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Project duration: since 01.04.2011

Falke - Analyzing Reading Skills - a Fair and Adaptive Approach

The aim of the project is the development of an adaptive, computer-based testing process for the measurement of readings skills and competencies of elementary grade students. Of particular importance in the instrument design is test fairness across all student groups.


Own funds Professor McElvany

Project description

The aim of the "fair and adaptive reading skills Analysis" is the development and testing of an adaptive computer-based, and fair testing system of reading skills of children in the third grade. The fair and reliable diagnosis of competencies is a prerequisite for the implementation of adequate support measures. By connecting analysis with support, the project aims to identify valid test values.

Violett-blaues Logo mit stilisierter Hand und blauer Schriftzug des Projektnamens Falke

Concretely, an adaptive testing system is developed, which as opposed to conventional testing systems orientates itself to the response behavior of the test taker through the selection of test questions submitted for processing, and in doing so allows for greater differentiation.

Test fairness in the construction of the item pool is another aim of the project. The test procedure is designed so that it is free from individual and group bias. Decisions and conclusions that are taken on the basis of test results apply comparably to all individuals and groups. The intermediate goal of developing and calibrating the item pool that fairly collect data on the sub-domains of vocabulary, decoding and reading comprehension has already been achieved. The calibrated item pool forms the basis for the adaptive system.

Project results include findings on the fairness and validity of the testing system, which should allow for better interpretation of the measurements of competencies in the area of reading skills and comprehension, and also performance findings on focused third grade subgroups. Any differences are analyzed with regard to possible support measures.

Lead researcher at IFS

Project management

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Location & approach

The most convenient highway exits are on the B 1/A 40 (Dortmund-Barop) (closer to the North Campus) and on the A45 (Dortmund-Eichlinghofen). The university is signposted at both exits. In the local road network you will find signs to Campus Nord, where the Campus Treff is also located. From Emil-Figge-Strasse, entrance no. 18 and from Vogelspothsweg entrance no. 23 lead to parking spaces near the venue.

From Dortmund main station, take the S-Bahn "S1" in the direction of Solingen on track 7 to the stop "Dortmund-Universität" (price level A). The S-Bahn runs every 15 minutes during peak hours on weekdays and takes about 6 minutes. From Düsseldorf, the S-Bahn runs every 30 minutes. Directly at the S-Bahn station you will find the CDI building, which houses the Center for Research on Education and School Development.

One of the university's landmarks is the H-Bahn, which has two terminuses on the North Campus. One is located directly above the S-Bahn station and is easily accessible from it by elevators. The other is located in the center of Campus North at the bridge between the University Library and the Mensa, right next to the Audimax. The H-Bahn runs from here to the South Campus and the Eichlinghofen district.

Dortmund has an airport connected with some destinations in Central Europe. There are regular flights, for example, to Amsterdam, Berlin, Dresden, Katowice, Krakow, Leipzig-Halle, London, Munich, Nuremberg, Paris, Poznan, Stuttgart, Vienna and Zurich. For the approximately 20 kilometers from the Dortmund airport to the campus, you can take the bus to the main train station and from there the S-Bahn. Faster is usually the use of a cab. Far more international flight connections are offered by the Rhine-Ruhr Airport in Düsseldorf, about 60 kilometers away, which can be reached directly by S-Bahn from the university station.