The Letters 2 Meaning (L2M) literacy assessment incorporated into the Assessment to Instruction (A2i) Professional Support System captures important information about student literacy, uses that information to make evidence-based grouping and instructional recommendations, and does so in less than 15 minutes.
Correlations between A2i and other assessments demonstrate validity
The L2M assessment was specifically designed to capture a student’s letter-naming, decoding, encoding and comprehension ability – components of literacy common to many reading-focused assessments. The degree to which a particular metric (such as the grade-equivalent score from an L2M assessment) actually captures the underlying variable of interest (in this case, literacy) is referred to as validity. Positive correlations between assessments demonstrate that those assessments are measuring the same underlying characteristic and provide evidence of assessment validity. Correlation coefficients at and above 0.70 are commonly taken to indicate strong relationships.
Data collected by Learning Ovations Inc. and our education partners across the United States from 3954 third-grade students at the end of school-year 2020-2021 enabled us to evaluate correlations between the A2i L2M assessment and eight, third-party literacy assessments. We uncovered robust correlations between L2M and each of these external assessments. These correlations indicate that L2M assessments capture important information about student literacy and demonstrate a high overall validity for L2M - across varied conditions, locations, and populations.
Shorter assessments = more time for teaching: L2M takes 8.6 minutes, on average
The time it takes an educator to deliver an assessment necessarily comes at the expense of time spent learning. Additionally, there is trade-off between the time an assessment takes and the amount of information it can provide about a student’s learning and instructional needs. Generally, longer assessments can provide more information about student development and knowledge – but take away more time from instruction. A2i’s L2M assessment represents an ideal solution to this challenge – much of the same information that can be gathered from other 3rd-party assessments can be captured by an A2i assessment in a fraction of the time. The average L2M assessment takes 8 minutes and 37 seconds (n = 260,021 assessments), with 90% of all L2M assessments taking less than 15 minutes.
In addition, the L2M assessment is typically administrated in small groups that require little to no teacher involvement. Once completed by the students, the scores immediately populate online giving the teacher immediate information on student performance and individualized instructional recommendations.
Shorter assessments → increased assessment frequency → better outcomes
With 90% of L2M assessments taking less than 15 minutes, teachers using A2i can capture valid and meaningful information about their students more frequently – without sacrificing valuable teaching time. Internal research at LOI has revealed that students with more L2M assessments – each providing up-to-date information about student literacy needs and grouping recommendations – achieve better literacy outcomes. Therefore, teachers can maximize student growth, information gain, and teaching time via regular use of A2i’s efficient assessments and evidence-backed instructional recommendations.
Access to these data and the resulting analysis is only possible through Learning Ovations’ unique connection to both research and practice stakeholders within the early literacy community. We are continuously working to understand and improve the mechanisms involved in both scaling-up and implementing the A2i Profession Support System - active data collection is a key component of this work. In collaboration with our district partners, via multiple data sharing agreements, Learning Ovations was able to complete this work and identify the correlations between L2M and state-level tests as well as for the multiple other assessments identified above. This type of collaboration has short (e.g. this report) and long-term implications that have the potential to improve third-grade reading outcomes for all students using the A2i Professional Support System.