Date of Award

12-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Educational and School Psychology

First Advisor

Mark R. McGowan

Second Advisor

Lynanne Black

Third Advisor

Courtney L. McLaughlin

Fourth Advisor

Dana Keener

Abstract

In 2014, Pearson, Inc. introduced their digital testing platform, Q-interactive, which includes the Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children – 5th Edition (WISC-V; Weschler, 2014). The WISC-V contains the Processing Speed Index (PSI), and observable differences are evident for the paper and digital versions of the subtests of the PSI, Coding and Symbol Search. Specifically, the digital version reduces the writing component, presents the stimulus one item at a time, provides touch feedback on the Symbol Search subtest, reduces time spent turning pages of the paper response book, and eliminates the ability to self-correct errors. Thus, the primary purpose of this study was to compare the difference between PSI standard scores obtained through the digital and paper versions of the WISC-V. Additional research questions examined the performance of two subgroups; males and females and students eligible for special education and non-eligible peers on the digital administration of the PSI. A group of 57 students from a suburban school district in Western Pennsylvania who were previously tested with the WISC-V were re-administered the Coding and Symbol Search subtests. For the primary research question, a repeated measures analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), with practice effects as the covariate, indicated no significant difference between PSI standard scores obtained through the digital and paper administration formats, F(1, 52) = .187, p = .667. Findings suggest equivalency between the two types of administration. The second research question compared the performance between males and females on the digital administration of the PSI. Similar to the paper administration, results of an independent samples t-test found that females (M =117.62, SD = 15.867) scored higher than males (M = 105.00, SD = 17.352) on the digital administration of the PSI, t(54) = -2.822, p = .007. Cohen’s d indicated a moderate to large effect size between males and females (d = 0.77). The third research question compared the performance between children eligible for special education and children not eligible for special education on the digital version of the PSI. Since the sample contained several students eligible for gifted support services, an analysis of variance (ANOVA) examined the differences between three groups: students eligible for special education, students eligible for gifted support, and students not eligible for any service. A significant difference between groups was detected, F(2,53) = 17.402, p<.001. Tukey HSD post-hoc comparisons revealed that students identified as gifted (M =123.45, SD =13.440) scored significantly higher than students eligible for special education (M =97.06, SD =15.817) and students not eligible for services (M = 108.35, SD = 12.777). The difference between students eligible for special education and students not eligible for any service was not statistically significantly different (p = .058). Future research is needed in the area of digital assessment.

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