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E801: Action 3.13: Assessment

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Reid (2009) Chapter 5

1. What specific tests are mentioned and what do they assess?

Cognitive Measures: WISC -IV (Wechsler intelligence scale) assumes IQ tests are valid/reliable; IQ and reading share causal dependency; no information on how to intervene

Processing Skills: PAL-11 (Process Assessment of the Learner) explains why; suggests how to intervene;

WIAT-11 (Wechsler Individual Achievement Test) correlates with WISC; extent of difficulties but no guidance on which areas are involved

CTOPP (Comprehensive test of phonological processing); more specific; precise diagnostic information and evaluation of progress.

Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests- formal; structured

GORT-4 (Gray oral reading tests) - both top down and bottom up processes; uses Miscue analysis but diff. marking than Goodman

LPAD - Freuerstein's learning potential Assessment Device - dynamic test/assisted assessment - intervention AND assessment

What is meant by 'standardised and psychometric criteria'?

Standardised utilises a basis for comparison; a reference point against which other things can be evaluated (norm-referenced). E.g. IQ tests, reading age. Need care to avoid bias in test construction.

Psychometrics is the field of study concerned with the theory and technique of educational and psychological measurement, which includes the measurement of knowledge, abilities, attitudes, and personality traits. The field is primarily concerned with the construction and validation of measurement instruments, such as questionnaires, tests, and personality assessments. (Wikipedia). Tries to establish a norm.

WISC - psychometric, standardised test.

What do you understand by the term 'screening'?

Screening is a strategy used in a population to detect a disease/difficulty in an individual without signs of the disease/difficulty.

At what age, which skills, how should results be used?
All children?


What are the key aspects of curriculum assessment?

In context; performance in natural environment; using meaningful activities

  • Cloze procedure
  • Silent reading
  • Reading aloud
  • Free writing
  • spelling

What is miscue analysis?

Miscue analysis is a tool for looking closely at the types of reading strategies a reader uses. The kinds of miscues (incorrect guesses) a reader makes when reading from a text will give the listener clues about how familiar or unfamiliar the reader finds the content matter, and how easy or difficult they find the text to read. Reading tests do not give this sort of information because reading is so much more than just looking closely at each letter and every word. Based on Goodman (1976)

What is meant by the 'components approach' to assessment?

  • Distinguish dyslexia from slow learner
  • Distinguish dyslexia from comprehension deficits
  • Adapted for teacher and psychologist
  • Complete diagnosis: qualitative and quantitative

The advantages of observational assessment?

  • Gives info which can lead to personalised development programme
  • Less stress for learner
  • Flexible
  • Adaptive
  • Contextual

Give some examples of 'assessing in context'

Specific difficulties relating to subject e.g. relative importance of information and ordering information in history.

History example was assessment designed to bolster self-esteem

2. Look at the assessment materials in Reid (2009) Appendix 1 and the assessment materials on the course website.

Which tests are suitable for large numbers of students and which are individualised?



TOPA-2+ (5-8yrs)

TOPA-2+ (5-8yrs)

CTOPP (5-25)


Launch into reading success (young)


GORT-4 (6-19)


TOWRE (6-25)






DST (3 levels - up to adult)




SNAP (facilitates communication)







In which ways would you differentiate between these assessments and decide which to use?

Although it seems one of the least important factors, I would have to mention that the availability of the tests would have to play a part as I would like to use a selection of tests and they are expensive so it would have to depend on which tests the university would be willing to pay for or already possessed.

Age is an important factor - I work with a population of adults over a wide range from 18years in a University context.

I would like to use a screening approach initially with in depth discussion on family history, past and present educational experiences and other life experiences.

I do not feel that an IQ test is appropriate with these adult learners who have achieved university entry. However it may be necessary to include if required by the Student Loans Company to justify their payment of Disabled Students Allowance.

I think that I would like to use the Process Assessment of the Learner Diagnostic Assessment for Reading and Writing (PAL-11) and then progress to dynamic assessment models but this would all depend on the demands of the Student Loans Company. I intend to do some more research in this area in order to find out what exactly is required.


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