Standardized Testing Modifications For Learning Disabled College Students In Florida (modality)

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Higher Education


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the practice of modifying standardized tests and testing procedures for learning disabled college students.The conceptual framework for the study was the modality/aptitude-treatment interaction model which proposes that students perform better on learning tasks presented in a modality consistent with their learning strengths. This model has been used as the only practical testing alternative for disabled students who cannot use standard test materials.The sample consisted of 45 learning disabled, community college students who were tested for modality strengths using the Learning Efficiency Test (Academic Therapy Publications) and identified as visual, auditory or no preference. In a split plot design, students were assigned in random order to either a visual or auditory modality of the Reading Comprehension Test (The College Board), followed a week later by the administration of the alternate modality of the test. Students were allowed "extra time", if needed, to complete the tests, and a record was kept of their progress at various intervals.Findings. (1) The print and audio tape versions of the reading test forms each had intraclass reliabilities of .76. (2) A significant disordinal interaction occurred between modality strength groups (visual and auditory) and the test modalities. Students with no preference performed better on the auditory modality. (3) The visual modality of the test was almost a pure speed test at the standard time. Fifteen additional minutes of testing time made both test modalities closer to power tests. (4) Students improved scores significantly on both the visual and auditory modalities of the reading test given additional time. (5) Students performed significantly better on the first halves of both the visual and auditory test modalities than on the second halves.Conclusions. (1) The integrity of the standardized test was maintained in modifying the visual modality of the test to the auditory modality. (2) Assessing learning disabled students' strengths and providing them with appropriate test materials enhanced their test scores. (3) Extra test time was necessary and beneficial to students with learning disabilities; however, students experienced fatigue which was potentially counterproductive.


Education, Special

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