Examining the Feasibility, Effect and Capacity to Provide Universal Access through Computer-Based Testing New Hampshire Department of Education
The project proposed here seeks to examine the feasibility, effect, and capacity to deliver state achievement tests using a computer-based test delivery system specifically designed to provide universal access to test content for students with disabilities or special needs. The proposed project will use a comprehensive test delivery system (NimbleTools) that employs principles of universal design to flexibly meet the accessibility and accommodation needs of individual students. The proposed project brings together 11 states to examine the feasibility and effect of using this comprehensive test delivery system to improve test validity for students with disabilities and special needs who are believed to benefit from one or more of the accessibility and accommodation tools built into the system. Specifically, members of this collaborative project include: New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Montana, Iowa, Connecticut, Maryland, and Florida. In addition, the proposed project includes partnerships with the National Center for Educational Outcomes, Nimble Assessment Systems, and the NECAP state contractor (currently Measured Progress). This is a Grant for Enhanced Assessment Instruments funded by the U.S. Department of Education. January 2009 – June 2010
FCAT Computer-Assisted Accommodations
Nimble Assessment Systems, Inc. was awarded the contract with the Florida Department of Education to examine the feasibility and effect of computer-assisted accommodations. This study examined the use of NimbleTools, a universally designed test delivery system, to provide read aloud, magnification, alternate contrast, and auditory calming accommodations for the FCAT Grade 5 Mathematics and Grade 8 Science tests. March 2008 – October 2008
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Expanding, Testing, and Validating the Universal Assessment
Nimble Assessment Systems, Inc. has been awarded a $850,000 contract by the Institute of Education Sciences to expand the access and accommodation features built into NimbleTools. This project allows Nimble to enhance its signing tools, expand interoperability with electronic Braille displays, and embed writing supports, such as word prediction, into the test delivery interface. This project also provides funding to implement NimbleTools for one or more operational state tests. Funding is provided through the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR). June 2008 – December 2010
Developing the Digital Work Pad
Nimble Assessment Systems, Inc. has been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research Grant. Work began in May of 2009 and is ongoing!
Nimble Assessment Systems, Inc. was awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research Grant. This contract with the Institute of Education Sciences provided seed money to develop a tool that allows students to produce handwritten responses to open-ended items presented by a computer-based test. The work pad allows students to show their work for mathematics problems, produce graphs and drawings, label figures, and write short answer responses. An alpha version of the work pad was piloted in Fall 2008. Completed December 2008
Flexible Test Delivery System, funded by the National Science Foundation
The primary goal of our Phase I project was to develop and pilot a flexible test delivery system that was capable of providing students with several accommodations. These accommodations included Read Aloud of text, Magnification of test items, Masking of test items, and access to a digital talking calculator. In addition, the project aimed to develop an interface that would enable teachers to activate or deactivate specific tools for individual students depending upon their accommodation needs. January 2007 – June 2007
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