Roach, A. T., Beddow, P. A., Kurz, A., Kettler, R. J., & Elliott, S. N. (2010). Incorporating student input in developing alternate assessments based on modified academic achievement standards . Exceptional Children , 77 (1), 61–80. https://doi.org/10.1177/001440291007700103
Roach, A. T., Beddow, P. A., Kurz, A., Kettler, R. J., & Elliott, S. N. (2010). Incorporating student input in developing alternate assessments based on modified academic achievement standards. Exceptional Children, 77(1), 61–80. https://doi.org/10.1177/001440291007700103
This article reports about two related studies which examined a set of modifications included in a state's Alternate Assessment Based on Modified Achievement Standards (AA-MAS). Study 1: The modifications were bold-font vocabulary or key terms, visuals and other graphics, changing analogy formats, and reduced number of answer choices. Study 2: The modifications in one condition were bold-font vocabulary or key terms, visuals and other graphics, changing analogy formats, and reduced number of answer choices, and in the other condition were all of these along with voice recording reading item directions and stems.
Participants for the cognitive lab (Study 1) were 9 students in grade 8—including 3 students without disabilities, 3 students with disabilities who were eligible to participate in the AA-MAS, and 3 students with disabilities not eligible for an AA-MAS. Participants for the survey and field test (Study 2) were 709 students in mathematics, 694 in reading total. There were three groups of participants: students without disabilities (n=255 in mathematics, n=246 in reading), students with disabilities eligible for an AA-MAS (n=235 in mathematics, n=228 in reading), and students with disabilities not eligible for an AA-MAS (n=219 in mathematics, n=220 in reading). These students were in grade 8, from four U.S. states—Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, and Indiana. Specific disabilities were not reported for participants.
The dependent variables include performance of students in reading and mathematics, as measured by the field test of a state's AA-MAS, as well as student perspectives of their experience of taking the test, including both a survey as well as student responses to a cognitive lab interview protocol for a sample of 9 students regarding a sample of 8 mathematics and 8 reading items.
Study 1: The performance of the student sample differed by student group. The relative size of this sample may not permit generalizability. In reading, students without disabilities and students with disabilities not eligible for an AA-MAS tended to score similarly across the unmodified and modified items, and the students with disabilities eligible for an AA-MAS scored higher in the modified condition compared to the unmodified condition. In mathematics, students without disabilities tended to score higher on the unmodified items, while both groups of students with disabilities scored higher on the modified items. Additional data were reported for other behaviors of test performance. Students eligible for an AA-MAS expressed that the modifications of adding visuals and using bold type were helpful and that removing an answer choice was not especially helpful. Study 2: The performance results indicated that the largest effect sizes were in the AA-MAS-eligible students with disabilities. The perception of this same group of students was that most of them indicated that the two modified conditions were positive or helpful than those who indicated that they were neutral or negative (i.e. made items more difficult). When comparing the two modification conditions, AA-MAS-eligible students mostly expressed that the reading support was helpful, yet the effect sizes in performance between the modified and the modified with reading support was relatively small—that is, that performance was not particularly improved with reading support added. Limitations of the studies, and implications of the studies for policy and practice, were detailed.