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Formative Reading Assessment System for Teachers (FAST)

Technology #fast20100205

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Researchers
David Weiss, PhD
Professor, Department of Psychology
External Link (www.psych.umn.edu)
Theodore J. Christ, PhD
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Educational Psychology, College of Education and Human Development
External Link (www.cehd.umn.edu)

Assessment Tool to Monitor Reading Progress

FAST (Formative Assessment System for Teachers) is a suite of assessment progress monitoring tools designed to help educators screen, monitor progress, and analyze reading skills of students from kindergarten to fifth grade. Each question in the predictive assessment tests is individually tailored to the test taker. Thanks to the individualized nature of these adaptive tests, they are more efficient and effective than traditional testing methods.

Note: FAST has been exclusively licensed to Fast Bridge Learning. If you have questions, please contact Fast Bridge Learning at fast1@umn.edu.

Oral Reading Assessment Tool

The first assessment tool that FAST provides is Curriculum Based Measurement for Reading (CBM-Reading). This is an oral reading assessment that allows educators to monitor their students’ progresses and evaluate the level and rate of a student’s oral reading fluency. It is a simple and efficient procedure whereby teachers listen and evaluates student performance while they read aloud from grade level passages.

Early Primary Reading Assessment Screening

The second assessment tool FAST provides is earlyReading - an evidence based reading progress monitoring assessment for screening and monitoring student progress in the early primary grades (K to 3rd). This assessment screening tool includes 12 optional tests to analyze skills that span concepts of print, letter sounds/names, phonological awareness, blending/segmenting, decoding sight words, and sentence reading.

Adaptive Computer Based Test

Lastly, the FAST accommodate Adaptive Reading (aReading) tool - a computer adaptive test of broad reading skills that is individualized for each student for K to 5th grade. The questions and response format of this assessment are substantially similar to many state-wide assessments (i.e., multiple choice, fill in the blank). Each question includes both auditory and visual stimuli.

BENEFITS OF THE FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT SYSTEM FOR TEACHERS:

  • Adaptive test—the assessment dynamically individualizes evaluations for each student.
  • Faster predictive Assessments—6-10 minutes for computer based tests, 1-4 hours for traditional methods
  • Continuous monitoring - educators are able to assess students on a continuous metric from kindergarten through fifth grade. The methodology allows the student’s skills to be evaluated relative to other grade levels, which is not currently provided by traditional assessments.
  • Faster Results—the online interface scores and displays results more quickly than manual grading.
  • Computer based assessment screening platform can be expanded to other subjects—history, science, etc.
  • Less expensive than traditional testing and monitoring methods—only cost is the software, traditional methods must manually administer and evaluate tests.
  • Trackable—online interface is used to administer, score, and display measurement of a student’s knowledge and ability.
  • Monitor progress and identify students at risk of academic failure.
  • More efficient and lower cost than current testing methods.