Geography and Christian: A Case Study in Accommodating In-Class Computer-Based Testing

DO-IT Factsheet #392
http://www.washington.edu/doit/Stem/articles?392

Background

My name is Christian and I'm a geography major. I have a learning disability that affects my reading and writing skills.

Access Issue

Due to my disability, I receive testing accommodations (extended time and computer access) through the disability services office. I recently enrolled in a geography course where my exams are given in class followed by continued lecture time. I was concerned about how I would take the extended time I needed for tests on the in-class computers and access the lecture material following the exam.

Solution

The professor worked with the disability services office to have the exam software loaded onto a computer in the Learning Center on campus. This allowed me to go to the Learning Center before my geography class and take my test and attend class after that. During class while other students took the exams I quietly completed other work.

Conclusion

This case study illustrates the following:

  1. Computer hardware and software can be used creatively to accommodate students with disabilities in test-taking.
  2. When the student, professor, and specialists communicate and share concerns and/or resources, practical solutions can be identified that will accommodate the student and meet the instructor's assessment requirements.