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October 2007 Calendar

Month Topic
OCTOBER RESEARCH AND ASSESSMENT
OCTOBER

Research

and

ARCS

 

1.  Review of Webcast:  From Assessment to Practice: Research-Based Approaches to Teaching Reading to Adult

Click here for Posting #2

Webcast now archived at http://www.nifl.gov/nifl/webcasts/assesspractice/webcast0928.html .

Information about the Webcast:

From Assessment to Practice: Research-Based Approaches to Teaching Reading to Adults

Webcast Suggestions

This weekend I was able to watch the archived webcast.  Here are just a couple of thoughts if you haven't watched it.

Using Media Player versus Real Player

If you have trouble with Media Player cutting in and out, try Real Player.  I used both and Real Player worked more smoothly.

PowerPoint Slides

Even if you do not get a chance to watch the webcast, at least download the PowerPoint slides.  You will find excellent information on them.  And who knows?  Some of the items might even pique your interest in watching the webcast.

Research

The webcast is a fantastic research tool itself.  Even if you do not consider yourself a reading teacher, you can gain a lot of information from it that you can transfer to content areas. 

Structured and Direct Instruction

Regardless of the content area, direct instruction is a valid component of teaching adult learners.  Explicit instruction needs to be focused on specific assessed needs.

Research tells us that mid-level readers (often the largest percentage of adult learners) have extremely varied reading needs, and although they have learned some word identification skills, they often donít make good use of these skills when reading.  When they come to a word they donít recognize, they may use the first few letter andí/or context clues to guess rather than decode the word (Davidson & Strucker, 2002).  Other learners need to increase fluency, build vocabulary, or improve comprehension.

In other words, although they may not always understand the exact nature of their problems, many adults in basic education programs need to improve their reading.

Taken from Applying Research in Reading Instruction for Adults by Susan McShane


2.  Adult Reading Components Study (ARCS):  Assessment Strategies and Reading Profiles

Click here for Posting #3

ASSESSMENT       

As I sat down to put together a brief overview on reading assessment, I realized what a daunting task this can be.  Brief?  More tests?  Youíve got to be kidding!!!  (Yes, I can read your minds!)  However, again it is my goal not to make this a cumbersome process but something that you will use or at least think about using.  If you have not yet looked at the ARCS website (Adult Reading Components Study), now is a good time to check it out.

RESEARCH

Principle 1: 

When measures of achievement are obtained for each crucial aspect of reading instruction (alphabetics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension), instructionally relevant patterns of scores, or profiles of adultsí strengths and needs in reading, may be observed.  These profiles suggest that ABE readers, including those in ESOL programs and those with a reading disability, are very diverse and that any one measure of reading achievement may not be sufficient to identify strengths and needs for instruction.

Taken from Research-Based Principles for Adult Basic Education Reading Instruction (Kruidenier, 2002, p.20.)

DIRECTIONS FOR ACCESSING INFORMATION FROM THE ARCS WEBSITE

Go to http://www.nifl.gov/readingprofiles/.

On the bottom of the websiteís homepage are two choices:

OR

If you have a studentís scores and would like help planning a program for the student, click on Match a Profile.  If you do not have the necessary information, you can still see recommended tests to use plus links to those tests just by clicking on Match a Profile.  (Donít worry Ė the TABE is one of the tests.)

If you have a need for more background information in reading, click on Take the Mini-Course.  This is an excellent resource that any ABLE staffer can use!

RESOURCES

 

 QUESTIONS

Reading:

  • Have any of you used the Match a Profile website? 

  • If so, what assessment tools did you use for the studentís profile?

  • How did the website help you?

Math:

We donít just have to talk about reading, right?  I would think that there are other assessment tools out there for math also.  What are some of you using?

Other:

What other assessment tools are some of you using?  Learning inventories?  Career assessments?

SUMMARY

Send your comments, thoughts, or questions to norenehp@bresnan.net.