READtalks on Redefining Assessments: from Theory to Field Interpretation



READ Alliance conducted it’s 4th READtalks on “Assessments in Early Grade Reading”. The panel of speakers comprised of education experts from USAID, ACER, ASER Center and Educational Initiatives, who shared their insights and opinions on various aspects related to assessments. The talk covered a whole gamut of topics; from understanding the impact of different kinds of assessments on educational policies and practices, to comprehending the potential of technology in creating more personalized assessment frameworks.

READ Alliance also launched the Reading Diagnostic Tool developed by Educational Initiatives under the USAID funded READ Alliance project.

Let’s take a sneak-peek into the event through these pictures:

Dr. Aditya Dev Sood welcomed the guests to READtalks on ‘Assessments in Early Reading’ and shared Vihara Innovation Network’s vision for READ Alliance. “Technology has increasingly become a focus area for READ Alliance and over the next year we will be unpacking Edtech for reading through various events: hackathon, an incubation program for education innovation products, and A survey of the Edtech landscape for reading. Through a platform like READtalks, we encourage insights sharing, cross-learning and much more among diverse stakeholders in the early education ecosystem.”

Madhu Ranjan (Senior Education Specialist and Project Manager — Women’s Empowerment Office of Social Sector Initiatives (OSSI)), USAID unveiled the Early Grade Reading Barometer (developed by USAID) that provides Early Grade Reading Assessment data for Asia, Middle East, and Africa. The barometer lets the user, 1. see an overview of how well students are reading, 2. the percentage of struggling readers, 3. details about student’s performance on EGRA sub-tasks, 4. review impact of interventions aimed at improving reading skills of children; among many other functionalities. Check out the barometer here

The audience represented a healthy mix of diverse experience, with experts from J-PAL South Asia, World Bank, Language and Learning Foundation, Delhi government, Room to Read, Save the Children among others, to people from the educational technology space and students enrolled in various early childhood education programs.

The open house session is one of the most exciting highlights of each and every READtalks. Participants got one-on-one time with experts to discuss diverse assessment related topics, such as; what is the impact of different kinds of assessment on educational policies and practices? How can technology help create personalized assessment frameworks? What role can technology play in redefining the way assessments have been happening so far? How can assessment data be linked to reading interventions in a better way?

Clockwise: Dr. Sarah Richardson(Research Director, ACER), Pranav Kothari (Domain Architect and Vice President, Large Scale Education Programs, Educational Initiatives) and Ketan Verma, (ASER, Head, Assessment Unit), the three eminent speakers for the day, sharing their insights and opinions on “Assessments in Early Reading” and on various assessment tools developed by ACER, ASER and EI.

Gayatri Vaidya, Manager, Assessments, Educational Initiatives, unveiled the tool developed by Educational Initiatives under the USAID funded READ Alliance project. The tool is not only user-friendly but also a way to encourage more use of technology in early grade reading. She and her colleagues guided the audience through the different features of the diagnostic tool.

READtalks is a platform where people from diverse segments of the society come together to discuss, ideate, brainstorm and find collaborative solutions for various problems related to early reading in India. READ Alliance is always on the lookout for partners to co-host such READtalks. Write to us @ readalliance@cks.in and let’s get talking.


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