In “Changes You’ve Been Asking for: The RLA Test Screen & Score Reports,” our professional development and assessment teams discussed the format changes in the RLA test that students will see in 2019. 

Over the last few years many educators and students have given us a great deal of feedback related to the RLA test interface and suggested changes. In the webinar we reviewed the following upcoming changes to the test:

  • The response box will be greatly enlarged on the right-hand side of the display. Students will be able to view, write and edit their response more easily.
  • The instructions will be reformatted and made clearer on the left-hand side of the display.  The instructions have not changed, but the information that is accessed by clicking on the “ER Answer Guidelines” will now be more accessible as part of the instructions.
  • The instructions will appear with selected words in bold type. When a student reads only these bolded words, they can still understand the task.
  • These enhanced instructions will also appear on all accommodated tests, GED Ready® and Spanish tests.
  • The reading material which is currently presented across multiple tabs will be presented in one tab that students scroll through. There will now be just two tabs on the left-hand side of the display: one tab for the revised instructions, and a second tab for the reading material.

The webinar also presented ongoing research that will improve the usability and effectiveness of the GED score reports based on a two-phase research study we launched in 2017. In the first phase we looked at how educators and students understand and use the score report and we used these findings to build prototypes. In 2019 we will research if these prototypes work for both educators and students. After a number of reviews we will conclude with the last usability study.

Here are a few examples of our findings from the research:

  • Revise language to make the reports easier to understand including:
    • Skills/indicators in “How to Score Higher”
    • Information provided in “What Does My Score Mean”
  • Update the study plan including:
    • Sorting the study plan by page numbers in the book
    • Printable version with margins that allow for hand-written notes

The full presentation and a downloadable pdf are available here.