[Rasch] reading fluency

Stephanou, Andrew Stephanou at acer.edu.au
Sat Dec 11 08:30:24 EST 2010

SENT ON BEHALF OF Carl Hauser [Carl.Hauser at nwea.org]

Hello All.

An item format used to assess reading fluency might look something like this:

Oscar was awakened by a loud (book / color / boom).  He jumped out of bed and (sang / ran / flower) to his window.  In the dim light he could (see / danger / shout) a figure that looked like something (garden / out of / bucket) a story he read.  This seemed strange to (glass / him / listen). 

The task is for the student to read to each parenthesized word set and select the word that fits.  A count of correctly selected fitting words is tallied.  Also, the time it takes to complete the reading is recorded.  For longer passages a fixed time to complete the passage is assigned.  Traditionally, reading fluency in early years of education is assessed through oral reading.  Computer capabilities may allow items such as the example above to be administered without the need to read orally to a human or by using voice capturing capabilities to record and score oral reading performance for speed and accuracy.  In addition, use of computers may help in de-confounding rate of reading from the comprehension aspect of the performance.  However, the item presents a measurement challenge, at least to me.

My question: Has a Rasch-type model been developed that could handle or be adapted to handle this type of dual/multi-faceted performance?     

>From my current fragile understanding of Rasch's early models for reading fluency (as they were presented and summarized in Lord and Novick, chapter 21), it seems as though neither model 1 (misreadings in an oral reading test) nor model 2 (number of words read during some fixed time period) can handle the example passage.  While rate (words per minute) can be handled, there is a comprehension component in the form of the parenthesized word sets.  Whether or not these two aspects of performance can be formed into a single measureable variable is an (perhaps, the) empirical question.  Whether or not they should be formed into a single variable could be important especially from a practical perspective.  Perhaps a Rasch mixed model is feasible(?).  

Any comments, thoughts, suggestions, or leads are welcome.




Carl Hauser, Ph.D.
Senior Research Specialist  |  NWEA

PHONE 503.624.1951 x3601 |  Direct 503.615.2283 x3601 | FAX 503.639.7873  

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