Oklahoma State University

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 Faculty Scenarios

Below are several scenarios related to common situations that a faculty member might encounter with issues to consider. If you have any questions or want to discuss the scenario in-depth, please don't hesitate to contact us at 405-744-7116.




  • Extended Time
  • Alternative test format
  • Use of notes

A student approaches you after class during the second week of the semester, and discloses that they have a Learning Disability.  With the first exam scheduled for next week, the student wants to arrange for untimed testing and a separate room, which is what they received in high school.  Concern is also voiced regarding the format of the exam (multiple choice) since the student reports doing better on essay exams.


Issues to address:

  • What is stated in your syllabus re: disability and disability-related needs?
  • On what premise do you provide accommodations?
  • How does what the student received in high school impact accommodations now?
  • Untimed exam?
  • What is the purpose of the exam?  How does exam format affect assessment of knowledge?


  • Significance of when the student provides notification (i.e. timeliness).
  • Process for determining eligibility & identifying appropriate accommodations done via SDS.
  • Untimed v. Extended time!
  • Exam format:  equal access versus manner in which student performs best; however, the testing procedure is ultimately looking for the best assessment of knowledge.
  • Use of formula sheet/reference card may be appropriate, (e.g. list of formulas, list of vocabulary/terms).





A student who is currently involved in chemotherapy misses class once per week on average.  During the latter half of the semester, an extended absence of 2 weeks occurs.  The student is current with work in the course, is passing the course based on graded work, and is intent on completing all of the courses in which they are enrolled.


Issues to address:

  • What is the attendance policy?  Is attendance essential?
  • How is the student able to meet the expectations, requirements of the course?
  • What are considerations regarding completion of the course?


  • Reaction to different situations, e.g. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (class topic; occurrence that prevented attendance);
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (weak, unable to get to class); Clinical Depression or Anxiety Disorder (exacerbation).
  • Clearly identified intent versus the requirements of the course (reasoned, deliberative thought required; essential elements).  Determine if these can be met in absentia, (e.g. extend deadlines, allow for make-up exams, provide lecture notes).
  • Flexibility in policies & procedures.




A student who is blind plans to enroll in your course, and notifies you of the need for materials in braille—text(s), handouts, exams.


Issues to address:

  • What is your obligation?
  • Are there other alternatives to providing braille?  If so, what are they?
  • What is the number of Student Disability Services?



  • Any alternate format needs to be equally effective; individual preference can be considered, but ultimately the decision of the institution weighs more heavily.
  • Difference of format & situations (e.g. handouts, class notes, exams).
  • Proactive ability (e.g. early identification of texts & syllabi, materials on disk, use of Assistive Technology).