Faculty Use of ACC Testing Centers
Testing Centers provide testing support services for faculty and students in approved courses. This page provides faculty-focused information about the upcoming changes for faculty use of ACC Testing Centers for the upcoming Fall 2020-Spring 2021 year.
ACC Testing Center Guidelines for Fall 2020-Spring 2021
The following guidelines will come into effect in Fall 2020.
In order to arrive at these guidelines various work groups met and made recommendations about proper use of ACC Testing Centers since the formation of an initial group in March 2018. The Academic and Student Affairs Council discussed recommendations in May 2019 and approved the formation of the (third) Testing Center Work Group which delivered its recommendations in August 2019.
Subsequently, the Council discussed recommendations provided by the ACC Testing Center Workgroup at both the October 2019 and November 2019 meetings and offered additional recommendations. The Academic & Student Affairs Council reviewed all of the recommendations and agreed upon the following usage criteria to be effective in Fall 2020.
1. Student Accessibility Services (SAS) Testing
All SAS testing allowed.
2. Distance Education
All DE courses listed as HYD and DLC are approved for testing for a maximum of six tests during the 2020-2021 academic year. This number will be reconsidered by administration at the end of that period. ONL courses should allow for fully online testing, with students given the option to take tests at a testing center.
3. Assessment Tests
Institutionally approved assessment tests (e.g., TSIA or TABE) are approved for testing.
4. Placement Tests
Placement tests (e.g., the ALEKS test used by the Math Department to place students) are approved for testing.
5. Programs incorporating an industry certification exam
Programs that incorporate an industry certification exam (e.g., Microsoft, Adobe, etc.) may utilize the Testing Centers for the industry exams.
6. Retesting (2nd attempt to take the test to get a better grade)
Retesting is available for all campus-based, DLC and Hybrid courses to allow students to retest once on a maximum of four tests.
7. Make-up Exams (for students who missed the original test)
Make-up testing is available for all lecture courses but will be limited to no more than 25% of students enrolled in each section for each of four tests.
8. Blackboard/Respondus for all tests not requiring computation (including Departmental Exams)
Tests must be set up for online delivery on Blackboard/Respondus. Paper delivery is only allowed for tests that are substantially computational OR where assessment cannot be performed via Blackboard (e.g., graphing requirements, physical measures or the like). These elements can be assessed on paper, but to do so a petition (see item 10 below) must be filed and approval granted.
9. Time allowed for tests
Testing time is limited to the class time, typically one and one-half hours.
10. Exceptions for face-to-face courses
Testing for face-to-face classes is not a generally accepted use for ACC Testing Centers. Exceptions may be given to instructional departments that petition for and receive approval to use the testing center. (see criteria for exceptions below).
Departments can apply for an exemption from the Testing Center guidelines. The deadline to submit requests for exception for the Fall 2020 semester is April 17th, 2020. Departments will be notified of the Exception Committee’s decision by May 1st, 2020.
Criteria for Exceptions
Any course/department which wishes to use the testing center in ways that are not outlined above must petition for an exception. All exceptions to testing center policy must come from a department and cover all sections of a specified course.
Departments must do the following:
- Ensure that ALL sections of the course will test the same way – there can be no cases where some sections of a course use the testing center and others do not
- Provide departmental minutes indicating a majority vote for using the testing center
- Provide a description of how or why learning outcomes for the course cannot be assessed in the classroom
- Provide a description of pedagogy or teaching philosophy behind the request
- Agree to adhere to all rules listed above (concerning time length and test number limits).
2020 – February
Revised Administrative Response to DE Committee: Provost Memo revises the number of DLC tests allowed in the ACC Testing Centers from four to six. Results will be studied as well as the preferences of students at the end of the 2020-21 year.
2020 – January
Administrative Response: Provost memo outlines the ACC Testing Center Guidelines set to take effect in Fall 2020.
2019 – August
Third Testing Center Workgroup Report provided an overview of the activities of all the Testing Center Workgroups including supporting documents. This last workgroup suggested a new list of accepted uses of ACC testing centers, along with a new method for petitioning for exceptions. Missi Patterson, and Gaye Lynn Scott acted as co-chairs for the final TC Workgroup.
2019 – July
Third (current) Testing Center Workgroup created – The latest group was charged by Provost Cook to present clear guidelines on the proper usage of the Testing Centers. See Appendix C of the Third Testing Center Workgroup Report (August 2019) to read the charge.
2019 – May
ASAC discussed the criteria presented by the Second Testing Center Workgroup and it was decided
that additional work was needed to create a policy under which classes could and could not use the testing centers, along with a process for applying for exemptions and a timeline to institute the final changes. The ASAC voted to create a subcommittee of ASAC as a final testing center workgroup to accomplish these tasks.
2019 – January
2018 – October
Provost Response to the Second Testing Center Workgroup
2018 – March
Charge to the original Testing Center Work Group – The purpose of the workgroup is to examine the Instructional Testing Center Mission, its policies and practices, and provide recommendations to ensure that testing services at ACC meet student needs and promote student success.
A workgroup was convened to examine the testing center usage of red scantrons due to changes in the technology that supports such scantrons. The workgroup also examined some broader issues of testing center usage. Dr. Charles Cook, Provost, accepted all recommendations from this first workgroup. Read the Final Report: Testing Center Workgroup Recommendations, September 2018.
Provost Cook requested a second workgroup to focus on the issue of testing center usage and to develop recommendations around criteria for using the Testing Centers.
Second Testing Center Workgroup focused on a faculty survey to collect their comments on testing center usage. Faculty and staff were also invited to examine current policies and proposed usage criteria with reduced reliance on testing centers for re-tests, make-up exams, and first time tests for face-to- face classes. Based on these activities, criteria were drafted for testing center usage and presented to the May 3 meeting of the Academic and Student Affairs Council. See Appendix B of the Third Testing Center Workgroup Report (August 2019) to view criteria and membership.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
If you have a question not listed in the FAQ, please share your question via email to:
Holly L. Delacroix-DeRouen, MEd, Director of Testing, Austin Community College, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
These changes will go into effect in Fall 2020.
To read the background and decision-making history, please visit the Updates section of the Faculty Use of ACC Testing Centers page.
These changes do not impact academic freedom. Regardless of these policies, faculty are free to give as many exams as they wish in their face-to-face and online/hybrid classes. They are only limited to how many times they can use the Testing Center for each class.
These policies have been through our Shared Governance process, and as such, went out for comment by all employees. The commenting period is over, but if you have suggestions for improvement, you can send them to:
Dr. Gaye Lynn Scott, Associate Vice President, Academic Transfer Programs
Dr. Gretchen Riehl, Associate Vice President, Workforce Education
No. Exams are time limited to ensure that students can focus and be successful and also to ensure that the Testing Center can have availability for as many students as possible.
If you wish to give students the option to test in Testing Centers, the Testing Centers can only be used for six tests per class. If you offer the tests online, you may have as many tests as you want.
You can provide feedback for correct and incorrect answers in Blackboard, and students can receive immediate feedback after they submit their test. Using Blackboard eliminates the need to make copies and waiting for tests to be returned via interoffice mail.
For help with uploading your exams to Blackboard, please contact a Faculty Instructional Support Specialist (FISS). They are available on ACC Campuses and can help you upload your tests to Blackboard. You can schedule a one-on-one appointment with a FISS at your campus.
The new guidelines do not allow courses leading to a licensing or certification exam to use the Testing Center as some have done in the past. However, students may take the actual licensing or certification exam in the Testing Centers.
For instance, there is an Accounting track that leads to the CPA exam; the courses in that track cannot use the Testing Centers just because they lead to an external exam. Courses in Automotive Technology may lead to various certification exams (e.g., certification in brake repair or ASE certification). Many Health Sciences programs lead to a licensing or certification exam. The course exams are not exempt from Testing Center guidelines, but the licensing or certification exam may be taken in a Testing Center if allowed by the licensing entity.
Consultants trained in pedagogical strategies are available to help you explore different assessment strategies. Please visit the Teaching Consultations & Support page to schedule a consultation and get started.
Schedule a Consultation
Consultants can provide ideas and strategies for a variety of assessment options and information on additional ACC resources. Please visit the Teaching Consultations & Support page to schedule a consultation and get started.
Need help with Blackboard? Visit our Blackboard Help page for a comprehensive list of available help options.