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Beyond the Process A Framework for Understanding Accommodated Classroom Testing David Espinoza, University of Oregon Heidi Pettyjohn, University of Cincinnati.

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Presentation on theme: "Beyond the Process A Framework for Understanding Accommodated Classroom Testing David Espinoza, University of Oregon Heidi Pettyjohn, University of Cincinnati."— Presentation transcript:

1 Beyond the Process A Framework for Understanding Accommodated Classroom Testing David Espinoza, University of Oregon Heidi Pettyjohn, University of Cincinnati David Smith, University of Michigan Diane Smith, Portland State University NCTA National Conference August 3, 2012 Minneapolis

2 Introduction San Diego Formation of Ad Hoc Committee ▫Members

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4 Introduction San Diego Formation of Ad Hoc Committee ▫Members ▫Initial goals  Assess the needs of NCTA Members  Provide resources  Create partnerships

5 Introduction Needs Assessment: Accommodated Testing Survey ▫“Environmental Scan”  Who are we?  What are we doing?  What is the environment like?  What needs exist to do this work?

6 Introduction Presentation Outline ▫Introduction ▫Qualitative Data ▫How is this unique? ▫Current Resources ▫Themes ▫Discussion/Questions

7 Who are we? Survey  226 respondents  54% 2 year, 44% 4 year, 3% “other”  90% public, 7% private, 3% “other”  157 regularly or occasionally provide Accommodated Classroom Testing (ACT)  192 provide accommodated testing for non- classroom exams

8 Who Are We? Divisional Structure

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10 Who Are We? Organizational Structure

11 Who are we? Amount of time involved with ACT

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13 Who are we? Record keeping Question 10: Number of accommodated tests given by your office annually (in the last academic year) and, if known, number of students for whom your office provided these tests. -26 (16.5%) Answered both questions -24 (15%) Do not keep records of either -27 (17%) Do not keep records of how many tests are given -30 (19%) Do not keep records of how many students -70 (44.5%) Answered one question -66 of those answered how many tests only, 4 answered how many students only -4 (2.5%) no data to report/first year

14 Who are we? Tests given in the last academic year Number of exams delivered

15 Who are we? Tests given in the last academic year Number of exams delivered

16 Other Quantitative- slide in progress Do you have staff dedicated to Accommodated Testing? ▫119- No ▫8- Yes Accommodated tests given annually- in progress Designated funding? In progress

17 What We Learned: Qualitative Data Summary of Interesting Feedback It appears to be a trend that Testing offices are asked to become involved in accommodated testing. Testing Services reports that Disability Service (DS) offices are typically underfunded, understaffed, and don’t have training in Testing. Majority of Testing offices are not housed in the same space as DS offices, which contributes to challenges.

18 What We Learned Majority of Testing offices not only proctor the exam according to faculty standards, they also: ▫schedule accommodated tests ▫troubleshoot test issues ▫hire reader/scribe and assistive technology for student ▫receive and return tests to faculty members An increasing number of Testing Services educate faculty on accommodated testing protocol, mostly “informally” (not charged with this). Majority of testing offices require students to schedule in advance of their appointment.

19 Knowledge of ADA #26. Do you feel that you and/or your staff have a decent working knowledge of the ADA and how it relates to the work that you do with students with disabilities? #36. What do you perceive as you and your staff’s greatest needs for training and Professional Development related to accommodated testing? 80% said YES 20% said NO Professional Development, including knowledge of the ADA laws. Most TS feel they have a basic knowledge of the ADA, enough to do the job, but they also feel they could do a better job with further knowledge of the ADA.

20 #24. Does your Disability Services office consult with you or make considerations of your ability to handle certain accommodations(staffing, space, etc) when assigning testing accommodations to students? 62% said yes 26% said no 12% other  26% of DS do not consult with TS to see if they can carry out an accommodation. This creates a good-cop, bad- cop scenario. Collaboration!

21 #31. Do you feel that you have effective communication, or effective strategies for communicating, with faculty about accommodated testing issues? 68% said Yes 32% said No  While 68% said Yes, the comments showed that communication with faculty is formally done by the DS office, and informally by the TS office.  TS observes that Faculty are often not educated regarding ADA and accommodations. More outreach needed.

22 #32. Do you feel that students who receive testing accommodations have a good understanding (knowledge?) of their role and responsibilities as they relate to testing accommodations? 74% said Yes 26% said No  There is confusion among students moving from High School to College setting.  Students need to be reminded frequently of their responsibilities.  Students get information from DS, TS, and faculty so confusion is expected.  Students don’t understand they need to take a proactive role in communicating their needs to faculty.

23 #35. Do you feel that your divisional or institutional leadership provides adequate support to your office for the work you do proctoring accommodated classroom exams? 67% said Yes 33% said No  Leadership is great but funding and space could be better.  Leadership does not realize how much work accommodated testing is. Often neglect other testing duties due to the demands of accommodated testing.  Struggle to find individual rooms for the accommodations granted.

24 Survey Questions that received the most feedback received from NCTA members. Question 36 – Greatest training needs Question 38 – Feedback on how NCTA can help.

25 Greatest Training Needs

26 Continuation of Question #36 – Greatest Needs for training Networking with colleagues Best Practices - Resources Proctoring for uncommon, severe, or specific test takers, or specific disabilities. Process that DS goes through to determine accommodation.

27 Question #38 Please provide any other information or feedback related to this topic, including how NCTA could best support you and your office professionally in this area. Need more Professional Development Opportunities: webinars, shared forms and protocol, increase sessions at National Conference Partner with AHEAD Set up resource access: specific to accommodated testing? Share adaptive equipment that is only used rarely. Develop Best Practices in Accommodated Testing.

28 1. What makes accommodated testing unique? How do we think about the bigger picture? How does accommodated testing differ from other forms of testing? How do we differentiate between student and institutional responsibilities? How do we enhance the educational experiences of students with disabilities?

29 2. What does it mean to provide an accommodation? Dispelling the myth about giving students an unfair advantage Leveling the playing field and improving the quality of educational experiences Improving communication with instructors Shared role of offices across campus Need for more education about disabilities and the role of accommodations ▫Example of eye glasses

30 Do you feel that you have effective communication or effective strategies for communicating with faculty about accommodated testing issues? 68% said Yes 32% said No While 68% said Yes, the comments showed that communication with faculty is usually done by the DS office. TS observes that Faculty are often not educated regarding ADA and accommodations. More outreach needed.

31 3. Putting Students First Tension between student development theory, which puts responsibility on the student, and the need for the institution to meet the requirements of ADA An institution’s responsibility to provide appropriate and reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities A careful balancing act: ▫What’s potentially lost when a student is required to use a testing center to receive his/her accommodation?

32 Q 14: What is your policy for scheduling accommodated testing? 54 percent indicated that reservation needed to be made within a certain number of days in advance of the test. What’s revealing, though, is this common remark: ▫“Same scheduling rules as other students”

33 Do you feel that students who receive testing accommodations have a good understanding (knowledge?) of their role and responsibilities as they relate to testing accommodations? 74% said Yes 26% said No Some confusion among students moving from High School to College setting. Students need to be reminded frequently. Students get information from DS, TS, and faculty so confusion is expected. Students don’t understand they need to take a proactive role in communicating their needs to faculty.

34 4. Recognizing and Meeting the Challenges Posed by providing Accommodated Testing Clearly, accommodated testing has significant challenges Requires cooperation, collaboration, flexibility, and commitment among all stake holders A one-size-fits-all approach often doesn’t create the flexibility needed for a strong program Student success is a shared outcome that requires commitment and responsibility from the institution as well as students

35 Beyond the Process: Understanding the possibilities Survey results reveal a depth of experience – 52% of respondents indicated providing ACT for 10 years or more. What experience and insight do testing professionals have to bring to this conversation? Beyond the question of what are we doing is the question of why are we doing it. How do we, as testing professionals understand our role? This environmental scan demonstrates how testing centers contribute to how this work is being done on our campuses. The next step is to ask the question, “How do we want to influence how this work is being done?”

36 Beyond the Process: Understanding our role There is no model for how testing centers implement ACT. Local conditions and norms are diverse; flexibility and creativity essential for building strong programs. First opportunity to come to understand how testing centers contribute to the academic success of students with disabilities. Stages or levels of engagement: ▫ Compliance ▫ Service ▫ Collaboration ▫ Leadership

37 Beyond the Process: Compliance First point of contact with ADA. Population of students with documented disabilities on our campuses has grown steadily since 1990 requiring institutions be thoughtful and proactive about developing a support network for students with disabilities. ADA does not define “reasonable accommodations”. Measure of concern or fear over being the focus of a complaint or legal action. Distracts from understanding the true purpose and intention of ADA as civil rights legislation.

38 Beyond the Process: Service Strong commitment from testing centers to provide service to students and the campus community. Opening the testing center to proctoring non- standard classroom exams represents a significant commitment. Supports academic mission and student success. Easily the most salient rationale for participating in the support network for students with disabilities by providing ACT.

39 Beyond the Process: Collaboration Opportunities to develop relationship with disability services professionals. Opportunities for professional development exchanges between testing and disability services professionals. Allows testing professionals to contribute their expertise and organizational skills. Maximizes effectiveness in a period of diminishing resources.

40 Beyond the Process: Leadership Somebody has got to do it! Testing professionals have been providing and facilitating non-standard test accommodations for many years. Outreach to AHEAD on the national level can lead to facilitating contact and communication on the state and institutional levels. Active participation in a solution to a challenging issue demonstrates commitment, vision and creativity.

41 Beyond the Process: An integrated experience Service Collaboration Leadership Compliance

42 Beyond the Process: Ideas for the future Establishment of a permanent NCTA committee to continue to work on issues related to non-standard testing. Explore the development of best practices to guide testing professionals involved with ACT. NCTA listserv dedicated to discussions of issues related to non-standard testing. Collaboration with AHEAD with the goal of developing on-going, mutually beneficial relationship.


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