Remote Testing FAQs for Instructors

This information is to provide general answers to frequently asked questions related to accommodation considerations for remote exams. 

If you have a question that is not addressed below, please send it to

Specific Accommodations

How do I assess student knowledge without using traditional assignments or exams?

How do I extend time in Canvas quizzes / exams?

  • Testing time for students can be individually adjusted. Please visit Canvas’s extra test time support page for instructions.
  • To support a student who needs extra time for breaks during an online exam, the DRC guidance is to add the break time to the student’s extended time accommodation.
    • For example, if a student’s accommodation letter indicates they have access to two 10 - 15 minute breaks when requested, the faculty member would add an additional 30 minutes to the exam and the student would self-monitor when they needed to take a break.

How do I allow for breaks during an exam that’s being proctored via Proctorio?

  • Any student may need to take a break at some point to use the restroom or take care of another need. Consider providing information to all students about best practices for taking a break during an exam.
  • Be mindful of the setting that you are using in Proctorio and do not enable the video options to track and monitor students when possible. Review the “Recommended Practices” for Proctorio in the “Do I need to use online monitoring or proctoring” resource
  • If you need to track the use of breaks or you need to be alerted that they are occuring, here are a few ideas used by other instructors:
    • If a student can take a break within the view of the camera, ask them to show a sign when they start their break and show another sign when they end their break. 
    • If the student needs to take a break outside of the camera view, the option of holding up signs can still be used. If you have additional concerns about maintaining academic integrity during breaks off-camera, consider having the student digitally sign an academic integrity form.

In order to accommodate students with DRC accommodations, I was planning to give everyone in class 150 minutes for a 50 minute exam. I am now getting requests for 1.5X or 2X time based on the 150-minute exam.  Why can’t inclusive design strategies work here?

  • A global time extension might not be effective for all students, given the highly individual nature of disability barriers.  Therefore, even though you intend to create a uniform time that will work for everyone, someone may not have adequate access.  If you’re considering providing extended time for all students, you may want to revisit what role time constraints play in the assessment.  
  • If a student has an accommodation for extended time, they should be receiving that based on the duration you are giving the rest of the class. So if you are deciding to give the whole class four hours, then a DRC student with 2x extended time needs to be allowed eight hours.

I don’t have time to look up each individual student’s amount of extended time. Can you just send me a list?

We understand your interest in knowing which students in your class receive specific accommodations but we cannot share this information due to confidentiality requirements.  Students are responsible for sharing their DRC accommodation letter with their instructors, and the DRC does not have data about which instructors have received student letters. 

The DRC Testing Center ( can provide you a list of students in your course(s) who have previously scheduled your exams to be taken in the DRC any time during the current semester. For each student’s specific extended time accommodation, you will need to refer to the accommodation letters they sent you earlier in the semester, or reach out to them individually. 

I have a student asking for accommodations on an exam, but I have never received an accommodation letter from them. What should I tell them? Can I set up accommodations for students without letters if the department and I agree the request is reasonable? 

Students are expected to share their current accommodation letter with you if they wish to use accommodations for your course. If your students have requested testing accommodations but have not shared their letters with you, you can invite them to do so.  It is always the case that, as the course instructor, you can consult within your department and use your collective judgment about providing accommodations without an accommodation letter.


A student has concerns about being proctored by Proctorio or another remote proctoring system. How can we problem solve?

  • Review this resource with considerations for whether online monitoring or proctoring is needed.
  • Create a practice exam for all students to try out the process.  
  • Consider whether other forms of proctoring could be implemented. For example:
    • A TA or departmental staff member could proctor through Zoom or Google Hangouts / Meet.
    • The exam could be proctored using the screen share function in Zoom or Hangouts / Meet.
    • The exam could be proctored with the camera off but the audio on in either Zoom or Hangouts / Meet.
    • The student could complete the exam without any proctoring and perhaps digitally sign an academic integrity form.

How do I create semi-private and private space when remotely proctoring in Zoom?

Consider using breakout rooms in Zoom to proctor a small number of students or individual students.

Paper Copies & Scratch Paper 

A student has requested a paper copy of the exam. What are some options for this?

  • In some situations, it may be feasible and reasonable to mail a hard copy of an exam with a postmarked envelope for it to be returned. 
  • If the student has a printer, consider sending the exam as a Word document or as a PDF for them to print. Once they have completed the exam, they may choose to scan, take a photo, or use a scanning app on their phone to return the completed exam in a digital format. 
  • If exam proctoring must occur, consider having a TA or departmental staff member proctor via Zoom or Google Hangouts / Meet.

A student is requesting to use scratch paper on their exam and I would like to ensure that the scratch paper is not shared with others. How can I do this?

If you are proctoring your exam through Proctorio or facilitating remote proctoring in another way, one option instructors have done would be to ask the student to black out what they have written with a marker, or tear up or shred the paper in front of the camera.