Accommodations Updates for Fall 2020

Accommodation Updates from Accessible Learning Services

Fall 2020

While the move to online delivery has changed the way we operate, it’s important to remember that there are supports in place for both faculty and students. This is especially true when trying to arrange accommodations for our students when traditional ways are not available.

The Assessment Centre is still open virtually and will continue to provide one-to-one invigilation via webcam for students who require adaptive technology and/or reading/scribing. Accessible Learning Services is also open, working with students to set up their Accommodation Plans. Although the Blackboard Testing Labs are closed, there are still ways to use Blackboard to give more time for students who need it.

A quick guide for providing accommodations for your students

Answer the question below to get a quick response about how to provide accommodations for your students. In-depth instructions can be found in the tabs below.

What type of accommodation does your student require?

You can add this via Blackboard. Please see further instructions below.

Your student will need to write in the Assessment Centre. Please see further instructions below.

How can you help students?

Accommodation Plans

If a student tells you they require an accommodation but you haven’t received their plan, please remind them to register with Accessible Learning Services first.

How do Accommodation Plans work?

If one of your students has an Accomodation Plan, an email is sent to faculty at 6:00 p.m the evening it is developed, or the evening of the first day of class for students. You can view one or all Accommodation Plans for your courses through Stu-View.

  • Log into Stu-View and click on Additional Student Services. From there, you will find Accessible Learning Services.
  • Click on Accessible Learning Services and log in.
  • Select the course you’re interested in and click on the Accommodation Letter.
  • If you have questions about a plan, contact the Accessibility Coordinator for your program area. You can find their name on the Accommodation Plan.
  • Please note that you may see more new students with accommodations throughout the year, or accommodations may change.

Providing extra time in Blackboard

If a student’s Accommodation Plan requires extra time for testing, please add this through Blackboard and allow the student to write with the class. Please let the student know you have added extra time.

For more information on how to add time for a student, visit Test Availability Exceptions in the Blackboard help section.

Please remember that doubling the time of a test for the whole class does not mean you don't have to add extra time based on an accommodation. Whatever time is allowed for the test, the accommodated time still has to be applied.

Need additional help with Blackboard?

Blackboard has a lot of great resources to assist faculty in converting their face-to-face tests for the online environment.

Creating Tests in Blackboard

Here are some links you may find helpful:

Complex Test Accommodations

If a student’s test accommodations are more complex, the student will be instructed to book their test in the Assessment Centre. These accommodations may include adaptive technology, for example, ReadWrite software or Kurzweil. Students may also require access to a reader or scribe. The Assessment Centre will individually invigilate accommodated tests. Please announce tests at least seven days ahead of the test date, so that students can get their accommodations set up with the virtual Assessment Centre. Faculty will need to submit the test to the Assessment Centre 48 hours before the test time by email. (A copy of the Blackboard test can be emailed to the Assessment Centre).

If you have questions about testing, the Manager of the Assessment Centre is Jeff Reynolds. Contact Jeff by emailing: jjreynol@georgebrown.ca

Please direct students to the online form to book their assessment with the Assessment Centre.

Online Booking Form

Blackboard Tests & Respondus

Please note that if you are using Respondus in Blackboard (Respondus is an online proctoring service available through Blackboard), it has been found to block accessibility features as well as adaptive technology. With this in mind, make sure to be aware of your Accommodation Plans so you can advise students to book their tests via the Assessment Centre to have them invigilated individually.

Please announce tests at least seven days ahead of the test date, so that students can get their accommodations set up with the virtual Assessment Centre. Faculty will need to submit the test to the Assessment Centre 48 hours before the test time by email. (A copy of the Blackboard test can be emailed to the Assessment Centre).

If you have questions about testing, the Manager of the Assessment Centre is Jeff Reynolds. Contact Jeff by emailing: jjreynol@georgebrown.ca

Please direct students to the online form to book their assessment with the Assessment Centre.

Online Booking Form

Learn more about Respondus

Respondus FAQ

Here are some common questions about using Respondus.

What is Respondus?

It is a third-party tool that allows you to create, manage, and print test in Blackboard.

How to create a test using Respondus in BlackBoard:

  1. After the test is created and deployed in the Content Area
  2. Go Course Tool, then choose Respondus LockDown Browser (RLB)
  3. Select Continue to LockDown Brower
  4. Click on the chevron beside the test you want to use RLB then select Settings
  5. Select Require Respondus LockDown Browser for this exam
  6. Password to access exam (Optional) – if the test is monitor by the Assessment Centre, then supply it ONLY to the Assessment Centre staff. DO NOT PROVIDE THIS PASSWORD TO STUDENTS. (this is optional if the test is not proctored by the Assessment Centre) If the test is not monitor by the Assessment then leave it blank (not necessary)
  7. If you want to enable the Monitor Webcam for the test, select Require Respondus Monitor for this exam option and select the desire settings
  8. Click Save and Close

What to do if you’re unable to access a test in Respondus LockDown Browser?

  1. Select Course Tools – Respondus Lockdown Browser – Continue Browsing
  2. Click Fix It to remove Error

How do I make a copy of a test to share with the Assessment Centre when Respondus is already on the test?

  1. Select Course tools then Tests, Surveys, and Pools
  2. Click on Tests
  3. Click on the Chevron beside the test you want to duplicate then click Copy
  4. Deploy the duplicated test at the same Content Area as the other test.
  5. Apply setting as you need for this specific test.

Who do I contact if I’m having issues?

If faculty have any issues installing Respondus LockDown Browser call 416-415-5000 x8825 for LLC and Press 1 for technical support. Or go to GBCAssist online.

Should I tell students that I am using Respondus?

Yes, then students with accommodations know to book with the Assessment Centre.

You can create a practice exam and have students take a practice exam with Respondus Browser or Monitor to ensure their computer, webcam and Internet are working properly. Allow students more than one attempt on the quiz so they can try the practice exam whenever their device or networking environment changes.

If you have more questions, please visit our Blackboard Tests and Respondus page or contact eLTI at elearning@georgebrown.ca.

Additional Resources

CAPTIONING GENERAL QUESTIONS

For general captioning information, please contact Anne Villahermosa

COMPUTERIZED NOTE-TAKING ACCOMMODATIONS

Golnaz Izadi-Najafabadi gizadi@georgebrown.ca

AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETATION ACCOMMODATIONS

Sharon Bartley sbartley@georgebrown.ca

LIVE CAPTIONING

For Deaf or Hard of Hearing accommodation requests for live BB captioning - Golnaz Izadi Najafabadigizadi@georgebrown.ca

For all other requests for BB collaborate live captioning – Anne Villahermosa

Some additional things to consider

Virtual vs Face to Face Language on the Accommodation Plan

Some, but not all of the language on the accommodation plan has changed over the summer for the online environment. When we refer to the “classroom environment”, that could be the virtual Blackboard environment or a lab.

While we will continue to bring our language in line with the changing environment, we hope that you will understand that the nature of accommodations stays the same.

Work Integrated Learning (WIL)

Work Integrated Learning (WIL) at George Brown College refers to Field Placement, Co-op, Clinical Placement and so on. Most programs offer a WIL opportunity, which allows students to apply classroom learning to a real-life situation, in-person, or virtual.

Accommodations for education and the workplace are legislated in Ontario through the Ontario Human Rights Code. Placement accommodations are different from academic or test accommodations. Students are welcome to book an appointment with their Accessibility Consultants to discuss placement accommodations. Placement accommodations are sent to placement supervisors, only when needed.

David Hurlbut is a WIL resource person within Accessible Learning Services. He can be reached at dhurlbut@georgebrown.ca.

Frequently Asked Questions

As the College moves courses to off-campus and alternate delivery, here are some general accessibility questions and answers to guide faculty practice and reduce barriers for students. Students will continue to have unique needs that require accommodation.

Contact the Accessible Learning Services Intake Coordinator, Don Kezima, at dkezima@georgebrown.ca if you have any questions.

​Do Academic Accommodation Plans still apply at this time?

The College continues to provide accommodation support to students with disabilities. Accommodation plans can be accessed through Stu-View. Students can continue to contact ALS for accommodations.

How do I ensure that my documents are Accessible?

Here are some resources to support accessible course content:

  • Librarians are available to provide remote academic support. Don't hesitate to contact us for teaching and learning research, for finding information in our online collections, and finding accurate information on the web. Find your liaison librarian.
How will accommodated testing work?

Test accommodations for extra time still apply for Blackboard tests. ​

  • Blackboard is an accessible testing platform. It allows faculty to manually enter extra time for students with accommodated time. Faculty please inform students once the time has been adjusted in Blackboard settings. 
What is the most accessible online learning platform?

Blackboard is the accessible platform used by GBC with support in place for both faculty and students. Avoid introducing new communication platforms if at all possible. Use Blackboard to post resources and communicate with students. 

How do I add test time for a Blackboard test?

To provide extra time for accommodations on Blackboard Tests:

Click the drop down icon beside the test you want to open > Select Edit tests options > scroll down to TEST AVAILABILITY EXCEPTIONS > Click Add User or Group > a popup window shows > select the students who need the access > Click Submit > under availability Select a date and time > Click submit.

Faculty, please inform students once the time has been adjusted in Blackboard settings.

Please remember that doubling the time of a test for the whole class does not mean you don't have to add extra time based on an accommodation. Whatever time is allowed for the test, the accommodated time still has to be applied.

What do I do when captioning is an accommodation and there are videos in the course?

Faculty who require videos to be captioned can contact Anne Villahermosa . There is a cost for this service and each program Chair must provide budget approval for all requests.

How do I provide captioning for Collaborate sessions?

Faculty who have a student with an accommodation plan requiring ‘Captioned Media’ can schedule Blackboard Collaborate live captioning sessions AT NO COST. Click here to request live captioning on Blackboard Collaborate.

How can I best support online student learning?

Provide clear and simple instructions for students. Let students know when you are available for questions or checking in around accommodation needs.

Be flexible and accommodate student needs and requests with the goal of reducing barriers for students (e.g. where students are unwell, students who don’t have consistent internet access).  Allow students to select from multiple options wherever possible.

Do extensions and periodic absences still need to be honoured?

If a student has an extension or periodic absence accommodation, it must still be honoured. Contact the Accessibility Consultant in your area if you have questions or need further guidance.

Are medical notes for missed tests still necessary?

​Be mindful that due to quarantines, self-isolation, and the burden on the medical system, it may not be possible for students to access doctors' notes at this time. Students with extensions and periodic absence accommodations are not required to provide additional documentation for missed tests. Please contact the Accessibility Consultant with any questions.