Lazarus, S. S., Thurlow, M. L., Rieke, R., Halpin, D., & Dillon, T. (2012). Using cognitive labs to evaluate student experiences with the read aloud accommodation in math (Technical Report No. 67). University of Minnesota, National Center on Educational Outcomes. https://nceo.info/Resources/publications/OnlinePubs/Tech67/default.htm
NCEO Technical Report 67
The accommodation examined was read-aloud as provided on the state mathematics assessment.
Grade 8 students (N=24) participated from throughout three districts in South Dakota (U.S.). These students had IEPs (but specific disabilities were not identified) and used the read-aloud accommodation on the state mathematics test.
Scores on 10 items drawn from South Dakota's Dakota Test of Educational Progress in Mathematics (DSTEP-Math) were measured. The items received a NAEP designation of easy, and nearly all were at a low complexity level. In addition, test-takers provided comments about their testing experiences through participating in cognitive lab interviews.
On average, performance on 5 math items was not significantly different with the use of the read-aloud accommodation than performance on the other, similar, 5 items without the read-aloud accommodation. When reviewed individually, 7 students scored higher with the accommodation, 8 students scored higher without the accommodation, and 9 students scored the same. However, most of the students (61%) reported that using read-aloud reduced stress associated with test-taking, and/or helped them arrive at correct answers. The researchers offered recommendations about accommodations implementation based on the study findings. Limitations of the study were reported, and future research directions were suggested.