QUARTER 1 FINALS – Requests for Accommodations Are Due!

If you require accommodations for any Quarter 1 final exams, please submit your requests NOW.

The University has not published the final exam schedule on PAWS yet. For that reason, it is not linked to our system. If you click on the final exam link, it will tell you that you don’t have any final exams this term.

Use the non-final exam form to request accommodations for  your finals

First, visit this URL to find out the date and time of your Q1 final exam: https://sesd.usask.ca/exams/schedule/

Then, go to the AES PAWS tab and follow these steps:

Open the Exam Service Channel –> Click on the non-final exam link –> manually input the date and time of your final exam

For final exams on May 28, the deadline to submit your request is 11:59pm on May 14.

For final exams on May 29, the deadline to submit your request is 11:59pm on May 15.

Accessing your accommodations in the Spring and Summer terms

From May through August, 2020, the AES Exam Team will be acting as liaison between instructors and students, to help ensure that exam accommodations can be accessed at home.

Once we receive your request, we will email your instructor to ask for details about the exam format. Once we have the information we need, we will email you, to make sure you understand how your accommodations can be accessed at home.

Please continue to submit requests through the AES Exam Service channel for all exams you need accommodations for.

For a detailed overview of AES Exam processes during the summer, visit our blog at this link: https://words.usask.ca/dss/2020/05/14/important-information-about-exam-accommodations-in-spring-summer-terms/

Got Questions?

We can help you at this email address: aesexams@usask.ca. The AES phone lines are not regularly monitored.

IMPORTANT Information about Exam Accommodations in Spring & Summer Terms

Submit an Exam Request Whenever You Need Accommodations

If you need exam accommodations, submit a request through the AES Exam Service channel in PAWS.

There are several reasons we are asking you to do this. The main reason is that it provides needed information and clarity to instructors.

Regular Spring/Summer Deadlines In Effect

Non-final exams = 1 full week (7 days) prior to the exam date

Final exams = 2 full weeks (14 days) prior to the exam date

NEW PROCESS for Confirming Exam Accommodations

This Spring and Summer, we will be working directly with instructors and students to ensure that appropriate exam accommodations are in place.

When you submit an exam request, we will set your exam status to IN PROGRESS.

Then, we will email your instructor to find out more about the exam. Once we have the information we need, we will email you to discuss how your exam accommodations will work. After confirming things with you, we will change your exam status to:

  • COMPLETED if you are writing your exam at home without any further AES assistance.
  • SCHEDULED if you are writing your exam at home with the assistance of a live reader and/or scribe via video conferencing.

Reader/Scribe – NEW SOFTWARE CHOICE!

If you have the accommodation of Reader and/or Scribe, we asked you to try using Read&Write software for your April finals. However, we do realize that sometimes a live reader and/or scribe is preferred.

To streamline the provision of this accommodation, we have added software choice(s) to the record of every student who has the accommodation of reader and/or scribe. You now have the option of checking off whether you want to use a live person or software when you complete your online exam request.

If you are entitled to a reader, you now have the option of choosing either a live reader OR text-to-voice software.

If you are entitled to a scribe, you now have the option of choosing either a live scribe OR voice-to-text software.

Please choose carefully and appropriately for each exam. Choose only ONE of either a live person OR software. If you choose a live person, we will discuss how that will work when we email you.

Need More Information about Read&Write?

Read&Write is a free software program available to all U of S students. To find out more about it or to locate the download link, visit this URL: https://students.usask.ca/health/aes/assistive-technology.php#About

If you haven’t used Read&Write before, please download it and give it a trial run well before your first exam date. AES staff does not have the technical expertise to troubleshoot issues with Read&Write while an exam is in progress.

Got Questions?

We can help you at this email address: aesexams@usask.ca. The AES phone lines are not regularly monitored.

Exam Accommodations for Spring and Summer Classes

Let’s figure this out together.

We know that adapting to online classes and exams has been a bit of a struggle for many. When the University announced that it was closing and all T2 exams were moving online, we didn’t have enough time to figure things out for the thousands of exams that were requested for April 2020. And so we asked you to work with your instructors regarding your accommodations for April finals.

For Spring and Summer session, we’d like to work with you and your instructors to get your accommodations into place.

Beginning April 30, you will be able to use the online request form in your AES PAWS channel to request accommodations for Spring and Summer exams.

As always, the deadlines for requesting accommodations in the Spring and Summer sessions are:

1 full week (7 days) prior to midterms

2 full weeks (14 days) prior to finals

When we receive your request, we will change the status to “Pending.” We will then reach out to your instructor to ask for more information about the exam format. Once we know more about the exam, we will understand how to best provide your accommodations and we will email you to discuss them.

This is a learning curve for ALL of us. None of us – AES, you, your instructors – have been in this kind of learning environment before. We will ALL be figuring things out as we go. We all need to be patient with each other and try new things. But, together we can do this.

Let us know if you have questions or concerns. We can be reached by email at aesexams@usask.ca

WebEx Conversations – USask Students & Professionals – April 16

All students are invited to attend a WebEx session on Thursday, April 16 at 1 pm with a group of USask professionals, including staff from:

 

Attend the session to learn and ask questions about how to do your best academically during COVID-19.

 

A conversation with USask professionals
April 16, 1 pm

Join the session

 

Final Exam Accommodations & COVID-19 Protocols

The University announced on March 18 that all T2 final exams will be handled remotely. To view that announcement in full, visit this URL: https://updates.usask.ca/all.php

As a result, AES will not be providing any in-person accommodations on campus. You need to arrange most accommodations on your own. 

Final exams have been changed to:

  1. Cancelled all together.
    • If your exam has been cancelled completely, there is nothing you need to do. You do not need to cancel your request with AES. We will not charge the $35 fee for missed exams.
  2. Take-home assignments or open-book exams.
    • Extra time accommodations typically do NOT apply to these types of exams. Students are usually given a larger timeframe in which to complete a shorter exam. (e.g., You may be given 24 hours to complete an exam that is designed to take three hours. In which case, you can certainly take extra time if you require.)
    • Reader/scribe accommodations typically do NOT apply to these types of exams either. This is essentially an assignment or paper and should be tackled as such. However, if you feel you do need a reader and/or scribe, email us at aesexams@usask.ca.
    • All other accommodations should be manageable in your own home, such as lighting, access to a sofa, etc.
  3. Online exams.
    • If you need extra time for an online exam, you MUST contact your instructor.
      • Your instructor will need to contact their college’s ICT team and ask for the timer to be “broken” on the exam, so that you can get your extra time. This is a simple phone call or email on their part and should not be difficult for them to do.
    • We strongly encourage you to use Read&Write software in place of a human reader and/or scribe. More information about Read&Write is available at this link: https://students.usask.ca/health/aes/assistive-technology.php#ReadWriteSoftware
      • If you strongly feel that you need a live person to work with you, email us at aesexams@usask.ca.
    • All other accommodations should be manageable in your own home, such as lighting, access to a sofa, etc.

For tips on how to create an optimal exam space at home, visit our blog at this URL: https://words.usask.ca/dss/2020/03/16/creating-a-optimal-space-at-home-for-online-exams/

Keep abreast of the latest COVID-19 updates by visiting the University’s dedicated webpage at this URL: https://updates.usask.ca/ as well as the AES Blog at this URL: https://words.usask.ca/dss/

AES Exam Accommodations and COVID-19 Protocols

We know that you have a lot of questions about how your exams will be handled in light of the COVID-19 protocols. We have many of the same questions. The situation is changing very rapidly and we are waiting for more information from the University too. We will keep you updated as we learn more. For the time being, these FAQs may answer some of your questions.

Do I need to cancel the exams that I have scheduled with AES on March 16, 17, and 18?

No. Because classes have been suspended for those dates, no exams are being written. We have cancelled all exams scheduled at AES and no fees will be charged for missing exams on these dates.

I have an exam after March 18 but it is now online (or it is now a different type of assessment). I no longer need AES to provide accommodations. Do I need to cancel my request?

No. At this time, we are still awaiting more information from the University but we will handle cancellations internally and no fees will be charged for missed exams.

How will my FINAL exams be handled?

At this time, we don’t know. To be on the safe side, please submit your requests for final exam accommodations, just in case we are to provide any here. If you need accommodations, and if you haven’t already requested them, do so by the deadline: March 19, 2020 at 11:59pm. If you need assistance figuring out how to request accommodations, visit our blog post at: https://words.usask.ca/dss/2020/03/06/request-your-april-2020-exam-accommodations-now/

My instructor let us know that we have an online exam coming up. How will my accommodations be handled?

Many students registered with AES have accommodations that can be adapted very easily to an online setting. It’s important to email your instructor ASAP about the accommodations you need for online exams. Attach a copy of your Letter to Professor to your email and ask to discuss your accommodation needs. In general:

  • Extra time: Assuming the exam is timed, the instructor will need to contact ICT to get the timer adjusted for you.
  • Quiet Space: You can optimize your space at home to keep it functional and distraction-free. Visit our blog post at this address for tips: https://words.usask.ca/dss/2020/03/16/creating-a-optimal-space-at-home-for-online-exams/
  • Reader/Scribe: Read&Write software is an excellent alternative to a real-life person. It is available for free to all U of S students, and can be downloaded to your personal computer. If you don’t already use it, please download Read&Write and give it a trial run BEFORE your first exam date. More information can be found at this link: https://students.usask.ca/health/aes/assistive-technology.php#ReadWriteSoftware
  • Other accommodations: Many other accommodations, such as specialized lighting or access to a nearby washroom or to a sofa are also easy to manage at home. If, however, you have an accommodation that you can NOT access at home and that your instructor is NOT able to assist with, please email aesexams@usask.ca ASAP after speaking with your instructor.
My instructor let us know that our exam will be changed to a take-home assignment. How do I get accommodations for that?

In most cases, take home assignments are designed to be completed within a set number of hours (for example, 3-4 hours) but students are given a larger window to complete the exam in (for example, 24 hours). For this reason, the extra time accommodation is not applicable to take-home exams.

You should be able to manage all other accommodations on your own, as per the information under the “online exam” FAQ above.

What will happen with my special deferred final?

If you’ve been approved to write a special deferred final in March 2020, please contact your college about a further deferral. AES will not be able to accommodate deferrals while the COVID-19 protocols are in place.

Can I book an external exam with AES now?

At this time, we don’t know. We will provide updates as more information becomes available to us. However, we urge you to contact the institution that the exam is with, as many are suspending their external exam programs for the duration.

Why haven’t you replied to my email yet?

Either we are having difficulty managing the email load or we waiting for additional information from the University in order to provide an answer. Please be patient. It is extremely rare that an email gets overlooked. We want to get back to you ASAP but we also want to provide relevant and useful information.

I don’t want to get your mass emails anymore.

The only way we can remove you from our mailing list is to archive your record, essentially “unregistering” you from AES. This would mean that you could no longer access your AES PAWS tab or any in-person AES services. If you are sure you want your record archived, shoot us an email at aesexams@usask.ca Otherwise, just delete them. We do try not to spam you, but we are getting a lot of emailed questions and the fastest way to get info out to all of you is via email.

I have a question that you haven’t answered here.

Email us at aesexams@usask.ca

Keep abreast of the latest COVID-19 updates by visiting the University’s dedicated website at this URL: https://updates.usask.ca/ as well as the AES Blog at this URL: https://words.usask.ca/dss/

Stay safe. Wash your hands. Bump elbows. Reach out for help of any kind if you need it, including from us here at AES.

aesexams@usask.ca

Creating a Optimal Space at Home for Online Exams

To help manage the spread of COVID-19, the University of Saskatchewan has asked instructors begin teaching classes remotely (online) as of March 19, 2020. Exams will need to be adapted to this new teaching environment. In many cases the exams will be held online.

If you have an online exam, the most important thing to do is touch base with your instructor ASAP regarding your accommodations. We suggest attaching a copy of your LTP to an email to your instructor. Ask to discuss how your accommodations will be provided. In MOST cases, accommodations for online exams are relatively easy to provide. Your instructor needs to contact ICT to adjust the timer to allow for additional time, assuming extra time is one of your accommodations and also assuming that the exam is timed.

As far as the exam location goes, it will be up to you to create your own quiet, distraction free space. Jane Jarrow, Ph.D., who is a consultant and recognized authority on disability-related accommodations in post-secondary settings, developed a guide to help students adapt to the new protocols being put in place due to COVID-19. The guide is titled, “Maintaining Access to Opportunity In the Face of the Coronavirus Crisis,” and the section on section on exams was contributed by Jessica Holdren & Kathy Duffy of Arcadia University (Pennsylvania, USA). It is copied and pasted verbatim below.

If you require other accommodations in addition to extra time and/or a quiet space, begin by discussing those with your instructor. You instructor may be able to provide assistance to you or some sort of alternative. If your instructor isn’t able to assist you, email us at aesexams@usask.ca and we will help.

Creating an Optimal Exam Environment at Home

  • 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?
  • 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.

Request your April 2020 exam accommodations NOW

11:59pm on March 19 is the deadline to request ALL exam accommodations for April. Both the non-final and the final exam forms will shut down after this time.

  • No requests will be accepted after March 19, for any reason.
  • If you have any non-final exams on April 2-7, accommodations for those need to be requested by March 19, too.
  • All complete and correct information must be provided by the March 19 deadline. We don’t just need your request–we need all relevant and correct information as well.
  • While we can remove accommodations and/or cancel an entire request after the deadline, we cannot add in new accommodations or make changes to dates/times.

HOW TO REQUEST ACCOMMODATIONS FOR FINAL EXAMS

Log into PAWS –> Go to the AES channel –> Click on “Exam Service” –> Click on the “Final Exam” link –> Fill out the form(s)

If your final exam does not show up when you work through those steps, it is not in the University’s final exam schedule. This commonly happens with lab finals and any exam outside of the final exam period (such as on the last day of classes). If your final exam does not show up when you use the final exam link, use the non-final exam link instead.

IMPORTANT NOTES

  • Evening finals are always scheduled to begin earlier than 7pm at AES so that no one has to stay on campus too late.
  • AES only supports date and/or time changes for accommodation-related reasons. We will not change an exam date or time for personal reasons (such as travel, work, or family obligations).
  • AES books exams so that there is significant overlap with the time the class writes. If you need to change the date or time of an exam so much that there is NO overlap, you must get permission from your instructor BEFORE you submit your request. This includes situations where students have accommodations such as “no morning exams.” Even if you have an accommodation supporting a time change, you still have to talk to your instructor about it.

Report technical problems of any kind IMMEDIATELY by sending an email to this address: aesexams@usask.ca