Office of Student Life

Disability Services

2021-2022 Operational Changes

  This page will be updated as we confirm our operational changes for the 2021-2022 academic year.

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Webinars for Students and Instructors

We invite students and instructors to attend our beginning-of-semester webinars about our operational changes. Register for a session below.

For students approved for exam accommodations and/or notetaking support:

  • Dates TBD

For students approved for attendance/deadline modifications:

  • Dates TBD

For new instructors (Intro to Managing Accommodation Requests):

For returning instructors:


Operational Changes in SLDS Exam Services

In the coming academic year, Student Life Disability Services (SLDS, Columbus campus) will resume offering in-person exam proctoring. Prior to the pandemic, the number of SLDS-proctored exams doubled between autumn 2014 and autumn 2019. In order to meet this growing demand with the available resources, SLDS (Columbus) will be making the following operational changes this autumn:

  1. Seat Cap for Scheduling: Historically, SLDS has not limited the number of exams that could be scheduled at the same time. Going forward, students will only be able to schedule an exam in our AIM database if there truly is a seat available.
  2. 3-Day Scheduling Window: To implement the seat cap while meeting exam demand, SLDS will allow students to schedule their exams within a 3-day window (class exam day + 2 days after). Students are expected to schedule as close to their class time as possible, but due to the seat cap and scheduling conflicts this will not be feasible for all assessments. Faculty will be required to be flexible in allowing students to test within this 3-day window. Instructors may choose to create different versions of their exam (of equivalent difficulty).
  3. Start Times on the Half-Hour: To maximize efficiency of available seats, SLDS will require exam start times to be scheduled on half-hour increments (10 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m.). SLDS will also implement a plus or minus 15-minute grace period for check-ins to accommodate students’ travel time or class conflicts.

For more details on these logistics, please read our FAQ (below).

Throughout the past year, many instructors have developed new and innovative ways to assess student learning without using timed exams. SLDS strongly encourages instructors and departments to continue this practice, following the principles of Universal Design for Learning. While UDL does not eliminate the need for all accommodations, it can create a more accessible and inclusive educational experience for all students.

Instructors or departments that are not amicable to these operational changes are welcome to proctor their own accommodated exams in-house. Instructors or departments are always welcome to consult with SLDS staff to discuss other assessment strategies or in-department proctoring options.


Exam Services - FAQ

General FAQ

Q: Why is SLDS implementing a 3-day testing window?

We currently do not have enough physical space to proctor all exams at their class-designated times.  To prevent overscheduling while also meeting current demand, it requires us to spread out our exam administration over a longer window of time.  A 3-day window (test designated day + 2 business days after) will ensure adequate seating while also factoring in students who must work around their own class schedules.

Q: When does the 3-day window start/end, and when can students schedule within the window?

The 3-day window starts on the class-designated test day and ends at the end of the SLDS business day, two days later. Students are expected to schedule as close as possible to the class-designated time, but may need to schedule at other times due to seat availability or scheduling conflicts. Please note that some students may need to take their exam earlier than the rest of the class on the class-designated test day. SLDS will ask students to submit an explanation of their scheduling conflicts with their exam requests, when applicable.

Q: Does this affect Carmen exams which are not proctored in-person?

No. If an exam is administered on Carmen without in-person proctoring (i.e. the class take their tests at home), then SLDS will not proctor those exams unless it is necessary for providing an accommodation (e.g. alternative format, test assistant). Students who only need extended time will take their Carmen exams on their own just like their classmates. Instructors are responsible for adjusting the time allotted, availability windows, and due dates in Carmen accordingly to match with students’ accommodations.

Q: When should students submit their scheduling requests? What is the scheduling deadline for exams?

Students are strongly encouraged to reference their syllabi and proactively book their testing seats in AIM at the beginning of the semester. Our scheduling deadline for quizzes/exams is one week in advance of a student's requested day. For final exams held during the university's Finals Week, the deadline is Wednesday, Nov. 17th.

Q: What if a student can't find an open seat in the 3-day window?

We anticipate that most students will be able to schedule within the same day as the class, and virtually all students will be able to within the 3-day window. In the rare event that a student cannot find an open seat within their 3-day window, the student should contact our Exam Services team (slds-exam@osu.edu). We will work with that student individually to find a testing space.

Q: How does this affect students who have an acute flare-up of their disability and need a makeup exam (i.e. students approved for attendance/deadline modifications)?

In the event of an acute episode of their disability, students who have an exam scheduled with SLDS will be allowed to make up their exam within a reasonable timeframe (typically 1-3 business days from their originally scheduled day). The exact day/time will depend on the severity of the flare-up, the terms of the attendance/deadline modification agreement, seat availability at SLDS, and if an instructor needs time to create a makeup exam. Students are expected to notify their instructor in the event of an acute flare-up, and then communicate with the instructor and SLDS to identify an agreeable make-up date/time.

Note that this information only applies to exams originally scheduled at SLDS. Students who were originally planning to take their exam with the class should take their makeup exam with their instructor/designee or at the OSU Testing Center.

Q: How will SLDS proctor students who are approved for full-semester remote participation or who are in quarantine/isolation?

We encourage utilizing Carmen to administer a remote exam, with Lockdown Browser and Proctorio as potential options. We will review requests for remote proctoring of individual exams on a case-by-case basis depending on the course delivery method, the assessment format, and the student’s approved accommodations.

Instructor FAQ

Q: How does this affect instructor submission timeline of exam materials?

Instructors are expected to submit exam materials in the AIM Instructor Portal by 3:00 p.m. the day before a scheduled exam. If instructors want to specify exam versions for specific students or specific dates, please include these instructions when submitting the materials.

Q: Can I opt out of the 3-day window? What alternatives are there?

If SLDS proctors the exam, then the 3-day window is required. Students testing at SLDS will be expected to schedule their exam as close as possible to the class-designated time, but with the seat cap and scheduling conflicts that will not always be possible. If this operation is challenging to course design, you may consider these alternatives:

  • Redesign the exam for all students as an untimed, non-proctored take-home assessment.
  • Administer the exam on Carmen, adjusting the time limit, due dates, and availability windows accordingly to match your students’ accommodations. You may choose to use Lockdown Browser or Proctorio for AI proctoring, or set up a Zoom meeting for you to proctor live.
  • Provide in-person proctoring with the proper accommodations within an academic department location. SLDS staff are available for consultation on the logistics for providing exam accommodations in compliance with policy (e.g. creating a distraction-reduced testing space).

Throughout the past year, many instructors have developed new and innovative ways to assess student learning without using timed exams. SLDS strongly encourages instructors and departments to continue this practice, following the principles of Universal Design for Learning. While UDL does not eliminate the need for accommodations, it can create a more accessible and inclusive educational experience for all students.

Q: How can I ensure academic integrity if my students take their exams at different times?

There are steps you can take to maximize academic integrity in your assessment design, such as offering more frequent low-stakes assessments, utilizing a bank of test questions to create different versions of the exam, designing tests to be open-book, waiting to distribute graded exams until all students have taken their exams, and choosing higher-order questions as opposed to memorization recall.

For more strategies and resources, check out these articles from the Teaching & Learning Resource Center:

Q: How will I know when students are scheduled to take their tests at SLDS?

You will receive reminder emails to submit exam materials within a few days of the scheduled date. You can access the AIM Instructor Portal and select “Alternative Testing” to view all of your students’ scheduled exams. This page is also where you can complete Testing Agreements, submit exam materials, and download completed exams. Click here to view the Instructor Portal tutorial.

Student FAQ (coming soon)

 Content under construction.


Attendance/Deadline Modifications (ADM) Updates (coming soon)

 Content under construction.


ADM Updates - FAQ (coming soon)

 Content under construction.


Notetaking Support - New Technology Options and Workshops (coming soon)

 Content under construction.