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ACE Reading Comprehension Assessment

Supported by Drexel Ventures

Teachers work tirelessly day in and day out to educate their students in all areas including literacy and reading comprehension. Unfortunately, at the moment, there are no tools available to help teachers assess reading comprehension of students in grades 6-12. Drexel University researchers are working to change that through the development of ACE, a new app that allows teachers to evaluate and track reading levels for students.

With the support of a grant throught Drexel Ventures, the app, which when completed will be available via a subscription, consists of 30 original reading passages written by students in the School of Education with 12 multiple-choice questions. It measures how long it takes students to answer each question as well as how many times students had to revisit reading passages before answering the questions. Answering the questions correctly will let teachers know that the student fully understands the reading passages. Depending on which incorrect answer a student submits will tell teachers which area a student could use additional support or how teachers can better shape their reading curriculum.

ACE is currently being tested on middle school students both in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs. Faculty from Drexel’s School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems are aiding the testing by using fNIR brain-scanning technology to measure how students react to test questions. The results computed by the fNIR technology enable researchers to measure the effectiveness of the questions in the assessment.

When completed, ACE will enable teachers to assess reading comprehension much faster and without the need for individual evaluations. For more information about ACE, please contact Dr. Lori Severino at las492@drexel.edu.