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Accommodations for Tests and Final Exams

Students registered with Accessible Learning at Laurier will continue to have access to the same accommodations and supports they would receive if writing an in-class midterm or final. Instructors will continue to receive a Faculty Notification Letter that indicates each student’s required accommodations. Accommodations that are commonly affected by remote testing procedures are:

  • extra time
  • assistive technology (screen readers, speech-to-text, etc.)
  • breaks
  • access to pre-approved memory aid / formula sheet
  • access to scrap paper
  • spell check

Students are scheduled to write their test/exam based on the date/time provided in your alternative testing agreement, unless they have an accommodation that requires them to write at a different time. These accommodations include exam scheduling accommodation (e.g. spacing, no early morning, no evening) or students that require assistive technology (if the test/exam uses Respondus).

In these cases, Accessible Learning staff will contact you to determine rescheduling arrangements. If a rescheduled test/exam is necessary, please ensure the student is set up to write their test in MyLS or the platform you are using for the rescheduled time and date.

Supporting Students with Approved Testing Accommodations

For any timed assessment, instructors adjust the additional time for students with this accommodation. MyLearningSpace (MyLS) has instructions on how to add extra time to online quizzes and tests. If you have any questions, or need assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out to:

To access a list of your students who have requested to book their extra time, follow the instructions:

  1. Log in to the Accessible Learning Instructor Portal using your Laurier username and password.
  2. Click "Continue to View Student Accommodations."
  3. Click "Exam Accommodations" on the left-hand side of the page, under the drop-down menu named "Views and Tools."
  4. You will see a yellow box that reads: "Step 1 — Select Action." From the drop-down menu, select "Export All Exam Details" and move to the next step.
  5. In the yellow box that reads, "Step 3 — Confirmation," click the button that reads "Confirm you Selections."
  6. A .CSV file is generated that contains the extra time information for students who have requested to book their testing accommodations for tests/exams in your course(s).
  7. Add the extra time for these students via the MyLS instructions. If you require assistance, contact MyLS at

Accommodations for Short Tests

Many instructors are implementing timed online assessments with variable duration, and Accessible Learning recommends that accommodated time be added to all assessments on MyLS and any other learning platform. Support is available upon request to ensure the addition of accommodated times.

We applaud the efforts of faculty who are following a universal design approach by creating short quizzes with additional time added in for all students. An example would be providing all students 20 minutes to write a quiz, which may only take 10 minutes to complete.

Accommodating Assistive Technology

Common Assistive Technologies include:

  • Kurzweil
  • JAWS
  • Zoomtext/Fusion
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking
  • Mac Voiceover
The use of Respondus Lockdown and Monitor Browser will only affect students who need to use assistive technology when taking an online exam, as Respondus renders these assistive technologies ineffective.

Please complete your Alternative Testing Agreement and indicate if you are using Respondus.

If you are using Respondus and have students who require assistive technology, testing area staff will arrange for a virtual proctor for them. If you are not using Respondus, those students will be able to use their assistive technology as usual.

If you are using Respondus, it will need to be disabled on the test/exam for those students who use assistive technology. Testing area staff will contact the instructor to disable Respondus for tests and midterms, and Testing area staff will coordinate with eLearning staff to disable Respondus for final exams.

Accessible Learning will arrange to virtually proctor students who need to use assistive technologies to take their exam via Zoom.

The Accessible Learning assistive technologist will also monitor the exam to ensure things run smoothly and will be available to mitigate any assistive technology challenges.

Please indicate in your Alternative Testing Agreement if you will be answering questions during your test/exam, and also indicate the method by which students should reach you. If virtually proctored students have questions during their test/exam, they will contact you via the methods provided.

Accessible Proctoring on Zoom

Zoom proctoring in group settings does not ensure confidentiality of the individual student as names are visible on the screen, which is why it is not supported by Accessible Learning. One-on-one zoom proctoring will only be used in cases where there are students with assistive technology needs and the exam uses Respondus Lockdown and Monitor Browser.

Accommodating Supervised Breaks, Breaks as Needed for Medical Reasons, or Frequent Washroom Breaks

Instructors can verify students’ accommodations through Accessible Learning Online to confirm that permitted accommodations include supervised breaks, breaks for medical reasons, or frequent washroom breaks.

Supervised Breaks / As Needed Breaks for Medical Reasons

Students that need to take their supervised break during an exam have been directed to speak into the camera and say, "I am now using my accommodation of a supervised break." They will need to take their “supervised” break in view of the camera. The student may choose to stand up, stretch, take deep breaths, close their eyes, etc. When they are finish the timed break and are ready to resume taking the exam, they should speak directly into the camera and say, “I am now returning from my break.”

Frequent Washroom Breaks

Students that need to have a washroom break during an exam have been directed to speak into the camera and say, "I am now using my washroom break accommodation." They will proceed to take their washroom break and return to their computer as quickly as they can. When they return, they should speak directly into the camera and say, "I am now returning from my washroom break."

Note: For students with extra-time accommodations who are concerned about needing to use the washroom during their (potentially 5-6 hour) exam, Accessible Learning has recommended they follow the same process as used above.

Accommodating Faculty-Approved Memory Aids / Formula Sheets

If a student in your class has an accommodation for a faculty-approved memory aid / faculty-approved formula sheet as part of their testing accommodations, the student will need to have it approved by you prior to their test.

Remote Tests Using Respondus Lockdown Browser

The student must show the (pre-approved) memory aid/formula sheet slowly to the camera before they begin their test. The instructor will then be able to view the memory aid/formula sheet after the student has completed the test, via the video recording.

Virtually Proctored Exams

The student is required to open the email from the faculty member, verifying their approval of their current memory aid, and sharing the screen/email with the proctor.

Accommodating Scrap Paper Access

Scrap paper must be 8 ½" x 11" white paper, and be clearly numbered (e.g. Scrap Paper Sheet 1, Scrap Paper Sheet 2) at the top of each page. Students must use blue/black ink or dark pencil so that the markings are easily viewable to the camera.

Prior to starting the online exam, the student must show each piece of blank scrap paper in full (both front and back) to the webcam.

On completion of the exam, the student must show each piece of scrap paper to the webcam again (all pages, even if they were not all used and are still blank). The student must then destroy each sheet of scrap paper in full view of the camera. This method may be agreed upon by the course instructor.

Accommodating Spell Check

If you are using Respondus and have students in your course that have an accommodation for spell check, please ensure that spell check is not disabled so students will have access to this accommodation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I am using an External Site (not MyLS) for my online exam and I have students with accommodations?

Accessible Learning requires advanced notice if an exam is being offered on an external site outside of MyLS. Please notify Accessible Learning staff by email: (Waterloo) or (Brantford). An assistive technologist will test the external site for accessibility and Accessible Learning staff will help you identify challenges and where possible, provide alternative options.

What if an Accessible Learning Student Requests an Exam Accommodation After the Deadline?

Student booking requests made online via the Accessible Learning Online database that are placed less than five full business days prior to the testing date will be cancelled. A business day begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m. Weekends do not count as business days. For example: A student has a test at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 9. The student submitted a booking request at midnight (12 a.m.) on Friday, May 5. Their exam booking request will be cancelled because they have not provided five full business days for the request to be processed.

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