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Hours: 9 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday
Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL)
1250 Maggie Benston Centre
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby BC V5A 1S6
Phone: 778.782.3112
Secure Fax: 778.782.4384

Visit our Accessibility Information Page to find detailed information about our office and its accessibility considerations.

Instructions for Overseeing CAL Registrants Via Zoom

Overseeing CAL registrants’ exams in Zoom

The following step-by-step instructions are intended to guide instructors who are overseeing accommodated exams for CAL registrants where the class is being monitored via Zoom, and in particular where there are multiple CAL registrants in the class receiving extra time. 

The general approach is relatively straightforward and involves:

    1. Authorizing CAL students to have extra-time in canvas prior to the onset of the exam      

    2. Setting up a separate breakout room during the exam, renaming CAL students to protect privacy and assigning the CAL registrants to that room so that they can continue to write for the duration of their extra time

Adjust the students’ extra time accommodation

For online, time-limited tests (e.g., a 3-hour final) in Canvas, you will need to adjust each respective registrant’s test exposure time according to their accommodation. Instructors will typically receive an automated email from CAL with student names and accommodation information 6 days prior to a midterm/test/quiz/summer intersession final or 13 days prior to final exams occurring during the university’s official final exam period.

For Canvas exams, step-by-step illustrated instructions on how to add extra time to students’ exams can be found here

Instructors are expected to oversee examinations for any CAL registrant where it is specified within the accommodation notice as indicated below:

1. “TEST ADMINISTRATION: the instructor/TA will administer the student's exam with the accommodations, and invigilate (where applicable)” 

2. “TEST ADMINISTRATION: CAL will administer some tests/exams (e.g. longer exams) with the accommodations, and the instructor/TA will administer others (e.g. shorter tests/quizzes). The Centre will follow up with the instructor to coordinate the CAL-administered exams.” (depending on the conditions specified)

Renaming CAL Registrants to Their Initials

1. CAL registrants will be in the same Zoom examination room as the class. Five to ten minutes prior to the end of the class exam, please modify the CAL registrants’ names to include only their initials or a pseudonym to protect their privacy.  If you anticipate that many CAL registrants will need to be in a breakout room, please allocate sufficient time to complete the below steps.

a. First, click the “Participants” button in the Zoom host toolbar, which will appear if you hover over the bottom of the Zoom application window.


b. In the panel that appears with the list of students’ names, click the CAL registrant that you would like to rename to their initials. In the menu that appears, select “Rename”, enter the student’s initials in the pop-up box and click “Rename” to confirm.

Assigning a TA as Co-Host (if applicable)

2. If you have a TA who you wish to oversee the breakout room, please assign them as a co-host.

a. To assign a TA as a co-host, first, click the “Participants” button in the Zoom host toolbar.


b. In the panel that appears with the meeting participants, please select the relevant TA and click “Make Co-Host”.

Setting Up a Breakroom for CAL Registrants

3. Next, manually create one separate breakout room in the Zoom meeting designated for all CAL registrants and, if applicable, the TA responsible for overseeing CAL registrants.

a. To create the breakout room, click the “Breakout Room” icon on the Zoom host toolbar


b. In the pop-up box that appears, select the “Manually” radio button and indicate the number of breakout rooms required (CAL registrants will all be in a single breakout room) then click “Create Room”.  If your exam does not use breakout rooms, then you will only need to create one breakout room for CAL registrants. Please note that this step does not assign any Zoom attendees to breakout rooms.  In order to assign Zoom attendees to breakout zooms, please proceed to step 4.


c. Click “Options” and select “Move all participants into breakout rooms automatically”. With this feature activated, the host has the ability to move CAL registrant(s) and TAs to breakout rooms without requiring their approval. To activate breakout room for CAL registrant(s), please proceed to step 4.

Creating the Breakout Room and Assigning CAL Registrants / TA to the Breakout Room

4. Assign CAL registrant(s) and TA (if applicable) to the designated breakout room prior to the end of the regular class exam so that the CAL registrant(s’) privacy is protected in the event that other students do not leave the Zoom exam room upon completing their exam. 

a. In the Breakout Room pop-up box, hover your mouse over the breakout room and click the “Assign” button to get a list of students to assign to breakout rooms.


b. Select the CAL registrant(s) and, if applicable, the TA that needs to be moved into a breakout room.  Students and TAs who have been selected will have a blue and white checkmark next to their name.


c. Once you click the “Open All Rooms” button, it will initiate the breakout room and the assigned participants will automatically be moved into the breakout room.


Once the CAL registrants have been moved into a breakout room, the CAL registrants and the TA (if applicable) will no longer be listed in the main Zoom meeting participant list. Instead, they will be listed in the breakout room participant list.

Please do not end the session if CAL registrants are still in a breakout room, as this will end the session for everyone in the Zoom meeting. Please also remind CAL registrants not to leave the breakout room unless they have finished writing.  

Once the non-CAL registrants leave the session, continue to monitor the CAL registrants in the Zoom breakout room until their accommodated time has elapsed. CAL registrants have been informed that they may be writing with other registrants in the same Zoom room, and have been advised not to disclose any identifying information about any CAL registrant with whom they may have virtual contact. 

If you are using the Zoom chat feature during an exam, please ensure students’ personal information (including any information related to disability accommodation) is protected as required under BC privacy protection legislation by exercising caution in the use of this feature, as the contents of the chat are likely transmitted to non-Canadian servers. 

For more information about Zoom privacy and security, please visit the following link:

Please direct any questions regarding setting up Zoom / breakout rooms or general Zoom questions to IT services at

If you have any questions or concerns about CAL registrants’ accommodations and the outlined process above, please contact the CAL at