Steven T. Kane, PhD, is the author of the Kane Learning Difficulties Assessment™ (KLDA™). The KLDA screens college students for learning difficulties and ADHD. This week, the PAR blog sits down with the author to learn more about the development of the KLDA and the feedback he has received from clinicians on the impact it has made.
What initially inspired you to develop the KLDA?
Before becoming a professor and researcher, I was employed in a university disability resource center as a psychologist who specialized in learning disabilities and ADHD. I was also previously employed at three of the most diverse community colleges in California. In each of these settings, I saw literally hundreds of students who should have been screened for learning and attentional challenges but never were. I was also quite frankly shocked by the number of individuals I saw who clearly suffered from some form of learning or attentional difficulties as adults yet were never screened or tested in the K–12 system. Testing for a learning disability and/or ADHD is very expensive and simply out of reach for the majority of our most at-risk college students, especially those of color and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds. I also found it troubling that almost none of these students were ever screened for anxiety disorders or memory challenges. Thus, my goal was to develop a screening assessment that was very affordable and easy to take, preferably via the internet.
How does the KLDA differ from other competitive measures?
There are not a lot of similar measures, which is, again, one of the main reasons why we developed the KLDA. There are two or three other measures that assess study skills, motivation, etc., but not the key academic skills and executive functioning skills the KLDA assesses.
What are some important things clinicians should know about the KLDA?
First, the KLDA is normed on a very large and diverse population from across the U.S. and Canada. Second, the KLDA was completed by more than 5,000 people over the internet for free as we performed factor analyses, perfected item development, and more. Third, the KLDA is very affordable, essentially self-interpreting, and can be administered quickly via the Internet. Most respondents finish the assessment in about 10 minutes as the items are written at about a fourth- through sixth-grade reading level. The KLDA can also guide the assessment process and inform which lengthier diagnostic assessments should be administered. Finally, the KLDA is a great discussion prompt to encourage clients to talk about their difficulties across different environments.
What feedback have you received from users of the KLDA?
Practitioners and test-takers have found the assessment very useful and easy to administer (especially via the web in a pandemic!). It leads to very interesting discussions that the respondent has often never had with anyone before.
Anything else you think is important for people to know about your product?
The KLDA is a very flexible product. The assessment can be used by individual clinicians to screen a client before they even meet for the first time. It’s been used by community colleges and universities as part of their orientation process to screen at-risk students before they fail. Study skills and student success instructors have found the KLDA extremely useful to administer to a classroom as part of a group assignment. Thanks to PARiConnect, the KLDA can be easily administered to large groups of individuals online at a very low cost.
Related Article: ADHD & ACADEMIC CONCERNS DURING A PANDEMIC
The Hopkins Verbal Learning Test–Revised™ (HVLT-R™) and the Brief Visuospatial Memory Test–Revised™ (BVMT-R™) are now available for scoring on PARiConnect. The HVLT-R assesses verbal learning and memory, while the BVMT-R measures visuospatial memory. Both tests are neuropsychological assessments that can be used together as part of a battery.
HVLT-R and BVMT-R Score Reports generated by PARiConnect provide:
A score summary table that provides raw scores, T scores, and percentiles
A raw score profile
A T-score profile
Save valuable clinical time by letting PARiConnect handle the scoring. Now you can easily score these assessments online and without the expense of software or licenses. Learn more about the HVLT-R and the BVMT-R now!
Don’t have a PARiConnect account? It’s easy to sign up! Learn more
Interested in research conducted using the HVLT-R and BVMT-R? Click here and here to see our lists of research articles.
Related article: New on PARiConnect: Digital Library
Can a student’s classroom have an impact on their ability to learn effectively? According to a new study out of Carnegie Mellon University, there seems to be evidence that highly decorated classrooms may be a distraction for students.
Researchers Anna V. Fisher, Karrie E. Godwin, and Howard Seltman focused their research on how classroom displays affect a child’s ability to maintain focus and learn lesson content. Their results, published in Psychological Science, found that children in highly decorated classrooms were more distracted, were off task more often, and demonstrated smaller learning gains than their counterparts in a classroom where the decorations had been removed.
The study placed 24 kindergarten students in laboratory classrooms for six science lessons on topics that were unfamiliar to the students. Three lessons were taught in a heavily decorated classroom. Three lessons took place in a classroom without decorations. Although results showed the children learned in both environments, they reported more educational gains in the sparsely decorated classroom. In the undecorated room, children responded to test questions correctly about 55% of the time as opposed to 42% of the time in the decorated classroom.
Furthermore, the time students spent off-task was higher in the decorated classroom (38.6% of time spent off-task in the decorated room, 28.4% of time spent off-task in the undecorated room).
Although researchers do not suggest that teachers remove decorations from their classrooms, they believe more research needs to be done to understand the effect visual environment has on learning and attention.