Presentation on theme: "National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Report on the Focus Groups held in support of NARAPs Goal 1 Frederick Cline Christopher Johnstone."— Presentation transcript:
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Report on the Focus Groups held in support of NARAPs Goal 1 Frederick Cline Christopher Johnstone
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Goal 1 Process and sub-goals Document reading definition and support it by research and theory. Analyze the definition in relation to current standards and the population. Obtain input from relevant outside groups. Refine the definition based on input from external sources and research.
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Focus Group Goals Main purpose - get feedback on the definitions from members of the reading, disability and educational measurement communities.
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Focus Group Process Face-to-face (DARA): –Piggyback on large conferences. –Broader constituency of educators. –Cost effective, convenient, open to all. Web-based (PARA) –Not tied to specific conferences. –Focus on specific disability groups. –Targeted by GAC members and disability foci of projects.
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Face-to-Face Sessions Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) –6 sessions, 35 people American Educational Research Association (AERA) / National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME) –3 sessions, 17 people International Reading Association (IRA) –5 sessions, 24 people Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) –4 sessions, 18 people Society for the Scientific Study of Reading (SSSR) –5 sessions, 19 people
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Protocol One hour sessions All sessions taped along with notes taken Consent form included additional info 5 minutes on background and rules 10 minutes on each definition 15 minutes on all three 5 minutes on questionnaire (phone-based participants emailed questionnaire after the focus groups were completed)
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Definition A Reading is decoding and understanding written text. Decoding requires translating the symbols of writing systems (including Braille) into the spoken words they represent. Understanding is determined by the purposes for reading, the context, the nature of the text, and the readers' strategies and knowledge.
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Definition B Reading is decoding and understanding text for particular reader purposes. Readers decode written text by translating text to speech, and translating directly to meaning. To understand written text, readers engage in constructive processes to make text meaningful, which is the end goal or product.
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Definition C Reading is the process of deriving meaning from text. For the majority of readers, this process involves decoding written text. Some individuals require adaptations such as Braille or auditorization to support the decoding process. Understanding text is determined by the purposes for reading, the context, the nature of the text, and the readers' strategies and knowledge.
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Overarching statement Most people preferred having the main emphasis in the definitions be placed on understanding Participants did not feel that it was appropriate to have decoding appear equal to understanding in importance
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Definition of decoding Much of the dislike for the inclusion of decoding as equal in importance to understanding seemed to stem from differences in the scope of what decoding represented. –Reading experts often viewed decoding as a more comprehensive term. –Teachers often viewed decoding as too simple a term, such as sounding out words.
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Definition of understanding There was often discussion on the relative nature of the terms understanding and meaning (which were used in the definitions) and comprehension (which was not used). Two different descriptions of how understanding is impacted for students were included in the definitions.
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects The terms speech/spoken words Almost all groups objected to the references to speech and spoken words as being problematic to students who had no spoken language. Teachers often interpreted translating text to speech as being specific to oral reading (reading out loud).
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Braille The inclusion of Braille was supported as simply being the version of text accessible to those students who read Braille. Classifying it as an adaptation or accommodation was questioned by some. The use of a read aloud accommodation instead of Braille was mentioned a few times for students who either had not, could not, or would not learn Braille.
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Auditorization Many felt that auditorization undermined a basic construct of reading which includes the interpretation of text. No longer a reading test, but a listening test. Some (mostly teachers of students with readoing disabilities) argued that auditorization could be appropriate as a means to measure understanding.
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Understanding and decoding for disabled students Participants noted a clear relationship between decoding and understanding for non-disabled students. Less clear for students with disabilities: –Could show skill in decoding but had no understanding of what they read. –Capable of understanding but could not decode well.
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Other issues The nature and scope of the term text. When reading ends and literacy begins. ELL students not addressed.
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Teleconference Sessions National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) –4 people Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) –1 person Parent Advocacy Center for Educational Rights (PACER) –3 people The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) –2 people Gallaudet Research Institute –4 people The Association of State Consultants of Blind/Visually Impaired –6 people TASH/The ARC –7 people
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Results: Phone and Web-Based Focus Groups Results were similar to face-to-face focus groups. Understanding was the preferred definitional focus of participants. Heavy focus on decoding was questioned. Participants were widely supportive of the Definition Cs first sentence (reading is the process of deriving meaning from text ).
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Results: Phone and Web-Based Focus Groups Translating text to speech was a phrase that advocates for students who do not use spoken language found particularly problematic. The insertion of Braille was lauded by many groups. Braille and auditorization were not deemed equavalent. Participants questioned the validity of auditorization as a reading process
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Disability-Specific Information Aside from opinions about the definitions, participants provided specific information about how students with disabilities read. Number of participants was small, but information was rich.
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Down Syndrome Some readers with Down Syndrome are non- verbal, therefore the process of translating text to speech is not relevant. Other readers with Down Syndrome learn to read by decoding. Reading is a visual endeavor for most students with Down Syndrome, therefore auditorization should be considered an adaptation, not part of the reading process itself.
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Mental Retardation Readers with mental retardation have difficulty decoding, but can understand text through other strategies. Need to be engaged in order to succeed. Struggling readers may quickly give up if text is not interesting or relevant to their lives. May be non-verbal, therefore, an expectation of translating text to speech is unreasonable. Comprehending text (by a variety of means) is the most important goal for people who work with students with mental retardation.
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Emotional/Behavior Disorders Comprehension is the biggest issue with this population. Many students decode text just fine, but do not understand the meaning of text. Other factors, such as memory, fluency, and vocabulary may affect the comprehension levels of this population, and should be included in any definition.
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Learning Disabilities Participants stressed accessing text rather than decoding or reading text. A focus on accessing information, rather than individual skills, is most appropriate for this population. Some readers with learning disabilities use alternative approaches to reading, such as screen readers or books on tape, but still consider the process reading. (Both respondents used text readers and books on tape)
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Learning Disabilities The availability of text-based accommodations in higher education are commonplace (such as auditorization) but noted that such accommodations were rarely found or simply unavailable in K-12 education. Questioned large-scale assessment focus and preferred that reading approaches for students with LD be more practically oriented (e.g., learning to read graphics, job applications, etc.)
National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects Conclusion Findings were relatively consistent across both face-to-face and phone/web-based focus groups. According to participants, understanding is the most important element of reading. Translating text to speech is problematic for a variety of readers. Decoding is important, but not the most important facet of reading. Auditorization is deemed by many not to be a pure measure of reading.