2006 Conference General Sessions

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Show Me What You Know — Alternate Assessment for Students with Autism, Cognitive and Physical Disabilities

Presenter #1

Jo Meyer
Organization SoftTouch, Inc.
17117 Oak Dr, Suite C
Day Phone: 402-334-8477
Fax: 402-334-8478
Email: roxanne@softtouch.com

Federal, state, and local laws may require students with disabilities to take
the standardized tests. Educators have to adapt tests so that students can be tested. Test Me, Score is a new test making program for students with more severe disabilities. Join this hands-on lab to learn how to create and modify tests using images, movies, text and speech. Students can take the tests with their preferred access device: mouse/joystick/head pointer, single switch scanning, two switch step scanning, IntelliTools keyboard or touch screen. When students take these tests, they can show what they know.
Educators are accountable for student learning and achievement and must show evidence of student achievement. Federal and state laws require schools to test students at certain grade levels or intervals. Students with more severe cognitive and physical disabilities may be required to take standardized tests. However these students cannot take traditional tests. Educators have to figure out how to create or adapt tests for students with more severe disabilities.
The National Center on Educational Outcomes defines alternate assessments as “tools used to evaluate the performance of students who are unable to participate in general state assessments even with accommodations. Alternate assessments provide a mechanism for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities and for other students who may need alternate assessment formats to be included in the accountability system.” (www.nceo.org)
Test Me, Score Me, a new alternate assessment program, enables educators to create multiple choice and yes/no tests for students with cognitive and physical disabilities. Many students with more severe disabilities may be able to identify a picture of their dog or house but not able to generalize the same concept to photos or line drawings used in standardized tests.
Educators can create tests using items from their curriculum, their classrooms and their communities. It is easy to create questions and answers with scanned images, digital images, movies, text and speech. Students can take the tests on the computer using an appropriate access device mouse/joystick/headpointer/trackball, single switch scanning, two-switch step scanning, IntelliKeys keyboard and/or touch screen.
Test Me, Score Me makes it easy to create one test, and then customize it for different students and differential instruction. For example, for a science unit, one test could ask students to identify animals by selecting a matching picture or by selecting the name/text of the animal. Another student could identify the animal by the environment. Another version of the test could ask students to answer “What animal makes this sound?” and all the answers are auditory. Educators can create one test, then modify copies of the test to make these modifications.
Join this hands-on computer lab to learn how to create alternate assessments for students with more severe disabilities. Learn how to customize how a test for each student by selecting the number of possible answers (one to 5) for every question, present the question and answers all at once or show one item at a time to help the student focus. Take the test on the computer, view and analyze test data. Learn how to share tests with other educators who also use Test Me, Score Me.

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