19 December 2013

Resource Thursday: PPT Oral Testing

First one in... 6 months?!

One of the most challenging aspects of my job is coordinating the insane number of requests for oral testing. Mylanta, I swear like everyone of the kids I "case manage" for (or whatever you want to call whatever that part of my job is) seems to have a test at the same time on the same day of the same week. {P.S. Our ABSOLUTE BIGGEST gen ed class is 15 kids.}

This in mind, I recommended that the general ed teachers read the test aloud in their classrooms instead of having them walk over to the catch-all special education room, wait for an available test reader, have the test read (hopefully without an interruption from another student in the room), and then walk back. There was initially some emails to the principal moderate push back about this idea and confusion about how it might work...

...but once I lengthily explained that the teacher was not required to shout and/or scream the test to the student at their regular seat right next to another student taking the test (because WOAH they may have a tough time with reading, but they are not hard of hearing) and that they could simply pull the students to the back table and quietly read the questions and answers, things got a smidge better.

There are two neato things I have discovered so far to help with this oral testing need. One uses iPad accessibility features (not my favorite) and one requires PowerPoint... Let's start there


I learned this at a training from our Region this summer. Follow the steps and use your verrrrry best common sense and judgement to make this work for ya:

1. Look at your test. Read it to make sure it makes sense and you are... uh, how you say... actually assessing based on the TEKS (or Common Core, whatevs) and the material you taught. You may laugh, but this is something I've had to address... As in, "I know you are behind your scope & sequence schedule, but no, I'm sorry, I would not advise giving this test because you have not covered about half of the material with your student".

2. Open PowerPoint and create a new simple slide show [and SAVE IT]

3. Create a title slide with the name of the test (and train your kiddos to do a cross-check to make sure they are hearing the correct test)

4. Create a second slide, and title it "Question 1". Type question 1 into a text box on the slide.

5. Click the following series: "Insert">"Audio">"Record Audio"

6. A small box should pop up giving you the option to click a red record button. Click the button to start the recording and read your question in a loud, clear voice. Click it again to stop the recording.

7. Play back the recording to make sure you read the question correctly and can hear it. Then click "SAVE"

8. A small audio headphone looking thing should pop up. Drag it next to the question (or above or underneath- this placement doesn't actually matter as long as you do it the same way every time so your kiddos aren't confused).

9. Repeat steps 5-8 for the answer choices.

10. Repeat steps 4-9 for each question on the test.

11. Go through and listen to each question and answer set real quick to make sure the numbers line up and whatnot. My computer lets me listen to the audio clips in working mode, but on our school computers you have to view it as a PPT slide show to be able to click on them and listen. One of those two methods is bound to work for you!

Troubleshooting tips: 
1. Don't mumble while reading
2. Give your kiddos a practice run or two on the system before the actual test. Pick something very easy that they can "test" on, so they can practice the system authentically, but not be too stressed over the material.
3. Make sure you know the accommodations/modifications, district and state standards, etc. for oral test administration! 
4. Once you'd made one test, save your PPT template and simply do a "Save As" and replace the title of the test and question/answer sound thingys.

I realize that this sounds a little tedious, but I promise a little effort to do this in the beginning will make it worth your while in the long run! You can share these files with other teachers and over multiple years (if it makes sense, of course!), and if you need to tweak it a little from year to year (or teacher to teacher), it is not hard at all! Though I haven't ventured into this area yet, I'm also thinking that this could be a good job for a trustworthy and tech-savvy parent volunteer. 

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