Toybox

This is a test of visual associative memory, based on either a shape-colour association (children aged 4-6) or a shape-pattern association (children aged 7). An array of shapes either coloured or patterned appears at the top of the screen. The shape-colour or shape-pattern relationship is consistent within a test but is not consistent across different students, i.e. it varies from student to student, so that the outcome of the subtest cannot be affected by students communicating (e.g. one student saying to another ‘the star is red’). An empty shape appears in the middle of the screen and then as the array at the top disappears, a new array of colours or patterns undifferentiated by shape appears at the bottom. The student is required to click on the colour or pattern that is associated with the shape in the middle of the screen. The order of colours or patterns at the bottom of the screen is randomised for each item of the test, so that a student cannot associate a colour or pattern with a particular spatial position.

The scenario for students younger than 7 years old is that the computer has some toys, which are shapes (see Figure 19). Sometimes the computer ‘forgets’ which colour each shape should be. It wants the student to remember which colour goes with each shape and when the computer ‘forgets’ the colour the student has to ‘tell’ the computer which one it is by choosing the correct colour from the array of different colours that appears at the bottom of the screen. For children aged 7 the scenario is that the computer shows various shapes, which have different patterns inside (see Figure 20). The student has to remember the patterns inside each shape and demonstrate this by selecting the correct pattern from the array of different patterns that appear at the bottom of the screen.

 

Figure 19. Toybox – ‘Remember the colour of the shapes’

In all cases the student has a practice phase in which the requirement is to correctly match 5 shapes with their correct colours (or patterns). In the test phase the student is given 90 seconds to match as many shapes as possible with their correct colours (or patterns), which provides the accuracy data for this subtest. The speed score is based on the number of items attempted within the 90-second test phase. A maximum of 15 attempts in total are permitted.

 

Figure 20. Toybox – ‘Remember the pattern within the shapes’