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Alternative Testing

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Student Disability Services (SDS) provides alternative testing for qualified students to ensure quizzes, tests, and final exams are proctored with full access to test materials and testing accommodations.  After registering with SDS and requesting testing accommodations, students may request alternative testing appointments through the Student Portal as needed.


Testing Accommodations

 The staff in the SDS Testing Center work with the students’ accommodations coordinator to provide accommodations with the necessary flexibility to meet the needs of the student examinee.

  • Alternative Location: The SDS Testing Center has 19 reduced distraction testing carrels, including booths and workstations, with additional space available as needed.  This accommodation allows students to test uninterrupted for the duration of their exam, whether it be for extended time, utilizing assistive technology, or needing to take the test at an alternative time.
  • Pause Time and Extended Time: Students may qualify to pause their time or have test time extended, either 50% or 100%, during a quiz, test, or final exam (QTF), to provide necessary breaks, utilize assistive technology and provide equitable access.
  • Assistive Technology: The SDS Testing Center provides access to testing materials in alternative format to include digital enlargements, screen magnification, text-to-speech and screen reading software, graphical user interface monitors, speech-to-text, and permission to type.
  • Accessibility: The SDS Testing Center offers wheelchair-accessible desks, special seating, handheld accessibility devices, medical devices, height-adjustable desks, and access to student-provided snacks and drinks as needed.

 Definitions

  1. Test Request Deadline or On-time Test Request: Quiz and test requests should be submitted 7 days or more before the scheduled class date.  Final exam requests should be submitted 4 weeks before study day.
  2. Approved Test Request: An approved test request is a request previously submitted by the student before the request deadline that 1) has an alternative testing agreement provided by the instructor and 2) is approved by SDS testing staff.
  3. Late Request: A late quiz, test, or final exam (QTF) request is a request that has been submitted less than 7 days before a quiz or test, or less than 4 weeks before study day in the case of final exams.  Late requests are not guaranteed testing appointments.  If a late request is not approved, the request will be canceled and students are to report to the classroom to take the QTF.
  4. Make-Up QTF Request: A make-up test request is a request to take a missed quiz or test on an alternative date after the original test occurred.  Students should initiate make-up requests with their instructor, as it is at the instructor’s discretion to allow a make-up QTF.
  5. Limited Adjustment to the Attendance Policy (LAAP): Make-up requests due to the LAAP accommodation should include timely communication with the course instructor and your Student Disability Services (SDS) accommodations advisor for consideration.
  6. Alternative Testing Agreement (ATA): Instructors complete an ATA for each course they teach which includes general instructions for the quizzes, tests, and final exam, authorized aids, dates, times, and durations of quizzes, tests, and finals, and other information.  The ATA is visible to students, so they are aware of what they may bring to the testing center.

To request a testing appointment, modify or cancel an existing quiz, test or exam, please review the Student Portal Instructions page.

Make-Up Procedure

  1. Students should notify the instructor via email and copy sdstesting@utk.edu if they are not able to attend an approved test request appointment. If the student is approved for the LAAP accommodation and is unable to attend due to disability-related symptoms, they should also copy their SDS accommodations coordinator.
  2. If the instructor notifies the testing center that a make-up test will be allowed, the student should modify their original test request in the student portal or submit a new request if not previously scheduled.
  3. SDS will review the request, and subsequent approval will be based on available time and space. Due to the volume of QTFs in SDS, several days’ notice is often necessary in order for a make-up to be proctored.
  4. If SDS is unable to administer the make-up QTF, within the time frame preferred by the instructor, the student will need to make arrangements to take it with the instructor.

Student Disability Services arranges acquisition of test materials, scheduling, and proctoring of QTFs by NCTA Standards and Guidelines, SDS policies and procedures, and instructor specifications.

Request Procedure

Student

Instructor

Testing Staff

Semester Start or Earlier

 

  • The student requests accommodations for the semester.
  • Course Access Letters are automatically generated and emailed to the instructor of record.
  • The student will be unable to send a letter until an instructor is assigned to a course.
  • Students must resubmit accommodation requests for classes they add or change sections, even if the section change is the same instructor.
  • Students should make an appointment to discuss the letter and their accommodations with their instructor as soon as possible.
 

  • Course Access Letters are automatically generated and emailed to the instructor of record.
  • Instructors should review the letter as soon as possible upon receipt using the link at the bottom of the letter.
  • Instructors should submit the Alternative Testing Agreement (ATA) completely as soon as possible upon receipt using the link at the bottom of the letter.
  • The ATA provides testing staff with necessary instructions; date, start time, and duration of all quizzes, tests, or final exams (QTF) for the entire semester, including final exams.
  • Exam requests cannot be approved by testing staff until the ATA has been completed.
  •  Assists students with requesting Course Access Letters; quizzes, tests, and final exam requests; and orienting students about the procedure of testing with SDS.
  • Assists and orients instructors in the exam request process, testing procedures, providing testing accommodations through SDS or on their own, answering specific questions with regard to their course, and what they can expect from SDS Testing.
  • Holds in-person and Zoom-based clinic sessions for students and instructors.
  • Begins to review Alternative Testing Agreements (ATA) and exam requests already submitted.

Semester Quizzes and Tests

 

  • Student logs in to the SDS Student Portal at least 7 days in advance of the quiz or test and requests each quiz or test at the same time as the rest of the class.
  • If the student needs an alternative testing appointment, the student must first discuss and receive approval from their instructor for the alternative time before submitting a quiz or test request.
  • Students are sent email reminders that they have an approved test at the testing center in 6 days and 2 days if the request was made before the deadline.
 

  • Instructor receives an email 6 days before the exam and logs in to the SDS Faculty Portal.
  • Instructor selects the appropriate course and exam date and submits additional instructions (Exam Instructions), passwords, and test materials.
  • Instructor should notify the SDS Testing Center staff if there are any questions or concerns with the request or if there has been a change in the date or time of the test.
  • The instructor will receive another automated email reminder 2 days before the exam date if the exam has not been submitted.
 

  • Quiz and test requests submitted at the same start time as the class are automatically approved and the student notified.
  • Quiz and test requests submitted for an alternative testing appointment are manually reviewed by testing staff.
  • Corresponds with students and instructors regarding any questions about the request, appointment date and time, instructions, authorized aids, or test materials.
  • Late requests are considered on a case-by-case basis and may be canceled.  Please see the Exam Scheduling and Make-Up Procedures for further information.

Final Exams

  • The deadline to request final exams is 4 weeks before Study Day.  For instance, the deadline for Fall 2021 is November 4.
  • Late requests are processed after seating assignments are made for requests submitted by the deadline.
 

  • After the deadline has passed, instructors will be notified to log in to the Faculty Portal and review the exam requests for appropriate date, time, or approved alternate appointment.
  • Please review the final exam requests as soon as possible after the deadline.  Any requests not reviewed may not be able to be changed.
 

  • After the deadline has passed, testing staff begin to review on-time requests and correspond with instructors and students.
  • Once instructors reply, the tests are approved and officially scheduled.
  • Students are assigned locations about two (2) weeks before finals begin so they know where to report.

Testing Day

  •  Student accesses the ATA to know what aids to bring to the testing center.  All other items are stored in a locker and the key held by testing center staff.
  • Student checks in with a photo ID and time begins.
  • The student’s scheduled end time is written at the upper right corner of the test upon check-in by the proctor.  Students are given a 10-minute warning only to complete the test.
  • The exam ends when the student either finishes or time runs out and they are stopped.
  •  Test materials should be uploaded to the portal, or password entered to Exam Instructions for online tests, at least 24 hours prior to the test start time.
  • For tests needing to be proctored with assistive technology software, such as text-to-speech, please upload these to the portal as soon as possible.
 

  • Prepared testing materials and digital tests are removed from the safe.
  • All prepared and completed tests are locked in a safe after hours.
  • Tests are returned per the instructor’s request within 24 hours.  A photo ID is required to pick up an exam by the instructor or designee.

Request Tips

  • Syllabus: The instructor-provided syllabus is the primary source for quiz, test, and final exam (QTF) dates.  Instructors will also announce upcoming QTF dates in class.  Tip:  Refer to the syllabus at the beginning of the semester and make all QTF requests for every course as soon as possible. Reminder announcements regarding QTF dates are typically made after the request deadline has passed for guaranteed seating in the Testing Center.
  • Instructor meeting: Students should meet with each of their instructors to discuss all accommodations, including testing.  Tip:  Students should discuss their testing accommodations in private with instructors.  Office hours are often an ideal time for this.  Testing Center Hours:  The Testing Center is available Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. for approved exams.  Tip:  The end of the business day is 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Late requests*, emails and voice mails received after 5 p.m. will be reviewed the following business day.
  • Scheduling Assistance: Testing Center Staff and SDS Accommodations Coordinators are able to assist students with requesting QTFs for the semester. Please all SDS to schedule an appointment.

Instructor Responsibilities

  • Upon receipt of the Course Access Letter, complete the Alternative Testing Agreement (ATA) for each course. The ATA provides the information about the test, authorized aids, delivery and return of the test materials, and any other information needed to proctor the course quiz, test, or final exam (QTF).
  • Upon request, meet with student to discuss the provision of test accommodations.
  • If providing accommodations directly, please ensure that all testing accommodations listed on the letter and desired to be utilized by the student, are being provided.
  • If an instructor is unable to provide testing accommodations, the student should be asked to schedule quizzes, tests, and final exams via the Student Portal with the Student Disability Services Testing Center.
  • Once a test is scheduled, the instructor will receive a notification via email 6 and 2 days before the exam. Log into the Faculty Portal via the SDS website or click on the link embedded on the exam notification email to provide test materials and Test Instruction Details, such as password and last-minute authorized aids, for example a crib sheet or note card, through the secure server.
  • Provide a copy of the QTF no less than two business days prior to the test date.
  • In some cases, a student may need to take a test at a different time than the class due to class schedule conflict and their extended time. In this case, students must first discuss the alternative time with faculty.  Students must be permitted to use their accommodations without being late to or missing other classes.

Student Responsibilities

  • Request Course Access Letters at the beginning of the semester.
  • Talk to instructors at least seven (7) days before the first QTF to inquire about where they would like exams and quizzes to be taken.
  • As needed, submit a request to take all QTFs at the SDS Testing Center via the Student Portal at least seven (7) days in advance for regular exams and quizzes and four (4) weeks before Study Day for finals. Video tutorials are available for review.
  • For test requests submitted after the deadline, additional questions regarding the reason for submitting the QTF request late will be displayed. Complete these questions and submit your test request.  Be prepared to take the exam in class unless notified via email by SDS that the request is approved.
  • If the test will be taken in the SDS Testing Center, schedule it at the same time as the class via the SDS Student Portal.
  • If an alternative time is needed, discuss with and receive approval from your instructor prior to submitting your QTF request.
  • Notify the instructor and SDS Testing Coordinator if there are any changes to, or cancellations of, exams scheduled in the SDS Testing Center. Students are responsible for modifying or cancelling requests in advance.
  • Arrive on time to the testing location on the scheduled date and time.

SDS Responsibilities

  • Engage each individual student in an interactive conversation to review disability documentation and discuss needed accommodations.
  • Determine reasonable accommodations necessary to provide the student with equal access to his or her courses.
  • Instruct each student on SDS procedures for utilizing accommodations, including the student’s responsibilities.
  • Work collaboratively with instructors and students to effectively proctor tests scheduled to take place in the SDS Testing Center, upholding UT standards of academic integrity as well as the National College Testing Association (NCTA) Standards and Guidelines.
  • Consider late exam requests on a case-by-case basis.

For Testing Center hours and location, visit the Location and Hours of Operation page