To assess the success or otherwise of the Reading Ghana Project, assessment tests are conducted in the project schools.
The Pre-Test or Baseline Assessment is conducted before the classroom teachers attend workshops in the Teaching of Reading. Students from the project schools are selected by a set out criteria and tested for their reading and comprehension skills. The second test is the Post-Test Assessment and this is conducted after the students have benefitted from a year of receiving instruction from their classroom teachers who would have attended the Teaching of Reading Workshops.
Students of selected control schools are also tested and used as benchmark comparison.
Flesch Reading Ease Measure, which includes text that should be within reach of the average 11-year-old student is used to test the students. Each student reads the passage to the lead trainer, who counts the number of words correctly read in each passage. Reading comprehension. After reading the passage, the lead trainer asks the student to answer the 4 questions after the passage and counts those questions correctly answered.
The assessment instrument consists of the following:
- Word recognition: The word recognition sub-test consists of 15 sight words that were selected from the English language Dolch list of easy words that are described as words that would appear frequently in primary level Ghanaian texts in English. Each student is asked to read the list to the lead trainer conducting the assessment, who counts the number of words read correctly.
- Reading passages B, C, D and E.- Four reading passages ranging from 76 words to 199 words are read by the student. Each passage has 4 accompanying comprehension questions with 3 at the level of literal comprehension, and 1 at the level of inferential comprehension. The passages are rated in difficulty at 100 on the Flesch Reading Ease Measure, which includes text that should be within reach of the average 11-year-old student. The passages are approximately at the same level, but each succeeding passage is longer. Each student reads the four passages to the lead trainer, who counts the number of words read correctly in each passage. After the reading of each passage, the lead trainer asks the student to answer the 4 questions and counts those questions answered correctly. If a student is unable to read any words in a passage, then testing is stopped and zero scores are recorded from that point on.
The same test is given to all students, regardless of class level. The same form is used for both the pre-test and the post-test. The interval between pre-test and post-test is about 9 months. All students are tested individually.
Baseline Assessment of Students
The pre-test and post-test sample of students are randomly selected by lead trainers according to the following instructions:
- Each lead trainer is asked to test 4 students from each class.
- Within these classrooms, they are asked to test both boys and girls. The fifth and tenth student on each of the class lists of boys and of girls is selected, resulting in half girls and half boys. If a student selected was absent on the day of the test, the next student down on the class list is selected.
- The same selection procedures is used for both GBT and non-GBT schools. Students identified as GBT students are those whose teachers were to attend the Teaching of Reading Workshops shortly after the pre-test and who would have completed the training before post-testing is conducted. Students identified as non-GBT students were those whose teachers had no Teaching of Reading training and are enrolled in another school.
The GBT and non-GBT schools from which the samples are selected are similar in socio-economic level.