On equal terms
It is important that Lund University makes sure that all students receive an equal online exam, regardless of the conditions. Here you can read more about what it means and how you as a teacher can accommodate the exam for students with disabilities.
As an educational coordinator Lund University must take measures to keep all our operations accessible to students with disabilities. Failing to meet accessibility requirements is grounds for discrimination.
In an inclusive learning environment, students with disabilities will be accommodated for in such a way that they are on equal footing with their peers.
At Lund University, you as the examiner have the possibility to decide to choose another form of examination than the regular one for a student facing disability. This also applies to digital exams. It is included in all syllabuses since 2017 and is since applicable for all courses given at Lund University.
Creating equal conditions for your students
Equality is important. Accommodation for a student with a disability should not mean lower performance requirements, but the road to the course goals can look different. The examiner can create equal conditions for students with a disability by:
- Make accommodations during the exam (for example giving extra time).
- Offer an alternative exam form that tests the same knowledge as the regular exam.
Assessments of what is considered equal is done in part by Disability Support Services with basis in a medical note regarding the disability and through individual dialogue with the student. The examiner will also take part in this process as they can best assess which accommodations can be made for the respective exams, without abandoning the course goals. Sometimes this is decided between the examiner and the coordinator for Disability Support Services.
Examples of accommodations for digital exams
Students with an established need of extended time during a physical exam often require the same accommodation during a digital exam as the difficulty with working memory, decoding and automation are permanent.
In Canvas it is easy to set the exam time for certain students who need extended time. These students can be placed in a separate room in Zoom with their own exam guard. It is important that this group receive the same information as their course mates and that the examiner visits the room to answer questions, just like at a physical exam.
Article on importance of extended writing time here
Guide on how to extend the writing time
Separate Zoom rooms
In some cases, a student may be in need of an individual breakout room in zoom, with their own invigilator. This could apply to students suffering from vocal or motor tics and would disrupt other students if the microphone is on, or students who need to move around or lie down due to back problems. It may also apply to students suffering with severe concentration issues if the microphone must be on.
Read the Zoom-guide on how you can create breakout rooms in Zoom
Oral or written?
Additional oral components or oral examination can be granted to students whose disability means they have difficulty expressing themselves in writing. A written exam instead of an oral exam can be granted to students who have difficulty expressing themselves through speech.
Read the article on oral exams via Zoom here
Spelling Programmes and speech synthesis
Some students with dyslexia need to use spelling programmes (StavaRex, SpellRight) and/or speech synthesis (TorTalk) to be able to listen to the assignment and their own answers during an exam. These may not always be compatible with the digital examination systems. In some systems spelling programmes are built in and some programs lock all accessibility programs out. If there is no possibility of using spelling programmes it is of high importance that the examiner overlooks any spelling mistakes while grading the students’ knowledge. If speech synthesis is not compatible with the exam system, the student must be allowed to have the assignments and their own answers read aloud by the exam guard. Systems that allow these exams to be conducted with these accessibility programs should be used if possible.
Read the guide in Canvas on different tools for text-to-speech
The person responsible for the course makes the decisions
Recommendations for accommodations are available in the students Nais-information from Disability Support Services. It is up to the person responsible for the course to decide if the accommodations can be made in accordance with the course goals.