Development of a Standardized Instrument to Assess the Performance of Computer Tasks by Students with Low VisionBy Vincent, Claude; Dumont, Claire; Bouchard, Daniele; Lesperance, Francoise; Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, Vol. 97, No. 1, pp. 5-15
Publication Date: January 2003
Article on the development of a standardized instrument to assess the performance of computer tasks by students with low vision. The Assessment of Computer Task Performance (ACTP) was developed to evaluate the performance of children with low vision when using computer commands. The article presents the results of a study on the use of the French version of the ACTP with French-speaking students with low vision. The objectives of their study were to evaluate the test-retest reliability of the tasks, to verify the internal consistency of the test, to verify the construct validity of the test, and to explain the factors that may affect the reliability of the tasks with students with low vision. The students were recruited in two regions of eastern Quebec. the French language test (child version, ages four to ten) was administered to a group of twenty-two children with low vision. Testing took place in a quiet room and took approximately one hour to complete. The test was administered twice within a two-to-six week interval. In each session, each task was measured twice, so that four measurements were obtained for each task. The ACTP was developed to evaluate performance, both in terms of speed and accuracy when carrying out a computer command. The test was divided into two main parts: writing tasks and pointer tasks. The first part included five preliminary keyboard tasks and six timed standardized keyboard tasks. The second part included seven preliminary mouse tasks and three standardized and timed mouse tasks. The preliminary tasks determined whether a student needed computer access technology or assistive devices to compute any part of the test. Each task was evaluated according to two criteria - level of success and the time taken to complete the task. The level of success was assessed using a four-point scale: completion, completion with errors, partial completion, and unable to perform. The results of the test showed that in test-retest reliability, five of the nine tasks demonstrated high reliability. Reliability was linked to length of the task. The shorter tasks showed a much greater amount of error. In the eternal consistency of the test, consistency is lost in evaluating mouse and keyboard tasks separately, as each task evaluated distinct abilities. The third objective was to determine construct validity. The general ability to use a computer and the ability to track the cursor visually make up seventy percent of the results. The results showed that the double keys task did not relate to other tasks, as it is not related to writing, moving on the screen, or copying a model. The fourth and final objective was to outline factors that could affect the reliability of the performance of keyboard and mouse tasks by students with low vision. This showed a low test-retest reliability. Factors that may have contributed to this may have been related to personal strategies, the students' behavior, and the environment. This instrument may be used by occupational therapists to help students with low vision achieve the highest level of functional computer performance possible.
Published by: AFB Press (Website:http://www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=46)
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) (Web Site: http://www.afb.org )
Link to text: http://www.afb.org/JVIB/JVIB9701toc.asp