Cawthon, S., Leppo, R., Carr, T., & Kopriva, R. (2013). Toward accessible assessments: The promises and limitations of test item adaptations for students with disabilities and English language learners . Educational Assessment , 18 (2), 73–98. https://doi.org/10.1080/10627197.2013.789294
Cawthon, S., Leppo, R., Carr, T., & Kopriva, R. (2013). Toward accessible assessments: The promises and limitations of test item adaptations for students with disabilities and English language learners. Educational Assessment, 18(2), 73–98. https://doi.org/10.1080/10627197.2013.789294
The adaptations to the items included page/item layout, item stem, passage/item stimulus, visuals, and answer choices.
Participants included 15,789 students without disabilities; the 1,550 students with disabilities comprised 1,357 students with reading-related learning disabilities (LD) and 193 students who were deaf or hard-of-hearing. Participants were in grades 3, 4, and 5. Additional demographics reported included sex, ethnicity, and free or reduced lunch status. The examination of the results for the 679 participants who were English learners was minimized in this study summary.
Participant scores from the field test (with nine items per grade) of a state assessment in science and English language arts (ELA) for students in grades 3, 4, and 5 served as dependent variables.
The study comprised a secondary data analysis, after item development (with adaptation of items), scaling, and differential item functioning were already completed. Comparisons of student performance means on standard items and adapted items were made at the three grade levels for students without disabilities and students with LD (learning disabilities) and students with HI (hearing impairments). Additionally, the mean scores for each of the adaptations were reported for the participant groups. Group performance comparisons yielded that, in grades 4 and 5, students without disabilities and students with HI scored significantly better in both science and ELA (English language arts) than students with LD. When comparing scores by item formats, in grade 3, students without disabilities scored similarly on both standard and adapted items, but students with HI and LD scored better on adapted items than standard items. Unexpectedly, all grade 4 students—with or without disabilities—performed better on the adapted items than the standard items, and all grade 5 students—with or without disabilities—performed better on the standard items than the adapted items. Limitations of the study were reported, and future research possibilities were suggested.