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Assessing the Word Recognition Skills of German Elementary Students in Silent Reading—Psychometric Properties of an Item Pool to Generate Curriculum-Based Measurements

1
Department of Special Education, University of Rostock, 18055 Rostock, Germany
2
Department of Education and Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin, 14195 Berlin-Dahlem, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10020035
Received: 20 December 2019 / Revised: 4 February 2020 / Accepted: 7 February 2020 / Published: 11 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reading Fluency)
Given the high proportion of struggling readers in school and the long-term negative consequences of underachievement for those affected, the question of prevention options arises. The early identification of central indicators for reading literacy is a noteworthy starting point. In this context, curriculum-based measurements have established themselves as reliable and valid instruments for monitoring the progress of learning processes. This article is dedicated to the assessment of word recognition in silent reading as an indicator of adequate reading fluency. The process of developing an item pool is described, from which instruments for learning process diagnostics can be derived. A sample of 4268 students from grades 1–4 processed a subset of items. Each student template included anchor items, which all students processed. Using Item Response Theory, item statistics were estimated for the entire sample and all items. After eliminating unsuitable items (N = 206), a one-dimensional, homogeneous pool of items remained. In addition, there are high correlations with another established reading test. This provides the first evidence that the recording of word recognition skills for silent reading can be seen as an economic indicator for reading skills. Although the item pool forms an important basis for the extraction of curriculum-based measurements, further investigations to assess the diagnostic suitability (e.g., the measurement invariance over different test times) are still pending.
Keywords: curriculum-based measurement; fluency; silent reading; word recognition skills; item response theory curriculum-based measurement; fluency; silent reading; word recognition skills; item response theory
MDPI and ACS Style

Voß, S.; Blumenthal, Y. Assessing the Word Recognition Skills of German Elementary Students in Silent Reading—Psychometric Properties of an Item Pool to Generate Curriculum-Based Measurements. Educ. Sci. 2020, 10, 35.

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