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A journey of “Non Readers” towards “Readers”: A case study of Sindh Reading Program, ICT-Based Formative Assessment

Mon, March 6, 3:15 to 4:45pm, Sheraton Atlanta, Floor: 1, Atlanta 3 (North Tower)


The Sindh Reading Program (SRP) is a USAID-funded project designed to improve reading in primary schools in Sindh province of Pakistan by providing teachers with face-to-face teacher training and school-based support, and by providing teaching and learning materials (TLMs) to improving reading instruction and learning. These interventions aim to close gaps identified in SRP’s 2014 baseline in which about half of all students were unable to read a single word on the Oral Reading Fluency task on an Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA).

In order to strengthen its teacher training and materials interventions, SRP initiated the use of ICT-based formative assessment (FA). In this program, SRP lead the administration of FA in supported schools and provide assessment results to program managers in order to make informed decisions about improving training and materials provided by the project. SRP also developed an approach for using FA results to provide teachers with real-time information on their students’ progress and difficulties, and to facilitate discussion on strategies for improving teaching and learning. By providing feedback on student performance to teachers. SRP added formative assessment (FA) to its intervention design because many students in Sindh province are struggling with reading as shown in various assessments results conducted by ASER, PEAC, SAT and Pakistan Reading Projects. Moreover these challenges were also figured out through SRP’s internal baseline study.

There is growing body of literature (Carless, 2012; Frohbieter, Greenwald, Stecher, & Schwartz, 2011; Klenowski, 2009; Pham & Renshaw, 2015) suggesting that; because program implementers and teachers lack detailed, real-time information concerning the kinds of reading learning difficulties students are experiencing, instruction remained more generic and less helpful of learners who are struggling with readers. After the significant impact of Black and Wiliam’s research on highlighting the crucial role of assessment for learning in 1998, the formative assessment method gained significant interest due to its ability of strengthening the relationship between assessments, learning and teaching. The tool of formative assessments can help in refining teaching practices and instruction can be more guided using FA results.
SRP’s approach to FA included samples of entire Grade 1 and 2 classes, and in its initial stages, also focused on the needs of nonreaders, or “zero-score” students – ones who were unable to read a single word on the Oral Reading Fluency task at baseline. In this development period, FA optimized information about nonreaders in order to inform SRP interventions, and to help teachers understand what types of strategies to use to help this struggling group.

This presentation will highlight the introduction of SRP ICT-based FA design, and describe the process followed by SRP in identifying and supporting non-readers as well as the results of Non-Readers, a sub-set of grade-2 students, who were found common all three points during one academic year. The various trends of Non-readers will be shared in this platform.


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