Accessible Online Assessment Resources for Faculty to support Students with Disabilites

As we continue to adjust to distance instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic, we write to affirm that instructors have a responsibility to support students with disabilities at the end of the term. It is imperative for faculty, especially for final exams, to implement accommodations such as academic adjustments, auxiliary aids and services.

We write to share, there are a number of resources available to support faculty as they determine how best to adapt their assessment strategies for accessible online instruction here. We’ve collected a curated list of best practices to guide instructors through considering what kinds of final assessments will be most effective.

Academic Computing and Communication Center (ACCC) has created a list of tips when creating and implementing online exams which can be found here. Upholding academic integrity has also been a concern for faculty. Some ways to combat academic dishonesty can be found at this link. Faculty can also create a set of statements attesting to academic integrity for their students to acknowledge before beginning an online/take-home exam.

For students that have testing accommodations, the following links may be helpful:

  • 1.5X or 2X extended time
  • Timed breaks or you may manually add up the allowed break minutes per hour to the overall testing time

Please keep in mind that testing policies for DRC students still apply. Students should not miss other classes due to their extended time. In this case, alternate plans must be made and agreed upon by both the student and professor while ensuring testing accommodations are met. If you have any questions about testing accommodations, please contact the DRC at accesstesting@uic.edu or contact the assigned Disability Specialist.

Additionally, the Disability Cultural Center has compiled a document supporting those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including resources about accessible online teaching practices. Many of these resources are focused on general best practices for accessibility, and may be useful for faculty who are preparing to teach online during the summer sessions. Particularly relevant for final exams, there is a new section that compiles a number of assessment alternatives to time-based testing here.

We thank you in advance for the work you do and for the role you play in supporting students with disabilities. We hope that these resources strengthen your efforts.

Warm Regards,

Kimberly Gardiner
Assistant Director, Health Science Disability Resources
Disability Resource Center (DRC)

For more information, please contact:
Kimberly Gardiner
drc@uic.edu

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