Tips for Supporting In-class Tests/Quizzes for Students with Disabilities
Accessible Testing using Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
Accessible teaching reduces barriers to the full inclusion of students with disabilities in an educational setting. The goal is to reduce the need for accommodation, for example, extra time given to write tests. Good pedagogical practice embeds structures that allow all students the opportunity to successfully demonstrate their knowledge. Here are a few tips and suggestions using the principles of UID:
- Allow sufficient time for all students to complete the test. Estimate how much time you think the average student will need to write the test/quiz and add 50% more time.
- Hold the quiz at the end of class and allow students to leave when finished (include instructions for students on how to leave, for example, only at 10 minute intervals, thus causing less disruption).
- Conduct the quiz either as an online quiz or a take-home quiz.
- Provide students with a choice from multiple forms of assessment, with a test being one of the options. Choice can even be offered within a test format: for example, some students prefer long answers while others prefer multiple choice.
- Choose another form of assessment, such as lecture or reading responses, a short homework assignment, or even an in-class collaborative assessment.
When barriers to full inclusion for a student with a disability exist, then an accommodation needs to be made to allow equitable access in an educational setting. Here are a few tips and suggestions to accommodate an in-class quiz or test:
- Allow the student to start writing the test/quiz early in another room, then walk the student to the classroom and allow him/her to finish.
- Reduce the number of questions for the student with a disability so he/she can finish at the same time as the rest of the class.
- Allow the student to write the test/quiz at an alternate time.
- Allow the student to sit where there are fewer distractions.
- In consultation with SSWD, if appropriate based on documented need, allow a student to complete an oral test.
- COU Accessibility Toolkit www.cou.on.ca/policy-advocacy/accessibility/accessible-toolkit-homepage
- CPI – Centre for Pedagogical Innovation http://brocku.ca/pedagogical-innovation
- CAST – Center for Applied Special Technology http://www.cast.org/
- National Center on Universal Design for Learning www.udlcenter.org
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