Assessment Validity & Reliability: Adapting Early Grade Reading Assessments for Children with Disabilities and Ensuring Valid & Reliable Instruments [CIES 2023 Presentation]

USAID’s All Children Reading–Cambodia (ACR) project seeks to improve the EGR abilities of children in preschool to Grade 2 ACR proposes to achieve its goals by developing, testing, and implementing a rigorous, practical, and scalable intervention in Khmer language for this student population in at least two provinces. These provinces currently include Kampong Thom and Kampot. In 2018, RTI received additional funding from USAID under the All Children Learning award to expand the integration of inclusive education principles into the existing EGR programming. Using this additional funding, ACR worked on the development and piloting of an adapted Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) for students using braille and sign language. This presentation will discuss the lessons learned from the ACR adapted EGRA pilot and other EGRA adaptations in developing nations for learners using braille or sign language. It will do so from the lens of data collection methods, data analysis, instrument pilot analysis, and analysis of instrument reliability and validity. Adapting an EGRA to suit these needs is drastically different to adapting an EGRA for a new spoken and written language, as language acquisition for these populations don’t follow the same underlying assumptions included in the foundation of early EGRA development. This presentation will discuss the challenges faced in adapting EGRAs for these learners, current thinking on best practices for measuring language acquisition and literacy rates, and strategies for avoiding common pitfalls other programs have fallen prey to.

Remote EGRA for Learners Who Are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing

Early Grade Reading Assessments (EGRAs) measure students’ progress in reading through individual administration of an oral survey of foundational reading skills. Administration is generally conducted on-site by teams of trainer assessors, face to face with students in a one-on-one capacity. While EGRAs are administered internationally, students who are deaf or hard of hearing are often left at a disadvantage by prevailing reading assessments. To adapt EGRAs to fit the needs of students who are deaf or hard of hearing, USAID has supported the development of EGRAs specifically for students who are deaf or hard of hearing in Kenya, Morocco, Nepal, and the Philippines, among other countries. In the Philippines, these assessments have improved the understanding of and capability in inclusive education programming, including the development and pilot implementation of the Filipino Sign Language (FSL) curriculum and training and mentoring of teachers in FSL. As there is no information on existing models of remotely administered EGRAs, the purpose of this activity was to prototype—design, develop, and test for proof of concept and acceptability—an early grade reading assessment that is administered asynchronously with assessors and enumerators who are not on-site, for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Such a model can be deployed in outbreaks and emergencies that affect the ability to administer EGRAs in person and at a specified period and specifically adapted for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Report of Self-Administered EGRA/EGMA Pilot (Ghana, English)

This report summarizes the findings of an effort to develop and validate tablet-based, self-administered assessments of English-language foundational literacy and numeracy in the early grades. The tools described in the report were developed at the request of Imagine Worldwide with the support of the Jacobs Foundation. RTI carried out field testing and a pilot study to assess the tools' internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and concurrent validity with respect to "traditional" EGRA and EGMA. RTI International developed the two assessments, known respectively as the Self-Administered Early Grade Reading Assessment (SA-EGRA) and the Self-Administered Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (SA-EGMA), with the support and at the direction of Imagine Worldwide. The assessments are deemed “self-administered,” because children complete the assessments independently in response to instructions and stimuli imbedded in the tablet-based software. However, adults typically supervise the organization and conduct of the assessment as well as the collection of individual data from the tablets for analysis. The tools have been developed under an open-source license. The code can be viewed and downloaded for reuse or modification at Users of RTI's Tangerine software may request that the SA-EGRA and SA-EGMA tools be added to their Tangerine groups via