In recent online assessments, numerous students who used a screen reader demonstrated technology gaps that negatively impacted their test scores. For some students, basic editing skills were an issue. Questions that involved spelling or homophones (words that sound alike but have different meanings and different spellings) require students to navigate by characters in order to identify how the word was spelled.
Example: The ________ tail rapidly beat the ground.
Screen readers will announce all four options the same way. The student must navigate each option character-by-character in order to make an educated choice.
Several test proctors stated that their student did not know how to navigate by characters, so the proctor set that entire section of the test to be read character-by-character. This meant that VoiceOver read the prompting sentence (or paragraph!) character-by-character!
Students who are receiving assessments in digital format, must receive daily homework assignments in digital format and should be learning and practicing the required tech skills.
The video below demonstrates the basic editing skills on iOS devices. Note: When a student is taking an online assessment, auto-correction is typically not allowed. Students should practice editing with and without auto correct and students should know how to independently turn on/off auto-correction on their device.
Teacher Hint: The video demonstrated editing in the Notes app with the onscreen keyboard and gestures. It is strongly recommended that students use a Bluetooth keyboard paired with the iPad. Typing on a Bluetooth keyboard is faster and more efficient and there are Bluetooth keyboard commands for easy navigation and editing.
Characters, Words, Lines, Punctuation, and Text Selection must be selected in Settings before these things will show up in the Rotor. To select these items, go to:
Settings > General > Accessibility > VoiceOver > Rotor and then check the desired options.
Note: In the Rotor, Punctuation is normally set to Some Punctuation, unless the student wants VoiceOver to announce items such as ‘colon’, ‘period’, etc.
To turn auto-correction on or off, go to:
Settings > General > Keyboards > Auto-Correction
For more details and activities about editing, see Digital Transitions #3: Editing Tech Skills and Activities
By Diane Brauner