Teachers' use of diagnostic testing to enhance students' literacy and numeracy learning

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Learning, 2009, 16 (2), pp. 461 - 476
Issue Date:
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The importance of literacy and numeracy skills is paramount in most societies, their acquisition essential for communication and employment. This study set out to determine whether teachers using multiple choice assessment tasks could enhance student learning in literacy and numeracy. A software program that gave the teachers access to the results in terms of preset strands was provided to one group of teachers and the other group used the traditional techniques of looking over the students' test papers. It focuses on the testing of students using standardised PAT (Progressive Achievement Test) comprehension and mathematics tests with the intervention of a software tool (AutoMarque) which is intended to expedite analysis of the results. While much research has been carried out on literacy and numeracy testing, relatively little attention has been paid to the significance of speedy feedback and analysis of results which can lead to improved pedagogy. Constructive teacher feedback following assessment tasks assists students' learning and provides them with the skills they need to improve performance in subsequent assessments. This study highlighted the difficulties that time-poor teachers have in implementing new technologies despite their commitment to assessment for learning. © Common Ground, Lesley Ljungdahl, Anne Prescott.
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