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  • 1.
    Gustafson, Stefan
    et al.
    Linköping University, Sweden.
    Nordström, Thomas
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Andersson, Ulrika B.
    Linköping University, Sweden.
    Fälth, Linda
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Pedagogy and Learning.
    Ingvar, Martin
    Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    Effects of a formative assessment system on early reading development2019In: Education, ISSN 0013-1172, Vol. 140, no 1, p. 17-27Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We present quantitative results from the pilot-year of a large scale Swedish educational project in reading development called LegiLexi, inspired by research within the Response to intervention and Formative assessment traditions. The vision of the project is that every pupil should reach adequate reading skills at the end of grade 3 in primary school. LegiLexi contains a formative assessment tool and a teacher course, which are linked together. We describe LegiLexi and analyze quantitative effects of the pilot year regarding reading development for pupils in grade 1. The design included three conditions; full access to LegiLexi, access only to the formative assessment tool, and control. Results showed that the group with full access to LegiLexi improved their word decoding and reading comprehension the most. For language comprehension, the Formative assessment only group showed the highest improvements. Thus, the features of LegiLexi seem to help enhance critical reading skills. Some changes will be made in the project to strengthen methodological aspects and further facilitate pupils’ reading development.

  • 2.
    Lindeblad, Emma
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nilsson, Staffan
    Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Gustafson, Stefan
    Linköping University, Sweden.
    Svensson, Idor
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Self-concepts and psychological health in children and adolescents with reading difficulties and the impact of assistive technology to compensate and facilitate reading ability2019In: Cogent Psychology, E-ISSN 2331-1908, Vol. 6, no 1, p. 1-18, article id 1647601Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigated self-image, psychological health, and the impact of Assistive Technology (AT) on self-concept and psychological health in 137 children and adolescents with reading difficulties during a systematic intervention program and in a one-year follow-up. Participants were randomly assigned to a control or an intervention group. The interventions aimed to teach participants how to understand texts using AT. The control group received no intervention. To investigate self-esteem, self-image, anxiety, and depression, all participants were assessed with the Cultural Free Self-Esteem Inventory, 3rd edition (CFSEI-3) before intervention and one year post-interventions. Forty-one participants were also assessed on the Beck Youth Inventory (BYI). The AT was found to have no impact on participants' self-esteem. The CFSEI-3 showed similar values for self-esteem in a norm group and the study groups at pre-intervention, which made an increase from using AT less expected. The results are discussed in terms of contextual explanatory factors, such as educators' increased knowledge of reading difficulties and dyslexia. The results on the BYI were somewhat inconclusive since the younger group of participants showed more anxiety than the norm group, but the adolescent group did not. This may be due to small sample size, so further research is recommended.

  • 3.
    Nordström, Thomas
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Andersson, Ulrika B.
    Linköping University, Sweden.
    Fälth, Linda
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Pedagogy and Learning.
    Gustafson, Stefan
    Linköping University, Sweden.
    Teacher inquiry of using assessments and recommendations in teaching early reading2019In: Studies in Educational Evaluation, ISSN 0191-491X, E-ISSN 1879-2529, Vol. 63, p. 9-16Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous research point to difficulties for teachers to interpret reading assessment data with regard to instructional decisions. This study explored Swedish primary teachers' use of assessments and recommendations, in order to be able to target individual needs. Eight teachers participated in a reading program and were interviewed in focus-group meetings. The analysis of teacher narratives stemming from assessment use resulted in three themes: Awareness of student learningChanges in the organization of teaching, but not regarding individualized content and Strengthened teacher role, but modest professional growth. The themes indicated that the teachers had become aware of their students’ learning, had employed teaching based on informed decisions, and showed initial professional growth.

    However, the assessment details and the recommendations allowed for more adjustments than was evident in the teachers’ narratives. The results point to the relative difficulty of targeting individual needs in the general classroom education, and to the challenges of changing teaching practices.

  • 4. Nordström, Thomas
    et al.
    Gustafson, Stefan
    Linköpings universitet.
    Fälth, Linda
    Andersson, Ulrika B.
    Linköpings universitet.
    Ingvar, Martin
    Karolinska institutet.
    The potential of a forward-looking assessment and teaching system on students' reading gains2019In: European Dyslexia Association Autumn Seminar, Växjö, Sweden, September 27-29, 2019Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose

    How can teachers optimize reading instruction in Swedish schools? This poster presents findings from two studies investigating A) grade 1-3 teachers’ use of a forward-looking assessment and teaching system (LegiLexi) and B), its effect on student reading gains in Grade 1. The purpose of study A was to support teachers with an assessment system which included teaching recommendations for individual students and to study how that support enabled teachers to individualize instruction. The purpose of study B was to gather evidence that such support is superior in relation to “teaching as usual”.

    Method

    In study A, focus group meetings of eight active LegiLexi teachers were used as to answer the question of the extent teachers managed to individualize instruction in their everyday practice. In study B, we randomly assigned schools to three conditions; full access to LegiLexi (8 schools/217 students), access only to part of LegiLexi (4 schools/86 students) and control (9 schools/208 students), following estimated effects of LegiLexi across three test occasions containing reading measures.   

    Results/conclusions

    In study A, results revealed that teachers were supported by LegiLexi, and were able to individualize instruction primarily by creating dynamic reading groups of students. However, individualizing further proved challenging. In study B, findings revealed that the group with full access to LegiLexi improved their word decoding (d=1.79 vs 1.33 and 1.20) and reading comprehension the most (d=1.75 vs 1.45 and 1.16). Thus, the findings show promising results for Swedish schools of how to improve reading instruction by focusing on students’ individual needs.

  • 5.
    Nordström, Thomas
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nilsson, Staffan
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Gustafson, Stefan
    Linköping University.
    Svensson, Idor
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Assistive technology applications for students with reading difficulties: special education teacher’s experiences and perceptions2018In: Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, ISSN 1748-3107, E-ISSN 1748-3115Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: Reading and writing applications (with text-to-speech, TTS and speech-to-text, STT functions), used as assistive technology (AT) for students with reading difficulties are increasingly used in education, however, research has not sufficiently enough evaluated its potential. The purpose of this study was to explore how assistive reading and writing applications were perceived to function with regard to students’ possibilities to assimilate (i.e., “read”) and communicate (i.e., “write”) text.

    Methods: Following a six-week app intervention, this follow-up survey contained 54 special education teachers’ perceptions of how the use of apps impacted student motivation, learning, and its usability in special education. A total of 59 students with reading difficulties from Grade 4, Grade 8 and from high school, were assessed. Analyses included quantitative and qualitative analyses of teachers’ responses and written material.

    Results: The results showed individual differences in how teachers perceived app usage for text-interaction purposes, including how app usage affected student motivation and autonomy for text-based learning. Eighty-two per cent of the younger and forty-seven per cent of older students continued to use the technology after the intervention, but in various degrees.

    Conclusions: Based on these findings, students with reading difficulties seem to be able to use AT in order to assimilate text (i.e., to read) and to communicate text (i.e., to write), and, thus, AT has the potential to promote participation in regular education. Future research should focus on how to customize assistive technology support in order to better utilize the potential.

  • 6.
    Svensson, Idor
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nordström, Thomas
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Lindeblad, Emma
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Gustafson, Stefan
    Linköping university, Sweden.
    Björn, Marianne
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Pedagogy and Learning.
    Sand, Christina
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Almgren Bäck, Gunilla
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nilsson, Staffan
    Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Effects of assistive technology for students with reading and writing disabilities2019In: Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, ISSN 1748-3107, E-ISSN 1748-3115, p. 1-13Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Assistive technology has been used to mitigate reading disabilities for almost three decades, and tablets with text-to-speech and speech-to-text apps have been introduced in recent years to scaffold reading and writing. Few scientifically rigorous studies, however, have investigated the benefits of this technology.

    Purpose: The aim was to explore the effects of assistive technology for students with severe reading disabilities.

    Method: This study included 149 participants. The intervention group received 24 sessions of assistive technology training, and the control group received treatment as usual.

    Results: Both the intervention and control groups improved as much in 1 year as the normed population did. However, gains did not differ between the groups directly after the intervention or at 1 year of follow-up.

    Conclusions: The use of assistive technology seems to have transfer effects on reading ability and to be supportive, especially for students with the most severe difficulties. In addition, it increases motivation for overall schoolwork. Our experience also highlights the obstacles involved in measuring the ability to assimilate and communicate text.

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