Freeman, S. R. (2013). How many are enough? A quantitative analysis of the effects of the number of response options on the academic performance of students with disabilities on large-scale assessments (Publication No. 3592592) [Doctoral dissertation, Baker University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. https://www.proquest.com/docview/1437010810
Baker University (Overland Park, KS); ProQuest document ID: 1437010810
The test design element was providing three response options on the multiple choice/selected response alternate assessments based on modified achievement standards (AA-MAS) for mathematics, reading, and science. The study compared performance of students with disabilities on assessment items with three response options with performance on items with four response options.
Archived data from one school year 2010–2011 were sampled at a 10% rate, yielding that there were 1,212 students who completed tests with three response options and 1,192 students who completed tests with four response options. Data were also reported for participants by schooling level and by assessment content area, as these data were also analyzed for patterns of performance. Participants' disabilities included all 13 federal disability categories, yet the researcher noted that groups' scores were not individually compared, so no generalizations can be made by disability group. The researcher also reported the demographic details of the entire state student test-taking population for the AA-MAS in all content areas, levels, and disability categories.
The dependent variable was archived data from North Carolina's alternate assessments based on modified achievement standards (AA-MAS) during school year 2010–2011 for mathematics, reading, and science, called the NCEXTEND2. The students with disabilities were tested on math and reading yearly in grades 3–8, and on science in grades 5 and 8; in high school, test data were from one test in each area: English II, biology, and Algebra I.
The researcher reported significant differences in the three comparisons of group assessment data. The performance of all students with disabilities taking assessments with three response options were higher than the scores on assessments with four response options. When data were analyzed by schooling level, the comparisons between scores of assessments with three options indicated they were higher than scores of assessments with four options at the elementary level, the middle school level, and the high school level. When data were analyzed by academic content, assessment scores for the three response option tests were higher than the scores for the four response option tests for all three content areas—math, reading, and science. Limitations of the study were reported, and future research directions were suggested.