Reading Assessment by kpdAfJX

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									Reading Assessment
Intensive English Language Institute

December 7, 2006, IELI faculty assessed level 4 students to determine whether they were
meeting program exit criteria for reading.

Procedures
Sixteen students enrolled in IELI 2460—Reading from Academic Sources--during the Fall
Semester 2006 participated in the reading assessment. Students received a photocopy of a
chapter from a basic college business text and were instructed to take it home and study it as they
would if they expected to be tested on it. They were informed that on the next class session they
would be tested on the material. When the class met again two days later, students completed a
50-minute written assessment task designed to sample IELI Program Reading Goals as listed in
Table 1.

Table 1
IELI Program Reading Goals—(Assessed goals appear in bold font.)
 Uses university on-line catalog and databases to identify texts for academic purposes
 Uses library record (location & call number) to locate books and journals
 Distinguishes among several common text genres (e.g., essay, textbook, article from popular
 magazine, newspaper)
 Reads several academically relevant text types (e.g., essay, textbook, article from popular
 magazine, newspaper)
 Adjusts reading strategies to purpose for reading
 Surveys & skims text for overview of structure & content
 Scans text for specific information when appropriate
 Distinguishes main ideas and supporting details
 Identifies basic purpose(s) of a text
 Distinguishes between facts and opinions in a text
 Guesses meaning of unknown words from context where possible
 Makes effective use of a dictionary when necessary
 Uses one of several methods for depicting text structure & content to be learned (e.g.,
 outlining, concept-mapping, clustering)
 Responds to text in a variety of ways (e.g., writes summaries, selects and responds to specific
 ideas, synthesizes information from multiple texts)


Faculty worked in pairs and rated each student’s performance for evidence of goal achievement,
assigning a numerical score according to the rating scale shown in Table 2.

Table 2
Rating Scale for Goal Achievement
      Rating                                         Explanation
         2          Both faculty members agreed that the student met the goal.
         1          The two faculty members disagreed as to whether the goal was met.
         0          Both faculty members agreed that the goal was not met.


Outcomes
Outcomes for each of the five assessed criteria are summarized in Table 3.

Table 3
Number of Students at each Rating for Five Assessed Criteria
                                                                             Rating     2    1       0

 Can distinguish several common text genres                                            11    0       5
 Can identify basic purpose(s) of a text                                                9    1       6
 Can make effective use of a dictionary when necessary                                 12    2       2
 Can distinguish main ideas and supporting details                                     10    6       0
 Can use one of several methods for depicting text structure & content to be            9    6       1
 learned


Among the five criteria listed, the ability to depict text structure and content to be learned has
important practical implications for the university-bound reader, and overall level 4 students’
performance with regard to this goal was encouraging. Among other higher order academic
reading skills deemed by IELI faculty to be particularly crucial for academic success are: 1) the
ability to distinguish the main ideas and supporting details of a text, and 2) the ability to
summarize a text. Unfortunately, the form used this semester did not include an item for
assessing their ability to summarize a text. A majority of students assessed satisfied these
criteria although there were some cases in which raters disagreed as to whether a student’s
performance on the assessment task demonstrated goal achievement.

Table 4
Number of Students Judged by at Least Two Raters to Have Satisfied Various Criteria.
                          Ability to:                             Number of students
 Use a dictionary                                                          12
 Distinguish several common text genres                                    11
 Distinguish main ideas and supporting details                             10
 Identify basic purpose(s) of a text                                       9
 Represent text structure and content                                      9
The assessment suggests that the reading goals deemed most important by IELI faculty (i.e., the
ability to distinguish main ideas from details and facility in summarizing a text are also the most
difficult for students.




Table 5
Students overall ability to meet all criteria

       Percentage met           Number of students
            100 %                         2
             90%                          4
             80%                          2
             70%                          2
             60%                          4
             40%                          1
             30%                          1

								
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