Thread Subject: Re: Timed responses
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From: Tom Brett
Date: Thu, May 24 2007 5:40 AM
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Most of the comments made below are germane to the Federal Government. The
Federal Government, led by OPM, has embarked on a electronic training
initiative. This initiative was begun several years ago with e-Training.
This initiative was renamed GoLearn and then renamed USALearning. This
initiative has spread to most government agencies.
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Cyndi
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2007 1:00 AM
To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
Subject: [teitac-websoftware] Timed responses
I thought this would be a good time to chime in on the issue of timed
response. I'm going to use situations that come to my mind from education.
I'm thinking of situations like registration, testing, and library searches.
Of course since we are tasked to refresh 508, our focus should be in federal
governmental procurement. Frankly I could provide analogous agency
situations; if anyone would like me to I would be happy to do that for the
sake of a discussion.
I think allowing the user to indicate more time, as stated in the standard,
is important in many contexts yet there are instances where this becomes
silly since we would know that an individual needs additional time a priori.
In these instances there should be a mechanism in the application for a user
preference of timed responses to be set and supported. In doing so I think
it could go a long way to provide independence and avoid the irritation of
having to indicate repeatedly the need for additional time. However, I
don't know the appropriateness of including such a solution in the
Since timed responses are used in varied ways and contexts I thought it
would be good to share just a few of the most often used educational
scenarios (testing) so the rest of the subcommittee can put their thoughts
together and perhaps provide a workable solution. By the way Travis is
correct in that the timing provision was not present in the software
standards (I got that confirmation from Allen):
1. Please remember that some standardized testing occurs (e.g., online SAT
or GRE testing) for which the administrator of the test would need full
control of whether and how an accommodation would be made (per 504
regulations). Of course it would be important that an accommodation of --
or approval for -- timing could be made within the application by some
central administrator. If this could happen the user could then take the
test online, like their peers. (Often times the provision of any
accommodation -- including additional time -- during testing throws the
tester out of the online process and into an alternate testing process
altogether such as having a reader administer the test and mark responses.).
To me this is ridiculous as the fix could be made within the software (and
or the user agent).
2. Other times teachers and university faculty (or for Fed government biz
let's say "trainers") administer tests or quizzes that are not intended to
be standardized. Sometimes the control of timing is an issue, other times it
a. When testing and timing is an issue for an instructor-administered test,
provisions of Section 504 still come into play. A student identified (i.e.,
registered with their disability service office) as needing additional time
for an accommodation will get it and one who does not will not get
additional time. In this instance it would be nice for either the
instructor or someone from a central disability office to enable the
software to provide the approved additional time rather than the user having
to indicate repeatedly that they need it. Again, if someone cannot enable
this feature, the student will have to take the test in some other form
(e.g., in a separate office with someone administering it to them).
b. Finally, some tests are given by instructors for which time is simply not
an issue. In this case it would be nice for either the instructor or
student to disable the timed response all together.
Currently in education many course management systems do not have these
features. Moreover, some users may need more than 10 times the default time.
As I think of course management systems used in education & training it
would be nice to make sure that the timing provision could support (1) the
administrator, (2) the instructor, and at times (3) the user, setting the
timing needs that are known before testing. Perhaps this is beyond the
scope of the standards but I thought I would toss it out just in case.
< = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Cyndi Rowland, Ph.D.
Technology Director, National Center on Disability and Access to Education
Center for Persons with Disabilities (UCEDD)
Utah State University
Logan, Utah 84322-6800
FAX (435) 797-2044