Pop Quiz Dilemma
What do you do about pop quizzes and the student who has been granted
extended test time as an accommodation?
Trying to provide accommodation a student for a "pop quiz" can be difficult
if the faculty member chooses to give the quiz during the middle of the class.
The student with a disability will often have to leave the room in order to
go take their quiz in a separate quiet room, thus drawing attention to the fact
that he or she is leaving during quiz times.
If quizzes are given at the beginning of the class, the student with the extended time
accommodation may find that he will have to come into class late, and as a result may
have missed valuable classroom lecture material. D. Ruth Fink, University professor and
former Disability Services provider asks, "Is it the accuracy of the information I want
from students or is the response time the main element?" when taking pop quizzes into
account. Fink offers the following advise for classroom pop quizzes:
Figure out some other way to get the information that you need from pop quizzes (which
is presumably, did students read and comprehend the assignment? Is the student keeping
up with daily readings and assignments and how well are students internalizing the
reading? Can the student apply principles to practical application situations?)
Here are some possible options:
- give the quiz at the beginning of class and permit
the student to begin the quiz earlier than the rest of the class
- Allow the student to take the quiz in a previously
agreed upon location near the classroom. The student would return to class after the
extended test time. Allow the student additional time after class to complete the quiz.
If the test has four questions and you allow the class ten minutes to take the quiz,
grade the student on two questions or three questions, depending upon whether the student
is entitled to time and a half or double time.
- Vary how you obtain this pop-quiz information from students -
one day do a class quiz on the overhead, discussing the answers with the whole class- this is usually
a good learning experience for all types of learners do an in-class, small-group question and
have students obtain the answers as a group and report to the class.
- Allow the student additional time after class to complete the quiz.
- Administer the pop quiz at the end of the class.
- Make the quizzes more difficult, but take-home for everyone.
* If none of the above options are feasible, another possibility would be for the student to
take the pop quiz without extended test time, but the instructor would not count the grade
for or against the student.
If you plan to use pop quizzes, the best way to avoid awkward situations is to
communicate early in the quarter with the student who needs extended time. Together
you can develop a workable solution for everyone involved. Remember, accommodations
are always negotiable, but if an accommodation is not provided, we must be prepared to
document and justify our actions and be ready to explain why an accommodation was not