Formative Assessments of Reading Comprehension

Project Number
OER 30/08 SP

Project Duration
April 2009 - September 2012


The proposed research is a development project in collaboration with the MOE who want to create formative reading assessments that can be aligned with the new STELLAR syllabus. The shared goal is to provide teachers with assessment information that is tied directly to instruction and practice. We will design (1) prototypical assessments of children's reading comprehension for grades P2 and P3 and (2) appropriate self-guided instructional activities. The unique feature of the linked assessments and instruction is that they will all be self-administered by students who interact with paper via smart pens. The smart pen technology allows software to be embedded in the paper via a system of tiny dot patterns that are read by an infrared camera in the tip of the smart pen. Thus, audio files with instructional suggestions can be embedded in the paper and heard when the paper region is activated by a pen touch. Students will wear headphones so the interactions are private and self-paced. The project will trial the new assessments, new instructional materials, and new technology in a one-year study with approximately 300 students at each grade. We will use Rasch modelling analytical tools, based on work by our consultant Prof M Mok, to scale both items and students on the assessments and to link student performance to differentiated instructional advice. In other words, the level of test performance will determine the level of comprehension activities that will be prescribed. In addition to the development of materials and the collection of scaling information, we will also administer surveys and interviews to teachers and students to assess their reactions to the materials and smart pens.

Funding Source

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