Series Twelve: Webinar 2

ADVENTURES IN TESTING

Tuesday, February 9, 20211:30 pm EST

  • The student provided documentation from his physician that states that because of the impact of disability related treatments, he should be provided the opportunity to reschedule any exams or quizzes that occurred at the time of his treatments. The proposed accommodation was that the student would notify his instructors on those occasions that tests would need to be rescheduled within 72 hours. Nursing department administrators objected to the accommodation because they argued that the demands of classes and clinicals were such that 72 hours would result in the student having to make-up clinicals hours, as well as tests. They suggested a 24-hour timeframe, instead. San Juan College, No. 08-16-2150 (OCR November 2017).
  • Students approved for test accommodations who object to a) being required to pick-up the test in the classroom at the time the test is scheduled to begin for the class and then having to carry the exam to the disability services office to take it; b) a 48-hour requirement to have a form filled out by instructors and returned to disability services office before every test, quiz, exam; and c) being deprived of instructional or study time because of the manner in which accommodations are provided. See Emery Riddle Aeronautical University, No. 04-18-2311 (OCR February 2019); University of Texas at San Antonio, No. 06162045 (OCR September 2019) and Woodland Community College, No. 09-14-2404 (OCR January 2016). 
  • Program instructors refused to allow accommodations for lab tests that require students to demonstrate skills necessary for working on nursing units, including transcription tests. Their position was that students were required to simulate what happens on an actual nursing unit including reacting within prescribed time frames, obtaining necessary forms, and responding to specific questions and following up with the instructor who was playing the role of selected health care staff. Gateway Community College, No. 08-16-2199 (OCR February 2017)
  • A student wished to use self-written color-coded notes during tests/exams. The professor felt the use of such notes would not permitted him to assess the student’s knowledge and would not measure learning outcomes. The student asserted that since she would not know in advance what would be on the exam her notes did not contain the answers. Florida Southwestern State College, No. 04-16-2161 (October 2016).

The above cases reflect examples of the major compliance controversies in testing that we will be discussing in this webinar. Specifically:

  • Process and procedures that are confusing for both students and faculty;
  • Administrative requirements imposed upon students that OCR has described as being “unduly burdensome”;
  • What are proper faculty interactions with respect to the accommodation determination process; 
  • Methods of administration that deprive students of equal access to instructional services; and
  • The proper measures to use to protect the academic integrity of the testing process.

We will also discuss the lessons that college and universities should take from the recent Ramsay v. National Board of Medical Examiners, 3rd Cir (July 31, 2020) ruling.

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