ETS, NCEO Seek to Improve Test-Taking Experience for Students with Disabilities
- Jason Baran
- Jason Baran
Princeton, N.J. (March 29, 2010) —
Educational Testing Service (ETS) and the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) are investigating a new kind of accommodation that could improve the test-taking experience of K–12 students with disabilities.
ETS and NCEO are exploring a feedback-and-revision model of test administration in which students who respond incorrectly to a test question would receive immediate feedback and then be able to revise their answers for partial credit.
The U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES) recently announced it is funding the four-year, $1.28 million study. The project stems from the states' struggles to develop tests that hold all students to a common yardstick and allow for students with disabilities who are performing below grade level to participate without excessive frustration.
"Prior research on providing immediate feedback-and-revision opportunities during assessments indicates that this test change increases the reliability of test scores, reduces test anxiety, and improves learning," says Cara Cahalan Laitusis, the ETS researcher who is leading the Feedback-and-Revision on AA-MAS in Mathematics effort with her colleague Yigal Attali. "These benefits are perfectly aligned to the needs of students with learning disabilities on state assessments."
"This research effort has the potential of making test results more valid for students with disabilities while at the same time making the experience of taking a test less stressful," says Ida Lawrence, ETS Senior Vice President for Research & Development. "We are very pleased that the IES has decided to fund this important work which also is aligned with ETS's mission and values."
The project team is in the process of initiating a series of small studies to explore a variety of response and scoring formats, item types, and content areas using cognitive interview methodology. Based on the results of the studies, the project team will conduct a large study to examine the psychometric and affective impact of revising wrong answer choices for partial credit on the reliability and validity of accountability assessment scores. In the course of the effort, the project team also will examine the perceptions of students and their teachers on the testing experience and usefulness of test scores for instructional decision making.
At nonprofit ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® test and The Praxis Series™ assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. www.ets.org