Friday, 28 January 2011

Teaching Reading - Simple view of reading

Project background

I was invited to assist in the Teaching Reading project, which had increased beyond the scope of one learning designer to manage amid a busy schedule, and to add some interactivity to a rather text-filled content map.

The simple view of reading (SVOR)

This screen was to use a graphic from existing publications depicting the SVOR.

Simply presenting a text and graphic screen wouldn’t ‘teach’ much so I planned to add an interactive learning element by combining a ‘click to reveal’ allocated to the following screen's content chunk listing the attributes demonstrated by each of 3 typical readers. It was an opportunity to create a formative assessment using a micro-scenario.

My initial sketches and paper prototyping illustrated the combined strategy and alerted us to the requirement of a brand new template. Jill (the owner learning designer) found another two screens for the template’s application so the go-ahead was eventually agreed.

The sketches conveyed the screen design to Damien: already working up illustration cues based on popular literature styles. It didn’t quite fit at first but Damien quickly got to grips with it and mocked up a visual prototype based on my low-fidelity paper interaction prototypes and heuristic work live at his desk. This collaborative approach developed a satisfying outcome very rapidly.

On selection of the confirmatory button (here, 'Submit' - another house style) the tiles animatedly re-arrange from the learner's performance to the 'correct' locations when the learner is invited to select the tiles once more to learn why their position is as it is.

I prefer formative to summative assessments during the learning: feedback that is timely, accurate, and relevant rather than the house style of the time stating, “You’re wrong, bozo”. Whether the learner is correct or not they should have their learning confirmed. This also benefits the developers where there is no necessity for complex ‘IF – ELSE’ programming. The learner (drivers, preferences and styles unknown) benefits from not being patronised or demoralised!

There were of course some compromises between my intentions and the developed product but it does a fair job of lifting a benign graphic off a printed page and explaining it progressively on the screen.

Course details

Course materials Crown Copyright 2010, produced by The National Strategies for the Department for Education.

Objective: For teachers to develop their understanding of the struggling reader and that their role includes teaching literacy and reading skills regardless of the prime subject matter.

Production team

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