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Home > Student Services > Disabled Students (DSPS) > Student FAQ and Resources

Student FAQ and Resources

​Shifting to Taking Exams Online for DSPS Students

Exam Environment

Students are used to coming to our office for a more controlled environment to minimize distractions. To create a similar setting, students need to prepare their space before starting an exam online. 

  • Set up your space before taking your exam to minimize distractions. Make the environment feel like a testing environment (in other words, don't decide to eat your lunch while you are taking your exam or have your television on in the background).
  • Turn off phones.  If you have a landline, set the ringer to silent or low.  
  • Place a "do not disturb" or "testing in progress" sign on your door. 
  • Inform family members (who might also be home) that you will be taking an exam for a specific span of time to minimize interruptions.
  • You might want to use a lock down browser if you're prone to surfing the Internet.
  • Have all allowed materials available and organized before starting the exam.
  • At least 15 minutes before the exam, set up your environment to make sure you do not have any computer or internet access issues.
  • If fidgets or music/sound help you, make sure you have these items available.   

In General

  • Know the rules and expectations of taking the exam online. Is it open book/ note or are students held to the honor system? Are you being proctored remotely by your professor or a computer program? 
  • Can you start the exam at any time or is the exam only available during a certain time frame?
  • If your accommodations allow for breaks during exam, is there a way to pause the exam? 
  • Before starting the exam, make sure you know how many questions are on the exam and how much time you have so you can plan accordingly. Since we won't be there to give a warning, you might want to set a timer to go off 10 minutes before your time is up. 
  • Have a clock or timer nearby so you can track how much time you have.
  • Have scrap paper so that you can note questions you want to revisit.
  • Questions may be presented one at a time. It may be more difficult to navigate an exam and go back to review questions. Jot down question numbers and note any questions you may have.
  • If you have clarification questions for your professor, will you be able to reach the professor? How will you do this?  Find out before you take your exam.
  • You may have finally gotten used to the format of your teacher's in-class exams and suddenly that format might be different as it shifts to an online platform.  
    • Reach out to your teachers and ask if the exams will be different.  The more prepared you are with what to expect, the better.

If you are suddenly allowed to use notes or access your books during an exam, be careful not to use up all of your time and rely too heavily on these materials.  It is better to put an answer down that you think is correct and then return to that question later if you have time at the end to double check than to spend time searching for each of the answers.  

Notes for Online Courses

During this time, all classes are being moved to an online setting through Canvas. With classes moving online, there might not be a need for a notetaker in your class.  Students will have the capability to go back and review previously recorded lectures for further clarification. If lectures are not recorded and you aren't able to go back and review them, then notes might be a great option for you during this transition. You may also want to consider asking your professor to record the lectures and make them available for review as a study guide.

If you have been approved for notetaking accommodations and you are in need of a notetaker in your class, please complete an Alternate Note Taking Request. We will attempt to email your class in search of a volunteer notetaker. If we do secure a notetaker in your class, then we will send you a link to access a DSPS Notes Google Drive. Please check the DSPS Notes Google Drive regularly for any new uploaded notes.

Companies Giving Students a Break Due to COVID-19

Some phone and internet companies giving students a break during the Coronavirus pandemic:

AT&T: The cable, phone and media giant is suspending the termination of wireless, home phone or broadband service when customers can't pay their bills because of coronavirus disruptions. The company is also waiving related late fees. Like Comcast, AT&T is also providing free access to its public WiFi hot spots. The company also said its consumer home internet wireline customers and fixed wireless internet customers would receive unlimited data. 

Comcast: The cable giant is offering free access to its Xfinity WiFi hot spots for everyone, including non-subscribers, for the 60 days. It's also providing unlimited data to its customers for no extra charge and is not disconnecting internet service or charging late fees for customers who say they can't pay their bills. The company is also providing 60 days of free basic internet service to new customers.

Charter Communications: The telecommunications company is providing free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi internet for the next 60 days to households with K-12 students or college students who don't already have a subscription. Like Comcast and AT&T, it's also offering its Wi-Fi hot spots for free to the public.

Freedom Scientific: Freedom Scientific provides software solutions for blind and low vision needs.

The company is offering JAWS, ZoomText, and Fusion free of charge for personal computers at home, until June 30, 2020.