Teacher showing student how to read
Program Insights

Diagnosis and Assessment of Reading: Concordia Course Spotlight

By The Room 241 Team July 3, 2018

Thinking of enrolling in Concordia University-Portland’s MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Reading Interventionist program? We thought we’d give you a closer look at one of the concentration courses in this program: EDRD 551 – Diagnosis and Assessment of Reading.

Carrie Kondor

Carrie Kondor

To dive into the details, we talked to Carrie Kondor, Associate Professor and Reading Endorsement Chair. We also asked students and graduates of the program what they thought of this course. Read on to discover how this course may be able to help you advance your practice and better address your students’ literacy struggles.

What’s the goal of this course?

The goal of this course is for candidates to build their knowledge of a variety of diagnostic assessments that measure students’ reading strengths and challenges, and use that information to design effective, differentiated instruction. This course discusses the reading process and the factors that influence its development, the role of assessment to inform and adapt literacy instruction, the evaluation and use of formal and informal assessment tools for individual learners and groups of students, and the interpretation and communication of assessment results.

What kind of student would really enjoy this course?

A student who is interested in deepening his or her skills in reaching the needs of all readers, especially readers who struggle and students who are interested in becoming reading specialists.

What are a couple of examples of homework assignments?

Students work with an emergent, early, or struggling reader throughout the course in a case study project. As students learn a variety of assessment tools, he or she will assess the young reader with those tools and develop an instructional plan for that reader based on the assessment results.

What is an example of the reading material and how can students apply what they learn to their profession?

Students read from a textbook called Understanding Reading Problems. All of the content learned in this course is readily applicable to both work as a classroom teacher or as a reading specialist. All assessments and diagnostic practices can be brought directly into work with students. Assessment materials used in the course become part of the teacher’s materials for professional use.

What’s your favorite aspect of this course?

Students who take this course always report that working directly with a young reader and having the opportunity to immediately apply their learning throughout the course has been a favorite aspect of the course.

Feedback from students and alums

“This course was one of the most beneficial throughout this program. It is important to stay current with the best practices for diagnosing a student’s reading ability, and this course gave a comprehensive view of how to assess a student from a reading interventionist’s standpoint. The instructor helped every step of the way with running records and how to evaluate the data collected. Additionally, I learned of some new screening tools that my district does not use, so I feel prepared coming out of the program with more resources and tools for my position as a reading interventionist.” – Elizabeth Friedman, MEd student

“I enjoyed the course. It has been one of my favorites. [It] provides the opportunity to work one-on-one with a student and analyze their reading performance through interest surveys and running records, and then determine the best strategies to help the student reach their fullest reading potential.” – Allie Little, MEd student

“Having spent most of my teaching career as a secondary English teacher, this course really opened my eyes as to how to properly assess a student’s reading level, strengths, and weak areas, as well as how to differentiate my instruction accordingly.” – Jennifer Darieng, MEd student

“[This course] outlined and reinforced the important role assessment plays in literacy instruction. Educators learn about various kinds of assessments, when and how to use them, and how assessments are used to guide instruction. We also learned about the role of assessment in the Response to Intervention (RTI) model. I found the class to support what I already knew about assessment and also provided me with new, insightful information that will help me in my future instruction.” – Robyn Gambucci, MEd student

“Gaining the MEd in Reading Interventionist from Concordia University–Portland has helped me become more focused on students’ needs.” – Casmore Shaw, MEd graduate

Learn more about Associate Professor and Reading Endorsement Chair, Carrie Kondor here.

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