Development of a novel approach to assessing reading comprehension

Reading comprehension is a seemingly simple task. However, teaching, learning, and practicing this skill is not as simple as it would seem—and evaluating it is often just as difficult. The RAND Reading Study Group defines reading comprehension as “the process of simultaneously extracting and constructing meaning through interaction and involvement with written language” (p. xiii).

There have been many assessment formats developed to tap into what (and if) students are comprehending what they read. For instance, the cloze procedure asks readers to fill in a missing word within a sentence. However, test takers may have the tendency to focus on the immediate context of the question instead of the entire passage. Multiple-choice questions, easy to develop and score, may rely on passageless comprehension–that is, the likelihood that an examinee could take an educated guess based on prior knowledge, without reading the entire passage, and still score correctly.

According to the RAND study group, there are four factors that influence reading comprehension: the reader (e.g., his or her skills, knowledge, and preferences); the text (e.g., vocabulary, structure, and reading level); the reading activity (e.g., web site or novel); and reading over time (e.g., cognitive development).

When developing the Academic Achievement Battery Reading Comprehension: Passages subtest, author Melissa A. Messer took these factors into account and developed a valid and reliable reading comprehension test that is accurate and appropriate for all age and grade levels.

The novel approach used to develop this subtest identifies reading comprehension strengths and weaknesses across a wide and grade range. Learn more about the development of this AAB subtest in a new white paper available now on our website.

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The AAB is now on the Training Portal!

Whether you’re a long-time user of the Academic Achievement Battery™ (AAB™) family of products or you are considering your first purchase from this product family, now you can enroll in a free training course to learn more about this assessment!

The new AAB is ideal for measuring basic reading, math, spelling, and reading comprehension skills quickly and reliably. The new AAB can be used in educational, research, or clinical settings to confidently evaluate achievement in just 15 to 30 minutes to get an accurate overview of an individual’s educational skills. The AAB is ideal for evaluating fundamental academic skills during an initial evaluation, during reevaluation, or when working with those referred for learning, behavior, or vocational concerns across the life span.

A Comprehensive Form, which offers a complete evaluation of academic skills, and a Screening Form, which offers a fundamental evaluation of reading, math, spelling, and writing skills, are also available and have courses available on the Training Portal.

Each free, interactive course will give you a quick overview of the product, explain what makes it unique, and provide insight into how it was developed. And, best of all, the Training Portal is always available, so you can learn more on your schedule.

To access the Training Portal, use your parinc.com username and password to log in. Don’t have a free account? Register now

Now available! For value and simplicity, look to the AAB

Now available! We are thrilled to announce the release of the new Academic Achievement Battery™ (AAB™). Ideal for measuring basic reading, math, spelling, and reading comprehension skills quickly and reliably, the new AAB can be used in educational, research, or clinical settings to confidently evaluate achievement in just 15 to 30 minutes to get an accurate overview of an individual’s educational skills.

The AAB is ideal for evaluating fundamental academic skills during an initial evaluation, during reevaluation, or when working with those referred for learning, behavior, or vocational concerns across the life span. All four subtests are included in one easy-to-use response booklet. Reading subtests combine to provide a Reading Composite, which provides detailed data to understand an individual's reading skills. Plus, an overall composite score provides the user with a snapshot of an individual's academic performance.

Unlike other achievement tests on the market, the AAB requires very little training, and detailed or subjective scoring has been kept to a minimum. Recent normative data are provided for 32 different age groups, and norms for children and adolescents by grade from PreK through Grade 12 are included, giving you further confidence in your results.

Developed using academic standards set by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the National Council of Teachers of English, Common Core, and Reading First, the AAB is the newest member of this family of products. A Comprehensive Form, which offers a complete evaluation of academic skills, and a Screening Form, which offers a fundamental evaluation of reading, math, spelling, and writing skills, are also available.

For value and simplicity, you can’t beat the AAB.

Want to learn more about the Academic Achievement Battery™ (AAB™)Screening Form? PAR's Training Portal now offers a  free course on this new product. Whether you have already purchased the AAB Screening Form and want to learn more about this instrument or are looking for more information to help make your purchase decision, this training course will give you a quick overview of the product, explain what makes it unique, and give you insight into how it was developed.

To access the Training Portal, use your parinc.com username and password to log in. Don’t have a free account? Register now. Training courses are also available on the Vocabulary Assessment Scales™ (VAS™), the Test of General Reasoning Ability™ (TOGRA™), and the Reynolds Adaptable Intelligence Test™ (RAIT™). Training on the AAB Comprehensive Form will be available shortly, with more presentations coming in 2015.

 
We are proud to present the AAB to you. With a Screening Form and a Comprehensive Form, the ability to choose paper or digital stimuli, and a price that will easily fit your budget, the AAB gives you exactly what you need to confidently evaluate achievement.

The AAB Comprehensive Form is a complete assessment of an individual’s academic skills, useful for eligibility decisions or intervention planning.

The AAB Screening Form is designed to assess basic academic skills, ideal for initial assessment or reevaluation.

  • No product-specific certification or intensive preparation is necessary for administration.

  • Scoring can be done by hand or through PARiConnect, our encrypted online testing platform.

  • Developed using academic standards set by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the National Council of Teachers of English, Common Core, and Reading First.


Order today to take advantage of special introductory pricing—just $475 for the Comprehensive Kit and $180 for the AAB Screening Kit.

Want to learn more about the AAB? Watch this video

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lp2QA_AmHfE

 

 

In a technical report issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) last month, chronic sleep loss among middle and high school students was cited as a “serious threat to academic success.” There are many contributing factors to a generation of sleepyheads—among them increased caffeine consumption and the use of electronic devices, whose low-intensity light can disrupt circadian rhythms and suppress melatonin production. The AAP study outlines that one key contributor could be best manipulated to help alleviate this problem: later school start times.


Beside extending sleep duration, this delay would have significant positive effects on self-reported sleepiness and academic achievement, says the Academy. But according to a U.S. Department of Education 2011-12 survey, of the 18,000 high schools in America, less than 15% start at 8:30 a.m. or later, and more than 40% start before 8 a.m.


Dr. Bob Weintraub, headmaster of Brookline High School in Massachusetts from 1992 to 2011 and now professor of educational leadership at Boston University, says that during his tenure the high school moved start times for most students to 8:30 a.m. But he also points out that these shifts raise concerns like how to have maximum participation in after-school activities like athletics, drama, and music when later start times means later end times (which means in the dark during winter months in the Northeast).


Despite these challenges, the AAP argues that communities nationwide have been creative in coming up with solutions to this challenge, including providing free periods and study halls at the end of the day, exempting student athletes from PE, and installing lights for athletic fields.


In sum, the Academy “strongly supports the efforts of school districts to optimize sleep in students and urges high schools and middle schools to aim for start times that allow students the opportunity to achieve optimal levels of sleep and to improve physical and mental health, safety, academic performance, and quality of life.”