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Implementing Academic Accommodations

A guide for course instructors/departments/schools on implementing common academic accommodations in post secondary

Calculator Accommodation

Does your student have a calculator accommodation?

Some students have a disability that warrants the use of use of a five function calculator in exams when calculators are NOT a standard allowance to all students writing the exam. CAL will provide a 5-function calculator to students with this accommodation at the beginning of their exams.

Some Examples:

  • students with a specific learning disorder (with demonstrated barriers in math problem solving, numerical operations, or fluency in addition, subtraction or multiplication and/or automaticity of number facts, i.e. multiplication tables)
  • non-sighted students who are unable to use a pen and paper to record problem solving sequences or steps

Determine essential course educational outcomes and how these are reflected in each exam for the course

If basic numerical operations ARE an essential requirement?

If the ability to perform basic numerical operations is deemed to be an essential learning outcome of the course, it should not be allowed.

Basic numerical operations include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. If your exam is designed to measure a student's ability to perform these tasks, then access to a calculator would compromise essential course outcomes.

If basic numerical operations ARE NOT an essential requirement?

If the learning objective or outcome of the course is to demonstrate the knowledge of higher level mathematical concepts, then a calculator should be allowed.

Where calculator accommodations compromise essential course requirements:

  • communicate this to your student(s) as soon as possible
  • contact when submitting exam requests communicate which exams in your course will NOT permit calculators