Potter, K., Lewandowski, L., & Spenceley, L. (2016). The influence of a response format test accommodation for college students with and without disabilities . Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education , 41 (7), 996–1007. https://doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2015.1052368
Potter, K., Lewandowski, L., & Spenceley, L. (2016). The influence of a response format test accommodation for college students with and without disabilities. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 41(7), 996–1007. https://doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2015.1052368
[First published online (6/16/15)]
A response format accommodation, specifically permitting students to circle the correct answer (out of five possible options) in the test booklet, was compared to the standard response format of shading in a scantron-type bubble sheet.
Postsecondary students, with disabilities (n=25) and without disabilities (n=76), participated. The participants with disabilities self-identified having learning disabilities, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or both. The group was composed of students from a private university and a public college in the U.S. Other participant data, including age, gender, race/ethnicity, parents' education, year in school, and grade point average, were also reported.
Participants completed Formats G and H of the Nelson-Denny Reading Test (NDRT)'s vocabulary subtest. This subtest had 80 items for completion in 15 minutes; in order to avoid the ceiling effect, participants were given eight minutes to complete the test. Both number of items completed and number of items correct were compared between participant groups. Participants also completed a demographic questionnaire along with providing details about their grade point average, their perceived reading ability, and their preference between the two testing conditions (with or without accommodation).
Both groups, students with disabilities and students without disabilities, answered significantly more items when indicating their responses in the test booklet, compared to responding on the bubble answer sheet. Students without disabilities answered significantly more items than students with disabilities across both response formats. There were no interaction effects, by group and condition. Both groups also answered significantly more items correctly in the test booklet answering accommodation compared to the standard responding condition. Students without disabilities answered significantly more items correctly than did students with disabilities There were no interaction effects, by group and condition. Finally, all students with disabilities, and nearly all (70 out of 76) students without disabilities indicated a preference to use the accommodation of responding to items in the test booklet; that is, there was no significant difference in groupwise preferences. Put another way, the accommodation benefited both groups to a similar degree, both in number of items attempted and number of items correct. The researchers indicated that the accommodation is not valid, and that the accommodation might affect the reading vocabulary construct. Limitations of the study were reported, and future research directions were suggested.