eEGRA well received at CIES

At the recent conference for the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES2012) I had the privilege of chairing a session on Tools for Assessing and Improving Literacy. In a joint presentation with Ms. Tvaruzkova of JBS international, we shared our experience using eEGRA in West Africa and Central Asia, with Ms. Tvaruzkova elaborating on the particular ease with which eEGRA was adapted to the cyrillic alphabet, customized to their project needs and then implemented by a local partner with very little training.

The session was well attended, and we also enjoyed the presentations of our fellow panelists on instructional time in India and vocabulary development among second language learners in West Africa.

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eEGRA in Mali

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This little girl gives a perfect performance in the invented words section of eEGRA.  She is being tested by a group of proctors who are being trained to use the instrument.  The version we developed for Mali is in French.

This version has a new feature: the ability to play back prerecorded instructions.  We added it because many administrators simplify or mispronounce the instructions for each task, inadvertently affecting the subject’s performance.  The playback feature ensures that instructions are given in full, and with standardized pronunciation.  This version also provides a drop-down menu of different languages so that instructions can be given in a different language upon demand.  This capability is critical in Mali, where young learners being testing in French reading still don’t speak enough French to grasp the instructions fully. eEGRA can replay instructions in whatever local language they speak.

We also improved the marking interface for the timed task, reducing the amount of clicking needed and speeding up administration.

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Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan Use eEGRA

Training to use eEGRA

JBS is using eEGRA in both Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.  This gave us an opportunity to develop eEGRA in new languages, and using a new alphabet.  We also added a new marking interface for the timed tasks so that the proctor can click through the reading assignment instead of using paper.

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Launching eEGRA

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In July 2011 we used eEGRA for the first time.  Our objective was to discover if the test is as reliable as paper-based EGRA.  To that end, we designed a study in which the base line was established by EGRA, and in which the post-test was administered in two formats: paper and electronic.  Subjects were then randomly assigned to the two post-test groups to see if eEGRA had any influence on how well they read.  We discovered it did not.  We also had the administrators alternate between using EGRA and eEGRA to see if the format had any influence on how they marked.  That also had no effect.

The test was in English.

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