Supporting accessible assessments

At UVic, we’re moving towards becoming an access-centred institution, which requires all of us to prioritize accessibility in all that we do. This is critical, with one in five Canadians aged 15 years and older living with some form of disability. We can be proud that more and more students with disabilities are successfully transitioning into higher education in this country, including here at UVic. Alongside this increase in demand is a necessary shift in assessment pedagogy and practices.

Strategies for assessments and exams

There are a series of resources available to help you select your assessment strategies used in your courses including online assessments and alternatives to exams.

Exam format

As you think about your final exams, please consider accessibility – it’s the best way to accommodate all students. Consider adapting the format of your exams so that accommodations are not necessary or are easier to apply, bearing in mind the need to protect academic integrity. This could include:

  • Providing more time for all students to write the exam (1.5-2x longer)
  • Offering your exam through Brightspace (see below)
  • Converting your exam to a take-home format (if appropriate): we can help with approaches to design that facilitate critical thinking, problem-solving, communication skills, real-world learning and application of knowledge
  • Offering another form of assessment like a term paper, project, etc.

Our Learning Experience Designers provide guidance and support you in designing accessible learning activities, creating accessible content and learning environments, and addressing the needs of learners with exam accommodations. 

Brightspace for exams

Generally, online courses have online assessments. In-person courses are most likely to have in-person assessments. However, instructors of in-person courses may choose to have online assessments and online synchronous exams within the class schedule. We have created an online guide as a resource to design build and administer online exams while supporting academic integrity. 

Online Assessment Room (OAR)

The OAR is a supportive invigilation environment for online, synchronous and timed assessments and exams. The OAR was used extensively in the completion of fall exams and specifically for students with academic accommodations. This space is available to be booked for students requiring an alternative assessment arrangement (e.g. to accommodate extended time, distraction free environment, time zone, illness, etc.)

Alternative date/time or space

If the above options will not work, you can coordinate a new date/time for your student(s) to write a deferred exam at the CAL Exam Centre, depending on available space and staff. Some instructors may be able to provide exam accommodations in a classroom or other setting. The CAL Exam Centre can provide a summary of all required exam accommodations upon request.

We are here to help!

Access your LTSI Faculty Support Team & supports in four ways:

We acknowledge and respect the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples on whose traditional territory the University of Victoria stands, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.