Essay on Informal Interest Surveys and Formal Reading

3 pages
560 words
Sewanee University of the South
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Measuring the attitude of students towards reading is an important aspect of assessment when teaching students so that they acquire reading and comprehension skills. Informal interest surveys and formal reading tests are valuable assessment tools to know the attitude of the students towards learning. When the teacher uses this tools, they can be able to identify the primary needs of the learners and what is important for them to offer so that the learning process produces the desired outcome. In the informal surveys, measuring the attitude is valid because students exhibit their natural characteristic as they are unaware of the assessment. However, it is limited in that it can only assess the attitude but not how that played out in the class set up. Formal reading assessment tests are vital as they can help the teacher gauge the extent of comprehension of students with factual information or knowledge gained during instruction.

Garfield Inventory interest surveys measure a broad scope of the interest of students to reading in an informal way. It involves some questions aimed at giving the students a time to reflect on what interest them about reading. It can be used to find out about the areas of reading that the student loves. For instance, the students can be given the inventory form with questions like how many books does the student own, how many of the school library books have they read or what books they prefer reading during their leisure times. It can also be used to evaluate whether the students are audio, visual or audio-visual as the mode of learning. In such a scenario close ended questions may be asked to the students so that to know the order of importance. For example, they can be given options of what they would like to do during their free time maybe watching a movie, playing a video game, reading a book or listening to music. The information acquired should be used to plan the kind of instruction that suits the suits mostly to make the learning process fruitful. Further, the undeveloped reading and comprehension can be developed in the learner.

Formal reading tests, on the other hand, are standardized measures used to tests the understanding of the content presented to the learners. All students are given the same tests which will be mathematically computed to provide scores of each student. The average mark is set mostly as a percentile of the total attainable scores. Pre-tests are given at the start of a term or semester to measure the understanding of the student. Although students are not expected to know all the answers to the questions presented during a pre-test, they are supposed to use previous knowledge and logic to give rational answers. The answers given in a pre-test can provide vital information for the instructor to use during teaching placing great emphasis on areas almost all students gave wrong answers. Post-tests are provided after the completion of a learning instructions after terms and concepts have been explained adequately to the learners. This assessment tool aims at checking whether the concepts were understood and whether the learners can apply them accordingly. The goal of the learning process is to ensure the students grasp the content material and attain a high score. In the post tests assessment, a high score is usually interpreted as higher retention and understanding.

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