Study Guide

Field 063: Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Sample Constructed-Response Item

Competency 0007
Analysis, Synthesis, and Application

Use the information in the exhibits to complete the task that follows.

Analyze the information provided in the exhibits and, using evidence from all the exhibits to support your ideas, write a response of approximately 400–600 words in which you:

Be sure to use evidence from all of the exhibits in your response.

Exhibit 1: Student Profile

Aaron is an eleven-year-old student who was born with a moderate bilateral hearing loss. He uses listening and spoken language at home and at school to communicate. His hearing loss was detected at birth, and he started using hearing aids and received consistent early intervention services beginning at three months of age. Aaron is intelligible when using spoken English.

Aaron is currently in the fifth grade, and utilizes an FM system at school with two transmitters. One transmitter is worn by the teacher and a secondary transmitter is passed around to other speakers. Aaron works with Ms. Monde, an itinerant Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and attends general education classes taught by Mr. Figueroa. Ms. Monde regularly observes Aaron participating in his general education classes and provides Aaron with instruction to support his access to information in the classroom.

Recently, Aaron's teachers have been concerned about his participation in the general education classroom. Ms. Monde has noted that he often becomes distracted and frustrated during small-group learning activities. He often does not complete tasks, and he has reported that he does not enjoy working with or having discussions with other students, even when given the opportunity to choose his peer partners. Mr. Figueroa reports that Aaron typically completes independent assignments and participates in whole-class conversations, but demonstrates difficulty during small-group work. Ms. Monde regularly addresses goals in Aaron's Individualized Education Program (IEP) and would like to facilitate his inclusion in collaborative group work and small-group discussions.

Exhibit 2: Excerpt from IEP

Exhibit 3: Excerpt from a Communication Skills Observation Survey

Sample Strong Response to the Constructed-Response Assignment (466 words)

It is clear that working in small groups is difficult for Aaron, as noted in exhibit 1 ("often becomes distracted and frustrated during small group learning activities"), exhibit 2 (IEP goal to participate in collaborative discussions in small groups), and exhibit 3 (emerging and developing skills in general discussion). Based on these data, I would conclude that there are auditory and expressive communication factors interfering with Aaron's ability and desire to engage with his peers, ask questions, and complete tasks in small group activities. Assuming a group of 3–5 students as an average size for this age range, it is conceivable that there are too many students talking at once or talking over each other for Aaron to follow the conversations and contribute. Ambient noise, difficulty negotiating the conversation, and self-esteem issues may be complicating Aaron's efforts to work in small groups when he is successful working independently. For students who are deaf or hard of hearing, engaging with their hearing peers in unstructured environments is not a small endeavor.

In order to facilitate his successful inclusion in collaborative group tasks and small group discussions, I would initiate a cooperative learning strategy, both for Aaron and for the students in the classroom. A collaborative learning environment is structured around individual "roles or jobs." Each student has a job to support the group and its purpose or task. Therefore, each student has a stake in the outcome and one student's input cannot easily be reduced by a dominant group member. Once the jobs/roles are taught, I would address pragmatic language instruction regarding rules for group interaction for the entire class, including turn-taking, negotiating, listening and responding, as well as "repair" strategies when misunderstandings or confusion occur. Cooperative learning strategies are taught and practiced concurrently with academic assignments and activities to provide a real-world structure for their use and promote generalization to other academic areas and social situations. Initiating this strategy takes time. Skills need to be modeled, taught, and practiced by all students.

This strategy would be effective for Aaron based on evidence gathered in the Communications Skills Observation Survey. He performs at Proficient to Advanced levels in Amplification Technology Independence Skills and Expressive Language Repair Skills. These strengths indicate the likelihood of greater success for Aaron when he is provided with strategies to develop and practice communication, language, and social skills in small and large groups. For students who are deaf or hard of hearing, research strongly identifies social isolation and the challenge of attaining equal access as factors which present significant barriers to success in school, employment, and career opportunities. This strategy also honors Aaron's feelings about standing out in his peer group (IEP). Finally, a cooperative learning environment facilitates inclusion for students with and without disabilities and students who are English language learners.

Performance Characteristics for Constructed-Response Item

The following characteristics guide the scoring of responses to the constructed-response assignment.

Completeness The degree to which the response addresses all parts of the assignment
Accuracy The degree to which the response demonstrates the relevant knowledge and skills accurately and effectively
Depth of Support The degree to which the response provides appropriate examples and details that demonstrate sound reasoning

Score Scale for Constructed-Response Item

A score will be assigned to the response to the constructed-response item according to the following score scale.

Score Point Score Point Description
4 The "4" response reflects a thorough command of the relevant knowledge and skills:
  • The response thoroughly addresses all parts of the assignment.
  • The response demonstrates the relevant knowledge and skills with thorough accuracy and effectiveness.
  • The response is well supported by relevant examples and details and thoroughly demonstrates sound reasoning.
3 The "3" response reflects a general command of the relevant knowledge and skills:
  • The response generally addresses all parts of the assignment.
  • The response demonstrates the relevant knowledge and skills with general accuracy and effectiveness.
  • The response is generally supported by some examples and/or details and generally demonstrates sound reasoning.
2 The "2" response reflects a partial command of the relevant knowledge and skills:
  • The response addresses all parts of the assignment, but most only partially; or some parts are not addressed at all.
  • The response demonstrates the relevant knowledge and skills with partial accuracy and effectiveness.
  • The response is partially supported by some examples and/or details or demonstrates flawed reasoning.
1 The "1" response reflects little or no command of the relevant knowledge and skills:
  • The response minimally addresses the assignment.
  • The response demonstrates the relevant knowledge and skills with minimum accuracy and effectiveness.
  • The response is minimally supported or demonstrates significantly flawed reasoning.
UThe response is unscorable because it is unrelated to the assigned topic or off-task, unreadable, written in a language other than English or contains an insufficient amount of original work to score.
BNo response.