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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Educ. | doi: 10.3389/feduc.2019.00088

Considerations for Designing Accessible Educational Scenario-Based Assessments for Multiple Populations: A Focus on Linguistic Complexity

  • 1Educational Testing Service, United States

As the diversity of the test-taker population increases so should assessment development practices evolve to consider the various needs of the multiple populations taking the assessments. One need is the ability to understand the language used in test items and tasks so they do not present unnecessary challenges for the test-takers, which may be misconstrued as a lack of knowledge of the content assessed. This investigation is important because linguistic complexity may constitute a source of construct-irrelevant variance, which may render an assessments’ passages and questions less accessible and present unnecessary challenges to the multiple test-taker populations potentially leading to score misinterpretation, disengagement with the task, and increased cognitive load. To develop more linguistically accessible assessments for multiple populations, less accessible construct-irrelevant text may require modification and less accessible construct-relevant text may need scaffolding. In this paper, I discuss considerations for designing accessible assessments for multiple populations with a focus on linguistic complexity. To illustrate these considerations, I refer to digitally delivered scenario-based tasks of English Language Arts framed in a science context.

Keywords: English learner, Formative assesment, culturally and linguistic diversity, Scenario - based learning, Text complexity

Received: 02 Mar 2019; Accepted: 02 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Oliveri. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Maria E. Oliveri, Educational Testing Service, Princeton, United States, moliveri@ets.org