For the 2018 Grades 3–8 English Language Arts (ELA) Computer-Based Tests (CBT), the Text-to-Speech (TTS) Player is available for those students who have been identified as having the accommodation of Test Read/Text-to-Speech. The TTS Player will read all student directions, passages, and questions. Students who have the TTS accommodation set through Nextera Admin for their computer-based test will see the TTS Player display on the bottom right of the screen when they log into the test. The student has the ability to move the TTS Player around on screen while testing should the default location block the student’s view. The following reading options are available to students directly from the TTS Player:
- Play All
- Play Passage
- Play Question
- Play Answers
Additionally, if a student wants to hear only a portion of the passage, question, or answer options, the student can place the cursor where he or she wants the TTS Player to begin, right click, and select “Play From Here.” This functionality is accessed on an iPad by using the touchscreen to select the word the student wants the TTS Player to begin reading from and then selecting “Play from Here” from the pop-up menu.
Students are also able to adjust the speed of the TTS Player. The default is 1.0x. Students will have the option of selecting 0.5x, 0.85x (New reading speed added for ELA as of 4/6/2018), 2.0x and 3.0x. If students change the speed from the default speed, the change will persist throughout the test session (i.e. from question to question) unless the student pauses the test. If the student pauses the test, the TTS Player speed will revert back to the default speed of 1.0x.
It is important that students have the necessary skills, instruction, and experience in the use of assistive technology for the purposes of implementing testing accommodations. Only if requested by the student during operational testing, proctors may show students how to use the “Play From Here” and reading speed adjustment functionalities.
The TTS Quick Reference Guide also provides guidance on using all TTS features and functionalities, but it has not yet been updated for the new 0.85x reading speed added on 4/6/18.