    • Reach out to the Access Center for assistance.
    • Engage in regular communication with your Access Center students.

    More information is available in questions below.

  • Will students' accommodations need to change due to the new learning environment?

    We have asked students to consider their new learning environments and reach out to their Access Advisor if they feel changes or adjustments need to be made. If it is determined that a change needs to be made, instructors will receive an updated accommodation letter. You may also receive a direct email from the Access Advisor for assistance to determine what is reasonable. 

  • I think an accommodation that made sense for on-campus courses no longer makes sense in the remote learning environment. Who do I speak to about that?

    We recommend reaching out to the students Access Advisor for questions or concerns related to their accommodations. Most students' accommodations were approved with an on-campus environment in mind. We may need to re-evaluate given the new environment. 

  • Is there a streamlined method to track all the students with accommodations in my class?

    We encourage instructors to use the Faculty Portal in MyAccess. This portal is designed to give instructors more access to information and make the process of serving students with disabilities easier and more efficient. 

  • I want to design my remote learning environment in a way that is usable by as many students as possible. Where do I start?

    As you transition your courses to online, we encourage you to embrace the tenants of universal design. For more information please visit AOIs site, Universal Design for Learning.

    Another useful site is the Tips for Creating Accessible Course Materials.

  • I am having technical difficulties. Who do I contact?

    To get started, review the Tool Kit for Extended Distance Delivery. For general assistance with technology as you transition to remote course delivery, please contact AOI at li@wsu.edu.There are also training sessions. For questions regarding assistive technology as it relates to accommodations, contact Kyle Gonzalez, Assistive Technology Coordinator, at kyle.gonzalez@wsu.edu.

     

  • Is the Access Center open to proctor exams?

    The Proctoring office will only be open during pre-scheduled exam times for approved students who must take their exams on-site due to disability-related needs.   Students and Faculty are encouraged to email access.testing@wsu.edu with any questions or concerns about proctoring services.

    Please refer to the operational changes related to exam scheduling/administration listed on our Testing web page.

  • What suggestions do you offer to reduce barriers/obstacles regarding high stakes testing in the online environment?

      • To give non-proctored exams. Hold students to the honor code.
      • To offer open-resource exams (access to notes/books) that would be open for a day or longer. This would alleviate issues with virtual proctoring, extension of time, locating an onsite proctor due to online barriers, information in the online environment, etc.
      • To assess student's knowledge in different ways: e.g. short answer/response papers/"take-home" essay exams (allowing the use of resources)/presentations, etc.

     

  • I have students with testing accommodations. How do these translate into the remote learning environment?

    Most alternative testing accommodations translate well, though there are additional considerations to be made. Below are some of the more common ones.

    Extended time

    Instructors are responsible for extending time in the online environment. We advise instructors to review each student's specific time extension accommodation (e.g. 1.5X, 2.0X, etc...) and adjust accordingly.

      • If you have a student needing extended time, refer to How to Set Test Exceptions in Blackboard.
      • We have advised students to NOT begin their exams unless they can determine that time has been extended to meet their accommodations. If time has not been extended, students have been advised to contact their instructors and the Access Center ASAP prior to beginning their exam. Faculty will need to extend/reopen the exam for students in these instances. 

    Other testing accommodations

    Prior to COVID-19, the following accommodations required on-site proctors:

      • When students use Memory Aids/Reader/Scribe/Calculator/Assistive Technology – AI Virtual proctoring makes these accommodations possible in a virtually proctored environment but may require an adjustment in exam settings.
      • When virtual proctoring presents barriers.
      • When students need paper exams.

     

  • How do I accommodate a student who cannot take an online proctored exam due to the nature of their accommodations?

    Students who cannot take their exam in a proctored online environment are advised to email both their instructor and their Access Advisor to discuss options. Alternate exam formats that do not require a proctor may be necessary. Different formats may also require a relaxing of submission times (i.e. instead of a two-hour submission window of time; a 24 - 48 hour window of time or longer may be necessary).

    If the proctoring service (ProctorU) creates a barrier, you may choose to use Zoom to proctor a student with certain accommodations. In this case, faculty would need to create a separate exam instance, outside of Proctor U, for the student who has an accommodation. This will allow the student to bypass the automated Proctor U service. For Zoom assistance contact AOI at li@wsu.edu.

     Note: The Access Center may be able to provide Zoom proctoring if instructors are unable to do so. Arrangements need to be made at least 48 hours in advance.

  • It seems like proctored exams may pose barriers for students with certain accommodations. Is there any easier way?

    We understand the recommendations we make below may or may not be reasonable for your courses. We offer these suggestions to reduce barriers/obstacles regarding high stakes testing in the online environment.

      • To give non-proctored exams. Hold students to the honor code.
      • To offer open-resource exams (access to notes/books) that would be open for a day or longer. This would alleviate issues with virtual proctoring, extension of time, locating an onsite proctor due to online barriers, information in the online environment, etc.

    To assess student's knowledge in different ways: e.g. short answer/response papers/"take-home" essay exams (allowing the use of

  • Do I need to continue providing PowerPoints to students who have that accommodation?

    If all students now have access to PowerPoints/lecture material on an ongoing basis, then no. The need for this accommodation is being met.

  • What about peer notetakers?

    If you are providing pre-recorded lectures for all students, nothing more will need to be done.

    If you choose to use synchronous delivery, we encourage you to record these sessions and provide them to students who have this accommodation.

    For some students, a peer notetaker may still be needed.  Notetaking requests will be assessed on an individual basis in relation to how specific course material is delivered. 

  • I have a student approved for flexible attendance or flexible assignment deadlines. How do these agreements work for online course delivery?

    Depending on the course structure of your class, flexible attendance may not be necessary.

    For courses that have synchronous/attendance-based components with no option for making up, or courses that have exams that are only open during a short window of time, flexible attendance agreements may need to be established.

    Assignment deadline flexibility will need to be discussed on a case by case basis and will depend on the nature of the students’ barriers, the nature of the assignments, and the time frame allotted for completing them.

    Students requesting this accommodation will send you guidelines and agreement form(s). They are responsible for contacting you to engage in a discussion to establish flexibility parameters.  In this remote learning environment, these forms no longer need to be signed and returned; however, we encourage agreement parameters to be exchanged via email to establish a written record.

    Please do not hesitate to reach out to students’ Access Advisors with any question or concerns you may have.