9 - The Test Taking Strategy Intervention for College Students with LD

9 - The Test Taking Strategy Intervention for College Students with LD

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Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 24 (1), 44–56 C ° 2009 The Division for Learning Disabilities of the Council for Exceptional Children The Test-Taking Strategy Intervention for College Students with Learning Disabilities Mary LaFrance Holzer, Joseph W. Madaus, Melissa A. Bray, and Thomas J. Kehle University of Connecticut Limited research exists related to empirically validated strategies to assist college students with learning disabilities (LD). Given that students with LD demonstrate both fewer test-taking skills and higher levels of test anxiety than their peers without LD, and poor test-taking skills contribute to higher levels of test anxiety, such research is critical. The present study examines the effectiveness of the test-taking strategy on test performance (timed/untimed), degree of strategy usage, and time on test-taking task, with a sample of university students with LD. This strategy has been successful with adolescents with LD, but has not been studied with postsecondary populations. Results of a multiple baseline design suggested that the strategy was an effective intervention for these students. Implications are discussed. As the number of students with learning disabilities (LD) has increased in postsecondary education, the number of re- quests for accommodations has also increased. At the post- secondary level, eligible students may receive accommoda- tions under Section 504, Subpart E, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA, 1990). The purpose of ac- commodations in postsecondary education is to “level the playing ±eld” by easing the impact of a student’s disabil- ity on performance without providing an unfair advantage, fundamentally altering the essential components of the test, course, or program of study (ADA, 1990). The accommoda- tion that is most often requested by college students with LD is extended test time (ETT) (O±esh, Hughes, & Scott, 2004). In 1991, 62% of college students with LD had requested untimed tests (Hughes, 1991), and those numbers increased over the following decade (Brinckerhoff, McGuire, & Shaw, 2002). Studies have demonstrated that some students with dis- abilities are granted extended time, but do not actually use the extension in full during test taking (Elliot & Marquart, 2004). Because a main cause of test anxiety (TA) for college students with LD is time constraints, it is speculated that, in general, ETT may inappropriately be used to alleviate anxi- ety (Elliot & Marquart, 2004; O±esh & Hughes, 2002) rather than to deal with processing or reading speed issues. How- ever, the link between TA and how it is affected by extended time has not been comprehensively explored. Neither has the role of test-taking strategies in reducing TA been comprehensively investigated. Literature also points to the fact that, in general, students with LD have fewer test-taking skills than students without LD. This inability to navigate tests can limit students’ ability to show their true knowledge on tests (Scruggs, Bennion, & Lifson, 1985; Requests for reprints should be sent to Joseph W. Madaus, Center on Post-
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This note was uploaded on 01/28/2010 for the course CMSY 103 taught by Professor N/a during the Fall '06 term at Howard County Community College.

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9 - The Test Taking Strategy Intervention for College Students with LD

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