By Gary-Joseph Panganiban and Alexandra Holyk
Ryerson University’s new Make-Up Test Centre will accelerate the process of retaking exams and “meet the needs of students and faculty,” according to Ryerson’s Student Wellbeing office.
“The Make-Up Test Centre is a student and faculty service designed to assist in facilitating the scheduling of make-up tests and exams at Ryerson to ensure that students can fulfill the requirements of a course,” said Student Wellbeing in an email.
Using the updated system accessible through students’ and faculty’s my.ryerson login, make-up tests can be booked starting Feb. 18.
Prior to the expansion, Student Wellbeing said make-up tests were overseen by the university’s Student Learning Support staff. 70-90 tests were administered per day on the fifth floor of the Victoria Building.
The centre now occupies four rooms in Kerr Hall East that hold at least 80 students each. Student Wellbeing said it expects that 640 tests per day can be administered.
Second-year global management student Kirubel Bediya retook a fall semester final in January. He said that the new Make-Up Test Centre would be a service he’s willing to use.
“I think it will probably be more helpful,” said Bediya. “Doing my exam in January was annoying because I had studied for it and I had to wait a month.”
“It’s unfortunate when students can’t write their exams quickly after the final exam period because there wasn’t enough space,” said Ann Marie Murnaghan, a geography and environmental studies assistant professor who had students that needed make-up tests.
“A couple of students finished [their fall semester finals] a couple of weeks ago and I just got the grades in,” said Murnaghan.
Murnaghan also mentioned that the process “delays everyone,” including professors who were trying to wrap up their courses. She said this was particularly problematic for contract faculty, who possibly do not teach beyond a specific term.
According to Student Wellbeing, the high demand Ryerson faced with its previous version of the Make-Up Test Centre was in part due to having a centrally administered service, instead of faculty organizing their own make-up tests.
Student Wellbeing also said it hopes the benefits of these recent changes will include timeliness and less organizational issues.
Liam Dorr, a third-year international economics and finance student, liked the changes but felt that an expanded Make-Up Test Centre may be exploited by some students.
“I think [the Make-Up Test Centre] can potentially be great, providing students with more opportunities to succeed,” said Dorr. “But at the same time, it can be a bad thing because students may take advantage of the system and find more time to study.”
How to schedule a make-up evaluation
The updated registration system gives students and faculty the opportunity to book make-up tests online using the centre’s website, as well as through their my.ryerson login.
Students must have a valid One Card and permission from their instructor to reschedule their evaluation.
Instructors can have multiple students write a make-up test at the same time by completing a “Multi-Request” form online.
Students can reschedule their tests to take place during reading week and every following Saturday until exams in April.
The test centre will be open for winter semester course evaluations until May 2. According to Student Wellbeing, they plan to keep the centre open once a month during the spring and summer semesters.
The Make-up Test Centre has a full-time coordinator and plans to hire 30 exam invigilators “to ensure that the Make-Up Test Centre continues to operate with the utmost integrity,” according to Student Wellbeing. Students can only complete make-up tests that require pencils and paper―not online evaluations―and aren’t allowed to ask questions unless their instructors leave their contact information with the invigilators.
Student Wellbeing said students are to treat the make-up test as they would any other evaluation, meaning they must abide by Ryerson’s Senate Policy 60 that addresses academic integrity and misconduct.
If a student misses a scheduled make-up test or exam, a second make-up may be scheduled with permission from the instructor. Students and faculty must wait seven days to rebook an evaluation through the centre.
The new changes might not be for everyone
According to its website, the Make-up Test Centre advises that larger classes and programs continue to administer their own make-up tests and exams. This includes departments in the G. Raymond Chang School for Continuing Education, the Ted Rogers School of Management and engineering programs.
These faculties and programs include 16,000 undergraduate students and 12,000 continuing education students based on Ryerson’s 2017-18 enrolment statistics.
The university did not disclose the specific programs in each faculty that will be impacted.
Daniel Andriychuk, a first-year mechanical engineering student, said that his professors already have a system in place, however, he said it’s flawed in comparison to the Make-up Tests administered through the university.
“If you were to miss an exam because you’re sick or there’s an interference with another course, especially with a large course load like in engineering, I think the Make-up Test Centre would be helpful because you can agree on a time that works for you and your instructor,” Andriychuk said.
Andriychuk mentioned that he’s rescheduled make-up tests several times because of the constant collision with other courses in his schedule.
Economics professor John Isbister said his department, for years, organized their own arrangements at the end of the term to accommodate students.
“At the end of our last department meeting, they told us we won’t need to do that anymore,” said Isbister. “It’s easier now because each department or each professor doesn’t have to replicate [a make-up test arrangement].”
Students with academic accommodations are unable to use the Make-up Test Centre to reschedule evaluations, according to the centre’s website. They must instead make requests through Clockwork ― Ryerson’s online academic accommodations support page.
Adam Asmar, a coordinator at RyeACCESS — a campus Equity Service Centre representing students with accessibility needs — said he’s glad the university is trying to give students more opportunities to retake missed evaluations. But there is still work that could be done.
“What it looks like Ryerson is doing is they’re just trying to alleviate wait times and overcrowding in the make-up test centre,” Asmar said. “They’re solving this problem, and then maybe in the future, they can partner up with the academic accommodations support and share the space with students and faculty.”