Course details

Su 14, Sp 15, Sp 16, F 16, Sp 17, F 17, Sp 18, F 18
Course number
READ 534
Course title
Classroom Reading/Writing Assessment
Course description

Students will examine a variety of literacy assessments and explore how these assessments can be used to help teachers to develop effective instruction. Topics include:
Foundations of assessing children’s literacy knowledge
Assessment of word knowledge and reading fluency
Assessment of comprehension and composition
Implications of literacy assessment beyond the individual classroom
Relevant literacy assessment research

Dr. Dorothy McElhone
Instructor bio


Graduate standing. It is assumed that students will have access to K-8 students in order to complete some assignments.


1.1 Candidates understand major theories and empirical research that describe the cognitive, linguistic, motivational, and sociocultural foundations of reading and writing development, processes, and components, including word recognition, language comprehension, strategic knowledge, and reading-writing connections.
1.3 Candidates understand the role of professional judgment and practical knowledge for improving all students’ reading development and achievement.
2.1 Candidates use foundational knowledge to design or implement an integrated, comprehensive, and balanced curriculum.
3.1 Candidates understand types of assessments and their purposes, strengths, and limitations.
3.2 Candidates select, develop, administer, and interpret assessments, both traditional print and electronic, for specific purposes.
3.3 Candidates use assessment information to plan and evaluate instruction.
3.4 Candidates communicate assessment results and implications to a variety of audiences.
4.1 Candidates recognize, understand, and value the forms of diversity that exist in society and their importance in learning to read and write.
5.1 Candidates design the physical environment to optimize students’ use of traditional print, digital, and online resources in reading and writing instruction.
5.2 Candidates design a social environment that is low risk and includes choice, motivation, and scaffolded support to optimize students’ opportunities for learning to read and write.
5.3 Candidates use routines to support reading and writing instruction (e.g., time allocation, transitions from one activity to another, discussions, and peer feedback).
5.4 Candidates use a variety of classroom configurations (i.e., whole class, small group, and individual) to differentiate instruction.
6.2 Candidates display positive dispositions related to their own reading and writing and the teaching of reading and writing, and pursue the development of individual professional knowledge and behaviors.
6.3 Candidates participate in, design, facilitate, lead, and evaluate effective and differentiated professional development programs.

Practical applications

The purpose of this course is to help students understand the importance of classroom and curriculum-based literacy assessments in planning instruction, and to provide students with strategies for implementing classroom literacy assessments and using assessment results to improve instruction.
Students will explore the foundations of inquiry-oriented assessment, connecting assessments to state and national literacy standards, assessing the effectiveness of the literacy learning environment, and assessing children’s motivation for reading and writing.
Students will examine the language foundation of literacy development and how to assess pre-literacy skills, assessments for word recognition, oral reading, and spelling.
Students will examine vocabulary assessment, comprehension, strategic reading, comprehension of informational text, and writing.
Students will look at portfolio assessments, formative uses for literacy assessment, authentic literacy assessment, linking curriculum, instruction, and assessment, IEP development, and teacher-developed reading and writing assessments.

Time commitment

Students should expect to spend 9 hours per week for 10 weeks in course-related activities (e.g., reading the text and course materials, posting to discussion forums, completing written reports/papers and assignments).


A textbook is required for this course.┬áPlease check with PSU’s ReadOregon program

Historical offerings

Spring 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Summer 2012, 2013