[Blindmath] Bringing notes to an exam

Dan Burke burke.dall at gmail.com
Mon Feb 25 09:02:52 CST 2013


As a former Disability Services person, I suggest Braille.  I suggest
creating the one-page equivalent in Scienific Notebook or whatever
format the student prefers electronically and Brailling that.  The
electronic file can be forwarded to the instructor for the purposes of
verification, or simply printed out and turned in with the exam and
Braille copy.

The security and permissions for an exam are the instructor's call,
unless they specifically result in discrimination.  Paper Braille is
most comparable to a printed page of notes, as archaic as it may seem.
 Requesting an electronic version of the notes may be acceptable, but
it invokes a higher degree of trust between the student and
instructor, and the office or entity proctoring the exam. This may or
may not be helpful to the student in the long run, or it may simply be
denied to the student.  And that denial would be well withing the the
rights of the instructor and institution.  Paper Braille, it can
easily be argued, is an equally effective alternative to an electronic
"sheet" of notes on a computer or a note taker.

BTW, I would not recommend requesting to use the student's note taker.

HTH
Dan


On 2/24/13, Ken Perry <kperry at blinksoft.com> wrote:
> I agree Sina unfortunately we can't change how some instructors teach.  I
> will say I had one teacher that gave a kid extra credit for the most notes
> he had ever seen on a 3 by 5 card.  I wonder if that taught him anything
> about the math he was supposed to be learning.
>
> Ken
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Blindmath [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Sina
> Bahram
> Sent: Sunday, February 24, 2013 1:26 PM
> To: 'Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics'
> Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Bringing notes to an exam
>
> Maybe this is far too computer science of me, and if it is, then, ok, sure,
> but you said they are allowed N pages, no? In that case, why not just
> provide the blind student N print pages worth of space and then emboss it
> into any amount of braille? If it's 1 page, it's 1, and if it's 10, it's
> 10.
> This is what Ken pointed out as well.
>
> If length is the metric by which we are restricting information, then why
> not simply measure the length of the information in the source domain
> before
> transforming to the target domain? E.g. measure in print, then emboss to
> braille.
>
> As for kids writing in small fonts or whatever, just arbitrarily pick 10pt
> font and call it a day. If someone complains, point out that consistency
> and
> 100% replication due to a non-lossy medium is worth a fixed 10pt, even
> though some kid could handwrite in 6pt, because the reading of that 6pt
> arguably takes more time and is subject to more error.
>
> Furthermore, I will take this opportunity to point out, in my humble
> opinion, the complete and utter pedagogical uselessness of an assessment
> whose outcomes can be changed by even half a page worth of information.
> Unless if it's basic recall or something, shouldn't we concentrate on
> testing skills, not formulas that will always be available, and in 10
> years,
> available directly in one's head from the Wikipedia brain implant?
>
> If it's calculus, for example, just give them the fundamental theorem of
> calculus, and then have them apply it in unique and creative ways to gleam
> relevant insights. If it's physics, give them the differential equation for
> spring motion with a dampening mass, or the universal law of gravitation,
> or
> whatever inverse square law is relevant to the material at the time. It's
> not like memorizing that makes anybody smart or more capable.
>
> *shrug*, perhaps I oversimplify, and then again, perhaps we need to get
> better at assessing actual skills, *grin*.
>
> Take care,
> Sina
>
> Twitter: @SinaBahram
> Website: http://www.SinaBahram.com
> Blog: http://blog.SinaBahram.com
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Blindmath [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Ken
> Perry
> Sent: Sunday, February 24, 2013 12:55 PM
> To: 'Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics'
> Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Bringing notes to an exam
>
> I thought we were far past this by now when I was in college back in the
> 90's I was allowed to bring my notes on the computer.  Some schools are
> dead
> set against that because they think the student will jump on the internet
> and cheat.  I could have done that back in the day but I also had a reader
> with me most of the time so it's not like I was cheating the system.  What
> I
> would do is have the student work out something with the teacher.  If the
> teacher is happy with the sum of text the student is bringing to the test
> it
> shouldn't matter if he or she brings it on a computer, note taker or in
> braille.  As long as the instructor is ok with it.  I had some instructors
> during calculus sit in on my test with my reader at first to see if the
> person was doing the work for me and second time because they were amazed
> that you could do it without a pencil.
>
> Another thing you can do is bring both the notes printed on the size of
> paper that the instructor said they can use in as small a font that you can
> use and bring it brailed and explain to them it's the same thing.   If you
> have a DRC that transcribes it they can help certify to the teacher that it
> is the same.  Most cases though the instructor will work with a student
> without a whole lot of trust issues.
>
>
> In fact with email now the student could email the notes he or she wants to
> use on the test and if the teacher is ok with it I am sure they would let
> the student braille it no matter how much braille paper it took up.
>
> Ken
> Ken
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Blindmath [mailto:blindmath-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Tim in
> 't
> Veld
> Sent: Sunday, February 24, 2013 5:13 AM
> To: Blind Math list for those interested in mathematics
> Subject: Re: [Blindmath] Bringing notes to an exam
>
> Gabriela
>
> Such comparisons are hardly meaningful.
> With mathematics there are way too many factors involved to define a
> uniform
> ratio between regular pages and pages of braille. Not only does braille
> take
> up much more space by definition, your student may need some extra space to
> enable him to easily browse the notes during the exam.
>
>   I'd not impose a fixed limit.  Of course if the student comes up with a
> stack of 100 pages that's going to be questionable but no sensible student
> would do that anyway.
>
> The limit is not even that clearly fixed for sighted students - they could
> just use a tiny font, write a few formulae on a single line, ...
> if they really wanted a large volume of notes. Needless to say such options
> are unavailable to a blind student.
>
> Tim
> On 24-2-2013 01:04, Gabriela Moats wrote:
>> Hi everyone,
>> A student I work with is taking a Calculus exam where students are
>> allowed to bring in one double-sided page of notes. We're trying to
>> figure out what a comparable equivalent to that would be for this
>> blind student. How many extra pages should he be allowed since Braille
> tends to take up more space?
>> Should it be printed out Braille or could it be on his notetaking device?
>> Does anyone have any experience with providing a similar accommodation?
>>
>> Thanks everyone!
>>
>> Gabriela
>>
>
>
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-- 
Dan Burke, President
The National Federation of the Blind of Montana

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