Skip to main content


Archived Content Disclaimer

This page contains archived content from a LINCS email discussion list that closed in 2012. This content is not updated as part of LINCS’ ongoing website maintenance, and hyperlinks may be broken.

From: Marie Cora (
Date: Fri Oct 07 2005 - 10:27:45 EDT

Return-Path: <>
Received: from literacy (localhost []) by (8.10.2/8.10.2) with SMTP id j97ERjG13528; Fri, 7 Oct 2005 10:27:45 -0400 (EDT)
Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2005 10:27:45 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <005d01c5cb4c$59ec0440$0302a8c0@frodo>
Precedence: bulk
From: "Marie Cora" <>
To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Subject: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:1268] FW: [NIFL-TECHNOLOGY:3795] reading digital vs. print materilas
X-Listprocessor-Version: 6.0c -- ListProcessor by Anastasios Kotsikonas
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook, Build 10.0.2627
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Type: text/plain;
Status: O
Content-Length: 8924
Lines: 289

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Mariann Fedele
Sent: Friday, October 07, 2005 10:13 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: [NIFL-TECHNOLOGY:3795] reading digital vs. print materilas

Ira thanks for raising this question. 
In addition to any research you all may be able to share does any one on
the list have professional wisdom or experience to share about the
difference between reading in a digital vs. traditional print format?
do students respond differently to each? Do they seem more engaged using
one or the other?


At 09:37 AM 10/7/2005 -0400, you wrote:
>As a former ABE teacher, this discussion about computer-based
>has raised a question for me: does anyone know of any research on the
>cognitive or psycho-social differences between reading in a digital
>environment vs. reading in a more traditional print format?
>At 09:23 AM 10/7/05 -0400, Howard Dooley wrote:
>>Interesting discussion and comments.  My program also uses the CASAS
>>place our ESL students into classes and to assess progress (for
funders and
>>the NRS), and we find that it is both useful and practical,
particularly in
>>our large-scale registrations.  We use other measures and assessments
>>gather further data that is of value to the learners, instructors and
>>make program improvements.  In some classes we use the listening, some
>>reading; we have begun to pilot the workplace speaking at worksite
>>classes which are ESOL, and instructors are reviewing the CASAS
>>writing assessment and comparing it to the REEP to see what would fit
>>with our program structure and learners.
>>I recently spoke with Richard Ackermann, the CASAS staff point person
>>CASAS' computerized assessments.  CASAS provides several options for
>>assessing learners, though the multiple-choice tests are the most
>>Two of the CASAS assessment series, Life and Work & Employability
>>Competency, are available as CBT -- which means the test booklet has
>>put onto the computer, no change in items.  The advantage is immediate
>>scoring and ease of download into an MIS.
>>CASAS is currently working on computer adaptive testing.  Richard
>>the following description for us: CASAS is currently pilot testing
>>adaptive testing (CAT) with a large workforce development program. The
>>workforce program is using CAT in reading, math and listening. A
>>administration of a reading, math or listening CAT is used to both
place the
>>student in the appropriate level of training and serve as the
>>pre-test for measuring gain. A principal advantage of CAT is that one
>>administration serves as both appraisal and pre-test. A further
economy is
>>that the examinee is administered fewer test items in a CAT than with
>>and pencil. (Because the assessment "adapts" to each individual
>>CASAS is planning a widespread release of reading CAT, math CAT and
>>listening CAT in early summer 2006.
>>With advances in technology, there will soon be a wide variety of
>>options available to us.  As always, we should view these advances as
>>expanding our opportunities to match the best method of assessment to
>>of our learners.  Some of the comments earlier in the discussion
seemed to
>>fear that programs would "force" learners to take CBT or CAT, when
>>choice would clearly be inappropriate; just as it would be
inappropriate to
>>give a learner a pencil-and-paper test if the learner had no
experience with
>>reading, multiple-choice testing, bubble sheets, or pencils.  I hope
>>happens; and if we suspect or see it happens, that we can find a way
to stop
>>it, by mentoring or educating practitioners.
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: [] On
>>Of Gustav Kocsis
>>Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2005 9:19 PM
>>To: Multiple recipients of list
>>Subject: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:1265] RE: FW: [NIFL-TECHNOLOGY:3792] Re:
>>assessment and adult learners
>>We would like to see a good and easy to score paper and pencil test
for our
>>ESL students. We are now using the CASAS and we are finding that the
>>tests are not useful to use to asses an ESL student's language
ability. We
>>have to register too many students at one time to be able to use
>>testing such as the BEST PLUS. Many of our students are not very
>>with computers and a computer based test might not truly reflect the
>>student's English skills. I know of many other large programs that
would be
>>interested in a valid and reliable paper and pencil ESL test for NRS
>>reporting. Is there anything else out there that is better than CASAS?
>>Gustav A. Kocsis
>>English as a Second Language Coordinator
>>Adult Basic Education
>>Santa Fe Community College
>>6401 Richards Ave
>>Santa Fe, NM 87508
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: [] On
>>Of Marie Cora
>>Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2005 1:59 PM
>>To: Multiple recipients of list
>>Subject: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:1264] FW: [NIFL-TECHNOLOGY:3792] Re:
>>assessment and adult learners
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: [] On
>>Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2005 1:16 PM
>>To: Multiple recipients of list
>>Subject: [NIFL-TECHNOLOGY:3792] Re: Computer assessment and adult
>>If the purpose is also to assess their computer skills, I could see
>>assessing via a computer.  However, if a student has virtually no
>>experience, as many of the older immigrants who are in our program do
>>have, I can not imagine adding this layer on to what is really trying
to be
>>Ruthann Duffy
>>ESL Tech Coordinator
>>Essential Skills Program
>>Shoreline Community College
>>16101 Greenwood Ave N.
>>Seattle, WA 98133
>>Telephone: 206-533-6624
>>> Hi everyone,
>>> I wanted to prod you all to add your thoughts to Nancy's questions
>>> the other day regarding testing via computers in ABE/ESOL.  What are

>>> your thoughts, and what have been your experiences on this?
>>> I have done a little bit of work using the BEST Plus with adult
>>> - but in that case, it is the teacher/test administrator who
>>> using the computer and asking questions of the test-taker.  As an
>>> the great thing about this type of computer testing is that the
>>> program automatically stops you when the student has reached as far
>>> they can go, and it also jumps over questions that it realizes the 
>>> student will have no problem answering.  Thus, you avoid the
>>> and sometimes painful process of forcing students to answer way too
>>> questions, for example.
>>> But!  This is not the situation Nancy is describing here - so do
>>> have thoughts on adult students personally using a computer for 
>>> assessment purposes?  I am also sending this reply to the 
>>> NIFL-Technology List to see if folks over there have something to 
>>> contribute to this discussion.
>>> Thanks!
>>> marie
>>> marie cora
>>> Moderator, NIFL Assessment Discussion List, and
>>> Coordinator/Developer 
>>> LINCS Assessment Special Collection at  
>>> On Wed 10/5/2005, Nancy Hansen wrote:
>>> I also have a question to those who test using
>>> > computers:  Do you find the skills of the learner
>>> > who
>>> > has had next to NO exposure to computers and LITTLE literacy
>>> > are accurately being portrayed via this style testing?
>>> > 
>>> > I have men and women in our adult literacy program
>>> > who
>>> > had never sat down at a computer - much less used a
>>> > mouse before.  I cannot imagine that their extensive
>>> > life skills would be evaluated appropriately when
>>> > they
>>> > hit and miss at the computer - sometimes even
>>> > striking
>>> > incorrect keys.
>>> > 
>>> > Nancy Hansen
>>> > Sioux Falls Area Literacy Council
>>> >
>>> > 
>Ira Yankwitt, Director
>Professional Development / 
>NYC Regional Adult Education Network 
>Literacy Assistance Center
>32 Broadway, 10th Floor
>NY, NY 10004
>(212) 803-3356

Mariann Fedele
Coordinator of Professional Development, 
Literacy Assistance Center
NIFL Technology and Literacy Discussion List
32 Broadway 10th Floor
New York, New York 10004

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon Oct 31 2005 - 09:48:53 EST