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I agree with Nic.? I have my developmental reading students read textbooks, articles, essays, etc.? I ask comprehension questions as well as having them annotate, take notes, outline specific and main points.? You could always create a pre and post-test that allows their progress to be measured.


-----Original Message-----
From: Nic Voge <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Wed, Sep 30, 2009 8:27 am
Subject: Re: I need help from a reading specialist


Hello Barbara,?
I think this is an interesting question. When your curriculum is designed to complement a specific reading-heavy course, how do you assess students' improvement? I would ask a corollary question: Do you want to measure something posited as a "general ability" for reading or something more specific to the kind of reading (textbooks for academic purposes) you are teaching your students? I think your idea of making a measure in-house is a good one. There have, I believe, been discussions of this type on the listserv before, so you may want to check the archive. I remember Dave Caverly giving a useful response to a similar question that you might use.?
?
One observation I would make based upon your post, where you write: "We use a reading and study skills text but for the bulk of the work, we use the textbook of the linked class. Students learn a skill and immediately apply it to the linked class. ... For a final, we have been having the students read and annotate a published study to see if they understand it and pick out the salient information." I would argue that reading and learning with a scholarly text of a study published for expert readers poses significantly different cognitive and metacognitive demands than does reading a textbook (which has an instructional, not a scholarly, purpose) written for novices. You might have greater face validity of your final exam AS your measure if you used for your final project a chapter from the textbook that was not used during the term, or even a chapter from a comparable textbook in the same discipline. Then, if the results of your final do not correlate with an off-the-shelf t!
 est that has been "validated" (all measures of validity are based upon assumptions and have limitations) do not correspond, you are in a better position to challenge the validity of the standard test for YOUR purposes. At that point, since you've established that the TABE, Nelson Denny or what have you is not an accurate measure for you, then creating a measure of your own makes sense, even if you cannot establish its validity according to psychometric criteria. At that point you will be basing your selection of instrument on face validity.?
Nic?
On Sep 30, 2009, at 5:12 AM, Barbara Kirkwood wrote:?
?
> Hello everyone,?
> I am in need of some help or advice. We have a class (Critical > Inquiry) for students who are not reading at collegiate level. We > were strictly using the Accuplacer test for placement but moved to > using the SAT and ACT reading scores along with Accuplacer for > students who have not taken the SAT or ACT. Accuplacer seemed to be > inconsistent and we had some students who scored over 600 in our > classes while students who scored below 400 were not. The most > recent ACT report indicated that the equivalent of an SAT 560 score > is academically ready for college. The executive decision here was > to use SAT/ACT scores and a cut off for the required class at 450 > and below. The question is how to assess whether we are > successfully teaching students to read better.?
>?
> We link the Critical Inquiry class with a heavy reading class like > psychology, philosophy, or chemistry. We use a reading and study > skills text but for the bulk of the work, we use the textbook of the > linked class. Students learn a skill and immediately apply it to > the linked class. We teach annotation, questioning, and context > vocabulary.?
>?
> For a final, we have been having the students read and annotate a > published study to see if they understand it and pick out the > salient information. I am being tasked to have a pre and post > reading test or something to indicate reading at or near college > level. I am aware of the Nelson Denny and TABE, but I am looking > for anything else that may be appropriate. I tried sending six > students to take the Accuplacer at the end of the class: 2 I felt > would easily pass, 2 who were questionable, and 2 I thought would > not pass the test. One of the top two students did not pass. He > came to my office and told me he didn't feel the test was an > accurate assessment of his ability to get information from text, > which I thought was an interesting perception on his part. The > other top student did pass along with one of the questionable > students. Thus, I have questions about whether Accuplacer is > assessing what we are teaching. Perhaps we need to develop an in > h!
 ouse assessment and work towards establishing reliability and > validity. This is where I need help and advice.?
>?
> Has anyone else developed such an instrument and have you > established validity and reliability? Is there anyone who could > advise me on accomplishing such a task? I have spoken to our > reading experts in the education department but their expertise > applies primarily to elementary school ages. Is there something > else we might be using? I would appreciate any advice you can give > me.?
> Barbara?
>?
>?
> Barbara L.S. Kirkwood?
> Associate Director for Group Academic Support?
> CASA - Center for Academic Support and Advancement?
> Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne?
> (260) 481-6881?
>?
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