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Study Guide

Field 063: Deaf and Hard of Hearing

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Sample Constructed-Response Item

Competency 0007 
Analysis, Synthesis, and Application

start bold Use the information in the exhibits to complete the task that follows. end bold

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

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

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

MEASURABLE ANNUAL GOALS

THE FOLLOWING GOALS ARE RECCOMENDED TO ENABLE THE STUDENT TO BE INVOLVED IN AND PROGRESS IN THE GENERAL EDUCATION CURRICULUM, FOR A PRESCHOOL CHILD, IN APPROPRIATE ACTIVITIES, ADDRESS OTHER EDUCATIONAL NEEDS THAT RESULT FROM THE STUDENT'S DISABILITY, AND, FOR A SCHOOL-AGE STUDENT, PREPARE THE STUDENT TO MEET HIS/HER POSTSECONDARY GOALS.

ANNUAL GOAL 
WHAT THE STUDENT WILL BE EXPECTED TO ACHIEVE BY THE END OF THE YEAR IN WHICH THE I E P IS IN EFFECT
CRITERIA 
MEASURE TO DETERMINE IF GOAL HAS BEEN ACHIEVED
METHOD 
HOW PROGRESS WILL BE MEASURED
SCHEDULE 
WHEN PROGRESS WILL BE MEASURED
Aaron will participate in collaborative discussions about grade-level topics with diverse peers in small groups (i.e., two to five students) in 4 out of 5 opportunities over two weeks teacher observation checklist every six weeks
Aaron will complete academic task in group activities in 4 out of 5 opportunities over two weeks work samples every six weeks

Exhibit 3: Excerpt from a Communication Skills Observation Survey

Communication Skill Level of Proficiency
Emerging 
(0-25% of the time)
Developing 
(26-50% of the time)
Proficient 
(51-75% of the time)
Advanced 
(76-100% of the time)
Amplification Technology Independence Skills
takes responsibility to use amplification device       checked
ensures teacher/secondary speakers utilize the transmitter     checked  
regularly ensures device working properly       checked
Communication Skill Level of Proficiency
Emerging 
(0-25% of the time)
Developing 
(26-50% of the time)
Proficient 
(51-75% of the time)
Advanced 
(76-100% of the time)
General Discussion Skills
uses eye contact with speaker     checked  
participates in small groups   checked    
completes academic tasks in cooperative groups checked      
engages in discussions in small groups   checked    
takes turns in conversation     checked  
follows multiple speakers in a chain of communication   checked    
Receptive Language Repair Skills
understands when topic changes   checked    
notifies the appropriate person to request additional explanation   checked    
request repetition   checked    
asks questions to support comprehension checked      
requests clarification or additional information checked      
Communication Skill Level of Proficiency
Emerging 
(0-25% of the time)
Developing 
(26-50% of the time)
Proficient 
(51-75% of the time)
Advanced 
(76-100% of the time)
Receptive Language Repair Skills
understands when topic changes   checked    
notifies the appropriate person to request additional explanation   checked    
request repetition   checked    
asks questions to support comprehension checked      
requests clarification or additional information checked      
Communication Skill Level of Proficiency
Emerging 
(0-25% of the time)
Developing 
(26-50% of the time)
Proficient 
(51-75% of the time)
Advanced 
(76-100% of the time)
Expressive Language Repair Skills
understands cues when listener may not understand speech       checked
repeats for listener       checked
rephrases for listener       checked
uses supplemental communication, such as written notes, to aid expression     checked  
is able to remain on topic appropriately       checked
is able to change topics appropriately     checked  

Teacher notes: Background noise was limited during observational periods of both whole-class and small-group discussions. Aaron was able to follow multiple speakers in a chain of communication better in whole-class discussions as opposed to small-group discussions. Aaron seemed to benefit from inclusive strategies Mr. Figueroa implemented during whole-class discussions, such as identifying the speaker and repeating or rephrasing the questions or comments students made during the discussion.

Sample Strong Response to the Constructed-Response Item (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 ( I E P 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 to 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 ( I E P). 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 item.

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.
U The 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.
B No response.