Teachers’ Use of Diagnostic Testing to Enhance Students’ Literacy and Numeracy Learning

By Lesley Ljungdahl and Anne Prescott.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The importance of literacy and numeracy skills is paramount in most societies, their acquisition essential for communication and employment. This study set out to determine whether teachers using multiple choice assessment tasks could enhance student learning in literacy and numeracy. A software program that gave the teachers access to the results in terms of preset strands was provided to one group of teachers and the other group used the traditional techniques of looking over the students’ test papers. It focuses on the testing of students using standardised PAT (Progressive Achievement Test) comprehension and mathematics tests with the intervention of a software tool (AutoMarque) which is intended to expedite analysis of the results. While much research has been carried out on literacy and numeracy testing, relatively little attention has been paid to the significance of speedy feedback and analysis of results which can lead to improved pedagogy. Constructive teacher feedback following assessment tasks assists students’ learning and provides them with the skills they need to improve performance in subsequent assessments. This study highlighted the difficulties that time-poor teachers have in implementing new technologies despite their commitment to assessment for learning.

Keywords: Literacy, Numeracy, Diagnostic Testing, Assessment Elementary School

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp.461-476. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.395MB).

Dr. Lesley Ljungdahl

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences (Education), University of Technology Sydney, Lindfield, NSW, Australia

Dr. Lesley Ljungdahl is a Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Technology, Sydney. Her latest publication with Winch et al. is Literacy: Reading, Writing and Children’s Literature, 3rd edition (Oxford University Press). She has a keen interest in literacy, ESL education and overseas practicums.

Dr Anne Prescott

Senior Lecturer in Education, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences (Education), University of Technology, Sydney, Lindfield, NSW, Australia

Dr. Anne Prescott research interests include assessment within the classroom, misconceptions in mathematics, and retention of beginning teachers. Her most recent publication is Kearney, M., Prescott, A. & Young, K. (2008). Investigating prospective teachers as learning design authors. In L. Lockyer, S. Bennett, S. Agostinho & B. Harper (Eds.). Handbook of research on learning design and learning objects: Issues, applications and technologies. IGI Publishing: USA.


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