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Instructor Testing Guidelines

Testing accommodations can be provided for any student with a disability by the Academic Testing for Students with Disabilities office (ATSD). Students have the right to request testing with accommodations at a TXST testing center.

Accommodations may also be provided by a faculty member, instructor of a course, or the designee of an instructor. In this case, the instructor holds responsibility for providing the student with all appropriate accommodations approved by the Office of Disability Services (ODS). If the in-class assessment is to be administered by ATSD, then the instructor and student must adhere to the policies and procedures listed in this document. Please review these policies and procedures carefully, and contact the ATSD office with any questions. The ATSD office looks forward to collaborating with Texas State faculty to provide students with supportive testing environments.

ATSD Policies

Eligible Assessments for ATSD Administration

ATSD proctors assessments that are administered on campus for a class. For example, students taking an online course where the instructor administers the exams on campus would be eligible to take those exams at ATSD. Take-home exams are ineligible unless the student cannot access his/her testing accommodations (e.g., the student needs a reader but does not have access to text-to-speech software at home). All questions as to whether or not an assessment is eligible for administration at the ATSD office should be directed to the ATSD Supervisor.

Identification Policy

All students testing at ATSD must present valid photo identification (ID) prior to accessing an assessment. If a student does not have a photo ID, then he or she will not be permitted to test.

Requesting Regular Tests and Quizzes

  • Three Business Day Rule: Online requests for all in-class assessments must be submitted by 5 PM at least three business days in advance of the requested scheduled date.
    • The Three Business Day Rule does not include weekends or holidays.
  • All changes to submitted test requests require one business day to process.
  • Students are encouraged to submit their requests as soon as syllabi are received to avoid missing the Three Business Day deadline.

Requesting Final Exams

  • Ten Business Day Rule: Online requests for fall and spring final exams must be submitted by students at least ten business days in advance of the requested scheduled date.
    • The Ten Business Day Rule allows ATSD to ensure that students have access to all necessary accommodations for each final exam.
  • Online requests for summer session finals must be submitted following the Three Business Day Rule.
  • Students must request final exams at ATSD according to the University Final Exam Schedule. All final exams at ATSD should be taken on the same date and as close as possible to the start time of the in-class exam administration.

Failure to Report for an ATSD Scheduled Exam

  • Late Arrivals: Students must arrive at ATSD at least 10 minutes before their scheduled start time. If a student arrives more than 10 minutes after the scheduled start time, he or she will be unable to test. If this occurs, the student may:
    • Reschedule the assessment with ATSD by submitting a new online test request. The new request is contingent on instructor approval.
    • Take the assessment with the rest of the class.
  • No Shows: Students who do not arrive at ATSD for an assessment scheduled on or before the last day of regular classes will have two options:
    • The student will need to submit a new online test request. The new request is contingent on instructor approval.
    • The student may take the test with the rest of his or her class.
  • If a student misses a final exam scheduled at ATSD, the student can do any of the following:
    • Make arrangements to take the final exam with his/her instructor.
    • Contact ATSD to reschedule the final exam. All rescheduled finals are taken on the last day of final exams at the 8 AM time slot. *All rescheduled finals are contingent on instructor approval.
    • If a student misses a final exam scheduled at ATSD during a summer session, the student will have to make arrangements with his or her instructor to make up the final exam.

Quizzes/Pop Quizzes

ODS-approved testing accommodations apply to all in-class quizzes unless the student waives this right.

  • ATSD encourages pop quizzes to be given at the end of class to provide the most flexibility for both the student and instructor. If a student wants to access his or her testing accommodations for a pop quiz, the instructor has three options for administering the quiz for the student:
    • The instructor provides testing accommodations to the student to take the quiz during class.
    • The instructor arranges for the student to meet outside of class to complete the pop quiz, during which the instructor provides testing accommodations to the student.
    • The instructor contacts the ATSD supervisor via email at least three business days prior to the class administered pop quiz to reserve a place for the student. (This is the only instance when an instructor can sign up a student for testing at ATSD.)
      • The student will come to ATSD at the next available testing time to complete his or her pop quiz.

Tests for Incomplete Courses & Graduate Comprehensive Exams (Comps)

  • Test requests for incomplete courses and comprehensive exams must be submitted following the Three Business Day Rule.
  • Students will not be able to submit an online test request; therefore, ATSD will inform the instructor via email regarding the test request.

Test Security

  • Testing Surveillance: All students testing at ATSD are monitored by trained proctors via a closed-circuit video surveillance system.
  • ATSD Proctors: All ATSD proctors are required to follow specific policies and procedures to ensure the integrity of the testing environment.
    • All ATSD student employees and proctors are required to sign a Confidentially Statement.
    • Proctors are prohibited from proctoring exams for any course they are currently enrolled in or for any student with whom they have a personal relationship.
    • Our proctors receive training in the following areas throughout the semester:
      • ADAAA, HIPPA, and FERPA Compliance
      • Assisting students with sensory impairments
      • How to be a reader or scribe for an academic test
      • How to use assistive technology
      • Creating and maintaining an appropriate testing environment
      • Recognizing instances of academic dishonesty
  • Storing Personal Belongings: Each student testing at ATSD will store his or her personal belongings. The following items must be stored:
    • Backpacks/purses
    • Heavy winter coats
    • Hats
    • Notebooks or notes (unless approved by instructor)
    • Textbooks (unless approved by instructor)
    • Scratch paper (unless provided by ATSD)
    • Personal laptop computer (unless approved by instructor)
    • Electronics such as cell phones, smartwatches, earbuds, MP3s, and tablets

Academic Dishonesty

Each student using ATSD services is expected to follow the Texas State Honor Code, the Code of Student Conduct, and ATSD policies and procedures.

  • All students must sign ATSD’s Student Policy and Procedure Agreement prior to testing at our facility. The Student Policy and Procedure agreement is a document that acknowledges that students have read, understand, and agree to abide by the ATSD Student Guidelines, the Texas State Honor Code, and the Code of Student Conduct.
  • Breaking the Texas State Honor Code: Students suspected of violating the Texas State Honor Code will be subject to the following procedures:
    1. When a proctor suspects a student is breaking the Texas State Honor Code, the ATSD Supervisor or the Director of TEMC is called to view the screen and watch the student in question.
    2. The Supervisor or the Director will decide whether or not the student violates the Texas State Honor Code.
    3. If a violation does occur, the Supervisor or Director will briefly stop the test and remove the student from the testing room.
    4. The Supervisor or Supervisor Designee will explain the incident and may confiscate non-allowed items related to the incident or have the student store the item(s).
    5. The student will resume the test while the instructor is contacted for instructions on how to proceed.
      1. If the instructor is successfully contacted, then the situation will be explained. At this time, it is up to the instructor on how to proceed.
      2. If the instructor cannot be reached, the test is completed as usual.
    6. When the student is finished testing (or if the instructor requested to stop the test), he or she will review the proctor’s allegations on the ATSD Alleged Academic Dishonesty form and fill out the student portion. This form will be scanned and emailed to the instructor immediately.

ATSD School Closure Policy

Partial or Single Day Closure: If a weather-related issue or emergency situation causes Texas State University to close for one school day, then no exams scheduled at ATSD during such a closure will be administered. ATSD will reschedule all examinations for the next class day for the course, at the original requested start time, unless: (1) an email notification is received from the instructor with a new rescheduled date and time; or (2) the student sends an email to ATSD@txstate.edu with a requested rescheduled date and time for the exam. All rescheduling requests are contingent on faculty approval. It may take ATSD 24-48 business hours to process all rescheduling due to a University closure. However, the student and faculty member can monitor the progress of the rescheduling using the ATSD Testing System. Once a request has been rescheduled, a confirmation email will be sent to the student and the instructor via their Texas State email accounts.

Multiple Day Closure: If a weather-related issue or emergency situation causes Texas State University to close for multiple school days, students scheduled to test with ATSD during such closure will receive an email from ATSD with rescheduling instructions for each request. The new date and time of testing will be contingent on faculty approval. All affected students and faculty should monitor their Texas State email account for communication from ATSD regarding rescheduling.

Recommended Statement about ATSD for Syllabus

“Students who are approved for testing accommodations with the Office of Disability Services (ODS) have the option of using Academic Testing for Students with Disabilities (ATSD) office to take in-class tests or quizzes with their testing accommodations. Any student who schedules a test(s) with ATSD must schedule tests during the in-class scheduled test time (or seek an exception from the instructor) and are expected to take the test at ATSD. If a student schedules to take a test with ATSD but decides that he/she will take the test in the classroom, the student will be responsible for notifying ATSD and the instructor prior to the class start time.”

Testing Times

ATSD’s designated test start times are established to ensure that students receive proper accommodations and face minimal distractions, given the available testing space. **These times are non-negotiable.**

Regular Tests & Quizzes

  • On Monday, Thursday, and Friday, ATSD administers regular tests and quizzes at the following times: 8:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM, and 3:00 PM. During the fall and spring semesters, the ATSD office closes at 5:00 PM on these days.
  • On Tuesday and Wednesday, ATSD administers regular tests and quizzes at the following times:
    • 8:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m.
    • During the fall and spring semesters, the ATSD office closes at 8:00 PM on these days.
  • Summer Sessions: ATSD administers regular tests and quizzes at the following times:
    • 8:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM, and 3:00 PM (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday)
    • 8:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m. (Wednesday)
  • Scheduling Conflicts: Instructors should keep in mind that many students have ODS-approved testing accommodations for extended time. In most cases, such students cannot test during regular class hours, as their approved time extensions would conflict with other classes.

Finals

  • The ATSD office is open from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM during the university’s designated finals period. For this period, ATSD administers final exams at the following times:
    • 8:00 AM., 12:00 PM, and 4:00 PM
      • Students should request exams at the ATSD start time closest to when the class will take the exam. Students should discuss exceptions to this with the instructor before entering a request.
      • If the in-class final is scheduled for December 14th at 11 AM, the student should request to take the final with ATSD on December 14th at 12:00 PM.

Student Responsibility for Scheduling

  • ATSD requires students to submit separate online requests for each in-class test, quiz, or make-up they wish to take at our office.
  • Each student’s sole responsibility is to submit online test requests within the deadlines outlined in ATSD’s policy documents.

Instructor Role for ATSD Testing

ATSD uses the Accessibility Information Management (AIM) system to process testing requests. Instructors will receive email notifications for each student who submits a request to test at ATSD through the AIM. Federal law requires institutions of higher learning to provide accommodations based on a student’s documented disability. Compliance with these laws is mandatory.

Assessment Notification

Instructors are encouraged to provide students with sufficient notice of assessment dates (at least 72 hours in advance).

Testing Agreement

The instructor will receive accommodation letters by email. A link to the testing agreement is included at the bottom of the email. The testing agreement only needs to be completed at the beginning of the semester for each course section. The testing agreement permits students to test at ATSD for the dates and times designated on the testing agreement. The testing agreement helps ATSD to plan for assessments. Requests that match the dates and times on the testing agreement will be approved by ATSD.

Essential items on the testing agreement include:

  • Time Allowed in Class for Test: The instructor should verify that the time allotted for the in-class exam appears correctly in the test request. AIM will calculate any applicable extended time using the information submitted in this field.
  • Faculty Contact Information: This information will not be shared with students and is only used if ATSD has questions regarding the administration of an exam.

Other questions on the testing agreement are subject to change each semester.

The instructor cannot change the testing agreement after it is entered. Any changes to the agreement will need to be sent by email to atsd@txstate.edu. Exam-specific instructions will be entered for each exam request.

Disputing a Test Request

The instructor will need to take action if an assessment request does not match the date and time agreed upon between the instructor and the student. To dispute a request, the instructor will click on the link in the email notifying them of a test request.

  1. If the instructor will not allow the student to test or there is no test scheduled. Indicate a reason in the “Comments” box. ATSD will contact the student and inform them that their request was not approved.
  2. If some of the information submitted by the student in the assessment request is incorrect or needs to be changed. Indicate the necessary changes in the “Comments” box. ATSD will contact the student about what was changed and send a confirmation.

Exam Instructions and Assessment Information

Course Instructors should provide ATSD with all information related to the in-class administration of each assessment. Details regarding assessment format and proctoring allow our office to accurately alter the assessment to meet each student’s ODS-approved testing accommodations. In order for ATSD to administer an in-class assessment exactly as desired by an instructor, the instructor should provide all of the following information in AIM using links from the email requests:

  • Answer Forms: Indicate how students in the class will record answers by selecting the appropriate option from the list.
  • Test Delivery Option: The instructor should indicate how he or she would like to receive the completed exam. Test packets can be delivered by the ATSD courier or picked up by an instructor or designee.
  • Faculty-Approved Materials: Indicate all materials allowed for the exam by selecting the appropriate items from the list. These will be the only items the student will be allowed to take in the testing room with them. It is imperative that a detailed list of all materials approved for in-class use is communicated to ATSD prior to the exam. Students testing at ATSD should be permitted to use the same materials as the class. (i.e.-If students in-class will be allowed to use a scientific calculator, then students at ATSD should be permitted to use a scientific calculator.)
    • If a student testing at ATSD wishes to use materials or equipment that are not provided during in-class administration, then he or she must have an ODS-approved accommodation. In the absence of such an accommodation, students testing at ATSD may only use the materials and equipment available to students in class. For example, students testing at ATSD are only permitted to use a computer if a computer will be provided to all students in-class, OR if the student has an ODS-approved testing accommodation that requires the use of a computer during testing.
    • Assessment Format: The instructor should indicate how the exam will be administered in class.
      • Paper/Pencil: Students in the class will take the assessment via paper.
      • Online (Web-Based): Students in-class will use the Internet (Canvas, SIMnet, TopHat, etc.) to take the assessment.
    • Computer-Based (Special Program): Students in-class will use specific computer software (SPSS, Notepad ++, etc.) to complete all or part of the assessment.
  • Additional Instructions: If necessary, include any special instructions to administer the exam.
    • e.g., “Part I of the test is closed notes. Part II of the test is open note.”

Providing Tests to ATSD

ATSD must receive regular exams at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled exam to ensure that each test is administered accurately. Due to increases in volume, final exams must be received by 12:00 PM on the first reading day of the semester. It is important to submit tests as soon as possible so ATSD can review the test, including the necessary materials, and ensure that all testing accommodations are appropriately administered. ATSD will not be responsible for mistakes (i.e., answers on the test, missing pages, missing scantron, etc.) for assessments submitted after the exam submission deadline.

  • If possible, the preferred method for receiving tests is uploading exams in Microsoft Word format via the AIM testing system. We make this request because many students have ODS-approved accommodations for enlarged print or using assistive technology such as a screen reader. It is easier and more efficient to enlarge an electronic test in Word format. Most screen readers work more efficiently with Word formatted documents.
  • Tests that need to be converted to Braille will need to be received at least two business days before the submission deadline. Instructors will need to send the exam in Microsoft Word format.
  • Audio Portions: ATSD encourages instructors to administer any audio portions of exams. If ATSD must administer an audio portion of an exam, the audio component must be saved to a USB and hand-delivered to ATSD. If the test is a PowerPoint presentation with embedded audio, the instructor’s responsibility is to embed the audio.
  • There are three ways to send tests to ATSD:
    1. Upload to the AIM Testing System using emailed links specific to each assessment (preferred)
    2. Email to ATSD@txstate.edu
      1. If you email, please include the following:
        1. Date of Test
        2. Time Allowed In-Class
        3. Course
        4. Instructor of Record Name
        5. Name of Student(s) taking the test
        6. Special Instructions for the test, if not indicated online (i.e., scantron, formula sheet, calculator, open book-
    3. Hand deliver to ATSD Office (Commons, Lower Level, G18)
  • Final Exam Special Note: If an instructor does not have a final exam ready to be administered by the time and date the student has scheduled the final with ATSD, the instructor will be responsible for accommodating the student in his/her own department.

Correspondence

  • Notification of Accommodations (Accommodation Letter): This email originates from ODS and includes the link to the Testing Agreement.
  • Submission of a Test Request: An automated email notification is immediately sent to the instructor on record when a student submits an electronic test request. This could be several weeks in advance or two business days before the scheduled test date. This email serves as the first contact between ATSD, the student, and the instructor about the specific test information.
  • Exam Submission Reminders: If an assessment has not been received, ATSD will send the following reminders:
    • Email Reminders – Sent two business days before the student plans to test at ATSD and the business day before the assessment date.
    • Other Reminders – Additional reminders are sent to Instructors and department offices if testing volumes and circumstances allow our staff the ability to give the following reminders:
      • Telephone calls the afternoon prior to the exam date.
      • Telephone calls and emails the morning of the exam.
  • Changes to Submitted Test Requests: Instructors of record will be cc’d on all communication related to a student request to change the date or time of a submitted test request. Instructors have the right to deny student-submitted changes.

Receiving Completed Test Packets

Pick-Up or Delivery of Completed Test Packet

After a student has completed the test, all materials used (i.e., scantron, answer form, notes, or other allowed materials) are placed in the testing envelope. The ATSD Supervisor checks the test packet before the envelope is sealed. Instructors can receive their completed tests by:

  • The ATSD Courier: The courier will deliver it to the department office.
    • The individual in the department office receiving the test must sign for the test packet.
    • During regular testing, the courier delivers tests every afternoon.
    • ATSD can only deliver completed exams to the department office corresponding to the course that appears on the test request form.
  • Test Pick-up: Instructors may pick up completed test packets in person from the ATSD office. The instructor may send a designee in his or her place but must indicate this on the testing request form or prior to pick-up.