ETS and Nimble Innovation Lab Work to Develop Test Delivery Platform to Meet Need
- Jason Baran
- Jason Baran
Princeton, N.J. (March 17, 2011) —
Educational Testing Service (ETS) is working with Measured Progress's Nimble Innovation Lab on a project that will provide a fully functional model of a computer-based test delivery platform explicitly designed to meet the needs of students who are blind or low vision.
None of the accessible, computer-delivered testing platforms available today allow for use of a Braille keyboard or utilize refreshable Braille display, according to ETS Senior Research Scientist Cara Laitusis, who is leading the effort. The project will develop testing accommodations that include key-stroke navigation, Braille keyboard input of responses, refreshable Braille display, screen magnification, and audio output.
"The focus of the project will be to deliver an eighth-grade reading assessment with the set of accommodations," says Ida Lawrence, ETS Senior Vice President of Research. "However, the real significance will be the documentation from the development process and the results from the field test. Together, they will supply a blueprint on how to design a computer-based test delivery platform that meets the needs of students who are blind or low vision."
As the work is funded by the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences through a three-year, $1.17 million grant, the development process will be made available for use on all assessment platforms.
ETS and Nimble Innovation Lab have extensive experience in both test development and delivery for students with disabilities. The nonprofit organizations already have developed testing platforms — NimbleTools® and Voiced GRE® test — that are accessible to students who are blind and use other assistive technologies, such as screen readers or screen magnifiers.
"This new work will build on what already has been achieved to Braille readers," says Measured Progress Vice President of Innovation Michael Russell. "It will have an effect on assessments taken for accountability purposes under the No Child Left Behind Act. More importantly, the project will augment the field of assessment by greatly enhancing the ability of students who traditionally could not fully participate in the education process."
At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational and professional institutions, foundations and numerous 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 assessments annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series™ assessments — in more than 180 countries. For more information, visit our website, www.ets.org.
About Measured Progress
Measured Progress (www.measuredprogress.org) is a Dover, New Hampshire-based, not-for-profit organization dedicated to student learning and improving instruction in the standards-based classroom. Since 1983, Measured Progress has successfully partnered with more than half of the states across the nation in support of programs that have affected millions of students. The organization develops state- and district-level assessments and is the nation's leading provider of alternate assessments for students with cognitive disabilities. In addition, Measured Progress offers professional development services and products that assist educators in creating and using assessment to measure student achievement and improve instruction.