Instructor Portal Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The “Instructor Portal” is a web-based application for instructors of record to review the accommodation requests (i.e. Student Accommodation Letters) from students in their classes. It can be accessed from the McBurney Connect page by selecting the “Instructor Portal Login” button and logging in with their NetID. The portal provides:

  1. Listing in table format of the students who have made requests, including a high level overview of the types of accommodation requests (e.g. alternative testing, alternative formats, communication access, notetaking)
  2. “View” links to the Student Accommodation Letters
  3. Export to a CSV file that can be opened in Excel and sorted to assist in the process of coordinating/implementing accommodations (e.g. for midterms)

Student Accommodation Letters are available in the Instructor Portal at soon as the students generate them, so instructors are able to review them anytime prior to or after receiving them via email.

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What is McBurney Connect?

McBurney Connect is an online accommodation and case management system that serves as a hub for accommodation information for students with disabilities and instructors.

How do students use McBurney Connect?

Students will log in to McBurney Connect each semester to select which of their approved accommodations they wish to use for each class. The student’s selections generate a Student Accommodation Letter that is sent to course instructors by email.

How do instructors use McBurney Connect?

As a result of this new system, instructors will now receive customized information about classroom accommodations that are specific to each course, as students will select just those accommodations that are needed for each course. Students are still expected to meet with instructors to discuss their accommodations.

What is a Student Accommodation Letter?

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is committed to providing equal access for students, and has designated the McBurney Center as the office to determine reasonable accommodations, in consultation with students and their professors. The Student Accommodation Letter identifies accommodations that are intended to minimize barriers and provide equal access for students without compromising the essential elements of a course. Letters will be emailed to instructors each semester.

Can I review a list of students with Student Accommodation Letters in my class?

Yes. You can review a list through the Instructor Portal in McBurney Connect

Can I generate a list of students’ accommodations from the Instructor Portal?

Yes, you can generate a Microsoft Excel sheet listing students and their requested accommodations in your classes. This feature is particularly helpful for instructors with large class sizes managing high volumes of testing accommodations. The following steps will help you to generate this document:

  1. Log into the Instructor Portal with your NetID
  2. From the “Overview” page with the listing of students in a table, change the ” Sort Column by:” to “By Accommodation Group”
  3. Click on the button “Export Student Accommodation Requests”
  4. Save the file in a secure location.

You will then have a modifiable/filterable Excel document containing students who have requested accommodations across your courses and/or sections.  Note: you will need to periodically export this file for it to be up-to-date with recently requested accommodations.

What can I view in the McBurney Connect Instructor Portal?

Instructors will have access to:

  • a list of students who have generated a Student Accommodation Letter for each class
  • [temporarily unavailable] at a glance, the number of students who have test accommodations, communication access accommodations (e.g. interpreter, CART, media captioning), alternative formats, notetaking accommodations, reasonable courses adjustments and modification letters, and other classroom accommodations.
  • the Student Accommodation Letter for each student
  • an option to export a list of students to an XLSX file

Are Student Accommodation Letters the same for each course and each section of a course?

Not necessarily. Students select from their approved accommodations to generate a Student Accommodation Letter specific to each section of each course. For example, a student may need notetaking accommodations in the lecture section of a course, but not for the discussion section of the same course. A Student Accommodation Letter will be emailed to the instructor(s) of record for each section.

When will I receive Student Accommodation Letters?

Student Accommodation Letters will be sent out roughly two weeks in advance of each semester for all students who have made their requests. Once that date has passed, newly requested letters will go out regularly each business day. If there is no instructor of record for a section, the Student Accommodation Letter(s) will be held until an instructor is assigned.

What happened to Verified Individualized Services and Accommodations (VISA) plans?

Laminated, paper VISAs were no longer issued as of Summer 2018. Students with disabilities are instead be able to generate Student Accommodation Letters via McBurney Connect that will be emailed to instructors and viewable in the Instructor Portal.

What if a student presents a VISA to me?

This should be very uncommon as it has been more than 5 years since VISAs were last used. If a student presents you with their VISA, please engage in discussion with them about their needed accommodations, but also refer the student to their access consultant at the McBurney Center for assistance in generating a Student Accommodation Letter for your course.

Who has access to McBurney Connect?

  • Students with disabilities who are registered with the McBurney Disability Resource Center.
  • Any Instructor of record assigned to courses and their sections. This may include faculty, teaching assistants, lab instructors, and other instructional staff. If no students have generated a Student Accommodation Letter for the class, there will be nothing to view in the Instructor Portal.

Do course coordinators have access to McBurney Connect?

Only instructors of record for each course/section have access.  Course coordinators will have access to Student Accommodation Letters for any section on which they are listed as an instructor, including if they are listed in a supervisory or auxiliary role.

Do advisors have access to McBurney Connect?

No. Only instructors of record for each course/section have access.

How do I get assistance with a student’s accommodations implementation?

Please contact the student’s access consultant in the McBurney Center, who will be listed on each each Student Accommodation Letter.

How do I get help or support with using McBurney Connect?

Please feel free to contact Mari Magler.

Why am I receiving multiple Student Accommodation Letters for one student?

  • Possibility 1: If a student updates their accommodations selections in McBurney Connect during the semester, you will receive an updated letter by email.
  • Possibility 2: If a student generates a Student Accommodation Letter for a discussion section and a lecture section of the same class, and you are listed as the instructor for both, you will receive a letter for both sections.
  • Possibility 3: If the instructors assigned to a section change or their information changes (e.g. name or email address), McBurney Connect will resend the Student Accommodation Letters for that section.

The Instructor Portal on McBurney Connect will have the most recent version of the letter.