Tasso Partners led the design, implementation, and evaluation of a wide range of interactive language activities in the Elementary-level Touch-tablet Language Assessment (ETLA) project. The activities integrate combinations of the four traditional language skills with non-linguistic skills within performance tasks designed to elicit K-6 student actions that yield both specific and integrated measures of listening, speaking, reading and writing. A set of 25 assessment-like language activities were designed and implemented on a touch-tablet computer (iPad), then piloted with young students in California and Colorado. All activities were simply modeled by a short video example and then self-administered by the students. Student performances were captured to provide diagnostic English language proficiency profiles relevant to the Common Core and California ELD standards. Presentation modes included speech only, speech with figure, silent video, text, speech with text, and speech with text and figure. Student performance was captured in several response modalities, including speech, typing, touch/drag screen objects, select and/or arrange words, and draw figures. Pilot studies presented various test-like sequences of 24 to 45 item-activities to approximately 780 children, of whom 53% were from non-English speaking homes. Pilot results (28,000 student responses) suggest that by age 8, about 95% of the children in the sample can successfully navigate among and complete these activities.
In sum, the ETLA project devised, scripted and implemented many item-type activities. Pilot testing identified an array of tablet-delivered task types (some adapted from traditional tasks and some completely new) that are consistent with Common Core thinking, that young children can self-administer and respond to meaningfully, and that can be scored automatically. ETLA Tablet software was developed by Keen Research, Mill Valley, California.