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Designing More Accessible Achievement Tests for All Students Stephen N. Elliott Learning Sciences Institute and Department of Special Education Vanderbilt.

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Presentation on theme: "Designing More Accessible Achievement Tests for All Students Stephen N. Elliott Learning Sciences Institute and Department of Special Education Vanderbilt."— Presentation transcript:

1 Designing More Accessible Achievement Tests for All Students Stephen N. Elliott Learning Sciences Institute and Department of Special Education Vanderbilt University CCSSO 2009 National Conference on Student Assessment

2 CCSSO NSA Conference / Elliott Projects & Partners CAAVES: Consortium for Alternate Assessment Validity and Experimental Studies –USDE funded; –Partners: AZ, HI, ID, & IN + Vanderbilt Measurement Group + Discovery Education Assessment CMAADI: Consortium for Modified Alternate Assessment Development and Implementation –USDE funded; –Arizona Dept. of Education –Indiana Dept. of Education Visit Websites for Resources Discussed Today –http://peabody.vanderbilt.edu/LSI_Projects/CAAVES_Project_Home.xml –http://peabody.vanderbilt.edu/LSI_Projects/C-MAADI_Project_Home.xml –http://peabody.vanderbilt.edu/LSI_Projects/CAAVES_Project_Home/TAMI_Project.xml

3 CCSSO NSA Conference / Elliott Inclusive Testing & Better Results NCLB Act 2007 Amendments on AA-MAS Students with disabilities who exhibit persistent academic difficulties. –Inattention –Organizational difficulties –Poor reading fluency –History of below proficient test performances –Low self-efficacy with testing

4 CCSSO NSA Conference / Elliott Key Terms AccessAccess: the opportunity for test-takers to demonstrate proficiency on the target construct of a test or a test item. In essence, complete access is manifest when a test-taker is able show the degree to which he/she knows the tested content. Access, therefore, must be understood as an interaction between individual test-taker characteristics and features of the test itself. AccommodationAccommodation: wide ly recognized in state testing guidelines as individualized changes to the setting, scheduling, presentation format, or response format of an assessment. ModificationModification: alterations or adjustments of test items to facilitate access for virtually all test takers. Appropriate modifications …. –Remove extraneous material, –Maintain the same depth of knowledge (DOK), –Do NOT change the grade-level construct being measured, and –Increase the validity of the inference from the test score.

5 CCSSO NSA Conference / Elliott Anatomy of an Item

6 CCSSO NSA Conference / Elliott CAAVES Procedures We completed the following….. Modified a common set of existing reading and math items to create items designed to be more accessible and still measure the same grade-level content as the original items. Conducted a cognitive lab study with a small sample of students with and without disabilities to gain their insights into which item modifications are preferred and most likely to improve test access for students whose disability involves reading difficulties. Conducted a cross-state experimental study to compare the effects of tests with and without modified items on students test performances and test score comparability. Conducted post-assessment survey of all students concerning their perceptions of item types and cognitive ease.

7 CCSSO NSA Conference / Elliott Guiding Theories & Research Evidenced-based model of test score validity, Universal design principles, Cognitive Load Theory for designing instructional materials, and Item writing research and practices.

8 CCSSO NSA Conference / Elliott Examples of Theory-Guided & Data-Based Item Modifications

9 CCSSO NSA Conference / Elliott Example: Original to Modified Item

10 CCSSO NSA Conference / Elliott Overview of Results Elliott, et al. (in press), Exceptional Children

11 Modifications Benefited all Groups Modifications Benefited all Groups CCSSO NSA Conference / Elliott Elliott, et al. (in press), Exceptional Children

12 CCSSO NSA Conference / Elliott Item Summary Reports: An Example

13 Estimating Impact Will AA-MASs result in more students with disabilities being considered proficient for AYP? We have explored the impact of some hypothetical cut scores for the CAAVES Reading and Math Scores. An actual Standard Setting is needed. CCSSO NSA Conference / Elliott Elliott, et al. (in press), Exceptional Children

14 CCSSO NSA Conference / Elliott Method for Documenting OTL AZ Cog Lab Study, 2008

15 CCSSO NSA Conference / Elliott Cognitive Labs Excerpted from Kettler, Elliott, & Beddow, in press Peabody Journal of Education

16 CCSSO NSA Conference / Elliott 2009 Post-Assessment Focus Groups Post-Assessment Focus Groups AZ CMAADI Pilot Study,

17 CCSSO NSA Conference / Elliott Evolving Modification Paradigm Step 1. Evaluate original item accessibility. Step 2. Reduce sources of construct-irrelevant variance in items. Step 3. Document changes to items. Step 4. Pilot test with student cognitive labs & post-assessment focus groups. Step 5. Field test with large sample of students. Step 6. Conduct psychometric & related analyses.

18 Characteristics of Appropriate Modifications Design Elements Simply words and text structure Delete extraneous words Improve visuals and locate within item Use bold text for important words Eliminate least plausible distractor so there are 3 answer choices Desired Outcomes Increase accessibility Decrease item difficulty Increase item discrimination Increase reliability estimates Reduce readability level w/i grade range Maintain alignment w/ content stds. Maintain DOK for all items Increase validity of test scores Reduce need for accommodations Increase reading fluency Improve students perceptions of tests & motivation to engage in testing CCSSO NSA Conference / Elliott

19 CCSSO NSA Conference / Elliott Colleagues Presentations Quantifying and Improving Item & Test Accessibility – Peter Beddow, Vanderbilt Using Students Insights to Influence Item & Test Design – Andrew Roach, Georgia State Plausible Attractors & Item Psychometrics- Michael Rodriguez, University of Minnesota

20 CCSSO NSA Conference / Elliott Thanks! Thank you very much for your time and joining us for this session. Please provide follow-up questions and suggestions in writing


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