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The TAGG-A Project

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Transition Assessment and Goal Generator - Alternate

A new online transition assessment under development for students with disabilities taught to alternate achievement standards.

TAGG-A recruitment flyer

Transition Assessment & Goal Generator - Alternate

Title: TAGG-A: Developing, Validating, and Disseminating a New Secondary
Transition Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities (SWSCD)
Taught to Alternate Achievement Standards

Purpose: We will create a new assessment designed specifically for SWSCD taught to alternate standards titled the Transition Assessment and Goal Generator – Alternate (TAGG-A).

Need for TAGG-A: IDEA 2004 requires use of transition assessments to facilitate building the transition sections of students’ IEPs. Unfortunately, most existing assessments for SWSCD lack ample validity evidence and lack a student version, and all lack ready-to-use profiles to assist educators in writing Indicator 13-compliant IEPs, and none of their constructs or items were built using research identified behaviors associated with post-school outcomes.

Assessment to Be Developed: The US Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences funded the proposal submitted by a team of researchers from the OU Zarrow Center for Learning Enrichment and SRI International to develop this new transition assessment. The web-based TAGG-A will assess the further education, employment, and independent living behaviors research has identified as being associated with positive postsecondary outcomes of secondary transition-aged SWSCD. The TAGG-A will assess varied perspectives with three versions: TAGG-AS (Student), TAGG-AF (Family), and the TAGG-AP (Professional). The TAGG-AS will use UDL principles to create items accessible to students with a range of cognitive and communications skills. Each student item will have options for (a) text to speech, (b) word highlighting, and (c) visual representation. Educators will be able to select one or more of these options and will have support or scaffolds to facilitate student use of the TAGG-AS. The results profile will use Item-Response Theory algorithms to provide educators and the IEP team graphic results organized by constructs and respondents, followed by lists of students’ greatest and relative strengths and needs, a written summary of results, two recommended annual transition goals based on each student’s greatest needs and relative strengths, matched with three measureable objectives, and coordinated activities, all of which can be copied and pasted into the transition sections of students’ IEPs.

Setting: Secondary schools across the country where SWSCD receive instruction, special educator offices, and in the home of participating parents and transition-aged SWSCD.

Sample: A total of 850 transition-aged SWSCD will be the participants in this project across three data collection phases. A total of 335 special education professionals and 850 parents or guardians of the SWSCD will evaluate students using the emerging TAGG-A.

Development Method: We will systematically replicate the process Martin, Hennessey, McConnell, Terry, and Willis (2015) used to develop the web-based TAGG, which we created with a recently completed IES award. To do this we will identify and use research results (and theory as needed) that identified behaviors of SWSCD associated with post-school outcomes to develop constructs, items, and scoring system. An Item Try-Out and Social Validity Check will be done to obtain initial user comments and suggested changes for the first draft of TAGG-A. After revisions, the first nation-wide field test will be conducted and collected data from use of the TAGG-A versions will be used to undertake initial exploratory factor analyses and other validity analyses. After revisions, data from the second nation-wide field test will be used to confirm the factor structure and to undertake other psychometric tests, and conduct Item-Response Theory scaling on combined field tests 1 and 2 data sets. Results will be used to create a usable and meaningful results profile. The TAGG-A Technical Manual, User’s Guide, and other supporting material, and the revised TAGG-A will be made available for use by educators through the OU Zarrow Center website. Information about the TAGG-A will be distributed to educators and pre-service faculty across the country.

Validity Evidence: We will gather content (constructs from research), response processes, internal structure (exploratory & confirmatory factor analyses, differential item functioning, IRT scaling), and relations to other variables (discriminant validity).

Project Staff

Project Director: Kendra Williams-Diehm, Ph.D.

Co-Project Director: Christopher Sanford, Ph.D.; SRI Intl.

Project Coordinator: Tracy Sinclair

Methodologist: Renee Cameto, Ph.D.; SRI Intl.

Psychometric Methodologist: Robert Terry, Ph.D.

Assessment Methodologist: Meaghan Hennessey, Ph.D.

Data Coordinator: Lori Hodge, SRI Intl.

Administrative Assistant: Donna Willis

Webmaster: Chad Bailey

IES Award# R324A160160-17